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Your candidates, your vote

PUBLISHED: 14:11 08 April 2010 | UPDATED: 11:37 23 August 2010

LABOUR: Kathryn Smith.

LABOUR: Kathryn Smith.

DO you know your parliamentary candidates and what they think about your borough? Reporter Nick Hitchens gives the low-down on the five candidates vying for your all important vote on May 6, except for the Conservative MP Adam Holloway who failed to respo

DO you know your parliamentary candidates and what they think about your borough? Reporter Nick Hitchens gives the low-down on the five candidates vying for your all important vote on May 6, except for the Conservative MP Adam Holloway who failed to respond to our questions.

Our questions

1) Who are you?

2) Where do you live now?

3) What is your job, if any?

4) Are you married, single and do you have any children?

5) What is your favourite thing about Gravesend?

6) What would be the one thing you would like to change about Gravesend?

7) When and why did you become involved in politics?

8) Who inspires you?

9) What is the one thing you would change in the UK?

10) Why should the voters elect you?

Anna Arrowsmith

I am the Party Political Candidate for the Liberal Democrats. I'm 38, was born in Bromley and my father's side of the family are from Greenhithe

2) Groombridge, near Tunbridge Wells.

3) Managing director of production companies Easy on the Eye Productions and Endurance Media.

4) I am married and have no children.

5) The people are very welcoming.

6) Give our young people something to do, as well as encourage enterprise from outside, especially from the creative and green industries, utilising the train links from London.

7)) Fourteen months ago, although my 12-year career so far has been a practical fight for women's rights, so is political in a sense.

8) Anybody who juggles children with a full time job. But, if I had to choose one person, I guess it would be Simone de Beauvoir, the grandmother of feminism.

9) Give young people, specifically those aged 11 to 20, something to do with their spare time and get them involved in society. This would help them with their futures but also cut crime and unemployment.

10) Because I am not a professional politician, I am a member of the public who was outraged by the expenses scandal and by the lack of women in Parliament. I have a proven history of achieving change and of reaching goals therefore I will get things done and on budget. Also, I am a fighter and a hard worker who is not afraid to stand up for Gravesham and get the local people's issues heard on the national stage of Parliament.

Geoffrey Clark

I am the Party Political Candidate for UKIP. I was born in Dartford and grew up with my parents and two brothers in Woolwich.

2) I am a citizen of the world.

3) I run a consultancy company.

4) I am married with a 14-year-old daughter.

5) The statue of Pocahontas, the fort, the Pleasure Gardens the river, the Three Daws pub, the High Streeet, the Borough Market, the buzz.

6) The outside shell of the civic centre which is truly ugly - the inside is fine though.

7) I stood for the Social Democrat Party in Woolwich in 1982 and 1986 losing narrowly both times. I am a bit of a rebel and saw the SDP as an opportunity to rebel against labour History is repeating itself it seems.

8) Violette Szabo the world war two spy, George Schultz, the American economist, Hereward Tatchell, for trying more than once to arrest Robert Mugabe and Simon de Montfort for arresting the king and establishing the first English parliament.

9) The political system which has been steadily corrupted in recent times by the existing political class. Without that single change little else of worth can be achieved.

10) My party is a vehicle for electors who yearn for meaningful reform outside of the EU, while I am a vehicle for my party as a reliable and a trustworthy reformer.

Alice Dartnell

Alice Sakura Dartnell, an independent candidate. I am 23, was born in Gravesend where my family have a long history.

2) I am living in Gravesend, near Whitehill/Kings Farm.

3) I had to give up full time employment as campaigning is a full time job when you are an independent. I am having to use my small savings and earnings from winter for the campaign. However, I work the odd shifts at the Railway Bell opposite the train station.

4) I am single with no children.

5) One of my favourite things about Gravesend is the wealth of history that is still visible. We have one of the oldest chartered markets still in use, the historic Fort Gardens, and the only cast iron pier still standing. Many families in Gravesham can also trace their family history here, as many families like mine have settled here for many generations and are therefore able to share their own personal family history of the town.

6) One of the main things I would like to see changed in Gravesend is that the river is made better use of. In many towns and cities such as Paris the river is often the focal point, thriving with activity and with good local business opportunity. With Gravesend's excellent position, we can utilise this valuable resource.

7) I was motivated to become Gravesham's MP in order to promote Gravesham and to tackle the corruption within Parliament. Returning from a gap year after graduating from university I was outraged by politician's behaviour and the way they had taken advantage of their position and power.

8) I do not have the one person I look to for inspiration, instead look to anyone who has accomplished something in their field or business. As a woman I find it inspiring to look to other woman in a broad range of industries who have accomplished something great. I value Rachida Dati, France's Justice Minister, as she is from a poor family and has become the first person of North African origin to take a top ministerial post in France.

9) Like many I believe that prevention is better than cure which is why I have based all my policies on "intervention and prevention". I want to see a better education system for everyone, by focusing on vocational abilities and life skills that are valuable to all, rather than just pushing for university places as it is expensive and not appropriate for everyone or every job. I also want to see the Government tackling health issues by preventing them from occurring in the first place through early education, rather than trying to 'fix' it at a later date, often when it is too late and more costly.

10) I was born in Gravesend and have 23 years of firsthand experience of living, working and socialising in Gravesham, in addition, five generations of my family have been born and bred in Gravesend so I have an excellent understanding of the area.

I believe in early "intervention and prevention" as the solution to many issues, preventing problems occurring to save on all costs to society and once elected will apply this solution to local and national issues.

Long term thinking rather than quick fix solutions is what we need, along with development and education that is sustainable and sensitive to what is already established here.

Steven Uncles

I born in 1964 in Blackheath. I moved to Bexley when was a one. I was educated and grew up in Bexley where I attended Chislehurst & Sidcup Grammar School and then University in Greenwich.

2) Dartford.

3) Project manager for facilities management projects

4) I have been married for 20 years to Louise, who is standing in Sevenoaks for the English Democrats in the General Election.

I have a daughter and son, 16 and 13, who both attend Wilmington Grammar School

5) I have a special connection with Gravesend as both my children were born in Gravesend & Northfleet hospital when it had a maternity department - both labours were trouble free and I a fortunate to have two healthy children, thanks to the kind attention of the doctors and midwifes at Gravesend & North Fleet 6) Give the town some "heart" with a sports complex, including a stadium for football and rugby, a ten pin bowling alley and an ice rink

7) I joined the English Democrats in 2003. I have stood twice in the European Elections for the English Democrats, and for an MP in Bromley & Chislehurst, Kent County Councillor, and Dartford borough councillor.

I became involved as following devolution in 1997 I became aware that there was no political party, standing up for the interests of England. I contemplated starting a party, but discovered the English Democrats already existed.

8) My father Roy Uncles, Paul McCartney, Michael Caine, Martin Johnson and Jonny Wilkinson.

9) Create an English Parliament, making the UK into a Federal State, just like Australia and Canada.

10) I am a local candidate and have a great deal of loyalty and understanding of Kent and the people of Kent. I am not a career politician, I have held down jobs and work, like normal people.

I voluntarily work for and have joined the English Democrats to make England a better country and I am not in politics to put the interests of party before my country.

Kathryn Smith

Kathryn Smith, party political candidate for Labour. I was born in Canada. When I was only eight-years old I lost my father so my family came home and settled in Kent where many of my relatives live.

2) I have lived in North West Kent since the 1960s and during the week I am based at the Overcliffe in Gravesend. I have pledged to make Gravesham my one and only home if I am elected as your Member of Parliament.

3) I trained as a linguist, working in industry and government for many years. Over the last 13 years I have worked as a Director of the Co-operative Group and the Co-operative Bank. I recently stood down from this role and I am working full time on the election campaign as the Labour and Co-operative candidate.

4) I live with my partner and our pride and joy, our 10-year old daughter, Aisha.

5) It is such a rich and diverse place to live. There is a real sense of community in all parts of the constituency, from the attractive villages in the rural area to the industrial heartlands of Northfleet and to the unique heritage of Gravesend. It also has great historical importance with Dickens, Pocahontas and the history of the river Thames.

6) With a quarter of the working population commuting to London, my ambition for Gravesham is to create a place where local businesses can flourish and where economic investment will create good employment opportunities within the borough and give families a better work/life balance.

7) I became involved in politics in the early 1980s during the long hard recession of the Thatcher government. I saw how families, indeed whole communities, were being torn apart and I wanted to do something about it. I was already active in the Co-operative movement and it was a natural step to join the Labour Party.

8) My inspiration is my mother. She dedicated her life to raising her family and ensuring we always knew right from wrong. She worked hard and encouraged her children to get a good education.

9) People talk a lot about fairness. When you consider the extravagant bonuses going to wealthy bankers, compared to pay freezes facing ordinary hard-working families, it simply is not fair. I would make a priority of tackling inequality and the poverty gap.

10) Britain needs a government which puts people first and invests in the future. Previous Labour governments have invested in our public services - in health, education and community policing.

Our next big challenge is to invest in skills and technology so that our businesses are able to compete in the global economy.

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