Campaigning in Watford

I am twenty-three years old, a politics graduate and a political activist. I am a Liberal Democrat and I have volunteered with the local party. Several issues spring to mind when I think about the Liberal Democrats: equality, civil liberties, pro-Europe and of course working towards a stronger and fairer economy.

Whilst studying Politics at university, I was really happy to say I was from a marginal constituency because I felt like it made the general election a little more exciting as opposed to other constituencies.

Since graduating I have been actively involved with local politics by trying to encourage young people to join Liberal Youth, the youth wing of the party, and now I work for the party so interests have expanded. I’m still very much interested in youth engagement but also Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) issues, how the party plan on engaging more BME voters, equal representation in Parliament, mental health and women’s rights.

Watford has some strong voices within the local party on our doorstep, such as Sal Brinton, who is the party president of the Liberal Democrats, and our Parliamentary Candidate Dorothy Thornhill, who has been Mayor of Watford since 2002. As you can guess she is well known locally and beginning to gain even more momentum nationally.

The Ashcroft Poll from November 2014 for Watford suggested Liberal Democrats are at 28 per cent, two points behind the Conservatives and their candidate Richard Harrington. I am optimistic having canvassed with Dorothy locally, and knowing her achievements as a Mayor, I can say that she is the best choice for Watford and if anyone thinks otherwise they are clearly mistaken.

Some important issues affecting the local area are the NHS, Education and Housing. Voters will have the chance to vote with these in mind come May 7th.

The Party propose to make it easier for individuals to climb onto the property ladder by creating 190,000 new homes nationally. The New Health campus will provide up to 1300 jobs, 35% of affordable homes, better road access to the hospital and improved facilities offered to patients.

Recently, new development plans have been proposed in the town centre, including the proposal of 25 new flats, 13 parking spaces and some new shops. This would create more affordable housing, new jobs and easy accessibility to local transport facilities and other amenities.

One policy that really highlights my future needs is the Liberal Democrat policy to help first time buyers by making mortgages cheaper. This is great because it is daunting enough to try and put money down for a deposit for a house, but the scheme will make it easier for first time buyers.

At a recent campaign launch, Dorothy Thornhill mentioned that education was a big part of why she wanted to get involved in politics.  She said her own experiences whilst growing up were vital to this.

In my local constituency, Leavesden Green JMI School has received an additional £145,823 from the Pupil Premium since Liberal Democrats formed a coalition government in 2010, and made education a priority. This extra funding will help children with the greatest needs and in turn make a considerable difference to their education.

Furthermore, 2.1 million apprenticeships have given young people opportunities to further their skills to help with future employment and give people another option instead of going to university.

This year I think the result nationally will be a hung parliament. I’m obviously very optimistic that Dorothy Thornhill will be elected as MP. As Paddy Ashdown said ‘politics is a rough old game, you’ll need spirit and heart to win.’ I believe this is exactly what Dorothy has proved from being elected as a Mayor continuously since 2002 and continuously fighting for the whole of the constituency.

 

* Dipa Vaya is a Politics Graduate Interested in working in Events Management and passionate about combatting Human Trafficking

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3 Comments

  • Matthew Huntbach 14th Apr '15 - 5:24pm


    One policy that really highlights my future needs is the Liberal Democrat policy to help first time buyers by making mortgages cheaper. This is great because it is daunting enough to try and put money down for a deposit for a house, but the scheme will make it easier for first time buyers.

    There is not a committee which sits down and sets house prices. The price of a house is whatever is the maximum someone is prepared to pay for it. If you give people more money to buy houses, then they can pay more, so house prices will go up. Giving people “help” to buy houses is no real help for this reason.

  • Conor McGovern-Paul 14th Apr '15 - 6:34pm

    “I can say that she is the best choice for Watford and if anyone thinks otherwise they are clearly mistaken.”
    Very liberal.

  • David Evans 14th Apr '15 - 7:28pm

    Yes Conor, it is very liberal to tell it as it is.

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