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Matthew Theobald, Liberal Democrats – Crewe and Nantwich – GE19 candidate

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We are providing all 39 parliamentary candidates across Cheshire the opportunity to tell our readers what their priorities are, and to tell us a little more about themselves.

We’ve asked the same five questions of each candidate, for the simplest comparison, and we have invited candidates to supply social media and website links if they choose to.

In this article, we speak to Matthew Theobald, standing for the Liberal Democrats in Crewe and Nantwich.

 



 

1. What is the main reason you’ve decided to stand in this election?

I love where I live and want to give people a real choice at the ballot box.

Having spent most of my adult life – over 22 years – in this constituency, it is the place I call home.

It is where I have raised my family, where I established my business and where I have represented the local community in a number of roles including school governor (previously primary school and currently high school), parish councillor and as a housing/environmental campaigner with a strong track record fighting against aggressive and inappropriate housing development.

The Labour, Conservative and Brexit candidates all offer different versions of Brexit, none of which are positive for our community or the country as a whole and none of which offer the people a final say.

As someone who is proudly European as well as British, I wish to remain in the EU and retain our rights as EU citizens.

I offer the best chance of this, as the candidate best placed to attract votes from across our constituency, I guarantee to vote in favour of a confirmatory/second referendum (aka a People’s Vote).

 

2. Which local priorities would you take forward as our MP?

Ensuring Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and South Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group are supported so that Leighton Hospital and community services (such as GPs) are available to all who need them.

Reversing funding cuts that the Conservatives made to local schools so that we can give all children in Crewe and Nantwich the best possible start in life.

Continuing to campaign against aggressive and inappropriate housing development that blights our local area by destroying green spaces and/or offering an unsuitable mix of houses that are not affordable for the majority of constituents and thus make setting up a home very difficult.

Ensuring the town centre redevelopment of Crewe is completed ahead of HS2 reaching us, and scrutinising that project to ensure it is not delayed, extra costs are not passed onto local taxpayers, and the building of this infrastructure is delivered in a way that minimises environmental damage and community disruption.

Supporting local businesses of all sizes to prosper by working directly with large employers like Bentley, as well as organisations such as the South Cheshire Chamber of Commerce and Federation of Small Businesses North West (Cheshire and Merseyside).

 

3. Which national priorities would you take forward as our MP?

Firstly, stopping the unmitigated disaster that is Brexit! This has dragged on for far too long without coming close to delivering what was promised in 2016.

We must now focus on more important issues such as health, education and the climate crisis.

Then, using the financial boost from doing so to transform our economy so that is better balanced and fairer – this will ensure short-term stability, then medium to long-term growth.

Redesigning our education system so that every child is given the best start in life with an holistic approach that places wellbeing at its heart, OFSTED replaced, recruitment of 20,000 more teachers, free childcare places for children of pre-school age and the Skills Wallet to ensure people can retrain easier in later life.

Extra funding for our NHS, including £11 billion so that mental health is on a level with physical health, as well as more money being available for primary, specialist and social care.

Ambitious plans to tackle the climate crisis including investment in green technology, 60 million trees planted and extra protection for marine environments, which will first reduce our carbon emissions then take them to net zero.

 

4. What is it about your party and/or its manifesto that makes you proud to represent your party? Are there any manifesto pledges or commitments you’d like to see changed?

I would not make any major changes because we offer a progressive and pragmatic manifesto that delivers a better Britain.

This manifesto has been declared credible by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, which is not the case (as reported in The Guardian recently) for either the Conservatives or Labour.

I would prefer greater clarity that we will support a People’s Vote in all circumstances where revoking Article 50 is not possible.

We have been supporting it unequivocally for over 3 years, unlike Labour (who only recently committed) and the Conservatives (who just want to get it done regardless of whether people still want Brexit).

 

5. Please tell us a little about yourself.

(ie: your background, your experience, your hobbies, your non-political interests)

I’m a governor for a local high school – with responsibility for resources.

I support young people with special educational needs and disabilities, so I see every day the challenges our children, teachers and support staff face.

I set up, and run a local healthcare business; I know first hand just how hard it is.

My work career has focused on healthcare, developing products like asthma inhalers and insulin pens, working across many EU countries and the US.

I’ve seen first hand the benefits of EU membership on many levels.

As a ‘Green Liberal Democrat’, I am passionate about addressing the issues we face , locally and globally, with the impending Climate Crisis.

I got involved in politics through working with others to stop rampant, unwarranted development of inappropriate housing in our area, challenging harmful parts of Cheshire East’s Local Plan.

In 2013 I stepped up as a councillor for Stapeley, leading efforts for a Neighbourhood Plan that protects the community’s future hopes and aspirations.

I have chaired the council for three years.

Alongside all this, I play bass clarinet in Nantwich Concert Band, support local events, and spend time with my family out on our wonderful canals.

 


Further links (as supplied by the candidate)

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.crewe-nantwichlibdems.org.uk

Facebook: @MatthewTheobaldLD

Twitter: @Matthew_LibDem


 

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