What Sunderland Central's General Election 2019 candidates are promising to do for you

We asked Sunderland Central’s General Election candidates to outline why voters should choose them on December 12.

Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 9:58 am

All were asked to submit a photograph, a written article and a short video. If they do not appear here it is because we have not received them.

For statements by Houghton and Sunderland South candidates, click here. For statements by Washington and Sunderland West candidates, click here.

Tom D’Silva (Conservatives)

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Six candidates are standing in the Sunderland Central constituency.

Why am I the best person for the job? I am the only candidate who will listen to the people of Sunderland and the only candidate who can Get Brexit Done.

Three years ago, Sunderland was the first area to announce its vote to Leave.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the EU have agreed a deal and you can be sure that I will start the process to Get Brexit Done straight away, voting for Boris Johnson’s deal.

Once we Get Brexit Done, we can focus on the priorities of the people of Sunderland and get about delivering some of the changes that we voted for in the referendum, strengthening the NHS, investing in schools and making our streets safer.

Tom D'Silva.

What would I do in order to improve the constituency? As your MP, I would work with Government and fight for Sunderland to benefit from the increased investment and extra funding that is being pledged.

The Conservatives are giving the NHS its biggest ever cash boost, increasing funding for every primary and secondary school pupil as part of a £14 billion investment in education, putting 20,000 more police officers on our streets, and launching a Towns Fund to support our High Streets and local businesses.

All of this will be done whilst not raising the rates of income tax, national insurance or VAT ensuring that the incomes of hard-working people in Sunderland are protected.

I see my job of delivering for Sunderland Central as making sure that we benefit from this investment at home, in our city centre, and in our local community and that’s why I will be working with Government to make sure that we are not left behind.

Labour candidate Julie Elliott.

Julie Elliott (Labour)

I am standing to be your MP. Having been born and raised here in Sunderland, this is my home, and that of my children and grandchildren I understand the issues our city faces; I am independent minded and will always do what is best for our community.

I belong to a Labour tradition that combines support for a strong economy and a well-funded NHS with toughness on crime and a belief that education and a secure home is the key to future success.

My pledges to you are:

Green Party candidate Rachel Featherstone.

* To protect our NHS from privatisation and fragmentation, campaign for more investment to reduce record waiting times under this Conservative government.

* To support our Armed Forces and Police. Northumbria Police has lost 1,000 officers under the Tories, and our armed forces have been ignored. Labour will work to ensure our veterans get good homes and proper support. We need more police and we need all of our public sector workers to get a proper pay rise.

* I will fight the flawed welfare system under Universal Credit, which has caused misery to people and forced them into poverty and insecure, underpaid work.

* I will continue campaigning for better legislation to tackle climate change.

* I will always be an accessible MP, there when you need me.

I am determined to get the best for our city. You can trust that you will always be my priority, I will not let you down. Please vote for me on December 12.

Liberal Democrat candidate Niall Hodson.

Rachel Featherstone (Green Party)

A Green vote sends a clear message that you want urgent action on climate breakdown.

We have ten years to radically reduce emissions or face runaway climate change. The consequences for human life will be catastrophic.

The Green Party are the only party that have a comprehensive and credible plan to reduce UK carbon emissions to net zero by 2030. We won't be deterred by pressure from big business or trade unions with a vested interest in carbon emitting industries.

We'll invest £100 billion each year in renewable energy, public transport, rewilding, adaptations to industry and reskilling. That sounds like a lot, but these are good investments and we spent more bailing out the banks. We should be prepared to do no less for a survivable habitat.

At the same time, we'd invest in our underfunded public services to enhance quality of life.

The NHS would get an additional £6 billion per year plus an extra £1 billion for training staff, including restoration of the nursing bursary.

We'd bring schools back into local authority control, replace Ofsted and SATs with more holistic assessment strategies and provide them with an extra £4 billion per year.

The Green Party would restore democracy by replacing the blatantly unfair first past the post with a proportional system for general and local elections. We'd allow people a say in our future relationship with the EU through a People's Vote.

So vote for climate action, vote for quality of life, vote for democracy - vote Green.

Niall Hodson (Liberal Democrats)

I was born and grew up in Sunderland, and live in the city with my wife. I love my hometown, but it makes me sad to see the state it's in.

For my whole life, Sunderland has been terribly neglected by both local and national government - they have let our city centre go to pot, let our roads and footpaths get dirty and damaged, and let developers run amok.

Everyone I speak to says it’s time for a change from the same old party taking us for granted and expecting our votes at elections, despite doing nothing to earn them.

What's worse is that no-one seems to stand up for Sunderland or make our case on the national stage.

That's what I'd do as our new MP. I’d make clear to the government that our railway station is an embarrassment, our social care services are stretched to breaking point, and our schools urgently need more teachers and resources.

As MP I’d stand up to the government and the council and demand the best for Sunderland; not stand by as it gets cast adrift. I would keep in touch with residents, be visible and active on the doorstep and in the news, and get our city noticed.

My priority is services for residents: as well as improving our train station and public transport in Sunderland, I want to see more investment in street cleaning, improvements to our high streets and parks, and a crackdown on anti-social behaviour in the city.

Dale McKenzie (Independent)

I am your Independent candidate for Sunderland Central Constituency

The party system is broke.

When it comes to votes in Parliament, it is now obvious that party politics don’t mean a thing!!

We only have to see how Parliamentarians voted over Brexit to see the betrayal of party and people at work!!

As an independent I stand on my own two feet without financial assistance from others.

I am able to navigate the middle ground and not be cowed by political infighting or make decisions that avoid conflict of interests with big funder relationships.

I fully support the principles of equality with fairness at the centre of all decisions. Justice should be social first and economic second.

A balanced and tight tax regime stops excessive tax avoidance and this ultimately means more money in the pot for services in our communities that are the glue of our society such as education, social services, emergency services and healthcare for example.

I can tell it like it is. Promises are cheap and actions speak louder than any words. We have all seen that over the last two years!

“Progress is impossible without change and someone who cannot change their mind cannot change anything…” (George Bernard Shaw).

“If we do what we have always done, we get what we have always got…” (Henry Ford).

These quotes say everything about the state of Sunderland today. It is up to you to change it and for the better!

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Warmest regards to you all.

Viral Parikh (Brexit Party)

Politics is broken. How is it right that 61.3% of Sunderland residents can vote to leave the European Union yet our elected representative does everything to thwart the result.

Firstly, I would restore the word DEMOCRACY and work on the basis of that elected representative are the servants and not the other way round.

I want to see a clean-break from the European Union, as soon as possible and delivered by somebody who actually believes in the potential that Sunderland has to offer.

I would like to see that billions and billions of pounds given to EU should be stopped but to be used in my city for children’s ward, elderly care, NHS, police, education, youth projects and eradicating homelessness.

We also need major political reform in this country, starting with a proportional voting system, the abolition of the unelected House of Lords, the end of MPs switching parties without holding a by-election and properly funded public services.

I would also like to see all allegations of corruption, fraud, abuse of power or misconduct in public office in any level of Government, and irrespective of the colour of political rosette, thoroughly investigated, prosecuted and the responsible individuals barred from public office. Nobody is above the law and certainly not elected representatives.

I would work closely with all the sectors to bring back aspirations, vibrancy and transparency to my city.

This will incorporate digital economy, business rates on high streets, eradicating homelessness, funding for children’s ward, elderly care and youth employments and apprenticeships.

We now have a unique opportunity to fix the mess this city is currently in, to fix the lack of investment and reject years of mismanagement by Labour; to put history back on the right course.

I will lead by example and that is why 10% of my salary will be donated the projects like children’s wards, elderly care and charities involving eradicating homelessness and poverty but all in Sunderland city.

Independent candidate Dale McKenzie.
Viral Parikh.