ELECTIONS 2015: The Crawley General Election candidates

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The polls are open and the five people competing to be voted Crawley’s MP have only a few hours left before they find out whether or not they will be heading for Westminster.

The candidates are:

Henry Smith (Conservative Party)

He said: “No one determines where they’re born, but as adults can chose where they live; 21 years ago I moved to Crawley to set up my business and for my wife to take up a job in the NHS. We came to Crawley because it’s a fantastic place to live, work and play.

I wanted to give something back to the community and was pleased to be elected a councillor in 1997, a position I held until having the honour of becoming Crawley’s MP in 2010. I’ve been a governor too at three local schools.

My aims for Crawley over the next few years are seeing more services return to Crawley Hospital with increased NHS funding; greater investment in road and rail; a further set of tax cuts for hardworking households and an in/out EU membership referendum.

I’ll continue to be Crawley’s voice in Westminster, not Westminster’s voice in Crawley.”

Chris Oxlade (Labour Party)

He said: “I got involved in politics through working with local charities. When the Tories took control of Crawley I saw their impact on the community first-hand. Crawley’s my home, I was born and have lived my entire life here, that’s why I had to do something about it. Since then I’ve campaigned to save local youth services, resisted the relocation of Social Services and successfully fought for residential improvements. As a councillor I’ve secured improvements to local GP capacity, worked with the police to reduce crime and ASB and supported Crawley’s voluntary organisations. Crawley needs change and that means we need a voice in Parliament that speaks up about an NHS in crisis, that argues for the housing we need so people can afford a home of their own and which demands a better deal for the vast majority who are working hard but seeing their quality of life get worse.”

Chris Brown (UKIP)

He said: “I have had an interest in politics since childhood and was proud of my country and our standing in the world. When I started to see the devastation caused by the Blair years, I was shocked and saddened. My frustration at the Westminster village gave me no option but to stand up and put my best foot forward. Like many people, I joined UKIP to challenge the political establishment.

I am a normal person with real life experience and believe that’s the type of person the people of Crawley want to see in Westminster. I have experience of low paid jobs through to business ownership and understand the issues facing residents. I am helping families deal with the Foreign Office in their campaign to get their daughter and granddaughter out of danger in Lebanon, medical malpractice experiences with the NHS and residents struggling to make ends meet or facing homelessness.”

Guy Hudson (Green Party)

He said: “I joined the Greens two years ago, becoming shocked at the growing inequality in our society and its bad effects on the lives of nearly all of our citizens.

I do believe that fair is worth fighting for and see the Greens as the voice and means of making the needed changes through well thought out, lasting and effective policies.

People like our friendly policies - 30% say they would vote for our policies, so membersip has quadrupled to 55,000  making the Green Party number three in Crawley. The Greens stand for an end to cruel austerity, end the inefficient privatisation of the NHS, a peaceful foreign policy, decommissioning our nuclear weapons, investing in renewable energy and energy efficient housing, investing in public transport so that busses and trains are co-ordinated. new trains are made in the UK, 500,000 social homes are built in the next parliament.”

Sarah Osborne (Liberal Democrats)

She said she was “proud that in Crawley the Liberal Democrats have helped rebuild our economy and delivered: a tax cut of £800 each to nearly 53,000 local people; £10million extra for local schools; 3,400 new apprenticeships; free school meals to over 4,000 local children; equal marriage for local couples.

Gatwick Airport expansion would benefit Crawley economically. But too many Gatwick workers are struggling on low pay.

Sarah is urging employers to adopt the Living Wage as a minimum, and restrict zero-hours contracts to workers who prefer the flexibility it can provide.

If elected as MP for Crawley, Sarah will put local people first, ensure their views are heard and meet regularly with residents groups, police, health services and local service providers.

She will be there to help, listen to concerns and stand up for the local community”.