THE men and women hoping to represent you at Westminister explain why you should vote for them:
Julie Elliott – Labour
In my five years as MP for Sunderland Central, I have wasted no opportunity to hold the Tory-led Government to account on behalf of local people.
I led the campaign against exploitative zero hours contracts – which Labour would ban. As Shadow Energy Minister I fought for a fair market – which Labour would introduce. I challenged Business Secretary Vince Cable over the scandalous sale of Royal Mail at knockdown prices. I have campaigned for public services under attack through Tory cuts. And I am proud that our community campaign saved Sunderland Central Fire Station from closure.
Rachel Featherstone – Green Party
As an MP, I will campaign for a fairer, more sustainable society. Government spending cuts have undermined our economy, hurt the most vulnerable and enriched the wealthy. We think investment in the public sector, housing and renewable energy will produce a more prosperous society with higher standards of living. I support the NHS Reinstatement Bill to take private providers and the market out of healthcare. I would campaign for renationalised railways and free lifelong education and training, a living wage and urgent reform of our tax system. Vote Green - for the common good.
Bryan Foster – UKIP
I would like to see Sunderland restored as a major city in the UK. The year on year decline is nothing short of a dereliction of duty by the incumbent MP.
When we come out of the EU, UKIP will invest in the NHS, Education, Housing, Infrastructure and Industry. I will look to restore the proud heritage of Shipbuilding and our Fishing industry. This will provide a springboard to bring back skills through apprenticeships and reinvigorate industry along the River Wear.
Sunderland needs to be at the forefront as a City waiting to fulfil its potential outside the EU.
Adrian Page – Lib Dem
Adrian Page, 36, served in the British Army for several years and saw active service in the former Yugoslavia. He currently works as a photographer while also studying Fine Art. His main political passions are human rights, equality issues, empowering communities and tackling unemployment. He believes that the priorities of any incoming government have to be job creation - we need a government that makes war on unemployment rather than the unemployed. He also believes the next government needs to invest £8billion into our NHS, and to prioritise increased spending on mental health services which are often not fit for purpose.
As a mature student, Adrian understands the need to develop a fair and progressive funding system for Higher Education (a wider issue than the narrow focus on tuition fees) and to provide genuine lifelong education opportunities for all.
Jeffrey Townsend – Conservative
I was born on a mine in South Africa and lived in mining communities growing up. I have worked around the world in politics and believe Sunderland is well placed to benefit from the economic growth seen under the Conservative Government.
I believe an infrastructure revolution is needed to help the City achieve its potential. Better motorway access, a redeveloped train station to accept more direct trains, extending the metro to Ryhope, promoting the port and highlighting cycle routes. Better infrastructure attracts businesses and this means more jobs and opportunities for the people of Sunderland.
Joseph Young – Independent