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Hambleden by-election: candidate statements
A THREE way political battle for public office will take place in Hambleden next week.
The Conservatives, UKIP and Labour are going head to head in Thursday's Wycombe District Council by-election.
Julian Grigg, Labour’s candidate, a partial amputee, said his priority will be to fight the corner for the disabled and for better services for residents who find it difficult to travel and become isolated in their homes.
He backed Wycombe Area Access for All, which recently said the Paralympics has not led to the kind of changes which would improve the daily lives of disabled people.
Mr Grigg, from High Wycombe, had his foot partially amputated two years ago.
Meanwhile, Roger Metcalfe, the Tory candidate, an ex-Royal Artillery officer, stressed his focus was on ensuring the Hambleden Valley remains clean and safe.
The election was called after Roger Emmett, a Conservative, died of a heart attack in June.
Mr Metcalfe pledged to continue his good work with groups like the Chilterns Conservation Board and is committed to protecting the area for future generations through good planning and management.
UKIP candidate Brian Mapletoft said he would bring a fresh approach to the council, if elected.
He pledged to fight for a radical council merger to save much needed cash, hitting out at bureaucracy and the number of councillors drawing expenses. He also focused on the impact of immigration on the area in his campaign.
Polling stations open from 7am to 10pm at six locations in the area - Ibstone, Frieth, Hambleden, Fawley, Turville and Medmenham.
Julian Grigg, Labour
My priorities are : Good public transport There are few bus services in Hambleden Valley and many only run in term times. Elderly people find it difficult to access healthcare or social activities. Parents find it difficult to get their children to school. Disabled people cannot get to work. I am disabled myself and I understand the frustrations of trying to be independent.
We need good public transport in rural communities. Maintaining standards of living The Government cuts are hitting all levels of society and particularly women. Most people are suffering from cuts in services and cuts in wages. They are hit by inflation in transport costs, energy and food. They see their standard of living falling.
We need a living wage in Wycombe and services like SureStart which protect our children.
Debating fracking in Bucks Much of Buckinghamshire sits on rock formations with shale gas potential. Fracking brings noise and water pollution, earthquakes, and disruption. The Government is pushing fracking but the County Council won’t even discuss it.
We need a well informed debate.
Julian has lived in Wycombe for 18 years. He is a volunteer community support worker with Bucks County Council and a member of their Crisis Support Team.
Brian Mapletoft, UKIP
Ukip offers a refreshing new approach to local government. We believe in speaking up on major issues as well as local matters.
• HS2 is increasingly beleaguered as its costs increase, which are unmatched by benefits. There is no credible business case.
• Wind-farms are a blot on the environment and a waste of energy. They are a sop to the carbon pressure group. They are inefficient and do not work.
• Immigration is a major issue that is being ignored – indeed plans are afoot to sponsor an increase in the population of Wycombe District by 10% by 2031, equivalent to a new town the size of Princes Risborough.
• Wycombe District exhibits all the problems of a local bureaucracy struggling to justify its own existence, with a phalanx of sixty councillors all drawing expenses. A Unitary Authority should be established for Bucks, thus saving £40m p/a by stripping away a whole layer of bureaucracy.
Locally we believe in judging issues on their own merits rather than whipping into line according to some centrally-decided policy.
Finally, our plea is to be given a chance to speak up and effect change. We are hoping for a good turnout on 5 September.
Roger Metcalfe, Conservative
Roger Metcalfe from Fawley Green is 49 years old and runs his own business consultancy firm, and works several days a week for the Army Reserve.
Roger Metcalfe is the only local candidate standing in this election. He served for 28 years as a Royal Artillery officer, including operations in The Balkans, Northern Ireland, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Roger has recently completed an MBA at Henley Business School. He serves the school on the Alumni Relations and Development Advisory Board, and is running a project to bring ex-Service men and women to the School on entrepreneurship courses.
He works with the Territorial Army on a part-time basis Roger joined the committee of the Hambleden Royal British Legion and this gives him an insight into the welfare needs of ex-servicemen and others living locally.
He is a regular worshipper at Fawley Church. In his spare time he helps to organise vintage air displays.
With experience in farming, the armed services and business, Roger is able to relate to people of different backgrounds. As a member of the community he wishes to serve, he is able to understand the concerns of local people and provide the services they need.