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Lovelace By-election – Candidate Interview – David Sheppard UKIP

Published on: 30 Aug, 2014
Updated on: 6 Sep, 2014
David Sheppard, UKIP's candidate in the forthcoming Lovelace by-election.

David Sheppard, UKIP’s candidate in the forthcoming Lovelace by-election.

Perhaps still flushed with the success of the European election and the recent coup of persuading a Tory MP to resign his seat and stand as their candidate in the resulting by-election, UKIP are also fielding a candidate in the Lovelace Guildford Borough Council by-election to be held on Thursday September 25th.

David Sheppard was interviewed by Martin Giles

Tell me something of your background.

I was born in Richmond Surrey, my parents moved down to Guildford in 1955, and for the last 35 years, I have been a resident of Merrow. I attended St. Peter’s School there.

An ex-serviceman, I am 61 years of age. My working life revolved around the oil exploration industry. Between 2005 and 2012, I cared for my Mother who lived with me in Merrow. She passed away in 2012 at the age of 100. I am now semi-retired and have two older brothers.

What has made you decide to stand in the Lovelace by-election?

To promote the democratic process for those increasing numbers of voters in Surrey who want to voice their concerns on how our country is being governed, across a wide spectrum of local and national issues. It’s clear from recent local and European elections that we are the fourth force in British politics, so our presence on the ballot sheet is completely logical; many in the ward want to cast their vote in our favour, and that opportunity should be afforded them.

Why are you standing as a UKIP candidate? How long have you been a UKIP party supporter?

I joined the party in May 2012, and quickly became involved in grass route activities for my branch; I am currently serving on the committee for the Guildford Branch of UKIP. Standing for local office on behalf of the party allows me to engage with local issues and interact with the electorate.

David Sheppard 1 250

David Sheppard in Ripley, which together with Wisley and Ockham forms the Lovelace Ward.

Isn’t UKIP primarily concerned with EU membership? Why does your party put up candidates in local elections?

UKIP has for many years established its political platform around our membership of the EU, but since 2010 the electorate have started to appreciate that what happens on the European stage does have a significant effect at local level. By posting candidates in local elections we are able to engage with this new realisation, and represent the concerns of our members and the wider community.

Given that any Local Plan has to be approved by a planning inspector how much control does the borough council really have?

The Borough has considerable control but clearly not absolute power. Constitutionally all council groups have to take local concerns and objections unto account, and decisions would also be subject to appeal. UKIP councillors are not whipped into agreeing and voting along party lines  but vote for what they feel is right for their constituents.

How many new homes/houses do you think the borough can tolerate over the next 15 years and where should they go? Should any green belt be relinquished?

There has clearly been an increase from the previous house building estimates. The reasons for this are unqualified, but green belt areas should not be sacrificed for inward migration from other areas.

The figure of 652 houses a year, over the next 20 years has to be recalculated in line with specific housing needs for the county, and not just bland chunks of development that fits in as many units as the site allows. If we want to protect the green belt we need to develop opportunities that higher density building could deliver in Guildford Town centre. We need to give more incentives for developers to build on brown field sites.

The green belt has already been relinquished. New green belt home building has increased dramatically under the coalition government, an increase of 148 per cent over the five year period, despite the fact that development on the green belt being allowed only in “exceptional circumstances”.

What are the main infrastructure challenges we face and what solutions do you think should be considered?

Time and time again the infrastructure to support new developments falls short of expectations and often takes second place to the physical bricks and mortar. Access and exit points are of the utmost importance for the proposed developments in and around the Lovelace ward.

The area in saddled between the main A3, with routes towards London and the south; the villages that abut these new developments will not take chocking streams of vehicles wending their way through these small villages on their journeys, specifically towards the south. Other effects to the history, heritage and wildlife of the area are of prime concern and must be taken into consideration.

More detailed work needs to be undertaken to identify the enormous additional infrastructure costs that would arise to accommodate the areas of special protection.

Why should Lovelace voters vote for you?

Millions of people have voted for UKIP in recent elections, we now have councillors all over the country, taking responsibility in local government, saving taxpayer’s money, rolling up their sleeves, and successfully working towards serving the people.

I will continue this process by putting community first rather than party politics, I will serve the community not just spend their money. I believe local councils should be more directly responsible to local people, and less in thrall to local government.

A list of all the candidates standing in the Lovelace by election, which will take place on Thursday, September 25th, can be found in the article: It’s Officially a Four-horse Race For the Lovelace By-election.

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