Banbury constituency candidates have been given free rein to talk about what is important to them in our election feature.
Ahead of next Thursday’s vote, the focus is on their general policies and a variety of issues of interest to their potential constituents.
Each candidate’s statement has been published separately on the Banbury Guardian website.
Here is the statement from John Howson, Liberal Democrat candidate.
“On June 8, I am asking you to think very hard about what will be best for you, your friends and family, and everyone living in the Banbury constituency.
“Another Tory MP to bolster Theresa May’s majority? Another member of Labour’s hopeless and failed opposition? Or a strong and passionate voice sticking up for your area, challenging Theresa May’s Conservative government and holding it to account as part of a real opposition?
“This election is about two issues: our public services (the NHS and our schools) and our place in the world. The Tories threaten the future of the Horton and other hospitals outside of Oxford and have already announced plans to cut funds to 19 primary schools across the constituency, meaning their possible closure. They have axed the mobile library service, closed children’s centres and left many constituents without access to bus services. In the next parliament, they will make you pay for social care.
“Negotiations on Brexit need a strong opposition to hold the government to account in case they fail in securing the best deal for Britain. But, crucially, you need to have your say in the overall deal. With any new contract, you have a ‘cooling-off’ period to change your mind. So, with the biggest deal in our history, the Liberal Democrats offer the people of Britain a similar ‘cooling-off’ period with a second referendum to vote for or against the deal secured by the next government.
“No other candidate offers you this final say.
“The gap between wages and inflation is widening and the fall in the value of the pound is affecting many, and many of your employment rights could be affected by withdrawal from the EU. So ask yourself on June 8, can you afford not to vote for the Liberal Democrats and John Howson?”