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.
Today, this paper spoke to the Green Party candidate for Aylesbury, Coral Simpson.
Ms Simpson, 36, is a single mother who was born in Scotland but moved to Buckinghamshire in early childhood and now lives in Aston Clinton.
She has a degree in working with children and young people from Bucks New University and currently works with children with learning disabilities and autism. She also runs a theatre company and a mindfulness and wellbeing group.
We asked Ms Simpson why she decided to run for the MP in Aylesbury. She explained:
“I think parliament needs some more green voices. I've been in this area all of my life and we're so lucky to live in such a beautiful place - The Chilterns is an area of outstanding natural beauty - and it just makes me feel really sad that if we don't work hard to protect our environment and our future we could start losing it.”
Regarding HS2, the Green Party candidate said:
"As Greens we're pro public transport, however I'm not convinced that HS2 is the answer to public transport issues. I know there's talk of being able to move freight quicker but for the money that it's costing I'm not convinced it's worth the decimation of ancient woodlands, burial grounds and disrupting communities."
"It's gone so far over budget and that money could be better spent elsewhere."
Brexit has changed the way many people plan to vote in the upcoming election, with party loyalties being upended and the issue of EU membership instead taking priority. Ms Simpson told us:
“I'm a staunch remainer, I always have been. I think now, three and a half years down the line, we're no closer to anything. I can't see the benefit of it. No one's managed to give me a well reasoned argument as to why it is a benefit to the country. The EU is not perfect but I think it's better to remain and reform than it is to separate. Protectionism is not the way to go right now. We've just been given 12 years to tackle climate change and we can do that better as a team on a global stage. So I would campaign for a People's Vote.”
We asked Ms Simpson what other issues she thinks are particularly important for Aylesbury and the country. She said:
“I don't think there is any bigger issue than the climate crisis. One of the reasons Brexit infuriates me is because for the last three and a half years we've been arguing about Brexit when we should have been trying to figure out how we're going to solve the climate crisis. We can't reverse what we've done but what we can do is damage control - it's for our kids!”
“Another big issue for me is the NHS. I worry greatly that it's not going to survive. It's chronically under-funded and chronically under-staffed and the vulnerable, the sick and the needy they are the ones who are suffering the most.”
Finally, we asked Ms Simpson what she likes to do away from politics. She said:
“I'm a keen musician, I sing and I'm a girl-guider. I run a rainbow's group in my local village so that's really fun. I also like being outside so I spend a lot of time camping in the summer and going to festivals.”