A by-election for the vacant Alconbury ward seat on Huntingdonshire District Council is taking place on December 12.

L-R: Paul Bullen, Ian Gardener, Alastair Henderson-Begg, Tom Maclennan and Nick Sherratt.		           Pictures: CONTRIBUTED.L-R: Paul Bullen, Ian Gardener, Alastair Henderson-Begg, Tom Maclennan and Nick Sherratt. Pictures: CONTRIBUTED.

Here, the candidates for the seat make their case for your votes.

Paul Bullen (Independent)

"I want Alconbury to have a councillor who will represent its hardworking and decent residents and not a political party that never delivers.

"As an independent, I'll have no whip or party telling me what to do. I will be free to fully represent you.

"Whilst I believe in a proper clean-break Brexit, this election is not just about the EU, it's about what sort of democratic country we want to live in and the integrity of the politicians who represent us.

"I'm an experienced ex-county councillor who knows we desperately need more investment in our roads, infrastructure, schools and environment. We need to fight crime and we need to invest in real affordable housing. All of this is possible if we curtail our current politicians' obsession with 'vanity projects' that simply waste our hard-earned money.

"We need to encourage inward investment into our area and to support our smaller businesses, too."

Ian Gardener (Conservative)

"As your next district councillor, I will build on my record of service as your county councillor and ensure our community has a strong voice on Huntingdonshire District Council.

"I have already secured funding to improve local roads and helped reduce speed limits to keep our community safe, and will seek to bring in further funding to fix our roads and pavements.

"I am currently campaigning to keep heavy goods vehicles out of our villages by championing a new commercial vehicle company covenant.

"And I will work to provide better infrastructure for everyone, connecting our villages with new bus stops and a local cycle path network.

"Huntingdonshire Conservatives are keeping Council Tax as low as possible while still improving the way in which we deliver the services that matter most to you."

Alastair Henderson-Begg (Liberal Democrat)

"We bought our home in Buckworth 17 years ago and although we worked abroad for many years it has always been our base and we have many friends in the area. Now that we are both retired, we would like to give something back to our community; my wife is a volunteer for the Citizens Advice; I have joined the Buckworth Parish Council; and I am committed to using all my efforts and abilities to help the area if elected.

"Liberal Democrats are not beholden to vested interests; we are funded by individuals rather than hedge funds and our focus is on the needs of individuals. In my years in the Alconbury area, I have seen the decay of our basic infrastructure such as roads and public transport; shops and pubs being forced to close; and pressures on facilities like schools and health increasing.

"If I am lucky enough to be elected I will fight for rural communities to have a voice."

Tom Maclennan (Independent)

"I am standing as an Independent because I am tired of party politics getting in the way of doing the right thing for the people who elect their representatives.

I am a 40-year-old science teacher, who moved with my family to the area eight years ago. In that time, I have served as a school governor and as one of the local beaver and then cub leaders, and it is now my honour to sit on Alconbury Parish Council.

"It is my hope that I will be able to represent the people of the entire ward of Alconbury, to ensure that we are able to benefit locally from our location near the Weald development and the new road network; while preserving our villages from excessive development.

"I was part of the team that successfully argued against Alconbury being included in the local plan, which would have been detrimental to the village, partly due to the lack of service provision and transport."

Nick Sherratt (Labour)

"I have lived in Alconbury Weston for 20 years and feel honoured to have been selected as the Labour candidate.

"At the heart of my campaign are local people and the critical issues which affect our daily lives. I have been listening to residents' concerns about household austerity, foodbank dependency, cuts to essential services, poor transport links and environmental issues, which all affect our quality of life. "At the age of 23, I feel adamant about the need to inspire young people to participate actively in public life.

"As your representative and advocate, I will restore trust back into local politics, champion the development of council services to be fit for purpose, challenge presumptions about affluence and austerity and address environmental concerns.

"I will protect our environment, defend local public services, fight for effective transport links, encourage the creation of local, affordable housing and ensure transparency and accountability in local government."