Page last updated at 08:56 GMT, Sunday, 18 April 2010 09:56 UK

Gosport candidates outline difference they would make

The defence industry is a large employer in Gosport

The parliamentary candidates for Gosport constituency in Hampshire have outlined what difference they would make for the town if they are elected.

Caroline Dinenage, Conservatives, said she would be able to "get things done quickly and properly".

Graham Giles, Labour, said he wanted to fight for issues local residents had told him they wanted to get sorted.

Robert Hylands, Liberal Democrats, said he would fight for a "better deal" for the people of Gosport.

Navy links

Ms Dinenage added: "I just think we need more real people in politics. I've had a business since I was 19, I married someone in the Navy, I've got kids.

"I've not just got the local connection - my family have lived in this area for six generations and I've lived within 10 miles of this high street all my life.

"But I just think we also need people who've got the business acumen and the political knowledge to be able to get in there and actually get things done - to stand up for Gosport but to do it with the background and knowledge to get things done quickly and properly."

Mr Giles said: "I think it makes a difference living this side of the A32 and so during the last year I visited every single street, in fact I put residents' surveys through every single door, and this has really informed me about what my neighbours think of their priorities.

"So we've got a message, we've got a vision and we've got a direction for Gosport.

"Of course, our defence industry is the huge and most important part of our next 20 to 30 years of planning, and with Vector Aerospace and the two new aircraft carriers we feel we've got a wonderful future."

Mr Hylands added: "I'm a local man, I was born in Gosport and I've lived in Gosport all of my life.

"I'm going to go to parliament to fight for Gosport, to fight for a better deal for Gosport, fight for a better deal for our pensioners, to fight for a better deal for our servicemen and a better deal for the ordinary, every day working man of Gosport."

Jobs needed

Bob Shaw, from the English Democrats, said: "I've lived in Gosport for the last 40 years, I'm ex-Navy, I work for a military contractor and for Gosport, it's jobs that's the main thing - we need jobs in the peninsula, not outside."

Claire Smith, from the Green Party, said: "Jobs are the key focus for this election and I've got a lot of ideas about different industries that we could get established here, but the most important thing is to get all the parties pulling together to build a better Gosport and to stop in-fighting."

Andrew Rice, from the UK Independence Party, said: "I moved down here about 18 months ago and I'm restoring an old boat down here and I've watched company after company fail. We need to support our local businesses and that's the difference we need to make in Gosport."

Dave Smith, independent candidate, said: "My aims for my town are obviously employment, infrastructure, seeing through the marina complex that's been planned for Lee-on-Solent, continuing to work with Portsmouth Football Club to bring the training ground facilities to Gosport, which has the use for schools and the community."

Barry Bennett, British National Party candidate, has been unavailable for comment.

The Gosport seat has been held by Conservative Sir Peter Viggers since it was created in 1974 but he is stepping down following the expenses scandal.

In the 2005 election he held on to the seat with nearly 20,000 votes, a lead of 5,730 ahead of Labour. The Lib Dems came third with just over 7,000 votes.

Sir Peter, 71, was forced to resign by Tory leader David Cameron after his expenses claims were published by the Daily Telegraph and found to include £1,645 for a duck island.

The candidates standing in Gosport constituency so far are: Labour: Graham Giles; Conservatives: Caroline Dinenage; Lib Dems: Robert Hylands; Green Party: Andrea Claire Smith; independant: Dave Smith; English Democrats: Bob Shaw; British National Party: Barry Bennett; UK Independence Party: Andrew Rice

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