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ELECTION SPECIAL: YOUR CANDIDATE’S LOCAL LOVES AND LOATHES

As the General and Local elections approach on 7 May, The Resident team gathered the thoughts, fears and hopes – as well as their favourite haunts – for your local area. To discover some of the candidates campaigning in your area, scroll down to your borough or constituency, listed below in alphabetical order: 

BECKENHAM

Anuja Prashar

Anuja Prashar

Anuja Prashar
Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Beckenham

Please outline your key policy…
The Liberal Democrat party is the only party that values pluralism, internationalism and social justice for all. Today these values are threatened by insular, self-serving and essentialist views. We must now stand up to fight for liberal freedoms, which make Britain great. In reality, Britain is best placed to embrace the 21st century and lead the way, from within the EU, towards a prosperous future.

What do you love about the area?
I have loved Beckenham since I first visited the UK in 1980, four years before I came to live here. Beckenham is the best place for me because it provides the perfect balance of urban living with the atmosphere of the countryside. My favourite haunt is Kelsey Park and walking around the pond in the evenings.

How do you see the area in five years’ time?
Over the next five years Beckenham will become increasingly integrated into London, which is expanding very rapidly. The three main effects of this will be greater numbers of residents, an increase in cars and traffic and the opportunity for more local businesses to flourish. If I am elected I will devote myself to ensuring that the balance is maintained between capitalising on London’s continuous expansion and retaining the beauty and green spaces of Beckenham.

Follow @AnujaPrashar on Twitter 

BROMLEY 

Bob Neill in Chislehurst

Bob Neill

Bob Neill
Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Bromley & Chislehurst

Please outline your key policy…
For me, the most important thing is to build and maintain a strong economy. That means policies that support business and hard work, encouraging investment and competition. It also means investing in education, skills and training and infrastructure, including transport, good broadband, homes and schools. Only a strong business sector can produce the wealth we need to support the high quality public services that we all want to see, while at the same time protecting the environment.

What do you love most about the area and what’s your favourite haunt?
The mixture of green spaces like Chislehurst Common with our closeness to the vitality of central London. One favourite haunt isn’t an easy choice – The Bulls Head on Royal Parade is still a proper English pub, and I defy you to find a better Indian restaurant anywhere than Tamasha on Widmore Road!

If you could click you fingers and change one thing about the area, what would it be?
Improve the train services – it’s a big issue in my mailbag and a frustration that I share from daily experience.

Follow @neill_bob on Twitter

EALING

Rupa Huq outside St Mary's Church

Dr Rupa Huq 

Dr Rupa Huq
Labour Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Ealing Central and Acton

Please outline your key policy…
In 1997 Tony Blair said that the choice was about ‘education, education, education’ but I think in 2015 in Ealing Central and Acton, it must be housing, housing, housing. The constituency has, out of the 650 seats in the country, the third highest number of private renters. Many are educated, and in good jobs. I’m 40-something now and I see among my peers, families on the school run in that situation who can have to find new accommodation at the drop of a hat when the proprietor wants to sell. Labour will protect renters by banning agent fees to tenants, and enshrining the right to three-year tenancies. We will help cool the market in house prices by building 200,000 homes a year, largely reserved for first-time buyers. We will also change the definition of ‘affordable’ (currently 80% of market rate) to make sure that the properties it describes are genuinely affordable.

What do you love most about the area and what’s your favourite haunt?
Ealing is a family-friendly area that people move to for its parks and schools. My parents raised my sisters Konnie, Nutun and myself here and we now have five boys between us. I like the open spaces — Ealing has the highest number of any borough. Walpole and Lammas parks are favourite spots for me. It’s also great to experience things I didn’t know existed. I recently discovered the Gunnersbury Triangle Nature Reserve, which is a fascinating enclave of wildlife near to Chiswick Park tube; I must have been past hundreds of times without realising it was there.

How do you see the area in five years’ time?
There’s enormous potential and development: the Old Oak area of Acton on the Brent border is destined for massive investment to make it west London’s equivalent of Canary Wharf; Crossrail is coming to Ealing Broadway and Acton Central, and Dickens Yard is taking shape. The new swimming pool and library in Acton is soon to be joined by a Waitrose and we are getting cinemas in both Ealing Broadway and Acton High Street. I can only see Ealing, Acton and Chiswick as on the up. I fear, however, with spiralling prices, these are turning into areas that will become playgrounds of the rich for oligarchs and the like so I’d urge people to back Labour so we can create more new mixed tenure housing to halt this.

Follow @rupahuq on Twitter 

KENSINGTON & CHELSEA

Robina Rose

Robina Rose

Robina Rose
Green Party Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Kensington

Please outline your key policy…
We need an entirely new kind of politics. Sustainable and integrated long-term policies in economics, environment and society – for the NHS, education and housing/property – such as many proposed by the New Economic Foundation and many other leading economic and scientific thinkers. I don’t by any means have all the answers, we live at a difficult time, in a complex world; I am trying to make sure that we ask the right questions, in order for there to be a future for us all.

What drew you to the Green Party?
Having campaigned on the issue of basements since 2006 as a member of the Ladbroke Association, as co-founder of Save Portobello Campaign and Friends of Portobello, and as a Kensington Society member and chair for three years of the Campaign to Protect Rural England – joining the Green party was a natural extension of everything I believe in.

What do you love about the Kensington area?
I love the cosmopolitan, mixed community that still manages to exist here, the non-conformism that owes its origins to the Whig spa of what became Holland House and the whole literary, artistic history of the borough.

Follow @wclgreens on Twitter

HAMMERSMITH & FULHAM

Millicent Scott

Millicent Scott

Millicent Scott
Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Hammersmith

Please outline your key policy…
As a Liberal Democrat, the issue I feel most strongly about is equality. I want to live in a fairer society where there’s opportunity for everyone. For example, we need more women in Parliament and more people with BME (black and minority ethnic) backgrounds and diverse life experiences. We need more people like you and me to stand so that we break the mould of the stereotypical MP. We also need electoral reform so that people can see a clear link between their vote and the make-up of the resulting Parliament. I think that if this link were clearer then more people would vote, which in turn would give Parliament a stronger mandate. It’s fairer, and a win-win for citizens and democracy.

What do you love most about the area and what’s your favourite haunt?
I love the diversity that we have in this part of London. We have a vibrant Polish centre and a great French community as well as lots of Irish, Caribbean, African, Arabic and Indian heritage around us. As for a favourite haunt, I have a soft spot for the café in Ravenscourt Park. I’m also a fan of the Lyric Theatre and of Petit Miracles Interiors, the fantastic upcycling furniture place in West 12 Shopping Centre.

If you could click your fingers and change one thing, what would it be?
Traffic and air quality. I’d like to see a lot fewer cars on our roads, fewer traffic accidents and cleaner air. I wish it were as straightforward as clicking my fingers, but people do have to get around. I think we need to closely examine our transport options in and around London to come up with something more sustainable than the current situation. I know that it takes an awful lot more than clicking my fingers, but individuals can make a difference.

Follow @MissMillicent on Twitter

HOUNSLOW

Mary MacLeod

Mary MacLeod

Mary MacLeod
Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Brentford and Isleworth

Please outline your key policy…
In Brentford and Isleworth, one of the biggest challenges is ensuring we have enough school places. Hounslow has the fourth fastest-growing population in London and the council has been struggling to keep up with the increasing demand. By 2020, we’ll need 870 more secondary school places locally. That’s why I was so pleased to be with the Prime Minister in Isleworth earlier this month to hear him announce the creation of two new schools. The Green School for Boys and the Hounslow Improvement Partnership School will both open in September 2017. Ensuring that the next generation receives the best education possible should be a priority for everyone.

What do you love most about the area and what is your favourite haunt?
Chiswick High Road has so many fantastic places to eat and drink. I’m a big believer in supporting your local businesses so if I’m in the area, I always try to drop by Annie’s on Thames Road for a bite to eat or the Hack & Veldt deli on Turnham Green Terrace for a coffee. I spend every Friday meeting with constituents and I usually go to Sam’s Brasserie because I always receive such a warm welcome. I recently went to the new Villa di Geggiano restaurant on the High Road for a delicious lunch. When I’m not rushing off to my next meeting, which is rare, I love going for a walk or run along the Thames. It reminds me of the years I lived by the river on Grove Park Road.

If you could click your fingers and change one thing, what would it be?
It would be the terrible traffic! I know that most Chiswick residents would agree with me when I complain about the traffic. Hogarth roundabout and Chiswick High Road are particularly bad. It’s great that business is thriving in Chiswick but we need to ensure that the increased number of people coming to the area doesn’t have a negative effect on your journey home at the end of the day. To this end, I’m also campaigning to improve our local transport links, including Gunnersbury station, which is simply no longer fit for capacity.

Follow @MaryMacleod2015 on Twitter 

ISLINGTON NORTH

Julian Gregory

Julian Gregory

Julian Gregory
Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate Islington North

Please outline your key policy…
Health and education. I owe my life to treatment received at our local Whittington Hospital, so I have a very personal reason for wanting to protect our health services. We need to make sure the NHS gets the funding it needs, which the Lib Dems have committed to provide. And education because central political belief is that everyone should have the chance to make the most of their lives. If that is to be achieved, we need to provide a fantastic education to all children, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

How long have you lived in the area?
I live in the Islington North constituency, with my wife and two cats, not far from the Holloway Road. I’ve been in the borough for the last five years, before which I lived in several different areas of London – so I’m well placed to say that Islington is best!

What do you love about the area?
Islington North is the smallest constituency in the country, and I love being able to get to most places on foot. When you are walking you are surrounded by its architecture and history. I’m a huge fan of George Orwell who lived in Islington. I love the classrooms at Grafton School, where I’m a governor. Also the ice-cream van on Highbury Fields in the summer, the walk from my house to the Emirates Stadium on match days, Rowans bowling alley, the Park Theatre Café, and many of our local restaurants – including Pappagone’s and Dotori near Finsbury Park and, for a special treat, Trullo on St Paul’s Road.

Follow @northislington on Twitter 

ISLINGTON SOUTH

Emily Thornberry

Emily Thornberry

Emily Thornberry
Labour Prospective Parliamentary Candidate Islington South & Finsbury

Please outline your key policy…
We are a community where the extremes of rich and poor are writ large. That gap has widened as the cost of living crisis has hit the poorer members of Islington harder than in most areas. The so-called economic recovery hasn’t worked for most of Islington as we still have higher than average levels of youth unemployment and child poverty. Islington needs a Labour government that will keep our community together. I have been campaigning on the issue of equal pay. It’s just outrageous that, 45 years after the Equal Pay Act was passed in 1970, women still earn almost 10% less than men for full time work. Islington’s women deserve better and I’m pushing for radical new legislation to close the pay gap.

What do you love about the area?
People who don’t live here think that Islington is all cappuccino bars and Georgian Squares – and it is, but it also is an area with the 6th worst child poverty in the UK. We have all kinds of people from all over the world and, as a community, we work well together.

What are you favourite places?
The balconies on our estates with their amazing views. I love the main room in the Finsbury Town Hall; the crypt at St James’ church; the staircase at Bevin Court; The Screen on the Green; the hyper active St Luke’s Community Centre; the canal and the walk by New River…

Follow @emilythornberry on Twitter

LEWISHAM EAST

Heidi Alexander at Lewisham Hospital

Heidi Alexander

Heidi Alexander
Labour Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Lewisham East

Please outline your key policy…
I’ve always felt very strongly about the need to provide more genuinely affordable homes. London’s housing crisis affects everyone from the young professional wanting to buy their first flat to low-income families in overcrowded, poorly-maintained properties. It must be tackled.

What do you love most about the area?
I love our parks and open spaces (I’ve got a soft spot for Manor House Gardens) and am also a fan of our many excellent eateries. I became slightly obsessed with the Model Market last summer and suspect I will be one of the first through the gate when it re-opens!

If you could click you fingers and change one thing, what would it be?
Extend the Bakerloo Line and put Lewisham and Catford on the tube map. I find rush hour trains unbearable and have ditched them in favour of the 321 or 453 bus to get to Westminster. The Bakerloo Line isn’t going to arrive anytime soon, so in the interim, I would also like to magic up some extra train carriages!

Follow @heidi_mp on Twitter 

LEWISHAM WEST & PENGE

Tom Chance in Crystal Palace

Tom Chance

Tom Chance
Green Party Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Lewisham West & Penge

Please outline your key policy…
Housing costs have rocketed, so I want to get a grip on investors that are driving up prices, private renters left with such insecure tenancies and the lack of social housing.

What do you love most about the area and what’s your favourite haunt?
We’re so lucky to have such wonderful parks, I love walking between them along the Green Chain. I also like to hang out at the Transition Town market and the Antenna Cafe in Crystal Palace on a Saturday, bumping into friends and fellow campaigners.

If you could click your fingers and change one thing about the area, what would it be?
I’d like to see less traffic and pollution on our main roads, I’m fed up of breathing in the fumes. I measured pollution levels around Crystal Palace last summer and found they were twice the legal limit, and have led a petition to TfL to get greener buses as a first step to fixing the problem. But clicking my fingers sounds a lot easier!

Follow @tom_chance on Twitter

MERTON

Stephen Hammond

Stephen Hammond

Stephen Hammond
Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Wimbledon

What is the biggest change needed locally?
My vision for Wimbledon, Morden and Raynes Park is a campaign to engage local people to think about how we improve the area. In Wimbledon Village our Labour council is failing to help shopkeepers; we need action on business rates and parking. In Wimbledon we need to develop higher quality buildings and consider more green space in the town centre. In Morden we need greater pedestrianisation and a plan to make the station easier to access; in Raynes Park we need some more great community events like the Christmas lights.

What do you love about the area?
There’s too much to describe! SW19 is a great place to live, work and bring up a family. We have great shopping, great restaurants and fabulous open spaces. We have a huge cultural offer, including the Bookfest and Wimbledon Music Festival. Of course we also have a sporting heritage and local sporting opportunities. Finally SW19 is a hugely generous and open hearted community where many people volunteer to help others.

How do you see the area in five years’ time?
I hope it will be thriving and booming. Firstly we need to have a Conservative government to ensure economic recovery so even more jobs can be created and living standards rise. Secondly we need all development to be of high quality and sympathetic to the area to make Wimbledon, Morden and Raynes Park an even better area.

Follow @S_Hammond on Twitter

Peter Bucklitsch

Peter Bucklitsch

Peter Bucklitsch
UKIP Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Wimbledon

Please outline your key policy…
We need to have secondary education reflecting the excellent work being done in the primary schools. UKIP policies in education with a return of grammar schools will help achieve this. Too many of the brightest children do not achieve their potential due to peer pressure against academic achievement, and this can be alleviated in a more selective environment. Nationally we need to ensure that the country is defended. The RAF has only12 fast jet squadrons including seven obsolete Tornado bombers, The Royal Navy has only eight submarines, excluding Trident, six destroyers and 17 frigates, and an unfinished aircraft carrier with no planes and no pilots. The army has been decimated and the policy relies on a reserve force, which is unable to meet its recruitment target. We need to operate the NHS more effectively, and we need to control the numbers of people flooding into the UK from the impoverished countries of the EU. As a descendent of an immigrant, and with a Portuguese son-in-law and Chinese daughter-in-law, I am clearly not against immigration, but the sheer volume of current immigration depresses wages for low and, increasingly, middle income workers, and puts huge strains on medical, housing and education resources.

What’s great about SW19?
The open spaces everywhere, not just the Common, but the parks and squares hidden among outwardly solid suburbia.

How do you see the area in five years’ time?
Much more crowded as the Crossrail 2 gets closer.

Follow @bucklitsch on Twitter

WANDSWORTH

Christopher Howe

Christopher Howe

Christopher Howe
UKIP Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Battersea

Please outline your key policy…
The key policy for UKIP is to return democracy to our country. Local citizens feel unrepresented, disenfranchised, and impotent, in matters of local planning. Our national government is continuing to cede, without authority, our national sovereignty and birthright. There must be accountability at all levels of the executive for decisions made.

What is your favourite place?
I suppose my favourite place is Battersea Town Hall (now BAC). My father and his pals formed the original Battersea Society in 1966. They saved the building from demolition as proposed by the Labour-led council of the time. I performed in scout ‘gang shows’ and went to dances as a teenager in the Grand Hall. As we all know, the rear part of the building burnt down last month, and it almost broke my heart.

How do you see the area in five years’ time?
I’ll look at the area in five years’ time over the top of 28-storey buildings, unless the local people put a stop to it. Battersea Sports Centre, Hope St, is to close and be uprooted after being on its site for 50 years. Unbridled development and breakneck re-engineering is killing Battersea’s (and our country’s) soul.

Follow @chris_howe_batt on Twitter

ROYAL BOROUGH OF GREENWICH

Matthew Pennycook in Woolwich

Matthew Pennycook

Matthew Pennycook
Labour Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Greenwich & Woolwich

Please outline your key policy…
Housing and local development. The housing crisis in London is long standing but it has been exacerbated over recent years by a sharp drop in the number of new affordable homes being built. A key challenge over the coming years will be to ensure that the regeneration that takes place locally is of benefit to local communities, not just overseas investors.

What do you love most about the area and what’s your favourite haunt?
I love a great many things about Greenwich but our Royal Park stands out as the thing I love most about the area. I run in the park most mornings and feel incredibly lucky to live so close to such a beautiful piece of parkland that is used and valued by so many residents.

How do see the area in five years’ time?
I see the area going from strength to strength in the years ahead, not least because of the opening of the new Woolwich Crossrail station in 2018. We have huge assets locally: a glorious heritage, extensive parks and open spaces, some of the best primary schools in the country and a strengthening local economy. As long as we’re doing everything possible to unlock and unleash the talents of everyone in the community I know the area will have a very bright future.

Follow Matthew on Twitter at @mtpennycook

ROYAL BOROUGH OF RICHMOND

Zac Goldsmith

Zac Goldsmith

Zac Goldsmith
Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Richmond Park

Please outline your key policy…
When I first put my name down as a candidate, a big part of that was to try to raise the issue of the environment further up the agenda. I felt, and still feel, that creating balance in our relationship with the natural world is the defining challenge of our age, and yet it barely registers politically. But having been an MP for a few years, it’s equally clear that the way we do politics, and the structure of our democracy, is profoundly flawed and unless we get the decision-making process right, we will always be lumbered with bad decisions. So my focus recently has been on political and democratic reform — trying to find ways to empower people to hold their MPs properly to account, and for MPs to hold government properly to account.

What would you enjoy most about representing this area for your party?
I’ve lived in Richmond virtually my whole life. It’s my home in every sense, and being elected to represent it is an almighty privilege. Everything I do in Parliament is steered and shaped by that, and when I vote on issues I am always aware that my first job is to represent my constituents in Parliament, even when that pitches me against my party.

If you could instantly change one thing about the area, what would it be?
I would stop night flights at the very least between 11pm and 6am, and secure a final, water-tight, complete commitment that Heathrow expansion is off the agenda for good. The threat has been hovering for years, and causes immense anxiety for countless people in the area — and beyond.

Follow @ZacGoldsmith on Twitter 

SOUTHWARK

Helen Hayes

Helen Hayes

Helen Hayes
Labour Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Dulwich & West Norwood

Please outline your key policy…
It is no exaggeration to say that we are facing a housing crisis in London. Dulwich and West Norwood should be an area where a wide range of households can afford to live and where people are not spending more than half of their income on housing. I therefore feel extremely strongly about the Labour Party’s campaign for secure and affordable homes: we are pledging to build 200,000 new homes a year by 2020 and ensure a fair deal for private renters by introducing three year standard tenancies and limiting rent increases.

What do you love most about the area and what’s your favourite haunt?
Dulwich and West Norwood is a hugely diverse constituency; a microcosm of London. A list of all my favourite haunts would be as long as a guide book! I’ve been eating in Fujiyama in Brixton since 1996, I love a walk in Sydenham Hill Woods with my children and our independent shops are second to none!

How do you see the area in five years?
I’d like to see more opportunities for young people in Dulwich and West Norwood. We are so close to central London that this should be an area where there are opportunities for everyone, but youth unemployment has increased hugely since 2010 under the Tory-Lib Dem Government. I’d also like to see our area remain truly diverse. This won’t happen unless we make increasing the number of quality local school places, protecting our NHS and tackling the housing crisis national priorities.

Follow Helen on Twitter at @helenhayes_

 

Simon Hughes

Simon Hughes

Simon Hughes
Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Bermondsey & Old Southwark

Please outline your key policy…
Housing is the number one issue that is raised on the doorsteps in Bermondsey and the rest of my constituency. I am absolutely committed to keep fighting for more homes which are really affordable for local people, many of whom have lived here all of their lives. It is completely unacceptable that there is such a lack of affordable housing across London and I am working hard to change that.

What do you love most about the area and what’s your favourite haunt?
I love the history as well as the present, and believe that the walk along the river from Deptford to the Oxo Tower is the most special thing about this constituency.

How do you see the area in five years’ time?
This area will continue to flourish, with more jobs, more apprenticeships and more opportunities for local businesses. I hope that by 2020 the new pier in Rotherhithe and the new cycle and pedestrian bridge from Surrey Docks to Canary Wharf will be built and very well used.

Follow Simon on Twitter at @LibDemSimon

For a full list of the candidates standing in your constituency, see yournextmp.com

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