union for life

Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport

Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport

Major employers

Devonport

Questions

  1. What will you do to increase investment and skill levels in the strategic industries, infrastructure and public services on which the UK’s security and prosperity depend?
  2. Will you maintain defence expenditure at no less than the annual limits set out in the 2015 spending review, and at levels of at least 2% of GDP for the rest of the parliament?
  3. Will you support the renewal of Trident, including construction of the full fleet of four successor submarines necessary to maintain a continuous at-sea deterrent?

Candidates’ responses

Oliver Colvile (Conservative)

What will you do to increase investment and skill levels in the strategic industries, infrastructure and public services on which the UK’s security and prosperity depend?

Since 2010 we have increased apprenticeships in the area to 8000.  As Chairman for the APPG for Southwest Rail I have continued to put pressure on the government for the improvement of the railway around Dawlish which will commence in 2019.  We are dualling the A303 and the A358 which links South Chard with Exeter.  I have successfully campaigned to convince the Government for the City Deal and realising the Maritime Enterprise Zone at Oceansgate. 

I also campaigned on the fisheries issue too to ensure that by coming out of the common Fisheries Policy we have 60% of the quota divide here in the UK fishing waters and what is more,  I am putting pressure on the Government to ensure that fishing boats that are registered in the UK actually land their catch in the UK. Corbyn’s candidate admits that the Labour front bench isn’t interested in investing in the south west.

Will you maintain defence expenditure at no less than the annual limits set out in the 2015 spending review, and at levels of at least 2% of GDP for the rest of the parliament?

I have called for it to be raised to 3% in the past.

Will you support the renewal of Trident, including construction of the full fleet of four successor submarines necessary to maintain a continuous at-sea deterrent?

Absolutely

Luke Pollard (Labour)

What will you do to increase investment and skill levels in the strategic industries, infrastructure and public services on which the UK’s security and prosperity depend?

Plymouth has an incredible potential for more jobs to be created in our military and maritime engineering sectors. To realise this potential I will fight for:

More investment and protection of jobs at Devonport Dockyard. My Dad worked in the dockyard so I know how important defence jobs are to Plymouth.

Support for expansion of SMEs to grow their businesses. In particular by supporting investment in new medium-sized units to enable small businesses to grow.

Action on business rates to cut costs for businesses.

Increase skills funding for engineering and apprenticeships at City College. Babcock has the potential to grow their training programmes and I want to work with the company in order to achieve this. The apprenticeship levy funding changes the funding picture for skills considerably and I will fight to ensure that we get our fair share of funding as a city.

My transport manifesto (available at www.lukepollard.org) commits me to campaign for a new fast and resilient tramline, an extension of the M5 from Exeter to the Tamar Bridge, re-opening of Plymouth airport and a new cruise line terminal at Millbay.

The South West gets a raw deal from the Government. Our funding levels are too low - we get only one seventh per head of what people in London gets for transport and only one third for public health. Our skills funding is lower than the national average too and that’s something I will not accept. We need a better deal.

I’ve read that my Tory opponent is playing politics with Labour’s position saying things that are not true so let me be clear: Labour will increase funding for the South West. We have committed to invest £2.5bn in a new train line in for the South West - we are the only party to commit actual funding to upgrade the South West’s strategic links in this election. Labour’s policy for a South West Regional Investment Bank will also help drive funding into the SW and in particular the far South West for business growth and job creation.

Will you maintain defence expenditure at no less than the annual limits set out in the 2015 spending review, and at levels of at least 2% of GDP for the rest of the parliament?

Yes. Defence spending is currently 1.9% and this figure has been gamed by the Conservative Government including war pensions in the total. Labour is committed to renewing the deterrent and increasing defence spending to 2%.

In the past our local MPs have made wild pledges about defence spending only to sit on their hands when the Government cuts defence jobs in Plymouth. I will strongly oppose any attempt to reduce our capabilities and jobs at Devonport and across Plymouth. This includes opposing plans to cut the number of new Type 26 frigates from 13 to 8, lowering the spec of the Type 31 frigate, selling HMS Ocean and selling off Stonehouse Barracks and the Royal Citadel.


Will you support the renewal of Trident, including construction of the full fleet of four successor submarines necessary to maintain a continuous at-sea deterrent?

Yes. And we need to ensure that the investment is made at Devonport Dockyard for the refit of the Dreadnought-class submarines as well as ensuring the construction of the submarines.

Henrietta Bewley (Lib Dem)

What will you do to increase investment and skill levels in the strategic industries, infrastructure and public services on which the UK’s security and prosperity depend?

We will make sure to address critical skills shortages by increasing funding in school, higher, further and adult education and apprenticeships.
We have also committed to investing £100 billion in capital infrastructure so that our economy invests in the necessary strategic infrastructure. You can read more about our infrastructure priorities in our Manifesto.
We are also fighting Teresa May's hard Brexit, which is harming universities through the loss of foreign students, staff and EU partnerships, and is likely to mean billions less funding for our schools, universities, infrastructure and the NHS.

Do you support maintaining defence expenditure at no less than the annual limits set out in the 2015 spending review, and at levels of at least 2% of GDP?

Yes, Liberal Democrats are committed to meet the 2% annual defence spending target. 2% is a realistic resource to achieve these goals, and fits with our commitments as an internationalist party which supports military cooperation through vital organisations like NATO.

Will you support the renewal of Trident, including construction of the full fleet of four successor submarines necessary to maintain a continuous at-sea deterrent?

Liberal Democrats aim to maintain a minimum nuclear deterrent. We propose continuing with the Dreadnought programme, the submarine-based replacement for Vanguard, but procuring three boats instead of four and moving to a medium-readiness responsive posture. This would mean replacing continuous at-sea deterrence – instead maintaining the deterrent through measures such as unpredictable and irregular patrolling patterns.

This posture would still deliver a credible, minimum deterrent, and the posture maintains the ability to surge to more frequent armed patrols, or drop down to a low-readiness posture if the security situation allows. The UK’s adversaries would not know when its ships were armed.