Here Nigel Cecil, UKIP Candidate for Wyre and North Preston, answers your questions…Advertisement
1. In Preston town centre there are office blocks full of public sector workers at Lancs County Council, HM Revenue & Customs and the Department of Work and Pensions. Most political parties are proposing public sector cuts. So what would you do to protect their jobs and also not lose their spending power that is important for many town centre businesses?
The main fact here is that under the current government has doubled the number of civil servants since they came to power, you can’t just make people redundant because it suits you, the job has to be redundant. If the efficiency of the departments need to be slimmed down then that should be done.
2. I would like to know if the fuel tax is going to stay at the present HIGH rate or will it be coming down, if it came down it would help the small businesses, which in turn would help in the economic recovery.
What’s the question?
3. How will you improve the public transport system in Preston & encourage people to leave their cars at home? Wouldn’t a tram system be a good idea as the roads are already clogged? And if so how would you implement it?
The council should make a point of supplying a bus from the park and ride direct to the town centre, that’s the reason the park and ride on the outskirts is like a ghost town. A tram system would require great investment but something that should be looked into.
4. I am a UCLan graduate. Due to their being no cultural sector to speak of in employment terms in this town, I am having to leave Preston to pursue a career. My experience is typical in that I am one of thousands of UCLan graduates who would be happy to remain here and contribute to a growing, vibrant city but for whom there are no realistic employment opportunities to enable this. Isn’t it ironic that at a time when the Council wants to promote and develop Preston as the North West’s Third City, it seems not to have occurred to them that they have a resource in terms of skills and employability on their doorstep in the form of UCLan which is being utterly ignored?
What would the candidates do to reverse this situation in real terms and how and when would they do it (and beyond simply talking about a ‘vision’ for graduate retention which I’ve often heard spouted at public sector meetings and buffets yet which has come to absolutely nothing in the real world up to this point)?
I answered this question on your blog.
5. If the Tithebarn redevelopment doesn’t go ahead what will you do to bring in funding for the city to improve on existing buildings and help businesses in the city centre?
Preston has many potential streams of revenue and relying on corporate business alone to make bring prosperity is mad. Individuals with entrepreneurial spirit should be encouraged and help to start business in the town.
6. Walking my son to school in a morning the pavements are full of dog muck, glass and litter. It looks horrible & is dangerous. How will you clean up Preston?
Use Prisoners to clean up.
7. If your 16 year old niece/nephew came to you and asked for your advice as to whether they should study for a Media Studies A Level, what would your advice be?
Media Studies is fine, I would recommend that its studied after a period in the real world, not further education.
8. Proposed Death Tax – When will all pensioners in need of care be treated the same regardless of how much money they have, or whether they own a property. Consider the following scenario…Two people in the same job earning the same money all their adult life. One chooses to buy a house and save some money. The other decides he wants to rent a property and spend any spare cash he has, maybe on foreign holidays flash cars or whatever. Maybe the one buying the house and saving a bit has had to make sacrifices to do this. Why, when care is needed, does the one with the money and the property have to fund his own care, whilst the other person, who has had a whale of a time spending all he has earned, then have the state pay for all his needs? Where is the justice in that?
This set of questions is probably the most important, and very relevant. If we saved the 45million we pay to the EU then just maybe we could address this ridiculous scenario. The whole welfare system also needs to be overhauled.
9. Which candidates actually really welcomes students? Ones I’ve spoken to give me the impression we’re not welcome in Preston?
Students are a valuable source of energy into Preston, but students alone won’t provide a balance we need industry and jobs, Preston needs to be a manufacturing centre of skill and culture.
10. How will you improve employment opportunities for young people in the city of Preston? Many are leaving school or college to find there is no work & no hope.
There is not just one approach to bringing jobs to the town, apprenticeships need to be restored as they were recognised by industry. Proper career guidance must be offered and not just lip service. If someone wants to be something then they should be inspired to achieve and not told its not possible.
11. When are the public going to be told the extent of public money spent on duplicated, or unnecessary jobs? Do we need to have 67 quangos, employing 28000 officials, spending £3,157,000,000 a year in one government department… i.e. The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. (DEFRA) The Food Standards Agency (FSA) includes 37 committees, such as ‘The Advisory Body for the Delivery of Official Controls’, ‘The Food Standards Sampling Coordination Working Group’. Which party will make a commitment to reduce the above?
Ukip will remove the quangos.
12. How will you improve the health and mental well being of people in Preston?
Good health and well being depend on so much, a job, self esteem, opportunity there are many things the individual should be responsible for however government should offer inspiration and hope.
13. It has been reported in the local media that the housing market is picking up. How will young people and first time buyers ever get a foot on the housing ladder? How will you improve accessibility to affordable housing in Preston and shorten waiting lists for social housing?
I think the priority for a council house should be given to workers and not economic migrants. Loans supported by the government should be offered to anyone who would like to own their own property. Private finance should be removed from this area as shareholder interest are put before the people who need the service.
14. Many people reading Blog Preston would like to see more sports facilities (Olympic sized swimming pool) & creative industries (workshops/improved museums/libraries/public art) in Preston. How can will you encourage that to happen?
I think swimming in Preston should be free, the council gym is an excellent and I commend Preston for these facilities,
15. The Surestart Children’s Centres in Preston provide a lifeline & essential support to families with young children in the city. Will you continue to support and build on all the work already put in place over the past 13 years & if so how will you do that?
The Childcare element of Working Tax Credits, Early Years Funding, Sure Start expenditure and the tax relief on Employer Nursery Vouchers should be replaced with flat-rate, non-means tested nursery vouchers to cover around half the cost of a full-time nursery place for all children aged two to four.