Ahead of people going to the polls on July 4, the Comet has asked the parliamentary candidates for Stevenage why they should get your vote in the General Election.

Alexander Clarkson has lived in Stevenage all his life.Alexander Clarkson has lived in Stevenage all his life. (Image: Supplied)

Alexander Clarkson - Conservatives

My story is a Stevenage story. My Mum’s family came here when she was six, moving to Poppy Mead in Bedwell in 1958.

My life has been inspired from a hard-working couple living in this town who embraced opportunity, took risks and made sacrifices to give me the best start in life.

I have lived in this constituency my whole life. I will make Stevenage an even better place to live and work by: 

  • cutting taxes and growing the economy
  • supporting the most vulnerable in our town and villages 
  • campaigning passionately for further investment in our town centre, neighbourhood shops and village high streets
  • making sure Stevenage is safe, tackling crime and anti-social behaviour at source
  • clearing our asylum hotels and securing our borders with a legal cap on migrant numbers
  • more investment in public transport, the widening of the A1(M) and saving Lytton Way and Swangleys Lane
  • supporting local pensioners by delivering the triple lock plus
  • supporting the free hours of extra childcare
  • boosting the opportunities for our young people by securing more apprenticeships for Stevenage
  • making sure future generations can own their own home by building quality homes on brownfield sites
  • ensuring our Lister Hospital, GP surgeries and social care facilities are fit for purpose with NHS funding always above inflation

I know what’s important to this constituency because I am one of you. It’s an honour to be standing as the MP for my hometown. I am truly local and I will always be on your side.

Joshua Smith wants to 'return the stolen voice of the church'Joshua Smith wants to 'return the stolen voice of the church' (Image: Supplied)

Joshua Smith - Christian People's Alliance 

My name is Joshua Smith. I have lived in Herts for 10 years. I was born in London and have also lived in Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire. I am running as a candidate for the first time.

My goal is to return the stolen voice of the church and encourage them to stand up for the faith we profess boldly.

Recently, I felt the call to stand as a young person as many candidates are older and young people need a voice they can relate to and vote for.

I also have a disability as I am on the autistic spectrum, and this is also an area that is undervalued, and so I am running for three reasons.

I’m part of the leadership team in my church community and a graphic designer. I’ve assisted as a volunteer at youth and holiday clubs.

Stevenage is like a second home to me - I have worked my apprenticeship here.

CPA pledge to support:

  • Marriage and families
  • Respect for life
  • Restore GP fundholding
  • Cut income taxes to help struggling households
  • Cut crime and reduce reoffending
  • Save our city centres
  • And rebuild Britain

Full details are in our manifesto on our website: cpaparty.net.

Vote CPA on July 4. Please vote for me.

Kevin Bonavia says he's proud to live in Stevenage.Kevin Bonavia says he's proud to live in Stevenage. (Image: Supplied)

Kevin Bonavia - Labour

I’m Kevin Bonavia, and I’m standing to be your Labour MP for Stevenage, Knebworth, Codicote, Datchworth and Aston.

I’m proud to call Stevenage my home.

Our town is aspirational, but we’ve been held back by 14 years of out of touch Conservative governments and a won’t-get-in-touch Tory MP.

I want to be the hardworking, full-time MP you deserve.

Public service is in my DNA. I’ve made a career as a solicitor, getting justice for victims of fraud, and I’ve spent 12 years as a councillor – including serving as an armed forces champion. I want to use this experience to represent you.

As your MP, I'd always be local, accessible and on your side.

Nationally, Labour has a clear plan:

  • Launch GB Energy to drive your bills down
  • Fund 40,000 new appointments to cut NHS waiting lists
  • Crack down on crime with 13,000 new police officers
  • Secure our borders and empty hotels with a border security command and returns unit
  • Get education back on track with 6,500 new teachers. All fully funded in our manifesto

If you think it’s time for change, please use your vote for Labour.

Lisa Nash is a North Herts councillor.Lisa Nash is a North Herts councillor. (Image: Supplied)

Lisa Nash - Liberal Democrats

I am a lecturer and leading expert in midwifery. For many years, I acted as a link lecturer in the maternity unit at Lister Hospital and feel a strong affinity for the town.

I have a passion for politics and Liberal Democrat values.

I am a North Hertfordshire district councillor, representing the Knebworth ward, and was first elected to North Herts Council in 2018.

I am delighted at the progress made by the Liberal Democrats here in North Hertfordshire. We are now the main opposition on both Stevenage and North Herts councils.

I have a strong reputation as a community campaigner. In Knebworth, I organised a Covid response support group during the pandemic for the elderly and housebound, delivering medicine, shopping and other support mechanisms.

I am very supportive of reducing emissions and achieving net zero targets. My campaign in the coming General Election will include a focus on asking electors to back 10 pledges to help the environment.

I am an experienced advocate with a proven track record and am not afraid to stand up and be counted for our communities, whether it is around our environment, the NHS, planning, education, housing or travel and transport.

I would be very proud to represent you as your MP. I have lived in this diverse and dynamic constituency for many years. It offers so many opportunities to improve things for all residents, whilst recognising the very different needs between the town and villages.

Paul Dawson says 'we are in dire need of a fairer, greener, country'.Paul Dawson says 'we are in dire need of a fairer, greener, country'. (Image: Supplied)

Paul Dawson - Green

The opinion polls tell us that the Tories will be toast, and that Labour are more than likely to be the largest party after the election.

That is a great sadness to me. Not because Greens won’t be forming the next government, which I wasn’t anticipating. But because, apart from some strange election gimmick announcements, there isn’t much difference between the two larger parties. Just a question of degree.

At a time of environmental crisis, massive inequality and poverty, we need bold, radical, progressive policies. They both plan to fix things without spending any money. I wish I could pull that trick off. We are in dire need of a fairer, greener, country.

More Greens in parliament would be able to hold the other parties to account. And every Green vote will send the message that green issues, equality and fairness matter to all of us. It is time for real hope, and real change. It is time to vote Green.

Peter Hopper says all Reform's policies have been costed.Peter Hopper says all Reform's policies have been costed. (Image: Supplied)

Peter Hopper - Reform

Why you should vote for Reform UK on July 4:

  • We will focus on cutting NHS waiting lists to zero within 2 years, with a bold, fresh, can-do approach. Healthcare must remain free at the point of use. We will encourage frontline staff retention with tax breaks and writing off student fees pro rata per year over 10 years.
  • The minimum tax threshold would be raised from £12,751 to £20,000. This would be a key incentive for those on benefits to find work.
  • Stamp duty would be scrapped on properties valued at less than £750,000, and Inheritance Tax would be abolished on Estates valued at under £2m.
  •  VAT on energy bills would be scrapped.
  • We will abolish the IR 35 rule and raise the VAT threshold to help smaller businesses.
  • We will scrap Net Zero and related subsidies. We need a gradual transition to cleaner energy.
  • Defence spending would be increased to 2.5 % of GDP in three years and 3 % in six years.
  • We will create a new Department for Veterans.
  • Stop the boats! We will pick up and return migrants crossing the channel safely to France.
  • We would leave the ECHR,  freeze ‘non essential‘ immigration and  introduce off shore processing of claims.
  • A migrant tax for non-essential workers would be brought in,  forcing employers to pay a higher NI rate for foreign workers.

These are just some of the policies we are making with our ‘contract’ with the people. All have been costed.

If you want change, you have to vote for it!