The General Election: Cheltenham

Alex Chalk and Martin Horwood exchange words at the Federation of Small Businesses pre-election deba

Alex Chalk and Martin Horwood exchange words at the Federation of Small Businesses pre-election debate / Photo: Green Party - Credit: Archant

The candidates running for the Cheltenham constituency in the May 7 2015 General Election

Martin Horwood, Liberal Democrats

Martin Horwood, Liberal Democrats - Credit: Archant

Martin Horwood

Liberal Democrat candidate for Cheltenham & current MP

“Martin Horwood was born and brought up in Cheltenham and lives in the town today with his wife Shona and their two children. Since becoming MP for Cheltenham, Martin has:

• Backed the LibDem pupil premium policy to support our least-well off kids as well as more free school meals and early years childcare. Pittville School alone now gets £250,000 a year in pupil premium and St.Thomas More and Springbank Primaries over £60,000 each.

• Voted for the LibDem tax break for Cheltenham’s lowest paid and the ‘triple lock’ to protect pensions

• Successfully campaigned to protect local NHS services like St.Paul’s maternity unit at Cheltenham General.

• Helped successful local bids for £5m for better cycle and bus lanes, electric charging points and extra pedestrianisation, and £45m for better rail connections to Swindon, Reading and London.

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• Campaigned for a greener Cheltenham: promoting green jobs, working to save green spaces, backing the LibDem borough council’s record push for recycling and opposing the Gloucestershire badger cull and Conservative incinerator plans.

• Strongly backed a new deal for householders seeking flood insurance

Alex Chalk, Conservatives

Alex Chalk, Conservatives - Credit: Archant

Alex Chalk

Conservative candidate for Cheltenham

“Cheltenham is my home town and I’ll do all I can to be the MP local residents deserve. I was raised locally and live here with my wife and young daughter.

I promise to be a champion for hardworking families in Cheltenham.

I’m passionate about encouraging businesses to invest in our area and create opportunities for our young people. My priorities include:

• Promoting transport regeneration, including the A417 loop road

• Improving rail infrastructure so that Cheltenham can maximise the benefit from its world-famous festivals and improve its connectivity to London and the South-East

• Championing high-quality hospital facilities in Cheltenham”

Christina Simmonds, UKIP / Photo: Anthony von Roretz

Christina Simmonds, UKIP / Photo: Anthony von Roretz - Credit: Archant

Christina Simmonds

UK Independence Party

“We are building an active branch dedicated to helping local communities and promoting UKIP in our area. We would be delighted if you could join us too.

Our membership is drawn from across all the wards of the town. Many members used to belong to the LibDems, Labour or Conservative parties. What unites us is a desire to bring common sense and decency back into politics and public life at a local, national or, indeed, international level.” Priorities include:

• Getting Britain out of the European Union

• Getting control of immigration with an Australian-style, points-based immigration system

• Promoting a British identity, as opposed to failed multiculturalism

• Leaving the Common Agricultural Policy

Adam Van Coevorden, Green Party

Adam Van Coevorden, Green Party - Credit: Archant

Adam Van Coevorden

Green Party candidate for Cheltenham

“I was born in Cheltenham 30 years ago, attending Pate’s Grammar School before moving on to study politics at the University of York. I spent six years working for Ecotricity, the renewable energy company based in Stroud, and I now work at the Higher Education Statistics Agency in Cheltenham. I live in Hatherley with my wife Jessica and our baby son Alex.

I grew up in Hester’s Way, so I know that affluence and privilege is only one side of Cheltenham.

In 2014 there are people depending on food banks to feed their families and our blinkered government believes the solution is more cuts and austerity.

I joined the Green Party at University, realising the major parties had nothing of value to say about social justice or the environment. I’m very proud to stand for parliament for the only party that opposes selling off our public services, that believes free education and healthcare is a right, climate change should be tackled and poverty should be a thing of the past.

Polling neck and neck with the Liberal Democrats, the Green Party has grown into a major contender. A Green vote in 2015 will not just be an act of protest, but a real chance to bring in a new kind of politics.”

Paul Gilbert, Labour

Paul Gilbert, Labour - Credit: Archant

Paul Gilbert

Labour candidate for Cheltenham

“I have been a member of the Labour party for most of my adult life and I am delighted to be the official Labour Party Candidate for Cheltenham.

I choose to live in Cheltenham because I love the place and I chose to represent Labour in Cheltenham, because it is part of what makes me the person I am in the place I love to live.”


• Wants a debate about whether the A417 Loop scheme is the best way to spend £255m

• Thinks the train station is badly in need of refurbishment

• Thinks Cheltenham badly needs a fully functional A&E department

• Would prefer an NHS with zero privatisation

• Is enthusiastic about the UK remaining a member of the EU

• Believes immigration has been amazing for the UK, but that we need a better system in place to count the number of migrants moving in and out of the country.