What would you do to ease the pressure on the Countess of Chester Hospital?
Ukip will take better care of taxpayers’ money. We will put an additional £3bn a year into the NHS in England by the end of the next Parliament and make sure the money is spent on frontline patient care.
Ukip will fund 8,000 more GPs, 20,000 more nurses and 3,000 more midwives. We will provide the common sense, the money, the staff, the social care funding and the vital improvements to emergency medicine that the NHS needs.
Importantly, Ukip is very concerned that TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) will allow an EU/USA free trade agreement that may put our public services up for sale to US companies thereby privatising the NHS.
Ukip will also commit to increasing mental health funding by £170m phased in over the first two years of parliament, and £130m annually on dementia treatment and research by 2017.
Do you think that the University of Chester should be allowed to expand unabated?
The University of Chester contributes to the economy of the city economically and culturally, however, there are concerns within the city on some wards that excessive development in some wards is causing concern.
It would be unwise to allow excessive and unabated development within the city and specifically some council wards, without full consultation process. Ukip`s policy on local planning would bring planning into the hands of the city’s residents.
Housing, and the lack of it, should be a major consideration. I would like to see the conversion of unused buildings within Chester for one and two-bedroom flats for social housing, and done by the Cheshire West and Chester Council itself. The city needs affordable housing, utilising unused buildings for conversion would provide housing and help stimulate the city centre`s economy.
How would you coordinate roadworks in the city to ensure the least disruption to commuters?
Any road improvement programme and utility maintenance would need the involvement of all utility providers to work with the council to avoid the problem of potential repeated road works, the council should also take into account events and the timing of repairs.
Work carried out should also be arranged around the least disruptive times.
What is your tourist and shopping strategy for the city?
Chester needs to maintain its reputation for unique independent shops, many of which can be found in the city’s famous ‘Rows’.
We have to provide support and look at rent/rates for businesses, and maintain a traditional look to the city.
There is concern that Chester is becoming too modernised, through the planning process we need stringent policy to retain heritage. Parking charges are not only bad for residents but also businesses and need reviewing.
Chester needs to evaluate its commitment to the economy, and how it supports and attracts people to come to the city.
I am a fan of cultural events that reflect the city`s history, and these should be encouraged as much as possible.
The city has large housing areas around the city itself, and we have very few facilities for the residents as well as visitors.
Are plans for the theatre ambitious enough?
No. There is concern that the theatre is too small and the cinema capacity and screen too small. Chester is growing and the city is not keeping pace with change, we need to ensure that affordable social and cultural activities are available to people to enjoy a healthy and interactive life.
What are your plans to support Cheshire West and Chester Council in light of further cuts to its annual budget?
Ukip is committed to maintaining frontline public services, however, we are the only party that will talk about the excessive levels of foreign aid, and seek its reduction.
Reducing foreign aid will save Britain billions of pounds, as will leaving the EU and saving nearly £400m PER WEEK. This is where Ukip really come into their own, we are the only party that will take on the issues that matter, we are funding the EU and the rest of the world, whilst we have local services cut repeatedly.
We do not accept excessive fat-cat pay within councils, with frontline staff paid low wages for working hard in the jobs they do. Ukip will seek to avoid reckless wastage on avoidable projects with little or no value. In Blacon a social enterprise was set up, giving people advice on saving energy and some other activities, the operating and running costs in one year alone were in excess of £300,000.
I believe in prioritising funds, the Labour councillors in Blacon gave between them, £1,000 to the foodbank, from members’ budget grants (which I would support), but gave £3,500 to fund Christmas lights outside some local shops . I do not accept irresponsible waste of public funds.
Stephen Ingram Fact File:
- Education: Blacon High School
- Occupation: Business owner (cleaning industry)
- Home: Lived in Blacon since the age of one, in 1965
- Twitter: @SLIngramUKIP
- Facebook: UKIP Chester Political Party
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