VOTERS in the Wantage constituency have sent Conservative MPs to Parliament ever since it was created in 1983.

It had a brief change of colour when Robert Jackson, who represented the seat from then until 2005, defected to the Labour Party in January 2005. But he did not stand again and was soon replaced by Ed Vaizey in the General Election that year.

Mr Vaizey won the seat comfortably and increased his majority to 13,547 votes in the 2010 General Election.

And in 2015 the Tory candidate – who by then had been Culture Minister in David Cameron’s government since 2010 – swelled his lead further to 21,749.

Things have changed since then, with Mr Vaizey sacked from the Government by Theresa May last year.

But he is standing for re-election on June 8 and has made it clear he wants to be a voice for Oxfordshire’s science sector from the backbenches. Rachel Eden, meanwhile, is standing for Labour, running against Liberal Democrat Christopher Carrigan, UKIP’s David McLeod and Sue Ap-Roberts of the Green Party.

Oxford Mail:


Ed Vaizey, Conservative 

Oxford Mail: Ed Vaizey

I HAVE served Wantage and Didcot as the MP for 12 years, and am asking you to allow me to serve another term.

Housing is the biggest issue here. While I support new housing, it has to be in the right place, and I will work with local communities to ensure we have the infrastructure to support it.

We need health services that match our needs in the 21st century, and I will actively campaign for new services and ones that match those currently available at our community hospitals.

I want to ensure fair funding for our schools, and welcome the Conservative commitment for an extra £4 billion for education.

I want to see safety improvements on the A34 and other roads in the area, and will be seeking funding to make this happen.

I will also continue to lead the group looking at a new railway line from Didcot to Bristol, which would enable us to re-open Grove station.

I want to ensure that, as we leave the European Union, we continue to support the vital scientific research and tech investment that makes our area so successful and vibrant.

Chris Carrigan, Liveral Democrats

Oxford Mail:

From Chris Carrigan has lived in the Wantage constituency for all his working life. He cares deeply for the area and his family has been brought up here.

He served on the local district council for eight years and has been a board member of several voluntary organisations.

Chris is a scientist by background and is currently head of strategy and transformation at one of the world’s largest international companies.

The economy of the Wantage Constituency is critically linked to European cooperation and partnership.

We need someone in Parliament who understands science, understands what this constituency needs, and isn’t afraid to stand up to the Conservatives’ hard Brexit agenda.

The Liberal Democrats are the real opposition to the Conservative Brexit government, and the only party fighting for a Britain that is open, tolerant and united.

In our constituency, only the Liberal Democrats can threaten the Conservatives’ arrogant assumption that the seat is theirs no matter what they do and how their MP votes.

Chris Carrigan would be a great addition to Parliament and a local MP who would fight for our future.

Sue Ap-Roberts, Green Party

Oxford Mail:

THE Conservatives wish to bring back foxhunting. I am not surprised. They have been hijacked by a privileged minority. Gas and oil industry oligarchs donate to the Conservative party and are deeply embroiled in government.

A promising future in renewables and home insulation was axed by the Conservatives in 2015.

My business, Ecomorph, was one of thousands of casualties of the cuts. Now we have dangerous and deeply unpopular fracking and nuclear. Theresa May was bullied by the Chinese Government into letting them build a giant nuclear reactor, Hinkley C, on our soil.

Electricity will be sold to us at twice the normal price. She knew it is not in the interest of national security to hand over control of a nuclear reactor, control of our energy, to a foreign power.

Why was she so weak? Nature and our countryside are being trashed. Years of planning law have been ripped up.

Thousands of houses, unsupported by infrastructure, are being plopped in our Green Belt by greedy developers. We are governed by privateers. Neither Labour nor the LibDems can win In Wantage.

Vote Green for a fresh voice and to raise the environment higher up the agenda.

David McLeod, UKIP

Oxford Mail:

I FULLY support UKIP manifesto and the way it represents real issues for real people.

If we want United Kingdom to progress forward we need to focus on developing our infrastructure offer training and support when needed, this must apply to all business and personal welfare across the UK Let’s make sure our taxes are spent in the uk first before offering charity to the rest of the world.

I believe we must:

  • Invest an extra £11 billion every year into the NHS and social care by the end of the next parliament, raising caps on medical school and nurse training places, and increasing funding for mental health and dementia
  • Raise the threshold for paying income tax to £13,500, cut taxes for middle earners, abolish the TV licence and cut VAT on household bills pProtect disability and carer’s benefits
  • Fund 20,000 more police officers, 7,000 more prison officers, and 4,000 more border force staff Revive our coastal communities and fishing villages
  • UKIP are the only party that serve the people, we are the only party that has proven track record in delivering Brexit.

Rachel Eden, Labour and Co-operative

Oxford Mail:

I’M PROUD to be the Labour and Cooperative Parties’ candidate in Wantage.

Labour came second here in the last General Election and my priority in standing is to be a strong voice for Wantage, Didcot and the surrounding area.

My experience as a councillor and national role as a member of the Local Government Association’s community wellbeing board means that I have a particular focus social care.

As an MP I would work for a fair and sustainable approach so elderly and disabled people can live dignified and fulfilling lives. I believe the focus of the Brexit negotiations must be jobs, rights at work and the environment.

This is especially true to protect the vital industries in places like Harwell and Culham which rely on cooperation with our European friends. I also know that MPs should not just listen to their communities but also work with them.

If I was elected I would be an active, community based MP working to make a great area even better.