• My bid for Parliament

    29th May 2014 | News | Claire
  • People who are frustrated that their voices are not being heard at Westminster.

    People who are unhappy about what is happening at central government, including:

    – relaxation of the planning rules
    – the pursuit of economic growth at all costs
    – public service cuts, when billions of pounds is being wasted elsewhere, such as on high speed rail and police and crime commissioner elections.
    – the focus on big business, including big business lobbying of ministers and the “gagging bill”
    – the quiet but steady privatisation of the NHS
    – the number of MPs who appear to be acting in their party’s or their own interests, rather than the interests of those who they are supposed to represent

    I thought long and hard about whether standing for parliament was the right thing to do and how any campaign could affect my family life, including my husband and 10 year old daughter.

    But I am very fortunate.  My family and those close to me are very supportive.  And after much soul-searching I realised that I felt compelled to stand for election and that now is the right time.

    I promise that should I be fortunate enough to be elected and have the honour to represent the East Devon constituency, I will do my utmost to represent the residents in a tireless and spirited way.  Without fear or favour.

    My work as a councillor

    I care passionately about our countryside and have been an outspoken critic and campaigner against the recently relaxed national planning rules that threaten East Devon today.

    I am a strong advocate of openness in local government. I worked to expose the influence of the landowners and developers on East Devon Business Forum, which had a significant influence on EDDC’s planning strategy.

    I have since encouraged greater transparency at EDDC.

    I care very much about public services and continue to oppose the widespread cuts by Devon County Council, which are caused by massive cuts by central government.  This seems especially wrong when so much of our money is being wasted elsewhere.

    Past electoral success
    I have a strong track record of representing and defending residents’ best interests.  In 2013 I was resoundingly elected to Devon County Council with 2,970 votes and a 74 per cent share.

    As a result, I have the largest majority of any county councillor in the south west.

    Read more about what I have been doing in my councillor role here .

    Turning your views into my manifesto
    Until the end of November, I will be seeking views from as many of you as possible, with the aim of gathering your views about the national issues that affect us here in East Devon.

    I want to know what issues are most important to you – and why.

    To help inform that process a survey will be available in the next few days, via this website and on paper.

    It will only take you a couple of minutes and responses will help focus my manifesto, which I will publish early in 2015.

    I have no party machinery or big business behind me. This leaves me free to speak and free to act. Instead I will be relying on public donations to finance my campaign.

    Donations will be used to cover expenses such as publicity materials, including literature, and the hire of halls for events.

    If you support my aims and would like to help me, you will be able to donate, using this website, in a day or two.

    Donations, both large and small, will all be welcome.

    Because I believe that big businesses have crept too close to politicians, I will not accept donations from corporations.

    Here’s the film of speech on Youtube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5VmaG51Cf5C0SreoRqgGHg

    Photograph: The march on the Knowle by angry residents from across East Devon in November 2012.