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GET VOTING: Hear from your MP candidates for Watford

 Published on: 11th June 2024   |   By: Panayiota Demosthenous   |   Category: Uncategorized

Dean Russell – Conservative Party

It has been the absolute honour of my life to represent you as your Member of Parliament here in Watford since 2019 and I really hope I can represent Watford for the next five years.

My most significant achievement was securing full funding for the redevelopment of Watford General Hospital thanks to the support of yourselves and the leadership team at West Herts Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.
My initiative to train 1,000 people in mental health first aid awareness has been exceeded thanks to the support of the Watford & West Herts Chamber of Commerce and Camelot (now Allwyn).

I secured £5million of additional funding to support the work of our brilliant local charities in supporting people who are rough sleeping. For a period of time, we had no rough sleepers in Watford.
I was delighted that my Tips Bill became law in 2023 and will come into force later this year. This was my own Private Members’ Bill which ensures businesses cannot retain any of the tips or gratuities given to staff.
Putting politics aside to partner with the council, I was pleased to announce the successful bid for the £16million Levelling Up Fund for Watford which will transform the Town Hall and Colosseum.

I have enjoyed working with my team on thousands of pieces of casework to help residents and have thoroughly enjoyed meeting many of you at surgery meetings, events and during tours of Parliament. I sincerely hope I can spend the next five years working hard for Watford


Councillor Matt Turmaine – Labour Party

The Labour Party’s Parliamentary candidate for Watford, councillor Matt Turmaine, spoke to WATFORDnews about his thoughts coming up to the General Election on Thursday, July 4.

Cllr Turmaine was born in Amersham and moved to Watford in 2011, where he has lived ever since. He became a borough councillor for West Watford in 2012.

He explained: “It’s about being rooted in the community. Because I live here, I use the same shops, services, facilities and everything else; I have skin in the game if you like!
“If you want to represent somewhere, it is important to have that local connection and understand the issues.”

Cllr Turmaine explained the ever-changing political affiliation in bellwether Watford, which has seen the town vote in Conservative and Labour MPs alternatively throughout the years.
He continued: “Watford voters are very smart, and they distinguish who they’re voting for depending on what the election is.

“My priorities are delivering economic stability to the people of Watford. The cost of living has impacted us all, and things like housing in Watford are astronomical! I want to also cut down NHS waiting times and GP waiting lists.

“We also want to set up Great British Energy, which will reduce the cost of energy for people in the country, which will benefit the people of Watford massively.”

Cllr Turmaine explained that he wants to crack down on anti-social behaviour and crime. Despite the police doing a “fantastic job”, he says the cut in police numbers is evident on the streets.

He said: “It’s time for change, and you have the power to change the direction this country is going in. You can’t just hope for it; you have to vote for it.”


Councillor Ian Stotesbury – Lib Dem Party

The Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate for Watford, councillor Ian Stotesbury, has spoken to WATFORDnews ahead of the general election on Thursday, July 4.

Cllr Stotesbury, a North Watford resident and engineer in the space industry, has worked on the borough council for six years, where he has spent time getting to know community groups, residents and businesses.
He said: “I know just how much we need change and a loud voice for Watford in Parliament.

“It was the years around the Brexit referendum that inspired me to stand for Parliament – I saw just how much our politics was letting us all down.”

When asked about his hopes for Watford, cllr Stotesbury said: “We’ve been waiting a decade for the hospital to be built. The access road, the multistorey car park and the land have been sorted by the Lib Dem-run council.
“Despite the trust’s clear preference for the Watford site to go ahead, we’ve faced delays and opposition. Getting it built is priority one.

“Watford also needs a loud voice to demand action on the cost-of-living crisis, demand investments in our rail and bus links, and put Watford first.”

Cllr Stotesbury emphasised that it is in the best interests of the area to have an MP, Mayor and council who work together.

He said: “It would truly be an honour to serve as our next MP, and we need politicians who work hard, stand up and are honest. The scale of the challenges facing our country can’t be ignored and I’ll work hard for all of us, every day. As an engineer, I know hard work, and being married to an NHS doctor, I know the scale of challenges facing our healthcare service. I’ll do everything I can to be worthy of the role and not let you down.”


Gary Ling – Reform Party

This month, WATFORDnews spoke with Reform’s Parliamentary candidate for Watford, Gary Ling.

When asked what inspired him to run for MP, Gary said: “When he was older, Sir Winston Churchill was supposedly asked what motivated him in politics and he replied: ‘When I was young, it was ambition. Nowadays, it’s anger. Unadulterated anger!’

“I mentioned this the other day when my wife asked me why I was barking at the radio. She put me in my place and said: ‘You’re such a pompous ass!’
“At least she didn’t say I was crazy for talking to an inanimate speaking box.”

Gary explained that the first thing he would do for Watford would be constitutional reform within the first year. He would reduce the number of MPs to 600 to save millions of pounds, reform the House of Lords and cut expenses, and enact a proportional representation system for Parliamentary elections.

He continued: “[The council] won’t like me. We don’t need both a paid-for Mayor and a chief executive of the council on big salaries and pensions. Scrap the directly elected Mayor and reduce the number of Watford councillors from 36 to 24.”

Gary is urging residents to think about their votes, and to not be afraid to “change your mind”.

He said: “Voting for the Conservative/Labour/Liberal uniparty again and again and expecting different results is the very definition of insanity. Boom, bust, austerity, wasteful spending, fairness failure, and incompetence.

“We are lucky enough to live in a country where you can change your mind. Are you going to keep voting the same way again and again because you always have? We can’t go on like this.”


The other candidates are Arran Bowen-la Grange from the Green Party, Sarah Jane Knott from the Heritage Party, and Khalid Mahmood from the Workers Party of Britain.

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