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GET VOTING: Meet your candidates for Chesham and Amersham

 Published on: 17th June 2024   |   By: Annabel Stock   |   Category: Uncategorized

The Chalfonts and Gerrards Cross residents will vote for the new MP for Chesham and Amersham in the General Election on July 4.

Lib Dem candidate Sarah Green will be defending the seat against Labour’s Chris Chilton, the Green Party’s Justine Fulford, and Conservative councillor Gareth Williams (pictured clockwise from top left), as well as Julian Foster of the Heritage Party, Reform UK’s Laurence Jarvis, and Workers Party of Britain candidate Muhammad Khan.

The Lib Dems have held the seat since 2021.

Sarah Green, the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate and most recent MP for Chesham and Amersham, has reflected on her time in office and revealed her hopes for re-election.

“It has been the privilege of my life to have been Chesham and Amersham’s MP for the past three years.

“In the 2021 by-election, I said that our area needed a strong voice in Parliament. That’s what I’ve worked hard to deliver every day. I’ve held the government to account on the disastrous HS2 project that’s damaged our local environment. I’ve spoken up for local patients who have faced unforgivably long waits for treatment on the NHS.

“Residents and local businesses have been hit hard by soaring energy bills, high interest rates and tax rises, and I’ve worked hard to get them the support they need. I have also worked tirelessly to get action from Thames Water on their shameful failures on flooding, and dumping sewage in our rivers and chalk streams.

“More than 15,000 residents have been in touch and received help and advice from me. I have also held more than 300 local advice surgeries where residents speak to me one-to-one.

“The residents I meet every day are not asking for the world. They want to know that if they’re sick, they can get a GP appointment. They want to know that our green belt isn’t going to be concreted over with inappropriate developments. If they’re walking alongside one of our local chalk streams, they want to know it’s not got disgusting sewage polluting it.

“Our young people want to know that they can get onto the housing ladder. Our older residents want to know that if they need care, that it’s not going to take every penny they’ve saved.

“When you cast your vote, I hope you will choose to back me to continue to be the passionate local champion that Chesham and Amersham needs.”

Councillor Gareth Williams is the Conservative Party’s Parliamentary candidate for Chesham and Amersham.

Cllr Williams has been a councillor since 2017 and became Deputy Leader of Buckinghamshire Council back in 2021 when it was launched as a unitary council. To describe launching a new council during a global pandemic as challenging is “an understatement”, he says, but added that the experience provided a taste for public life. He added, however, that he is not a “career politician”.

He said: “I’m 50 so this is not a step on the ladder onto something else for me. It’s the final destination. It’s about putting into practice everything I’ve learned in the private, public and voluntary sectors.”

Cllr Williams has lived in the area for nearly 20 years, and in the constituency for 10 years.

Born in Durham, he spent 20 years working in finance before moving into the charity sector. He explained that working as a debt coach for Christians Against Poverty offered a particularly influential insight into the lives of the most vulnerable.

Having volunteered as a school governor, Cub Scout leader, and charity trustee, cllr Williams says his focus is community.

The father-of-three added that the three headlines he seeks to work under are: family, community, and nation.

He said: “As a society, we don’t really value stay-at-home parents, but they are so important to our communities.

“Rishi Sunak has recently spoken about launching national service – a kind of turbo-charged DofE! What that’s really about is asking not what I can get from the state, but what I can contribute. That for me is what is at the heart of the Conservative viewpoint; it’s about promoting aspiration and rolling up your sleeves and getting stuck in.”

Chris Chilton, Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for Chesham and Amersham, has spoken to CHALFONTS&GERRARDSCROSSnews this month.

Chris has lived in the constituency for 17 years. He has never worked as a councillor or stood for Parliament, but he feels this is an advantage, rather than a negative.

He said: “There is a growing cynicism amongst the general public about politicians. It’s not like other jobs when experience in the field is always an advantage. People seem more impressed when you don’t have a background in politics.

“It’s absolutely vital that we have politicians who want to do public service, not enrich themselves and their friends. I will be a public servant. I won’t be accepting donations, hospitality or gifts, and I will never work as a lobbyist. I want to work with honesty and integrity.”

Chris grew up on a council estate in County Durham. His dad was a building labourer, and his mum was a nurse, and he was the first person in his family and his school to go to university. He studied chemistry at the University of Birmingham and worked as a ‘chocolate scientist’ for major brands such as Mars and Cadbury.

Since retiring five years ago, Chris has taken on various jobs in the voluntary sector, including working with Wycombe Homeless Connection, foodbanks, a nursery school and Young Enterprise.

Should he become MP, the father-of-four says he will donate 50 per cent of his salary to local charities and organisations.

The unaffordability of houses is something Chris wishes to tackle, and he says: “The only way to solve this is by building more houses.”

He added: “You judge your society by how well you look after the poorest and most vulnerable.”

Running for the Green Party is councillor Justine Fulford, who is currently serving on Chesham Town Council.

Cllr Fulford moved to Buckinghamshire for work and has lived here for over three decades, raising three children who all attended local state schools.

For many years, she has been involved with various voluntary groups campaigning for environmental protection and social justice.

She said: “I’m horrified that our rivers have become unsafe for people and deadly for nature; public transport and highway infrastructure are disintegrating due to underinvestment; and we have an NHS starved of resources as well as no actually affordable housing.

“We have a massive crisis that has compelled me to offer hope, put pressure on those that will be elected, and speak up for those whose voices go unheard. Now’s our chance.”

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