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City of Chester by-election: Candidates make their pitches in bid to secure your vote

Cheshire Live logo Cheshire Live 29/11/2022 Angela Ferguson

With just two days to go until Chester votes for its new MP, we tasked all nine candidates with coming up with a 100-word pitch to sum up what they would do for the city. We invited them to whittle down their manifestos into a brief statement, setting out their stall ahead of polling day on Thursday.

Candidates have been busy on the campaign trail ahead of the big day on Thursday, December 1, when all eyes will be on Chester to see how the drama of the past few months and years - both inside Westminster and across the country - play out at the polls. Who will Cestrians vote in to lead the city through these turbulent times?

As well as the main parties of Labour, Tory, Lib Dem and Green being represented, candidates representing UKIP, Rejoin EU, Reform UK, Freedom Alliance and the Monster Raving Loony Party are also standing. Ahead of polling day on Thursday, CheshireLive has invited all nine candidates to take part in our own hustings event, which will be broadcast via Facebook live at lunchtime on Wednesday.

READ MORE: City of Chester by-election: Who are the candidates?

At our hustings, we will be asking the candidates questions on the key issues that matter to you so please get in touch via the email at the end of this article. The by-election is taking place in Chester following the dramatic resignation of Chris Matheson over 'serious sexual misconduct' allegations in October.

The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards upheld two allegations of sexual misconduct against Chris Matheson by a former member of his staff. Chris Matheson resigned after a probe recommended he be suspended from the Commons for four weeks for “serious sexual misconduct”.

Mr Matheson said he was 'dismayed' to have been found guilty and tendered his resignation as MP for the City of Chester. Now, it's over to our candidates to deliver their 100-word pitches on why they should be voted in as Chester's new MP. But first, here's a quick reminder of who is running.

The nine candidates vying to become the new MP for the City of Chester, in alphabetical order, are:

Jeanie Barton - Reform UK

Paul Bowers - Green

Samantha Dixon MBE - Labour

Cain Griffiths - UKIP

Rob Herd - Lib Dem

Richard Hewison - Rejoin EU

Alan Hope - Monster Raving Loony Party

Chris Quartermaine - Freedom Alliance

Elizabeth Wardlaw - Conservative

Hear more about the big issues in the City of Chester by-election in The Northern Agenda podcast

Candidate pitches

Jeanie Barton - Reform UK

At the time of publishing this article, Jeanie Barton had not responded to our requests to contact her.

Paul Bowers - Green

Green councillor Paul Bowers has been announced as the Green Party candidate for the upcoming City of Chester by-election © Cheshire West and Chester Green Party Green councillor Paul Bowers has been announced as the Green Party candidate for the upcoming City of Chester by-election

Green Party candidate Paul Bowers said he had four key points for Chester. These are: "I want to see a braver Chester where we value our unique cultural and historical heritage and encourage independent local businesses. We need integrated transport to connect our world class zoo and our unique walled city to make Chester a place for people not cars.

"The Green party's policies on fairer taxation and home insulation will mean residents don't have to choose between heating and eating. Raising wealth taxes, whilst giving small businesses access to lending at affordable rates, will encourage local enterprise and create jobs in our city."

Samantha Dixon - Labour

Councillor Samantha Dixon, Labour candidate for City of Chester, said: “Chester is my home, and where my heart is. I have a positive vision for Chester, and will stand up for Chester’s people through the Conservatives' cost-of-living crisis.

"I want to put control of our public transport back into the hands of people who use it. I will make Chester a top retail and tourism destination, including recognition for the Rows as a world heritage site, and return to neighbourhood policing with more bobbies on the beat.

"Finally I want to protect Chester’s Groves and stop raw sewage dumping into the River Dee. My track record shows I’m on the side of local people, fighting injustice and trying to make life better for everyone. I will continue this as Chester’s next MP."

Cain Griffiths - UKIP

Cain Griffiths is standing as the UKIP candidate in the City of Chester by-election © Cain Griffiths Cain Griffiths is standing as the UKIP candidate in the City of Chester by-election

UKIP candidate Cain Griffiths said: "I care deeply for the City of Chester as it's where I work and it's where my family are from and live. My main aims, if elected, are to scrap business rates and high street parking charges to revive our high street and re-introduce free prescriptions by cutting foreign aid.

"In addition to this, I will campaign get a referendum on abolishing the House of Lords, scrap the TV licence, get tough on crime and illegal immigration and increase funding into our beloved NHS by replacing national insurance with a national health insurance and getting rid of unnecessary, unqualified managers."

Rob Herd - Lib Dem

Chester by-election Lib Dem candidate Rob Herd and Helen Morgan MP with Liberal Democrat campaigners in the city centre © Liberal Democrat Party Chester by-election Lib Dem candidate Rob Herd and Helen Morgan MP with Liberal Democrat campaigners in the city centre

Rob Herd, Lib Dem candidate, said: "The backdrop to this by election is the cost-of-living crisis – with every household across Chester facing the biggest fall in living standards ever recorded. Across Cheshire, in September alone, over 73,000 people were waiting more than two weeks for a GP appointment.

"We need more integrity in politics to tackle these vital issues. We need an end to sewage dumping in the Dee, and an absolute end to fracking across Cheshire.

"And we need to support our local businesses by investing in The Rows, getting better broadband across Chester and restoring our direct train services to London. Clean, green, connected."

Richard Hewison - Rejoin EU

Rejoin EU candidate Richard Hewison deposits his nomination papers at Chester Town Hall ahead of the City of Chester by-election © Rejoin EU Rejoin EU candidate Richard Hewison deposits his nomination papers at Chester Town Hall ahead of the City of Chester by-election

Rejoin EU candidate Richard Hewison said: "Brexit, and the fallout from Brexit, is now hitting businesses and individuals hard in Chester. Our conversations with local businesses reveal restricted supplies and higher prices of ingredients are now directly impacting the prices Chester residents are paying in the shops.

"Whatever your views on EU membership are or were, I hope we can ALL agree that fixing our supply chains & reducing costs of our basic food and services is a key priority. Only a vote for Rejoin EU in this by election will say that loudly & clearly to both the government and the opposition."

Alan Hope - Monster Raving Loony Party

At the time of publishing this article, we had not had a pitch from Alan Hope.

Chris Quartermaine - Freedom Alliance

Chris Quartermaine is standing in the City of Chester by-election on behalf of the Freedom Alliance © Chris Quartermaine Chris Quartermaine is standing in the City of Chester by-election on behalf of the Freedom Alliance

Chris Quartermaine from the Freedom Alliance said: "As a an ex-shop owner in Chester for 42 years, (my ex shop closed last January) I am particularly concerned for small local businesses. It is very noticeable that Chester is becoming a city of coffee shops and little else.

"During the lockdown, international monopolies thrived off the back of small businesses. We aim to keep local business thriving.

"In Oxford next year, there will be seven zones outside of which residents will be severely restricted from travelling. This is a climate related pilot project which will come to cities like Chester next. We intend to stop this."

Elizabeth Wardlaw - Conservative

Tory candidate, Elizabeth Wardlaw said: "If elected as the Conservative MP for Chester I will fight for the issues that matter to you, ensuring your voices are heard in parliament. From listening I know you want to see safer streets and a more vibrant city centre as well as maintaining the ban on fracking and more investment in the amazing heritage here.

"I will also lobby for better access to Chester, whether this is by improved rail links to London, Manchester, and north Wales, or from improved digital connectivity. I also know how important health is to everyone, which is why I will be committed to supporting our local NHS and work with the leadership team at the Countess of Chester Hospital to support them in their ambitions.

"I will also ensure the government investment in the City of Chester is used as the residents want and expect. I will listen, lobby and challenge to achieve all I can for the City of Chester."

If you would like to submit a question for our hustings at lunchtime tomorrow (Wednesday, November 30) then please do so by 5pm today. You can send your questions to angela.ferguson@reachplc.com.

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