As the 12 December General Election fast approaches we're taking the opportunity to speak to the candidates for the Aylesbury constituency.
The seat had been held by Sir David Lidington of the Conservative party since April 1992. Mr Lidington recently announced that he would not be standing again.
This week we spoke to the Liberal Democrat candidate for Aylesbury, Steven Lambert.
Mr Lambert, 49, grew up in Battersea, South London and has lived in Aylesbury for the past 18 years.
He worked as a project manager for the Post Office for 22 years and gained a degree in Politics and Government as a mature student, aged 35, thereafter entering into local politics, first as a parish councillor in 2004 and ultimately as a county councillor since 2013.
We asked him why he wanted to be the MP for Aylesbury. Mr Lambert replied:
“There's so much to be done that isn't being done. You need someone who knows the heart of the community. Not enough is being done to help people and because I'm a community activist I see it every day. I get angry and I take seriously my responsibilities as an elected member to do something about it and being a member of parliament for Aylesbury is that next step. I can do some real big things for Aylesbury as an MP that I can't do as a councillor.”
On HS2, Mr Lambert said:
“From day one I said I'm against it. For me it's the wrong project to spend all this money on. We do need rail connectivity, no doubt about it, but we need east-west rail. We've got lots of north to south stuff, it's east to west we need to improve and we need to start in the north.”
Referencing his own credentials in opposing the project, he continued:
“I've been to parliament, I've made representations at House of Lords and House of Commons select committees. Every chance I've had I've voted against it.”
With Brexit inevitably set to dominate this election, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Aylesbury said:
“For me Brexit is deeply personal. To have my partner have to register to stay in the UK and having to earn over a certain threshold, I'm sorry, no. A friend of mine on the day we voted to leave came to my house and was sobbing. I saw her a few weeks ago and she's moving back to Poland because she feels unwelcome.”
Mr Lambert told us that while he thinks the EU needs reforming, ultimately we are “stronger together.” He said:
“If we're going to tackle things like climate change, we have to do that together. We have an integrated economy with Europe, and small businesses in Aylesbury are telling me hands down that the cost of doing business, to transfer goods in and out of Europe, will mean some of them may go out of business.”
“That's not Britain excelling, that's Britain going backwards. We're much better off inside the European Union. It needs reforming, but we need to be in the club to reform it.”
Speaking about his own upbringing and the struggles his family experienced, Mr Lambert was insistent that a good start in life is key when we asked him about the issues close to his heart. He said:
“We need to do better for young people. Working so closely in youth concern, I know what young people are going through at the moment and it's not good enough. If we're to raise the bar we need to invest in education and we need to do it right now.”
“The Liberal Democrats will also invest in social housing because if you give somebody a good home, a good start in life, everything else flows from that. You need to be somewhere safe and warm to get a job.
“So for me it's much more than being about Brexit. It's the fundamentals about how Aylesbury as a constituency works - how do we raise the level? I think it's the job of an MP to do that.”
Away from politics, Mr Lambert told us:
“I do some rather strange things! I go rock climbing, which is something I got introduced to last year and I absolutely love it. I go to the gym twice a week, I've got a great PT instructor who puts me through my paces. I read a lot and I'm passionate about family history.”