Friday 12 July 2024
16.7 C

General Election: What are Rushcliffe’s candidates standing for?

Rushcliffe is facing its closest race in decades after previously being regarded as a solidly Conservative seat.

The south Nottinghamshire constituency was represented for nearly 40 years by Tory Ken Clarke, who served as Chancellor and Home Secretary during his long government career.

It was the only seat in Nottinghamshire to vote Remain in the 2016 EU referendum.

Ken Clarke won in Rushcliffe a total of 13 times, becoming the Father of the House – an unofficial title for the longest-serving MP.

He was suspended as a Conservative in 2019 after rebelling against Boris Johnson over Brexit legislation.

- Advertisement -

He chose not to stand again as an Independent, and Ruth Edwards was chosen as the new Conservative candidate.

During Boris Johnson’s Tory landslide that year, she won with a majority of 7,643 votes, around 400 less than Ken Clarke’s at the previous election.

As the country goes to the polls on July 4, pollsters predict that the ‘safe seat’ might not be as safe as years gone by – assessments seemingly supported by Rushcliffe narrowly voting overall for first Labour East Midlands Mayor Claire Ward when the post was created in a May regional vote.

Results in 2019 – Conservative HOLD – Ruth Edwards

  • 2019


    • Billin, Jason (Lib Deb) – 9,600
    • Edwards, Ruth (Con) – 28,765 Elected
    • Faithfull, Matthew (UKIP) – 591
    • Kirby, John (Ind) – 427
    • Pidgeon, Cheryl (Lab) – 21,122

Questioning the candidates

Ruth Edwards – Conservative

Why should people vote for you?

I hope that over the last four years, I’ve shown that I can fight Rushcliffe’s corner and get things done. I’ve secured millions of pounds in investment for new healthcare facilities, like the Community Diagnostic facility that’s opening in Nottingham next year with 100,000 extra appointments.

Screenshot 2024 06 25 at 10.41.59
Ruth Edwards

We secured investment for hundreds of thousands of new school places for local children. We’ve also had big investments in our water and sewerage infrastructure to clean up the water and guard against flooding.

But also because I can be Rushcliffe’s voice in Parliament. If Keir Starmer forms the next government, I will hold him to account.

What are the most important issues in Rushcliffe?

One of the main issues that people talk to me about is the economy. We’ve been in a very difficult patch over the last few years. We’ve prioritised getting inflation down, which was over 11 per cent and is now back to normal. Wages are rising and the economy is growing, so I hope people start to feel the benefits soon.

Another really big issue is over-development. Rushcliffe has had a huge strain on our public services and infrastructure.

What does Rushcliffe most have going for it?

It has beautiful countryside, the Grantham canal, wonderful villages and a vibrant town centre in West Bridgford. There are wonderful communities and great local businesses. It’s a fantastic, really unique place to live. It’s been my honour to represent it in Parliament for the last four years.

Lynn Irving – Independent

Why should people vote for you?

I’m not a party politician – they’ve not served us well.  You can’t solve a problem with the same thinking that created it. The parties have taken it in turns to mess up the country. All of the parties have a corporate structure and corporate interests – my only interest is getting this country back on the road.

What are the most important issues in Rushcliffe?

Most people would say the cost of living is too high. 600 families in Rushcliffe alone are going to Citizen’s Advice because of debt. This is a wealthy, above-average area where poverty is creeping in.

The state of the roads and the insensitive development of the area also crop up. Developers seem to want to make Cotgrave and Gamston into one huge conurbation which we don’t want or need. Looking around Rushcliffe, we find a lot of houses that aren’t selling, which I haven’t known here for a long time.

20240627 104409 scaled

We don’t need this insensitive development, and the council just bleats on about Government targets. They’re supposed to cushion us – tell Westminster to have another think.

What does Rushcliffe most have going for it?

It’s got lots of great communities and a slightly gritty type of person who doesn’t stand any nonsense. We have a lovely mix of rural and the West Bridgford and Cotgrave areas. Rushcliffe doesn’t rush to join the latest trends and doesn’t jump on silly new fads. We’re a little old fashioned – we’re not London!

Richard Mallender – Green

Why should people vote for you?

We can offer the best policies for Rushcliffe and the country as a whole. We’ve been led up the garden path by the Tories over the last few years – it’s a shambles. We think Labour have got some decent ideas but they’re just not ambitious enough. Whether it’s social care or climate change, we think that our policies are better and we need some Green MPs in Parliament.

Green scaled

What are the most important issues in Rushcliffe?

The biggest concern is the state of social care. We’ve got an ageing population in the borough and people are concerned that their loved ones won’t be looked after properly, or there won’t be the right healthcare if they have to go into hospital, or to thrive at home in the community.

What does Rushcliffe most have going for it?

It’s beautiful – it’s a lovely place to live with so many welcoming people. It has a lovely environment, which we want to help protect and preserve.

James Naish – Labour

Why should people vote for you?

It’s been a long time that we’ve had the current Conservative government – for a lot of people, things aren’t working as well as they should be. They’re looking for a government which will do things differently. That’s what Labour promises in terms of stability, using strong fiscal rule, emphasising the importance of neighbourhoods, emphasising social care through a National Care Service, and setting up Great British Energy to build our own green infrastructure.

0 1 2
James Naish – Labour candidate for Rushcliffe

Labour is providing a lot of answers to the big structural issues we’re facing as a country.

What are the most important issues in Rushcliffe?

There are macro factors like the environment and the sewage crisis. A lot of people are looking for the next government to be strong on the environment. Labour has talked about planting millions of trees, expanding nature-rich habitats and reducing our waste through a more circular economy.

Locally, there are issues around the amount of new housing which is putting pressure on infrastructure. There is also are broader questions about whether it’s meeting local need. 38 per cent of homes built in Rushcliffe since 2011 are four-bed or more. We need to look again at the mix of housing and make sure it’s the right type for the people of Rushcliffe – not just those moving from further afield. I would work closely with the district council on that agenda to ensure Rushcliffe is building what’s necessary in the right way.

What does Rushcliffe most have going for it?

The thing I am most excited about is Ratcliffe-on-Soar. I’ve got West Burton Power Station in Bassetlaw, where I’m council leader, and we’ve managed to secure a multi-billion-pound prototype fusion energy plant. It will be transformational for the area, creating thousands of good-quality jobs.

Given the green agenda, we can use former power stations to do some really innovative things. We’ve got great universities on the doorstep and excellent connections at East Midlands parkway and the M1. It’s a really important site which will be crucial to Rushcliffe’s future.

Greg Webb – Liberal Democrat

Why should people vote for you?

People should vote for me because they want to see strong communities, great local services, guarantees they will get the NHS health when they need it. They want help with the cost of living and an end to the scandal of sewage polluting our rivers and coastlines. They want warmer homes, cheaper renewable energy and fixing our crumbling schools. They want to see support for children’s mental health, and to tackle the court backlog that the Conservatives have left us with. They want a restoration of community policing and increase trade with our closest partners.

Screenshot 2024 06 27 163115

People keep telling me they’re fed up with the Conservative scandal and failure to deliver on promises, but they don’t trust Labour to deliver real progress. I’m an experienced campaigner who knows how to deliver for local communities. If elected, I will work hard for all of Rushcliffe to strength communities and help us all vote together.

What are the most important issues in Rushcliffe?

A lot of people have been talking about how Rushcliffe has been growing, and how it’s let down on all sides at the moment. We need local development to build communities that are fit for the future, but the two local Conservative councils and the Labour council in Nottingham are pushing new developments in that only helps builders without joined-up local thinking. Local services aren’t keeping up.

I’m hearing reports of people having to travel ridiculous distances each day to take kids to school because they just can’t get in locally. Local GPs and dentists don’t have time or appointments. People are also fed up with dodgy potholes on our badly-maintained public roads, and they don’t have transport links to be an alternative to cars.

Labour and Conservative need to recognise we need more than expensive executive homes – we need communities that are fit for everyone, not just dormitory villages.

What does Rushcliffe most have going for it?

Rushcliffe is a lovely, diverse area that we all enjoy. There’s a huge range of communities – West Bridgford, with all the Nottingham amenities right on its doorstep, and countless rural villages. It’s a great place to live or visit, whether you’re going to Rushcliffe Country Park or the sport stadiums.

I want to make sure that it will continue to be a great place for all generations by protecting the character of local communities. We must make sure it’s safe for the next generation, and not force people to move out for the next stage of their lives.

Reform candidate James Grice and Independent candidate Harbant Kaur Sehra did not attend the interview or provide written answers to questions.

•  General Election: Full list of all candidates standing in Nottinghamshire

•  Election: When will you know your Nottinghamshire constituency results?

Follow The Wire on TikTok, Facebook, X, Instagram. Send your story to or via WhatsApp on 0115 772 0418