Election 22: Cain Griffiths of UKIP

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1)Tell us about yourself and why you’re standing

Chester is where my family are from and live and it’s also where I work. I care deeply for the city and its residents and that’s what motivated me to stand in the by-election. Seven years of Labour failure really have taken their toll on the city, with closed businesses and sewage in the Dee. And, the Conservatives and Reform are no opposition with Reform’s candidate barely even campaigning.

2)What qualities can you bring to the role of MP ?

I’m a compassionate yet outspoken individual who will champion any cause I’m committed to. I love to see it when the underdog gets the voice heard and it’s these people who I intend to fight for.

3) How would you assess the record of the current Government ?

Our current government is incompetent at best. They’re intent on ignoring the views of the people they claim to represent. They are a government which has presided over, high taxes, lack of border control and almost unparalleled levels of poverty. Dramatic change is needed.

4)What would be your 3 main priorities for Chester ?

My three main priorities for Chester are: To fight for the Park & Ride service to be restored on Sealand Road, to campaign for the abolition of business rates and high street parking charges to revive the city and to hold Welsh Water to account over claims of sewage in the Dee.

5)How would you support constituency SMEs through the economic crisis ?

I will support constituency SMEs by campaigning for the abolition of business rates and high street parking charges. In addition to this, I will liaise with the council to look at the possibility of lowering city centre car park charges, which are incredibly high in comparison to other areas. I’ll also campaign for a national funding scheme to be introduced to help SMEs start up and grow.

6)What works well in Chester ?

Chester’s fabulous Business Improvement District (BID) is something that works well and is something I’d maintain and look to expand. 

7) What doesn’t work well in Chester and how could you improve it?

The provision of Park and Ride services and bicycle stands are insufficient, I will fight for more bicycle stands and the Sealand Road Park & Ride to be re-introduced. These both are crucial as they reduce city centre traffic. The withdrawal of bus services across the city, particularly the 51 Upton service is something I’m staunchly against and I’ll fight for these services to remain. Residents shouldn’t be left stranded.

8) What steps should Chester take towards relieving the climate crisis ? How would you encourage green investment?

The environment is something which is incredibly important to me. I will encourage the building of up to 16 mini nuclear power stations nationally. as well as for the building of thorium salt reactors. On a more local level, I’ll also encourage home builders to give buyers the option of having a solar array fitted. This will increase their self-sufficiency and potentially halve their energy bills. However, whilst the environment is something I hold close to my heart, any measures implemented must not harm the growth of Britain or plunged Brits into poverty, such as ridiculous green levies on energy bills. The pursuit of simply unachievable targets like “net zero” are simply mad and will only damage our economy as “net zero” as a plan in completely uncosted.

9)Do you support sending asylum seekers to Rwanda?

The Rwanda plan is hugely expensive, with an upfront cost of £140million. I think we should be focusing more on deterring these people from coming to Britain in the first instance. However, offshore processing was something that worked in Australia and I’ll support any measure which stop the huge influx of illegal immigrants we’re seeing.

10)  How has Brexit affected Chester and how could we maximise any current/future benefits?

Brexit has provided Britain with the opportunity once again to become a global trading leader, with us able to trade more freely with non-EU markets such as our fellow Commonwealth nations like Australia and Jamaica. Our trading relationship with these countries rapidly deteriorated since the UK joined the EU, these relationships should be restored. The reporting burdens for SME’s introduced by the EU have been much reduced and this is of enormous benefit to Chester, which has many SMEs. 

11)What are your aspirations for the next phase of the Northgate development?

I fully support the building of a new car park on Trinity Street, outlined in Phase 2 of the development and I will try my level best to make sure it’s affordable.

12)How can we better maintain and support the city walls , in particular the collapse of 2020 which remains unrepaired?

We need a dedicated team who’s responsible for the upkeep of the historic building and walls around Chester, a freedom of information inquest revealed it has costed £60,000 to prop up the wall in certain points. I’m my view, serious regeneration is needed to ensure the walls which have surrounded the city for 2000 years remain intact.

13) Dee House remains in a state of disrepair, how could we speed up progress on this divisive issue?

Dee House remains derelict and in a state of disrepair where it’s in full view from the Roman Amphitheatre. The building is grade II listed and it’s a disgrace how a such a central building, owned by the council has been left this way. I’ll put pressure the council to restore it and fast.

14)Would you support the Ginger E scooter trial being made permanent ?

If a plan can be implemented to ensure they are ridden responsibly then yes, the plan has my full support. If a plan cannot be devised, for example areas where they not permitted such as in the city centre, then they need to go.

15)Our former MP said he would fight the closure of the Countess with every drop of blood in his body – do you enjoy the same level of conviction? 

Yes, I’ve been to the Countess on many occasions, and the resilience and compassion of the staff never fails to impress me. The Countess is absolutely crucial to Chester and needs support, that’s why I’ll resist all cuts to frontline NHS services, and I will fight for NI to be replaced with a National Health Insurance to ensure the NHS is properly funded. I’ll also fight against the current top heavy NHS system.

16) How would you tackle the further regeneration of the rows?

Further regeneration of the rows has my full support, they are historic gem of the city. I’ll ensure that any work conducted doesn’t take away from their historical value.

17) What support could you offer to Chester FC?

Chester FC will have my full support and endorsement; the team is a foundation stone of the Chester community and brings the residents together and I’ll ensure this remains the case.

18)What is your definition of a woman? My definition of a woman is somebody who has a female reproductive system, or someone who has undergone reassignment surgery.

19) What are your views on a form of proportional representation for Parliament and House of Lords reform?

I believe in the abolition of the House of Lords to bring an end to nepotism in this nation. I will also fight for a fairer, more proportional voting system.

20)What are your views on the cost of parking in the city particularly the new Market Car Park ?

They are extortionate and need to be lowered. The council need to be working with businesses, not against them. Instead of high fees to “encourage shorter stays”, they should re-introduce the Sealand Road Park & Ride to create more inner city parking.

21)How would you improve transport links to the city? Manchester/London/Flintshire etc. Also rural transport links 

By investing into our transport infrastructure, and creating a more competitive system where providers are kept on their feet. I will campaign for contracts to be reviewed on a more regular basis.

22)What are your views on an English assembly/ Parliament ?

Devolution has already done enough damage to this country, no more is needed.

23) What are your hopes for the local housing market ?

Hopefully house prices will stabilise once again, to make housing affordable for first-time buyers. Any further excess immigration is going increase the volatility of our housing market and I’ll resist this.

24) How would you tackle the increasing number of street drug/drink users?

Personally, I’m a supporter of the Buvidal injection which has been trialed in Wales and has been of enormous help to those with drug dependency, being much more affected than the current methadone programme. I would fight for this to be extended over the border into England. I will also fight for more investment into social service to address the reasons people develop a drug or alcohol dependency and prevent it. I would ensure that those living on our streets are given access to housing as has been done for asylum seekers.

25)The Chester constituency has a collection of varied wards , some affluent, some not, how would you bring economic equality to the city so all residents are involved in opportunities and investment ?

I will fight to better our education system, increase the prosperity of the city by; re-introducing grammar schools, easing the paperwork burden on teachers and ensuring that university charges no more than the practical cost of the course to students. This will lessen the divide been richer and poorer areas in Chester.

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