We interviewed the Newcastle East election candidates and they told us why you should vote for them
We asked them the pressing questions
With the General Election happening tomorrow, now is the time to decide (if you haven’t already) who you are voting for.
With a surge of students registering to vote, some for the first time, student votes matter more than before with many, especially in Newcastle making up a big portion of the electorate.
Newcastle East covers Jesmond, where the majority of students are living. So we interviewed the election candidates representing the four major parties: Labour, Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and Green.
Name: Nick Brown
Occupation: MP for Newcastle East since 1983
Name: Robin Gwynn
Occupation: Director and Joint Owner of Whyteleafe Ltd
Name: Wendy Taylor
Occupation: Hospital Consultant
Name: Nick Hartley
Occupation: Clinical Psychologist
Why should students vote for you?
• "I fought a long battle in 2005 over the original fees question"
• The Labour manifesto pledges to abolish fees, opening up opportunities for everyone to go to university
• Abolishment of fees over time, try and reduce the debt by managing it better than it’s being currently managed with better interest rates
• "Evidence based decision making" favouring investigation first
• The Erasmus programme is of enormous value
• 100 civil servants trying to work on a graduate tax to solve fees problem
• "Huge mistake" to vote for an increase of tuition fees
• "One of our policies is to introduce maintenance grants again'
• Interest rates should be no more than the rate of inflation
• Give adults £10,000 at different stages in their lives if they wish to retrain etc.
• Improve mental health services for students – "treated just as quickly" as physical injuries
• Young people will suffer the most from Brexit, Lib Dems will rectify this
• Exist to build a safe, open and fair society which seeks to balance fundamental values
• It's a safe Labour seat but Nick asked for students' votes because "vote share matters" – an increase in votes in this election means more Green policies will be heard in parliament
• Against tuition fees and "would scrap existing student debt"
• It is right people pursue an education for themselves not based on how much they pay
• University becomes an investment for employment, change the culture
• '3 in 1 vote you get me bringing a new productive look on long-standing problems' in the community
• Student nurses receiving a £5,000-8,000 annual maintenance grant every year during their course, without having to pay it back
• Looking into interest rates on the view of reducing the debt burden on students
• "The big issue in this election is climate change and the allied issue of population and waste disposal, including plastics"
• Believe Britain could be a world leader in bringing about positive changes for the environment
• "We have the determination… it is what we are setting out to do"
• Would be better to do trade with European countries who are more like ourselves than with Americans
• System of three different bins and massively increased recycling
• Increase in amount of solar panels being used
• "We take tackling climate change very seriously and have done long before it became a popular topic"
• Want to achieve zero carbon by 2025
• 60 million trees a year being planted including in Newcastle to prevent flooding
• "After we left government the Conservatives got rid of the department of energy… which was a disaster’
• "We made the UK the biggest user of offshore wind in the world" – one of the cheapest ways to reduce electricity
• "The more young people protesting the more politicians will take notice"
• Greener public transport – At the moment it is expensive to get around bus and metro and the systems don't join up due to privatisation
• "Bring services back into public ownership"
• Been saying this most consistently and loudest for the longest – environmental crisis, need to hold the other parties to account
• 100 Billion for 10 years to tackle the climate crisis
• Building 100,000 zero carbon homes a year
• Insulating homes of poorest people in our society
• Wanting to reach net zero by 2050 with investment in clean energy solutions and green infrastructure to reduce carbon emissions and pollution
• Set up a new independent Office for Environmental Protection and introduce their own legal targets, including for air quality
• Increased penalties for fly-tipping and make those on community sentences clean up their parks and streets
• Creation of new national parks
• "Penetration of the internal market by large transnational companies who would try to make money out of healthcare"
• Change to private sector healthcare companies for their advancement, undermines income for the national health service
• Unified database is of enormous value – health records held by large American technology companies is unsafe
• "Everyone in the labour party feels strongly about the national health service, we created it"
• Protection of the health service is vitally important, when you need it, it is free and available
• Social care needs to be cross-party co-operation, not a "political football"
• Stopping Brexit to stop the loss of nurses and doctors
• "NHS will collapse if we leave"
• "If you want a good NHS you have to pay more tax" – adding a penny on income tax to pay for more staff such as GPs, nurses, paramedics
• "Austerity has meant people have had to work together across boundaries" – more cross working between local authorities and social care
• The NHS has suffered from an attempt to bring in the market to the health service
• "Increased level of privatisation in the mental health service" – staff are trying to do their best when they are unsure of changing contracts
• Extra six billion at least to the NHS
• Replace private sector involvement in the NHS with community leadership
• Increased nurse training
• Raising NHS funding by 29%
• 6,000 more doctors in general practice and 6,000 more primary care professionals
• Introduction of NHS visa ensuring to train and employ tens of thousands more NHS professionals in the UK
• End hospital car parking charges
• "In the 2016 campaign I was a moderate remainer… I’ve tried to make the decision the country made in 2016 work"
• "We would be better off remaining in the European Union"
• Supporting of a second referendum, Nick would personally campaign for remain
• "Theresa May’s deal is well off the table"
• Committed to get the softest possible version of Brexit, the least damaging
• "People on both sides did not understand what they were voting for" – Lib Dems wanted a second referendum from the beginning
• Desired outcome would be to stop Brexit
• Having a Liberal Democrat majority government would be enough to stop it
• A second referendum is important as "people did vote, people feel they made a decision"
• "A democracy that cannot change its mind ceases to be a democracy" – quote from David Davis
• As many remain MPs into parliament as possible to get the desired Brexit outcome
• "We are an international party, we believe very strongly in working with other countries" – speaking about issues such as the environment and cyber crime
• "For three years we have done nothing else but talk about Brexit"
• Green party are strongly behind staying in the EU, but needs to be a democratic choice
• Really important to go back to the people and ask them what kind of Brexit they want
• "Campaigning to stay in the EU, even if we leave the EU we don't leave the planet"
• Through the EU we can send a strong message to China etc. on issues of human rights, speak loudly and together
• Longer term issue – where is the world economy growing, where will the UK be doing more trade? With the rest of the world more than Europe and the Eurozone
• We have to do it in a way that takes as many people as possible with it, a deal which delivers the best outcome with focus on unifying not polarising.