Broxtowe candidates tackle your local issues

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With less than two weeks to go until the election, we put some of your most important issues, provided by online readers, to local parliamentary candidates to see what they intend to do about them – here is a cross section of the responses we received from the Broxtowe candidates who responded.

One key issue was plans to remove greenbelt protection while the area is spread with derelict buildings and land ripe for redevelopment.

Nick Palmer, Labour, said: “I think it’s crucial that we give this priority.

“Not only do we have limited green space, but derelict land deteriorates and drags the neighbourhood down.

“I hope to see VAT removed from refurbishment of existing buildings - it’s a bizarre paradox that it’s charged on this but not on new construction.”

David Kirwan, Green, said: “There are many brownfield sites that are often overlooked by developers as the costs involved in preparing the land for development are higher than greenbelt.

“We will not allow unnecessary development of our green spaces and will tighten regulations to ensure that the green belt is protected for future generations.”

Stan Heptinstall, Liberal Democrat, said: “There is currently a consultation on new hard boundaries for greenbelt.

“I believe that once any new boundaries have been agreed, that it should be very difficult indeed to get planning permission for any development within the greenbelt.”

Anna Soubry, Conservative, said: “It’s absolutely right that we’ve got brownfield land often lying in a poor condition. It’s a crying shame that instead of making that the number one priority, LibDem and Labour-controlled Broxtowe have made greenbelt a priority.

“I’ve worked with Greasley and Nuthall parish councils and fought hand in glove and we’ve seen off the developers and it’s most unfortunate that Kimberley isn’t protecting their greenbelt and working on a neighbourhood plan.”

One reader was concerned that the visible presence of PCSOs on the beat has not done enough to quash anti-social behaviour.

Stan Heptinstall: “It is very worrying that numbers of police and PCSOs are decreasing as people leave the service and they are not replaced. This is purely down to money - it is not there.

“I believe our police should be fully funded to provide the deterrents that are needed.

“If we need to do so we should cut somewhere else.”

Anna Soubry: “Anti-social behaviour is usually low level criminal behaviour and has been taken seriously and dealt with, and crime rates have really improved in the last five years.

“We’ve reduced the number of money going into the Home Office but actually crime has fallen.”

Nick Palmer: “Labour will safeguard frontline policing by saving money through abolishing police commissioners - introduced by Tories and LibDems but widely seen as pointless - as well as removing the subsidy of gun licences and developing sharing of administrative resources.”

David Kirwan: “PCSOs do an excellent job but we need a far wider view to tackle anti-social behaviour.

“Sixty per cent of offenders have no qualifications and over 70 per cent have one or more mental health disorders. Drugs and alcohol also play a huge part.

“The Green Party will tackle these factors as a way to prevent anti-social behaviour.

“We will reverse the creeping privatisation of the police service and abolish police commissioners and return the police to local authority control.”