2015 Election Bath wrap-up: ‘home grown’ candidates, housing and a politician in XL

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Candidate face questions over Bath housing shortages

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Candidates unanimously agreed more housing was needed in Bath

In an interview with the Bath Chronicle, candidates all agreed that there was a shortage of housing in Bath which had forced prices up, causing less graduates to remain or move into Bath. Both Ollie Middleton (Labour) and Steve Bradley (Lib Dem) supported ‘purpose built’ student accommodation (similar to halls), with the latter reinforcing support for the controversial Article 4, a piece of legislation which limits the number of student housing in one area. All candidates called for more ‘affordable housing’, as well as the belief this should be built on brownfield sites.

Concern over lack of ‘home grown’ candidates

The conversation has continued over the decision to select two ‘non-local’ candidates for the Bath seat, with both Steve Bradley (Lib Dem) and Ben Howlett (Cons.) neither born or raised in the city. The decision to select Mr Bradley, who previously went to the University of Bath, was done democratically, but it has been suggested his nomination led former-Lib Dem candidate Lorraine Morgan-Brinkhurst to run as an independent in May’s election. Mr Bradley, who served as Students’ Union president before starting a business as an environmental consultant, before serving as a Councillor in Lambeth. Meanwhile, it has been suggested that Mr Howlett was “bankrolled by central office, and not local in any way”, although his website suggests he has lived here for six years.

Julian Deverell (UKIP), Ollie Middleton (Labour), Dominic Tristram (Green) and Lorraine Morgan-Brinkhurst (Independent) were all born in Bath.

Bath Uni poll suggests Green-Tory split

In a poll conducted by bathimpact, the Greens came out on top securing 26% of the vote, however the Conservatives were close behind with 23%. Meanwhile, Labour and Liberal Democrats saw their vote amongst students collapse with 16% and 6% alike. Interestingly, the undecided marked another quarter of the vote. The majority of students also stated the economy was the most important issues and that policies are the way most determined their vote.

You can read more about the poll results here.

Green candidate faces easy crowd at Bath Uni

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Green candidate for Bath, Dominic Tristram

In the second candidate hustings, Dominic Tristram represented the Greens in a PowerPoint heavy debate on a number of student issues. Unlike UKIP candidate Julian Deverell, Mr Tristram was playing for a ‘home crowd’, with students responding well to his ideas. Questions, however, were raised over the economic feasibility of his plans.

You can read the full review of the Green candidates performance here. Next week, Labour’s candidate Ollie Middleton will face the student body.

Tory candidate spotted at XL?

A number of sources have stated that Conservative candidate Ben Howlett was recently spotted in Bath nightclub XL. He was supposedly spotted at the early hours announcing his candidacy to other revellers.

If anyone has any photos or information about this, please contact us.

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About Author

Benjamin is the former Deputy Editor-in-Chief of bathimpact and covers stories on University of Bath, University of Bath Students’ Union, Bath politics and student issues

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