Calendar News asked each candidate to write a "mini-manifesto" - a short summary of who they are and what they intend to do if they become Bradford West's newest MP.
This is what they said, in their own words:
Neil is 52 years old and born and bred in Bradford, he has the Certificate in Education and a B.A (Hons) in Community Studies. He has seven children, two of which are in the British Army. His latest claim to fame was to take part in Channel 4’s ‘Make Bradford British’ however he was not allowed to continue because he was too British. Bradford’s traffic system is fragmented and unorganised. No development can succeed if the City is gridlocked. For too long we have been held ransom by planners and property developers. Our heritage (including the Odeon) must be saved. Stop experimenting with our children’s future and a shift from Academic to Vocational education must be made. I will work hard for the ward both in Westminster and locally to ensure local services are maintained and West Bradford is not neglected.
Bradford needs a change, a fresh start. The iconic Odeon in the city centre is falling down, the Bradford economy is falling into the the Westfield "hole" not far away. We desperately need a new industrial policy to bring investment and jobs to this potentially fantastic city. The city has a first class university but our schools are down at the bottom of the league table. Yet our young people are our future. I want to shake things up in city hall and beyond. We need to stop the smashing up of the NHS, we need to get rid of tuition fees, we need to look after our pensioners rather than tax them, we need to bring our boys back from Afghanistan. And we need to send a message to all the major parties to stop taking the people of Bradford for granted.
Alan is the leader of the pack, and has been since the passing of ‘Lord Sutch’ in 1999. He was a Town Councillor for Ashburton in Devon for 13yrs rising to the heights of Town Mayor, Chairman of the Council, and a Lord of the Borough. He is currently a Town Councillor in his home town of Fleet in Hampshire. His vast experience would enable him to accept a larger challenge like Bradford West. He has spent most of his years in the entertainment and leisure business, firstly on stage in the Rock ‘n’ Roll years, later on in the licensed trade, owning Hotels and Public houses, so he knows how to meet and greet people. He is good at listening and is very good at getting things done. His promise if elected is to do all the things that the other partys say they are going to do, when they don’t do it. He has a wonderful idea for the Odeon Cinema ! ! ! ! !
This week's election is a chance for the people of Bradford West to send a clear message to David Cameron that they reject his Government's unfair budget which hits pensioners and hard-pressed working families while giving a huge tax break to millionaires. Long-term youth unemployment has tripled in this constituency since the beginning of last year. And the total number of people on the dole has increased by almost 1,300 - the highest rise anywhere in Yorkshire. That's a disgrace. David Cameron doesn't care - for him creating another lost generation of young people in Bradford like they did in the 1980s is a price worth paying. But I’m backing Labour’s job guarantee for every young person out of work a year or more – six months’ paid work paid for by bankers’ bonuses. I was born in Bradford West, I’m a proud Bradfordian - I promise to fight for a fair deal for the city I love.
I am standing at this by-election as Bradford needs a strong clear voice in Parliament to argue against the cuts, resisit the further privatisation of the NHS and reverse the effects of the tuition fees debacle. Electing another Labour MP to do as he is told by his party offers nothing new to Bradford West which needs much more. Greens would • reform the financial sector to ensure fairer and more progressive forms of taxation in the interests of social justice, that prioritise people and the communities we live in before profits. • reverse the NHS reforms. • put a million empty homes back in to use nationwide before developing green field sites • introduce a Green New Deal - the only fully costed plan to exit recession without the need for cutbacks in jobs, wages or public services. This promises ‘massive environmental transformation of the economy to tackle the triple crunch of the financial crisis, climate change and insecure energy supplies’.
Born in Bradford with two children, I have immersed myself in community projects, I understand the issues that affect us all. I am the Chairman of the Upper Heaton Working Together and a member of the Heaton Township Association and Keighley Blue Badge Action Group. I am a Governor at both Frizinghall Primary School and Feversham College. Bradford has been run in to the ground. A referendum on the Odeon would get people involved with rebuilding our city and I will drive the council to finish the Westfield development, bringing 2,500 jobs. I will champion no tax on minimum wage and tuition fees should be grants not loans. Having been a Street Angel helping those in vulnerable positions, I understand the problems of crime our city faces. I will be a hands on MP and work hard to make our community safer. I will be an ambassador for Bradford and restore pride in our city.
It’s time Bradford West had a local MP who put this city first. I was born and raised here and have been a councillor in Bradford for the last 18 years. I have a proven track record of real action for Bradford and am a strong, outspoken and determined woman who will fight hard for what’s right. Bradford West has had a Labour MP for 38 years but look at how the city has been let down. If elected I will work tirelessly to get a grip on the city centre – deal with the former Odeon once and for all, kickstart Westfield and finally succeed in regenerating Bradford. I will join Bradford’s hardest working MP, David Ward, in pushing for a return of manufacturing industry to the city to create real, lasting jobs. And I will protect the greenbelt by bringing homes in the centre back into use.
A local business-woman and mother has lived in the Bradford area for 25 hears. Jackie has worked in the public sector in both the benefits office and later careers advisor. Jackie now runs her own small business. Jackie has won numerous awards including Yorkshire Woman of Achievement. FAIRNESS FOR ALL We are making sure that our children and grandchildren are not burdened with Labour's debt. Jackie backs raising state pensions, cutting income tax, freezing council tax, capping benefits to end Labour's 'something for nothing culture'. BOOSTING APPRENTICESHIPSJackie supports new measures to ensure young people and small businesses feel the full benefits of the successful expansion of Apprenticeships. There has been a 67% increase in the number of apprentices in Bradford. Jackie will use her experience to campaign for even more apprenticeships. POLICIES BOOSTING BUSINESSESGovernment moves to cut red-tape, promote Regional and Businesses Growth Funds have resulted in Bradford seeing a 20% increase in the number of start-up companies. Even though in tough times the Government is investing in Bradford in transport infrastructure and high speed broadband to make Bradford a "super connected city" - both will boost business and jobs in Bradford.