Kenilworth election candidates say why you should vote for them

By James Smith

11th Jun 2024 | General Election 2024

From left - Jenny Wilkinson, Sir Jeremy Wright, Alix Dearing and Nick Blunderbuss Green (images supplied)
From left - Jenny Wilkinson, Sir Jeremy Wright, Alix Dearing and Nick Blunderbuss Green (images supplied)

Election hopefuls looking to become Kenilworth's next MP have told Nub News readers why they should vote for them come July 4.

The full list of candidates was confirmed by Warwick District Council on Friday (7 June), with all the major parties putting forward representatives.

Nub News asked all seven of the candidates why they are standing for election, and why locals should trust them with their vote.

This is what they said...

Jenny Wilkinson - Liberal Democrats

Why are you standing for election?

Like many others, I got involved in politics because I wanted to make a difference.

Having seen the achievements of my Liberal Democrat colleagues in parliament, such as the Carer's Leave Act, which gives people with caring responsibilities entitlement to a week's leave per year, or making upskirting a criminal offence, I believe that by becoming a member of parliament I will be able to make the most impact.

I am passionate about fairness and equality and particularly want to bring change for the most vulnerable in our society.

At a local level, our area has been taken for granted and overlooked for far too long. People across our towns and villages need a strong voice to stand up for them and represent their interests.

I will provide local people the strong representation that they deserve.

Jenny Wilkinson on the campaign trail (image supplied)

What are your main priorities in terms of local issues in Kenilworth and Southam?

When I speak with residents across the constituency, I hear their concerns about the cost-of-living crisis, difficulties accessing NHS services, the damage to our environment and the large amount of new development.

Our cost-of-living challenges are best addressed by building a strong, fair economy. At a local level, I will champion our small businesses, the engines of our economy, creators of local jobs, and the beating heart of our communities.

The Lib Dems are proposing reform of business rates to support our high street businesses.  

We also desperately need to support our local NHS, so that everyone can get the care they need when they need it. The Lib Dems will give everyone the right to see their GP within seven days, or 24 hours for urgent issues.

To deliver on that, we will train, recruit and retain an extra 8,000 GPs.

Jenny Wilkinson was chosen by the local Lib Dems two years ago (image supplied)

We will also reform the dentists' contracts to encourage local surgeries to provide NHS care so no-one is forced to pay for private dentistry.

For our local environment, we need to be tougher on the water companies that continue to pollute our rivers, by replacing Ofwat with a regulator with actual teeth and banning the ludicrous bonuses that bosses have been receiving.

As regards, the extensive housing developments, I am calling for:

  • More genuinely affordable housing, including social housing.
  • More community input to get the right housing built, in the right place, with the right infrastructure.
  • For new houses to be built to high environmental standards.

Why should locals trust you with their vote?

I was selected as the Lib Dem candidate for Kenilworth and Southam over two years ago and since then I have been out and about supporting our growing number of councillors across the constituency, working hard for local people.

The Liberal Democrats took control of Stratford District Council in May 2023 and have already started delivering on their commitments to listen to residents and support local communities.

We have also won council seats from the Conservatives in Warwick district and Rugby borough. Now, I'm standing as the only candidate who can unseat the Conservatives at the general election. We've won locally and we're fighting to win nationally.

Outside of politics, I'm a mum to three boys and have been actively involved in the community as a charity trustee, Scouts group chair, and school governor. Professionally, I come from a career as a forensic accountant, focused on tackling fraud and corruption.

Honesty and integrity are core values for me and we desperately need more of those in politics.

Alix Dearing - Green Party

Why are you standing for election?

I'm standing for election because only the Greens have the vision to change our broken systems and be bold in pushing the next government to act responsibly.

We must reverse the appalling decisions that have been made over the last 14 years in our name, which has resulted in a terrible decline in our public services. 

We have a cost of living crisis, private companies owning our water supply, poor quality of housing and nearly the highest energy costs in Europe. I want real change and a fairer future for our children.

Alix Dearing was the Mayor of Kenilworth for the last civic year (image supplied)

What are your main priorities in terms of local issues in Kenilworth and Southam?

Locally, my priorities are quite specific - to:

  • Transform our housing quality and energy supplies. I will be pushing local councils to change their policies on renewables to work for a rooftop revolution in solar and establish much higher standards for new houses. 
  • Focus on our high streets, enabling them to thrive, supported by well-planned active transport improvements.
  • Protect our green spaces and watercourses, boost biodiversity and protect nature. This will mean a push for public ownership of water companies and prioritising development on brownfield land.
  • Fund initiatives which help our young people achieve as much as they can in jobs in a revitalised local (and green) economy. 

Why should locals trust you with their vote?

My aim is to create thriving connected communities. 

Kenilworth and Southam can elect a longstanding resident rooted in the community, a genuine representative and recent Mayor, who has served as a district councillor and remains a town councillor. I have the energy and expertise to know what is needed. 

Time and again the voices of local voters have been ignored when it comes to setting government policy. Make the Green Party make history with real hope and real change for the future.

Alix Dearing is a town councillor for Kenilworth and has also been on the district council (image supplied)

Sir Jeremy Wright - Conservative Party

Why are you standing for election?

I have represented the constituency of Kenilworth and Southam in parliament for 14 years, and the people of Kenilworth as their MP for 19 years.

I believe I have more to give and I have always believed you should use your skills and experience to help others where you can, so I am hoping to continue representing the constituency I live in.

What are your main priorities in terms of local issues in Kenilworth and Southam?

My priority will be to do all I can to help constituents with the problems they bring to me, using my advocacy skills and the convening power of an MP to bring parties together and find solutions, as I have done throughout my time as an MP so far.

Helping families with children who have special educational needs or disabilities and who struggle to get the help they need has been a particular feature of my work in the last few years and I expect that to continue.

I will seek to defend our countryside from inappropriate development, including from large solar farms on green belt agricultural land.

Sir Jeremy Wright is standing for the Conservatives again (image supplied)

Our area has seen considerable housing development, and infrastructure and services need to go along with that.

I have played my part in delivering a new secondary school for Kenilworth and a new railway station, along with new school buildings in Southam and Kineton and new GP facilities in Wellesbourne and planned for Upper Lighthorne.

My next priorities would be the double-tracking of the line between Leamington and Coventry that will open up more destination options from Kenilworth Station, and continuing the work I have been doing to provide a cohesive network of cycling and active travel routes in the constituency.

Why should locals trust you with their vote?

I think it is important to live in the constituency you seek to represent, and I understand I am the only major party candidate who does.

I have 19 years' experience doing the job I am applying for and I have a record of helping individuals and improving our area of which I am proud.

I hope voters will be able to see that I have been a good local, experienced and effective MP and will continue to be so if they entrust me with their vote.

Jacqui Harris - Reform UK

Why are you standing for election?

I have always stood up to be counted, supported and helped people. I have a history of public service, helping, mentoring, guiding people.

Always have a listening ear and shoulder to lean on. I learnt a great deal as a family liaison officer as to what makes people tick and the complications of people and lives.

The roles I have held professionally have given me in-depth experience of dealing with people at their most vulnerable times in their lives. I decided to use these skills to give back and stood for election as a district councillor. 

I deliver for people. I have found homes for people to live in.

Supported the farming community. Delivered major infrastructure projects, GP Surgery in Upper Lighthorne and the Lights at Harbury crossroads.

Jacqui Harris is standing for Reform UK (image supplied)

I have watched as our country has deteriorated, folk silenced and withdrawing. Freedom of speech eroded. Big Pharma and Gov mission creep.

Things slowly becoming harder and grinding to a halt. Our Public Sector work load increase with little resource, or good leadership.

Most of all the deafness and ignorance in Whitehall. For smart people in government they could not see that government is no longer working, quangos not working and need to go and the amount of money we waste on things that need to be cut or trimmed. I could continue but most of your readers know to well what is not right! 

It has lead me to standing today! Be a voice for many who have lost hope, for many who want sense and sensibility back!

Many who want a vote but had no party. They now have Reform UK.

What are your main priorities in terms of local issues in Kenilworth and Southam?

Get elected, get things changed so they work! Pot holes filled in. Support the councils and local business in the area, to increase productivity and help make life better for everyone.

Stand with the public sector, their work affects everyone in so many ways and we need them supported by good leaders.

Change government. It all takes time so I hope the communally will stand with me and get things done. 

Why should locals trust you with their vote?

Trust is earned! I have eight years as a district councillor, 45 years in the public sector, health NHS and in the police service.

Folk do trust me, but this is an individual decision for each voter and I hope they can trust and believe in members who stand to represent them, this has been eroded.

The voters are smart. They know who are good people, it is in their hands and for them to decide.

I will only say thank you for reading my thoughts and believe again in whomever you vote for, we need the public to decide and we need to change.

Of course I will say vote Reform UK.

Nicholas Blunderbuss Green (Official Monster Raving Loony Party)

Why are you standing for election?

There are several reasons really. The history of the party is one. There are 22 of us standing across the country.

We have been going for 42 years and I really like the ethos of the party.

Without people standing, we don't really have a party.

And from a personal point of view, this will be the third time I have stood and not many people can say they have stood in three elections!

I'm standing more for the history of politics, then politics itself.

Why should people trust you with their vote?

It isn't good. When you switch the TV on, there is a new bloody policy that has come out.

Whatever it may be, just out of the blue. It's just another policy to get them elected.

I know it is nothing new, but some of them are just a joke. I think the main parties do more to ridicule politics on a whole than our party.

I think they are making us redundant, slowly but surely. 

I have a saying at the moment - if you don't usually vote, vote unusually.

Paul De'Ath (UKIP) and Cat Price (Labour)

Candidates did not respond to our requests for comment.

     

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