Our Local Election Candidates 2014
Neil was born in Birmingham but chose to stay in Cheltenham after studying for his degree at the University of Gloucestershire. He now works as a travel trainer at the National Star College helping young people with disabilities to travel from home to school or college independently. This work involves him in the community and gives him the opportunity to listen to people’s opinions and concerns. Until recently he represented Unison members at the College, but stepped down to concentrate on campaigning for NHAP. He remains an active member of Unison. He is also currently training for a forty mile fundraising hike for Action Medical Research. Neil learned for himself the extent to which we rely on the NHS to keep people healthy and productive after an injury which threatened his mobility and his ability to do his job.
“I’m standing for the National Health Action Party because I want to raise awareness of the backdoor privatisation that is happening in the NHS. When all three of the major parties are complicit in these plans, then it is our duty to offer an alternative. It would be a tragedy to lose what is one of the best health services in the world. Cheltenham and the NHS have been good to me. This is my chance to give something back.”
Steve lives in Plympton and his work is based at Torbay Hospital. He is 47 and married with two children. Steve is a Specialist Community Nutritional Support Dietitian and a member of the British Dietetic Association. He is a BDA media spokesperson and their departmental and area trade union representative.
"I can't claim to have any background in politics and have never been a member of any political party until now. I feel strongly that the NHS should adhere to its core principles of being free to all at the point of use, funded via central taxation and that staff should be enabled to deliver best practice healthcare without the restraint placed on them by private companies who need to make profit. The NHA Party's 12 point plan is just about the most sensible thing I have ever read so I would be very happy to have the opportunity to present it to the voters in Plymouth."
Louise is a law graduate from Lancaster University who became a Barrister in October 2009. Since 2011 she has been a County Court Advocate. She has won many academic and legal awards including the St Thomas More scholarship from Lincoln’s Inn.
She was a member of the English Baseball Association and loves walking and mountain climbing in the Lake District. She was also a volunteer member of the British Red Cross.
She had a serious illness as a child that she feels would have threatened her life if the NHS had not existed. She always thought politics was the job of politicians until she became aware of the damage that was being done to the NHS.
“I found out that the government, despite a promise to the contrary, had decided to sell off our NHS. They pretend that it is ‘necessary’ as the NHS is failing, yet when this government came to power, satisfaction was at an all-time high. Now there is a £30bm funding gap and instead of any profit being channelled back into the NHS it is to be syphoned off to rich shareholders.
Galvanised by a sense of outrage I continued to dig before coming across the National Health Action Party and its request for local candidates. I knew I had to join. I did not want to have to tell my grand-children that I did nothing when the government took away our NHS and sold it to their rich friends. I feel passionately about the NHS and I know that once people realise it is being destroyed they will join the fight to save it. The way I see it is, the NHS saved my life, now it’s my turn to save the NHS.”
Naveen founded Rotherham Disability Network and is Chair of Healthwatch Rotherham. He is an accountant and has extensive experience of business strategy in the public, commercial and voluntary sectors.
"I want to represent constituents and fight for what's in their best interests, not what's in the interest of one of the big and stifling conventional political parties. The NHS is dear to me and thousands of people in Sitwell. The National Health Action Party is the only party that will uphold and protect its public service founding principles. I am furious at this government's creeping privatisation, cuts and dismantling of the NHS, it is a British institution and one of the most revered health care systems in the world. It is one of the country's last remaining crown jewels and I will battle to protect and improve its services for local people."
Dede Wilson, an international English and Modern Language teacher trainer and former school governor, is calling for a halt to the downgrading and closure of the main Charing Cross hospital. It’s set to be replaced with a GP-led Health and Social Care Hospital with no blue light A&E and means the loss of one of the top 10 teaching hospitals in the world. The hospital site has been earmarked to be sold off for property development. Ms Wilson, who has been actively involved from the start of the local Save our Hospitals Campaign, will be standing for the National Health Action Party in the Munster ward. She says this government is intent on leading England towards a US-style private health system which would be a disaster:
“It’s time to take the politics out of health, to stand up for our hospitals, our National Health Service and the health of our nation. For me, health is not an ideological political football. What is happening to our NHS is undemocratic, unacceptable and an abuse of power by both Central and local government.
“We are faced with not only losing all the A&Es in the borough but losing Charing Cross Hospital, an exceptional major hospital. Closing it makes no sense. It is perfectly situated with patient friendly access. Its location in Hammersmith and Fulham is the hub into Central London from Heathrow and the West. It is a very important internationally renowned teaching hospital with the best stroke unit in the country and is one of the top 10 medical schools in the world. It is to be sold for luxury flats, its specialist teams to be broken up and the medical school dispersed. All this, at a time when there is a desperate shortage of doctors coming into the profession. Our local council was the only one in the country that did not support its electorate and denied us a chance to oppose this shocking and disastrous decision.
“The NHS is a public service. It has problems that have to be solved, but Americanising it through privatization is not the answer. The Coalition Government’s Health and Social Care Act were brought in by the back door. It is time to redress the balance and restore open democracy.”
Kieran has been heavily involved in the campaign to save Chase Farm hospital for the past 10 years and was elected to Enfield Council as part of the Save Chase Farm group in 2006. As a councillor Kieran was active on a wide area of issues. As well as attending Health Scrutiny panel regularly, he was also on a number of committees including the Planning Committee, and the Crime and Safety Scrutiny Panel.
“All of the major political parties in Enfield have let us down with regard to our local health services. The major political parties have reneged on previous election promises to protect Chase Farm hospital. Moreover, the residents of Enfield were promised that the closure of Chase Farm would be accompanied by major improvements in other health services such as Primary Care and ambulance services. These promises have also been forgotten. The NHA party is committed to protecting the most vital of public services - the NHS. If elected we will continue to hold local politicians and NHS officials to account”.
Stephen, having worked all over the UK and as a voluntary worker in Merseyside, knows the NHS is the one issue that keeps cropping up in conversation.
"People don't want this or any other government privatising the NHS. We all need the NHS and we all use the NHS but over the last few years we have not realised that this Tory-Lib Dem government is stealing it from under our noses.
"I have been Labour all my life but I believe it is time for another party to take the third seat of power and oust the Liberal Democrats. If I am lucky enough to be elected I can promise for the next four years to focus on the health policies of the Wavertree ward as well as other important areas such as housing, welfare, schools and issues the voters want."