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Helen Belcher has been selected as the Liberal Democrat candidate for Chippenham

Helen joined the Liberal Democrats in May 2015 as, in her own words, it was time to fight for the liberal values that this Helen Belcher canvassing ()country was built on. Events since then have made her even more determined.

She is working on issues affecting Chippenham residents, such as preserving community facilities in local towns, supporting childcare providers and undertaking case work.

She has been involved in fighting for fair funding of schools for the last three years.

Helen has a long history campaigning for LGBT equality and press regulation. A renowned campaigner and businesswoman, she is often asked to write pieces in the press and give keynote speeches at conferences on media and the law. She gave evidence to the Leveson Inquiry in February 2012, and also to a Parliamentary Inquiry in September 2015.

She was recognised by the Independent on Sunday as one of the most influential LGBT people in the UK for three years running.

She founded her own software company in 2004, and has managed its growth since then. A qualified teacher who continues to have a keen interest in education, she has also served as a secondary school governor for 8 years. She has two adult children, and has been happily married for 23 years.

Education, the environment, justice and equality are all important to Helen. She also enjoys choral singing and the performance arts.

Helen will be out and about in the constituency in the next four weeks and is looking forward to meeting more local people.

WHERE HELEN STANDS ON THE KEY ISSUES


- Funding our NHS and social care properly by a "ring fenced" 1p rise in income tax

'Our NHS is in a serious trouble. This month GPs have been pleading for government help as surgeries are closed and doctors driven to despair. A&E departments are stretched to breaking point. Yet the Conservatives have squeezed budgets, demoralised staff with wage freezes and ignored the advice of the experts. On top of that they have barely touched on mental health and left the social care industry close to collapse. Now, they say they will only give social care to patients with particular illnesses while others are left to pay for themselves. Millions of elderly people will also find their homes used to fund their health care to the tune of hundred of thousands of pounds. After they die, their children will have to sell those homes to pay off the debts. This is not just unacceptable, it is totally unnecessary and cruel. The Liberal Democrats in Government, will simply add 1p on income tax to go into a dedicated NHS and social care fund. This will provide a vital 6 billion a year. If you want to stop the Tories plundering the value of your homes as you get older, and secure the future of our NHS.'

- Fairer Funding for Schools

'Local schools are under threat from a Conservative party that has stopped listening to local people in Chippenham. Conservatives proposed £5million of cuts to schools across the constituency, meaning few teachers, bigger class sizes and fewer options for our children.'

- Brexit

'I always believed that Britain would be more successful, strong and safe if we remained in the EU. But in the referendum a year ago, a narrow majority voted to leave. I understand and respect that. I don't think those who voted leave are bad people, we just disagree. What I am sure we agree about is that we did not vote for job losses, lower wages and less security. I have met many people, leavers and remainers, who are worried about the kind of deal we will be offered and what will happen if we don't like it. What none of us want is a Whitehall and Brussels stitch-up. That is why the Liberal Democrats believe that the people - all of us - should have the right to say yes or no to what we are offered. If we really don't like it, we should be allowed to stay in the EU. Chippenham is a seat where the Liberal Democrats can win and provide you with an MP who will hold the government to account about the BREXIT deal. This is your choice about your future. If you elect me as your Member of Parliament on the 8th of June I promise to press the government to give you the right to a say over the BREXIT deal they offer.'

- The Real Party for Business

'We will invest in innovation, people and infrastructure - building homes, modernising schools and hospitals, and developing hyperfast broadband and transport networks. We will support entrepreneurs and researchers to thrive in a vibrant knowledge-based economy.'

- A Leader not a Follower

'Many people in Chippenham who voted Conservative in the last general election have expressed fear about the direction in which the Tories are heading. They are horrified that extreme UKIP policies have been adopted by the Tory leadership, pushing out people who are open and inclusive. If you elect me on the 8th of June, I will not repeat the Downing Street spin doctor slogans. I will not bow down to government policies that I believe are wrong and un-British. Vote for me and the Liberal Democrats and I will put Chippenham before Whitehall.'

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