Mary Macleod Answers Your Questions
Conservative candidate speaks to Chiswickw4.com on national and local issues
Mary Macleod, the Conservative Party candidate in the General Election on June 8th, was MP for Brentford & Isleworth until she lost the 2015 election to Ruth Cadbury by 465 votes, Here she answers a range of questions sent in by readers.
Would you defy a Conservative whip in the House of Commons to vote for a third runway?
I always follow what residents feel and the majority have been against it. If it came to a vote in the House I would vote as residents would wish, which is at the moment against the third runway.
How many times in the Coalition government of 2010-2015 have you voted against the government?
I have not voted against the Government during that time.
What is your view on Theresa May leading a strong and stable government now that Mrs. May is 'flip flopping' over the funding of social care before the ink on the Conservative manifesto has run dry?
I think Theresa May is absolutely a strong and stable leader and will deliver us a really great deal in the negotiations with the other EU countries. And in relation to social care, I'm really pleased when leaders and politicians listen, and where policies need clarity it's really important that we do that. There's been a lot of talk about the general public feeling remote from politicians and disaffected so the sooner we have politicians who do listen and give further clarity the better and that is what's happening now.
How does the next Tory administration plan to reduce immigration to 'tens of thousands' and how will employers find the necessary staff in many sectors if we no longer allow significant numbers of people to come into the country?
The first thing is making sure we take back control on immigration, that we decide on who is coming in and what numbers, whether from the EU or wherever. We need then to look at what skills we need, and in what sectors, and one of the first things we will do as part of the negotiations is decide on the people currently in the country, who are supporting those sectors. That's part of it, but this is a long term plan but the difference is that we can take control and we can decide and choose what to do.
Why should someone who has always voted Tory but is passionate about remaining in the EU vote for you?
I voted Remain in the referendum so I can understand how some people found the last few months difficult but what is really important now is that we look forward, not back. The negotiation we have coming up is the most important piece of our political history in our lifetime and also for future generations, so it's important we have the right person to deliver for Britain. Its about a choice, what we are creating in the EU is a different type of partnership, it's not that we are walking away or that we will never deal with the EU, we are a global player and working in i partnerships with others right around the world will continue. These are people we trade with and need us as much as we need to trade with them. we will still work on so many things together with Nato and the Security Council etc.
The Liberal Democrats have challenged you to disown UKIP's endorsement (UKIP is not standing in B& I to give the Conservative Party a free run), Is there a pact between you and has the Conservative Party adopted the divisive UKIP agenda?
There definitely has not been a pact and I have not adopted the agenda. I am very happy for anyone to stand, it's a democratic process. I will appeal to all voters out there, I want people to think differently this time. It's a different type of election its about who do we want to take us forward over the next five years to shape this country.
What about overcrowding at Gunnersbury Station and the Piccadilly Line stopping at Turnham Green- what can you do to improve these matters?
The Bridge will happen eventually but I will push to make it happen sooner rather than later. On the Piccadilly Line, the plan was to get it to stop when signalling is upgraded, but what they were doing in the meantime was stopping at weekends. But what I will continue to push them on is on why they cannot stop at non-peak times. It is frustrating and ideally we need to get public using public transport and out of their cars.
What about the proposed cuts to school funding? Head teachers have said it will lead to bigger classes, fewer teachers and it could be detrimental to schools in our borough which are generally good.
We are in our Manifesto pledging an extra £4million into education. If you look at the borough, the Council said recently that in overall funding they get extra £500,000 on their school budget. They ( schools) haven't lost out and our manifesto shows they won't lose out. We have 96 per cent of schools in our constituency rated either Good or Outstanding. It's important for schools that we continue to get that investment and we are doing that.
By protecting the first £100,000 of a person's assets from the cost of social care, isn't your party basically saying that Londoners will bear most of the cost of looking after the elderly in future?
London is a special case on this because of the housing cost. In terms of the issue with social care - I'm glad there is a consultation because I want to talk to government about the needs of London - it's a big issue, we are all living longer,there are needs like dementia care etc. It's important we make the care available, but it's how you do that. It's very brave of the party to do this in the Manifesto, but as part of the consultation I would be listening to residents and feeding it to the consultation, and that hopefully would influence the decision.
If Scotland gains independence will you carry a Scottish or English passport?
I was born in London and lived most of my life in London. I'm British but I'm primarily a Londoner. And I don't think Scotland will go independent.
Is the end of passporting for the City of London a price worth paying to leave the EU?
I've been to talk to the banks to understand their priorities on Brexit. It's interesting as businesses are focused on working to alleviate problems there might be and look for the opportunities that Brexit allows. They are very pragmatic about finding solutions. I absolutely believe in the City of London which I think will continue to be the best there is. I don't think it will be affected and banks and the financial sector are already putting plans in place so they can still function. They will find a solution around it.
Do you support the ending of the ban on fox hunting?
I said quite clearly that I am supportive of choice and as much as I have never gone fox hunting I would rather people get the choice to do it. I don't like living in a state where people are dictated to and therefore I would support a vote to lift the ban.
Real wages are lower now than when the Conservatives gained power in 2010 and look set to decline further as inflation rises due to a weak currency. Should ordinary working people brace themselves for more of the same?
I think if you look at how the economy has performed over the last ten years, it's been quite strong. In 2010 we had just come through a crash and Labour had left nothing for the government to spend and we had to have a tough regime with a long term economic plan to try to control that spending and get things back under control. There is, if you look now at the forecast, even though we've had the referendum and major change, we still have a reasonable growth forecast. Unemployment came down 38% locally when I was in Parliament, so lots of things show a vibrant economy.
Will you object to the Mayor's ULEZ (Ultra Low Emission Zone) scheme if , as planned it divides the constituency in half?
Lots of people are concerned about air pollution, we are lucky that we have lots of green space here in this borough and I would push for more trees. But we have the airport and part of my worry is about the expansion of Heathrow and the extra pollution that brings. I feel part of that is that we need really strict conditions over Heathrow. I've a major concern about congestion on the A4 for example. One of the things I'm going to look at is should there be a tunnel under Chiswick where we can take away some of the emissions, try and see whatever we can do.
ChiswickW4.com is holding series of question and answer sessions with the three candidates in the Brentford & Isleworth constituency. Next week it is the turn of Ruth Cadbury and we have previous interviewed the Liberal Democrat Joe Bourke.
Please send your questions to email@example.com. You will need to be registered on the site and resident or working in the Brentford and Isleworth constituency. We won't be asking questions on matters normally the preserve of the local Council including planning matters and recycling arrangements.
We probably won't be able to ask more than 12-15 questions and will pick what we feel is the best one on each topic.
May 29, 2017