The first of Building’s series of interviews with the construction professionals standing in the general election
Name: Stephen Gee, Liberal Democrat prospective parliamentary candidate for Epsom & Ewell
Construction CV: Chartered QS with 35 years’ experience; until October 2016 managing partner of consultant John Rowan and Partners
What can your party offer the construction industry?
A complete agreement to the Building Brexit Manifesto, a campaign against a hard Brexit, continued tariff-free access to the single market and a guarantee of the rights of EU workers in the UK. We will only have a strong and stable economy if we achieve these things. All industries will suffer under Theresa May’s hard Brexit. We will all be worse off and will not have enough skilled labour to build our way out of a recession. The construction industry could take 15 years to recover.
Why is construction important in your constituency?
The provision of affordable housing is an issue throughout the country and particularly so in Epsom & Ewell. The pressure in Epsom to not build on the green belt is large but the issue must be addressed by finding enough brownfield sites. We hope to be at the end of Crossrail 2, should it ever proceed, which would be a huge boost for the area – but this isn’t a hot topic in this election.
How will your party ensure a “good” Brexit?
No one can guarantee a good Brexit – I’m not sure those two words go together – but we must aim for one that won’t damage the economy, jobs and trade. We need a strong economy to have the funds to invest in the NHS, social care and schools that face critical funding and capacity challenges. By voting Liberal Democrat you would ensure a strong voice in parliament and the only effective opposition to the hard Brexit Tory government. It’s not too late to change the direction of the country.
Contact your candidate
The letter summarises construction’s importance to the UK economy and calls on election candidates to consider the key demands in the Building a Better Brexit manifesto.
A list of the candidates is available from the official political parties’ websites, along with contact details. Feel free to add local examples of important construction projects or related issues – we would also be interested to hear about these local stories, so please email us firstname.lastname@example.org.