General Election: Questions to candidates – Amelia Randall, Reform, for Herne Bay and Sandwich constituency

Amelia Randall

There are five candidates vying for the Herne Bay and Sandwich seat (including parts of Thanet) when the country goes to the polls for the General Election on July 4.

In the 2019 General Election, before the boundary changes that have come into force this year, veteran Conservative Sir Roger Gale, who held the North Thanet seat since 1983, was  elected with 30,066 votes – equalling 62% of the poll. Labour’s Dr Coral Jones took 12,877 – 27%.

However, for this election there is a new constituency of Herne Bay and Sandwich – which includes Westbrook, Birchington, Garlinge, Thanet villages wards and Westgate. Electoral Calculus currently predicts a 45% Conservatives and 55% Labour chance of winning.

We have asked the candidates to answer some questions on issues that matter to Thanet.

Here Amelia Randall, standing for Reform in Herne Bay/Sandwich, tells us her views on subjects ranging from housing development to the NHS:

Housing development- particularly on farmland – and the housing numbers dictated for the Local Plan are a concern for many residents.

What is your view on this, can government reduce housing need figures due to them being based on 2014 ONS stats which do not seem to reflect the 2024 situation and need?

Alongside this Thanet needs more social housing, how would you tackle this?

I am against using farmland for anything other than farming. We need our farmland and there are definitely other sites available. The government may have set figures based on what they think an area needs, but as an MP it is my job to collate the appropriate data that shows not only current housing needs, but living standards and infrastructure needs.

I will endeavour to not just be a voice in parliament for my constituency, but to also ensure the councils know your views, my views and if they are unable to listen to these needs and incapable of coming up with alternative options to suit, then I will find people who can help me to create these ideas and I will ensure they run for election when the next council elections are here.

Creativity, Communication and Understanding are what is needed to get on top of many issues.

Affordable housing needs are more important than developers’ needs for greater profits. If affordable housing can be built and profited on in London, then it can definitely be done here and we need to project our needs and ignore investors who do not comply with what we need. There are just as many who will comply and again, I am more than happy to keep on at the government with facts and figures and push them to increase the percentage of affordable housing that each developer must offer.

Minster Marshes – There is a campaign against the National Grid plans for a converter station as part of the Sea Link project. What are your views on this?

It was not something that I was aware of until recently. I think that it is appalling how we are willing to destroy a natural area that has some endangered species and many wildlife species that are dependant on the habitat. There must be other viable options available and I am happy to work with the campaigners to help produce and pitch these options.

Southern Water sewage releases in our sea – how would you tackle this?

They need to be held accountable for what is happening and to stop hiding behind excuses. They need to build up their facilities and ensure they can treat and dispose of sewage appropriately. It also doesn’t bode well for our tourism. Eventually, the tourists will not want to come to our coastal town, because they are unable to use our natural resources.

We need to look at what costings they have for upgrading their facilities and be a fresh pair of eyes to help come up with a way to get them the finances needed.

Cost of living – Thanet families are struggling to make ends meet, businesses also struggle as a result and there are a large number of empty shops in our towns. How will you help the economy to recover and how will you help our families and businesses?

It is not great to see so many empty shop fronts within high streets. There are of course town teams and landlords that I would like to speak with. There needs to be a scheme in place that offers discounted rates for a percentage of time and especially if the business being opened is something that the high street doesn’t already have. This can give the new business time to accumulate some finances and be able to cover the costs more affordably.

From a Reform UK perspective we will also be looking to free over 1.2 million small and medium sized businesses from corporation tax. The minimum profit threshold will be £100k and the corporation tax rate will be 20% down from 25% then eventually 15%.

In Our Contract With You, we outline that we are going to be lifting the tax threshold to £20,000 which will help the youngest and the poorest most. Lifting PA saves the average worker £1500 and 7 million people will be benefiting from this. We will also be cutting the Energy Taxes saving households £500 per year. We will make work pay, meaning that more people will be better off working, than being on benefits and this will, in turn, benefit their lives and the affordability of living.

NHS – Thanet has a severe shortage of dentists and there are not enough GPs, getting an appointment is problematic.

There is also desperate need for improved mental health services, both adult and child. What are your views on this?

I think it is appalling that we do not have the services we need. So many people are let down and not just by the lack of availability but also by the lack of care provided.

With this being something that our constituency recognises as a need, we should be looking to entice professionals to start up in our area. This can be achieved by designing a local scheme where we have sourced properties that would be great for this usage, sourced investors who would be happy to offer financial start up support and also sourced professional NHS staff who would staff such ventures.

As a party, Reform UK will be focusing on ending the shortage of qualified staff by incentivising people to learn to become frontline NHS staff. Cutting waste, and unnecessary managers will help to improve efficiency.

Within my workplace now and with other lines of work that I have had, I am very keen on helping people with mental health issues. I agree there is not enough support and also not enough understanding. People can be very quick to judge and to stereotype a person who says they have an issue, when there are actually so many variations to mental health and ways to deal with it. I believe we should be looking at making a scheme locally, to entice people to set up practices that offer support.

I would also like to add, that the constituency could do with a support network for all vulnerable people. With volunteers who can help be a shoulder to cry on or go and do the weekly shop and with groups who come together and form support communication groups with activities and days out.

Youth services: There has been a loss of funding for some youth services (such as Pie Factory and The Pavilion in Thanet). What are your views on provision of youth services and how this should be done?

It is important the youth of today, and the future, feel inspired to progress in life and create the best version of themselves. My son went along to the Pie Factory a few times and I think it is a shame when services like this disappear (or are operating with reduced funding)

Maybe we should look at this as an opportunity for someone else to come up with new facilities for our youth. We should do a survey through local schools and see what trends and activities would really pull them in. This also means that we would need to find some volunteers and we will need to look through government funding schemes to help those who share the vision, to get a share of the available funding.

Manston airport – the DCO is now confirmed and it appears there will be no further legal appeals. What is your view of the airport/cargo hub scheme and what involvement , if any, will you have with the scheme going forward?

I think there will be amazing opportunities that come from this and not just for our constituency, but for the whole of Kent. You can also not be sure at where the next issues are going to arise in the world and at least we have a way of cargo being brought into us.  I hope that I will be able to meet with the investors and offer support when needed.

Asylum – what are your policies on asylum and small boat crossings?

As a party, Reform UK believe this election should be about immigration. Immigration is a huge factor in the issues we have surrounding housing, NHS and the cost of living crisis. Our economy and resources are strained due to this.

There is nothing wrong with controlled migration. If we had a system in place that was controlling migration, we would be able to continuously see the benefits of embracing diversity. However, the system we have is an unhealthy addiction to mass immigration and we simply can’t support the levels at which people are coming over and using us.

Freezing non essential immigration is a necessity right now, so that we can get on top of the issues nationally regarding the cost of living crisis and our infrastructures. Anyone who attempts to cross the sea in a small boat, should be stopped while at sea and taken back to France. We will also immediately deport foreign criminals and will bring in Employer immigration tax.

Reform UK will be securing Britain’s borders which will mean protecting your wages, our public services and British culture and values.

20 Comments

  1. The person who stops vehicles parking on the footpaths ,grass verges and parking on yellow lines will get my vote,

  2. I’m sure that many would like to see the money from the investors in Manston Airport. The question should be how long do we wait for them to appear offering the level of investment promised. The houses that could be built on the site would generate a lot of council tax income for the cash strapped council.

    • Any potential MP needs to know exactly what is happening in and around their constituency. To not know about Minster Marshes is unforgivable with the potential loss of such an important wildlife habitat. Also supporting Manston will mean more farmland lost to new homes. Where else will homes go? Roger Gale is a firm supporter of the air cargo site opening so he too is responsible for the loss of farmland, not to mention the damage it will cause to Ramsgate and its residents. Think very carefully when you vote on 4th July!

    • Now, now don’t be hasty Master Steven. First RSP has to rewrite the masterplan then start detailed design work. Oh, they also need to go through the consultations for a CAA licence and dont forget resolving the HFDF issue – it all takes time you know.

    • Give it a rest… you’ve had God-knows how many objections and appeals and you still lost (and a massive pile of money ha ha).

      Is Manston the new brexit?

      • The similarities between Brexit and Manston are very strong. Both were sold to the public on the basis of regaining past glories. Both will only benefit a small numb of foreign business men (and those running the campaign). Both are highly divisive issues and will ultimately fail to deliver to the promises.

  3. Apropos Manston. You aspire “I hope that I will be able to meet with the investors”
    Wouldn’t we all. Not least the directors of RSP.

    • I’d rather meet you, Andrew. I’m sure you’re much more jolly in person than the old grumps you come across here.

  4. How about some question like “Can you communicate with the dead ?” and “Do you believe in casting spells ?”

    • Can she comminicate with Roger Gale..? the man has been totally invisible in Thanet for years, I suspect he’s the epitome of the walking dead (at least between the ears).

      Gale is a massive under-achiever, He has consistently failed the people of Thanet and needs to go.

  5. Her answers are mostly sound. Surprisingly. The issue is they aren’t the same views being said by Farage. Who will always be the loudest voice in the party.

    Of course I am not including the last answer which does undo most of the answer above. Immigration isn’t the main issue facing the country and never has or should be. It’s only more of an issue because Tories haven’t processed and done their job.

    Focusing on real issues facing us are far more important to 80% of the voters as will be reflected by the results come polling night.

    • Immigration is the all important issue. It is a major cause of lack of housing (750k of migrants each year demand and get housing). Broken NHS caused by the (now) millions of migrants accessing GP’s, Dentists and hospitals to the detriment of the indigent population who can’t get to see a dentist or GP. Education… schools filling up with migrant children. The economy…. millions of migrants sucking the welfare budget dry without having made a single contribution whilst pensioners freeze and starve. Racist? No, a realistic look at Britain today.

      • Opinion polls, asking voters what issues concern them most, mention such things as housing, health, crime, energy cost, cost of living.
        Immigration does feature, but we’ll down the list.

      • ‘Millions of migrants’ whoa there. Just a touch fanatical. Nothing like a touch of hyperbole to start the day. Have you considered meds or therapy?

  6. Amelia sounds as though she has answered these questions herself with thoughtfulness, rather than the many bland replies you see from Tory/Labour/Lib Dems candidates having to say what their masters tell them and keep ‘on message’. Labour particularly is very keen on this control.

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