Mark Argent

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Mark Argent

North West Leicestershire,13 Candidates for Westminster Parliament - 2015

07729 622374 (mobile)

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I'm honoured to have been selected as Prospective Parliamentary Candidate and look forward to representing the people of North West Leicestershire in Parliament.

I'm proud of our record in government. We've shown that a coalition can produce stable government, even when there are significant differences between the parties involved. The original coalition agreement included over 60% of our manifesto, there were some difficult choices at the time. With uncomfortable memories of previous Conservative governments, I am proud of the way we have managed to moderate the present administration - particularly in drawing the sting of what could have harsher cuts.

Nationally I am very much in sympathy with the five promises on the front cover of the Liberal Democrat manifesto:

  • Prosperity for all: balance the budget and fairly invest to build a high-skill low-carbon economy

  • Opportunity for every child: education funding from nursery to 19 and qualified teachers in every class

  • Fair taxes: cut your taxes by an additional £400 by raising the tax-free allowance to £12500

  • Our environment protected: protect nature and fight climate change with five Green Laws

  • Quality health care for all: invest £8bn to improve our NHS and guarantee equal care for mental health

that is the right agenda for Britain, and is a wise position to take into any coalition talks.

Part of that includes support for HS2, the high-speed rail link from London, initially to Birmingham, but then cities further north. It offers huge economic gains for the whole of the UK. Part of the proposed route for second stage of HS2 goes through the heart of North West Leicestershire, and compensation will be on offer to people in the constituency who would lose out. I expect to be fighting hard as the MP over the route, if it does come through the constituency, for things to lessen the impact and maximise compensation so this is not another chapter in the saga that began with the closure of mines under Margaret Thatcher.

If HS2 is about bringing prosperity to the whole country, some of that should come to North West Leicestershire in the shape of investment - in regeneration for Coalville, and reinstating and extending the Ivanhoe line, with stations in Ashby and Coalville and new track to help people commuting to Birmingham, and linking with the the gains from HS2. Liberal Democrats on the County Council have caused a new feasibility study to be commissioned to take this forward.

There are proposals for new housing in the constituency. I am keen that the green wedges between existing towns and villages are preserved, and that there is enough investment in infrastructure - notably schools, doctors' surgeries and transport. I'm particularly pleased that Liberal Democrat colleagues have found a way to enable the Bardon bypass on the A511 to go ahead - managing to strike a balance between Tories undermining the proposal by spending too little, and Labour making unfunded promises, by getting this funded by money from the developers.

I am looking forward to playing my part as an MP in standing up for the needs of the people of North West Leicestershire, making it a better place to live and work.

Biography

Mark Argent, the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Leicestershire North West, has a background in web design, publishing and organisational consultancy. For work reasons he moved from Leicestershire back to Cambridge in February 2015, where he had previously been Secretary of the East of England Faiths Council 2001-2006.

He's pro-European, and conscious that one of the guiding principles of the European Union is that decisions should be taken as close as possible to the people they effect, so at the local level, he is concerned by the threat to Stibson Museum. He is excited by the regeneration opportunities offered by re-opening the Ivanhoe line, and the potential for this to spread some of the benefits of HS2.

Nationally he is proud of the Liberal Democrat record in government, which has demonstrated that coalition can work, even when there are significant differences between the coalition partners. With memories of the seeming harshness and fractiousness of the Thatcher and Major governments, he is impressed that the coalition has found a way to provide stable government and recognise differences in a mature way.

He is concerned about inequality in NorthWest Leicestershire, and believes that the Liberal Democrat approach to reducing the deficit steers a path between Tory austerity an Labour recklessness which represents the best hope for reducing inequality and protecting the UK against future downturns.

He is delighted to be working with Mike Wyatt and his dedicated Liberal Democrat team who have fought so hard on behalf of the community in the constituency, and looks forward to carrying their energy to Westminster