The country goes to the polls on Thursday 12th December and in Hornchurch and Upminster there is a candidate who has never stood in a General Election before.
So who is he and why should you vote for him?
1 Thomas Lives In Hornchurch
Thomas has lived on Ardleigh Green Road almost his entire life –growing up 15 doors down from where he now resides with his wife and son. This is very different to the current MP for Hornchurch and Upminster who has never lived in the area or indeed Havering.
Thomas at his beloved Harold Wood Cricket Club in Harold Wood Park
2 Thomas Is Chairman of Harold Wood Cricket Club
Thomas already plays a big part in the community being the chairman of Harold Wood Cricket Club as well as being a player and a coach at the club based in Harold Wood Park.
Through his work at the club he has raised thousands of pounds for the Harold Wood Warriors – the physical and learning disabilities section of the club via sponsored walks, runs and challenges – this has allowed the Warriors to have free cricket, coaching, equipment and shirts.
Thomas recently completed the Royal Parks Half Marathon raising money for disabled cricketers
3 Thomas Joined The Liberal Democrats in 2016
Thomas is a relatively new recruit to the party, joining after the EU Referendum in 2016. He has quickly moved up through the ranks of the local party to now be a candidate. He is also the Membership Development officer of the local party.
4 Thomas Cares About Helping With Local Issues
Thomas wants to make a difference in the area – he is not a career politician he is just a local resident wanting to make a difference.
He is especially concerned with the devastating rise of knife crime in the area. As well as wanting the residents to have their voices heard over the continued delays to Crossrail.
Only 72.9% of patients arriving at A&E in Havering were treated or admitted within four hours in October 2019, according to damning figures published today by NHS England.
This means that one in four patients were left waiting for over four hours to be seen, this is well below the official target of 95% of patients attending A&E being admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours.
Nationally, the 95% waiting target hasn’t been met since July 2015. Only 83.6% of patients arriving at A&E across England were treated or admitted in four hours in October, the worst-ever performance since a target was introduced in 2004.
Liberal Democrat candidate for Hornchurch and Upminster Thomas Clarkesaid:
“It is shameful that patients in Havering are being abandoned, be it waiting for hours for treatment in A&E or for months in pain for routine operations.
“I feel terribly about the pressures that the incredibly hard-working, under-paid and under resourced staff are under
“These figures reveal the Conservatives’ dismal record on the NHS. For the past four years the Tories have utterly failed to invest properly in our health service, leaving local hospitals underfunded, overstretched and understaffed.
“Their extreme Brexit would make a dismal situation worse by driving away the EU nurses the NHS desperately needs.
“The Liberal Democrats will stop Brexit and build a brighter future. We will invest an extra £35 billion in our NHS through a penny on income tax and develop a national recruitment strategy to ensure we never again suffer shortages of nurses, doctors and other health professionals.”
The Liberal Democrats has announced they would more than double spending on youth services in Havering to £3.7 million to help tackle rising levels of knife crime.
This would form part of a total ring-fenced fund of £500 million for Local Authorities across England to spend on youth services, providing young people with positive, safe and healthy alternatives to gangs.
Under the Conservatives, council spending on youth services has been cut by £300 million – or 40 per cent – since 2015.
Knife crime has risen by 80% over the same period, with a record high of 47,500 offences recorded in the year to June 2019.
Research has also found the areas with the biggest cuts to youth services have seen some of the biggest increases in knife crime.
The Liberal Democrats would also take a public health approach to tackling youth violence, modelled on the successful approach taken by Scotland’s Violence Reduction Unit.
This would involve identifying risk factors and treating them early on, with youth workers, police, teachers, health professionals and social services all working closely together to prevent young people falling into gangs and violence.
Thomas Clarke Liberal Democrats candidate for Hornchurch and Upminster commented:
“Too many people in Havering feel unsafe walking down their own streets.
“But for years, Conservative and Labour Governments have been competing to appear tough on crime, without doing enough to actually prevent it.
“Liberal Democrats will build a brighter future for young people by doubling spending on youth services to £3.7 million a year in Havering.
“With a Liberal Democrat government, young people will have the support and opportunities they deserve, our local communities will be stronger and people here will feel safer.”
Thomas Clarke with Liberal Democrats Leader Jo Swinson
Thomas Clarke lives with his young family in Hornchurch where he works as senior content editor for Golf Monthly magazine.
Thomas attended King Edward VI Grammar
School in Chelmsford and went on to read Film and Television Studies at Brunel
University in West London.
Thomas has been a volunteer in the local community
since a teenager where he is now chairman of Harold Wood Cricket Club and on
the management committees of both the Essex Cricket League and Essex Sunday Cricket
Thomas has a keen interest in the green
spaces and wildlife in London understanding how vital a role these areas have
on the local community.
Thomas has lived in Hornchurch for the vast majority of his life – living just a few doors down from his family home – he is in the unique position of knowing about the concerns of those in the area as he has lived and breathed alongside the people who will be voting for him for decades.
Whether it is the continued commuter frustrations about the delays and issues to rail and road. Or the cuts to our NHS services meaning that getting appointments can be tricky and the pressure on the fantastic staff can be enormous.
Or whether it is the attack on our high
streets and the scrapping of free car parking which effects local businesses
and shoppers alike – Thomas knows the issues concerning the people in his
He is also very passionate about our younger generations and is determined to make our streets safer and better policed.
Thomas became a member of the party following the EU Referendum of June 2016 – he is now the Havering Liberal Democrats Membership Development Officer and is very keen to represent the area that he knows so well and feels so passionate about.
Ian Sanderson is a retired Engineer and Lecturer. Born in Northern Ireland, he gained a degree in Physics at Queens University, Belfast.
He is married to Barbara. They have two children, Don, who tragically died in 1999 and Fiona. They have three granddaughters. Ian and Barbara moved to Romford in 1965 and have lived in Havering ever since.
Ian is a qualified Chartered Engineer and worked for the BBC in London, leading numerous Engineering Projects. While at the BBC he also gained another degree, and went on to become an Associate Lecturer for the Open University, teaching courses in Computer Science.
Ian joined the Liberal Democrats in 1989 and has been campaigning in Havering since 1994, being a candidate for Havering council on many occasions. He was Liberal Democrat candidate for Romford in 2015 and 2017, and for Havering and Redbridge in the 2016 Greater London Authority elections.
In his spare time, he has worked as a School Governor for twenty years and been active for even longer in the Scouting Movement in Hornchurch.
Ian says: ‘I’ve lived most of my life in
Havering and shared the experiences of local people. My children went to state
schools here and then went on to university. I commuted by rail into London for
decades. Romford is my local town’.
On Brexit, Ian says: ‘We live by trading with the rest of Europe and co-operating with other EU countries in culture and technology; I have personal experience of working on the Continent and visiting family members there.
As individuals and as a country we would lose much by leaving the EU. Throughout three and a half years, Tory governments have struggled to find a Brexit as good as Remaining.
Let’s call a halt to this wasteful and futile effort. Stay in the EU!’
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