Meet your candidates for Chingford and Woodford Green

Chingford and Woodford Green includes most parts of the borough that are north of the North Circular road, plus a slice of neighbouring Redbridge. It had been a safe Conservative seat ever since being created in 1997, but the party’s majority has shrunk in recent elections and Labour are now making it a key target.

In the 2016 referendum Chingford and Woodford Green voted by a slender margin of 50.1% to remain in the EU.

Geoff Seeff, Liberal Democrats

Geoff Seeff, Liberal Democrats
Geoff Seeff, Liberal Democrats

I would sooner have been campaigning in a referendum on the single issue of Brexit than fighting a general election that conflates many policy issues. However, I will use the opportunity to make a positive case for remaining in the EU while also promoting an exciting programme of government under our young, dynamic leader, Jo Swinson.

Our manifesto offers:

  • A fully-costed investment in sustainable economic and physical regeneration of infrastructure from high streets and housing;
  • A commitment to introduce measures to achieve better physical and mental health for all and to provide resources for the NHS, funded by just one extra penny in the pound on income tax;
  • Funded support for research and development of advanced green technologies to combat climate change and help save our planet;
  • Reform of our political processes.

Our plans will be boosted by a £50billion bonus over the coming five years from remaining in the EU [Fact check: This forecast is based on expected GDP growth and has a high degree of uncertainty] which would be available for spending on childcare, education and environmental protection.

I am a chartered accountant with a doctorate for research into the field of corporate social responsibility. A personal aim is to bring about improvements in the governance, transparency reporting and conduct of business to ensure fairness in the relationships between the various stakeholders in commercial companies.

Without the Liberal Democrats the choice for voters in this constituency would be dire. The Conservative candidate would be happy to crash out of Europe without a deal and the Labour candidate admits her party’s position on Brexit “is tricky” and is not sure how the absurdity of negotiating a new deal and then campaigning against it can be resolved. Chingford and Woodford Green residents deserve better.

Faiza Shaheen, Labour Party

Faiza Shaheen, Labour Party (credit Tom Oldham)
Faiza Shaheen, Labour Party (credit Tom Oldham)

I will be fighting to champion your issues locally but also change laws and policy nationally. I grew up here and went to Chingford Foundation School. I’ve worked on our high streets and still live here today. After listening to your concerns, these are the key issues I plan to focus on:

  • On crime; huge cuts in police, youth and early intervention have led to an increase in crime across our constituency. Tory plans to replace officers they previously cut won’t be enough. Labour proposes to invest in policing.
  • On healthcare; Whipps Cross Hospital desperately requires redeveloping and our NHS must see an end to private finance initiatives (PFIs) and privatisation. Current plans for the hospital show fewer beds than now, despite expected population growth [Fact check: Hospital bosses have not yet decided how many beds it will have]. I will fight for a health and social care system suited to our needs.
  • On education; a Labour government will reverse years of school cuts and create a ‘National Education Service’, investing from preschool to university. Schools across our constituency have had huge cuts and some have experienced damaging academisation, undermining the ability of our children to flourish.
  • On Brexit; after three years of going around in circles, it is time we brought a credible deal alongside a remain option for you to have a final say.

We need urgent green investment and to tackle air pollution. I have pushed for Sadiq Khan to put forward a better scrappage scheme and I will continue to fight for a fairer low-emission zone which doesn’t unfairly affect working-class families and business owners.

Finally, as someone who runs a small company, I know how difficult it can be. Locally, we can adopt initiatives such as a ‘buy local’ reward scheme and I will be fighting for business rates to be redrawn nationally.

Iain Duncan Smith, Conservative Party

Iain Duncan Smith, Conservative Party (credit parliament.uk)
Iain Duncan Smith, Conservative Party (credit parliament.uk)

As your MP in Chingford and Woodford Green for the last 27 years, I have always put the needs of my constituents first and foremost. From securing £400million to rebuild Whipps Cross Hospital [Fact check: Hospital bosses have not been told how much government money it will receive], getting extra funding for our schools [Fact check: Analysis of government data by London Councils showed schools in Chingford and Woodford Green are £4.4million worse off compared to 2016] and supporting the plan to put 20,000 more police on the streets, your needs have been at the heart of all I have done.

Now, as we face an election, I am right behind our prime minister, Boris Johnson, in being committed to honour our original commitment to respect the 2016 EU referendum result, get Brexit done, and deliver democracy.

Once we have left the EU we can focus on the things that matter to the people of Chingford and Woodford Green. Since 2010 we have delivered record levels of employment, cut income tax for 31 million people, and reformed the welfare system to make sure that work pays. We inherited a failing education system where children were struggling with basic numeracy and literacy, but now 85% of children are in schools that are good or outstanding.

That hard-won success is at risk from any government other than a Conservative majority government. Voting for any other party in Chingford and Woodford Green risks Jeremy Corbyn getting into Number 10. That would wreak havoc on our economy and put at risk the 20,000 more police, higher funding for schools and rebuilding of our hospital, which is dependent on the extra £33.9billion for the NHS the Conservatives pledge to deliver.