Shropshire Star

Heritage Party North Shropshire by-election candidate on second jobs and key priorities

Ahead of the North Shropshire by-election on December 16, the Shropshire Star has approached all candidates with a series of questions.

James Elliot, The Heritage Party candidate for the North Shropshire by-election.

We have asked the candidates the same set of questions on topics including second jobs, priorities and national issues.

This time, it is the turn of Heritage Party candidate James Elliott to answer the questions and tell you what his plans are for North Shropshire.

Will you take any second jobs if you are elected as MP for North Shropshire, and do you believe MPs should be prevented from taking second jobs/consultancy roles?

I can promise the people of Shropshire that I will not hold a second job as I will be far too busy making myself available to constituents and employers.

I plan to further immerse myself in the needs of our communities. As an exception, should Government policies lead (once again) to seasonal worker shortages, I'll happily put my wellies on and get out in the fields.

In my youth I attended an agricultural college, and I'm no stranger to driving tractors.

While there may on occasion be legitimate reasons for MPs to hold second jobs (e.g. family businesses), these should never overlap with the primary role of representing the public.

What is the biggest national issue you see affecting the constituency in the coming years?

I have concerns for various sectors within agriculture, although we all know that change often comes fast, and so constant diligence, and communication with our industries, is required.

For rural counties to succeed, our agricultural and related industries must receive the same backing as their EU competitors. Bio-diversity must be encouraged, rather than leading to loss of revenue, as insect life plays a hugely unseen role in our ecosystem.

The resounding message is that we must listen to our agricultural industries, and tailor policy to offer the correct incentives and support.

What would you like to achieve in your tenure as MP for North Shropshire?

I would strive to introduce additional strategically placed ambulance stations, in order to dramatically decrease waiting times.

I would also fight for changes to the way GPs are paid, giving them a clear message that people who want to be seen, must be seen.

I would work to attract employment to the area, but also fight against zero-hour contracts.

On a humanitarian level, my main passion would be to eradicate poverty, locally first, but to provide a model for other regions nationwide.

Successive Conservative and Labour governments have shown that unless you're a major city, you can be easily ignored. Give me the opportunity to fight your corner.

What do you see as the strengths of the constituency?

The strengths of the constituency are undoubtedly our people and communities.

North Shropshire is home to a wealth of businesses, large and small, who all contribute to supporting the agricultural industries which put food on our nation's tables.

Westminster needs to recognise this and reciprocate the necessary support. There are few places in the nation as welcoming and friendly as Shropshire. We have great people who deserve a better standard of living.

What are the biggest problems facing the constituency and what would you say needs to be done to address them?

I would say it's time to listen. Perhaps the biggest problem this nation has is MPs who make policy without the correct insight. I believe it's the job of local people and businesses to decide what changes need to be made, and for their representative to take those concerns into parliament.

Why do you want to be MP for North Shropshire?

It's high time that we show the old political class that change is long over due. Who keeps the county running? The farmers, and the workers do. Our pensioners were once the workers, and we need our government to remember the lifetimes of work that were contributed to benefit our nation.

See the other candidates' answers and news on the by-election at