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ANN-MARIE BARKER SELECTED TO FACE GOVE

May 24, 2017 12:00 AM

Ann-Marie BarkerAnn-Marie Barker is the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate seeking to defeat Michael Gove on 8 June.

Ann-Marie lives just outside Surrey Heath, with her husband, two daughters and family dog. She is a borough councillor and Deputy Group Leader on Woking Borough Council. Ann-Marie was the Liberal Democrat candidate for Surrey Heath in 2015 and campaigned for a Remain vote in the referendum last year.

"I know Surrey Heath well" said Ann-Marie, "Chobham is just a couple of miles down the road and I've followed with concern the proposals for the redevelopment of Fairoaks. The infrastructure just isn't there to support the size of development proposed. Local roads won't cope with the congestion."

"Unlike Michael Gove, who doesn't live in his constituency, my family and I have spent a lot of time in Surrey Heath" said Ann-Marie. "We have shopped, visited the cinema and eaten out in Camberley; taken walks and pedalo rides from the Canal Centre in Mytchett; spent time with our daughters at Frimley Lodge park; browsed the independent shops in Bagshot; watched the planes take off from Fairoaks in Chobham; had coffee in Lightwater and shared Indian meals on Heatherside, amongst many others."

"Mr Gove works as a journalist for the Times in addition to his role as an MP" points out Ann-Marie "I will be a full-time MP who lives in the constituency".

Ann-Marie highlights three of the key issues she will campaign on during this election:

"Brexit is a key issue" explains Ann-Marie "only the Liberal Democrats have consistently fought the Remain corner. With Article 50 triggered we are calling on Mrs May to give the public a vote at the end of the exit talks. We all had a say on leaving the EU. We should also have a vote on what Leave looks like." 49% of the Borough of Surrey Heath, voted to Remain[1]. "The Referendum vote was very close" points out Ann-Marie "considering Michael Gove was such a prominent player in the Leave campaign".

"I'm particularly proud of the Liberal Democrat record on health and social care services" said Ann-Marie. There has been talk for many years of taking the same approach to health and social care and finding the funding to look after those who need it most. Liberal Democrat MP Norman Lamb has acted to set up a cross-party group to come up with solutions. "I would support an extra penny on income tax to ensure social care gets the funding it needs" said Ann-Marie.

As a former school governor and Chair of Finance Ann-Marie understands the funding pressures on schools. "I'm concerned that the Conservatives are proposing a real term reduction in school funding. The suggested cuts are likely to lead to a loss of teachers at our local schools[2]. Meanwhile the Conservatives are trying to drive through divisive grammar schools, taking more funding from other schools.


[1] 49% of the Borough of Surrey Heath, which makes up the largest part of the constituency voted to Remain in the EU and in neighbouring Guildford, of which Ash, Ash Vale and Tongham are part of Surrey Heath, 56% voted to Remain.

[2] Data gathered at http://www.schoolcuts.org.uk/#/schools?chosenSchool=9364468 shows Kings could lose 8 teachers, Tomlinscote 8 and Collingwood 15 as a results of the planned cuts.