West Berkshire councillor standing in Chesham and Amersham by-election
A WEST Berkshire councillor will be standing for parliament in a by-election next Thursday.
Carolyne Culver (Green, Ridgeway) has been chosen as the Green candidate for the Chesham and Amersham by-election, which was called following the death of Tory MP Dame Cheryl Gillan on April 4.
Dame Cheryl had served as MP for the southeast Buckinghamshire constituency since 1992.
Ms Culver, who is the Green group leader on the district council, was chosen to stand for the party after being selected with 96 per cent of the vote by Chiltern Green Party on May 4.
At the heart of Ms Culver’s campaign for election is her stance against HS2, which will cut through swathes of the constituency’s countryside.
Ms Culver, who has long being involved in the protests to stop Jones Hill Wood and the Leather Lane oaks from being cut down, said she’d had a “really positive response” from people while canvassing.
She said: “People are against HS2 for a number of reasons.
“The environment, the fact people haven’t been compensated, the traffic, the threat to the water supply, that it’s a waste of money – we’re spending something like £109bn on this.
“And the thing with this constituency is the line will plough right through the heart of it from one side to the other, and there won’t be a stop.
“So the people who are here and will suffer this devastation won’t actually use the train line, so they gain absolutely nothing.
“Meanwhile the bus service around here is bad.
“It’s very hilly, and Chesham and Amersham are like spiders with roads going off in all directions into the hills, and there’s no decent bus service connecting the constituency.
“The roads are full of potholes.
“So the locals are pretty despondent – all this money is being spent on this project, and meanwhile their local needs aren’t being met.”
Ms Culver said that if elected, she would make it clear in the House of Commons that the people in the constituency were against HS2 – and would look for reassurance there wasn’t going to be a problem with the water supply.
Contractors for HS2 will be tunnelling through a chalk aquifer, raising concerns it’ll affect the water supply and require locals to get treated water from elsewhere.
Ms Culver added: “I would say to the Government you need to look after the people of Chesham and Amersham, rather than take them for granted.”
Ms Culver will be up against Peter Fleet (Con), Natasa Pantelic (Lab), Sarah Green (Lib Dem), Brendan Donnelly (Rejoin EU), Carla Gregory (Breakthrough Party), Adrian Oliver (Freedom Alliance) and Alex Wilson (Reform UK).