The Gazette asked the parliamentary candidates in Colchester for their views on some of the big and personal issues to give you a better understanding of them as politicians and people.

The rule? They had to answer in 50 words or less.

Candidates who did not stick to the rule had their answers cut down.

Ken Scrimshaw, who is standing for the Christian People’s Alliance, declined to take part.

To learn more about the candidates visit the election area of our website by clicking here.






Do you agree with current Government-set house building targets in Colchester. If not, how will you fight them?


Mark Goacher (GREEN): "No I don’t. I would continually raise with ministers and the public how the current National Planning Policy Framework doesn’t allow councils to set their own targets despite pretending to. New homes should be on brownfield sites and accompanied by infrastructure investment rather than our countryside being lost."

Jordan Newell (LABOUR): "We need to talk about house building in the context of the wider housing crisis. We must first focus on building more affordable homes, giving help to local first-time buyers and tackling the imbalances in the private rented sector, before we begin imposing arbitrary targets on housing."

Will Quince (CONSERVATIVE): "It is local councillors who know how much housing is needed, not some bureaucrat in Westminster. This is why I want to see decisions on issues like this made here in Colchester, and an MP and council that will stand up for residents and say no to inappropriate development plans."

Sir Bob Russell (LIBERAL DEMOCRAT): "With people living longer, all political parties accept there is a need for more housing. What we see in Colchester is happening throughout Essex and elsewhere in England. I will continue to oppose loss of fields around urban Colchester, as I did successfully with the High Woods Country Park."

John Pitts (UKIP): "Our town is becoming far too overcongested and there is not the infrastructure in place. I want to see a hold to the large scale developments until we can provide adequate schools, hospital capacity and roads to the increased population which will follow from more house building."


The country still has economic challenges. The NHS aside, what should the number one spending priority be?

Gazette: Council pays out £543 in compensation

Mark Goacher (GREEN): "Education. In particular funding for sixth form education is being slashed every year and our university students are being saddled with huge debts. Young people are the future. We need investment in all sectors of education, academic and vocational. Fees must go and go completely. No ifs, no buts."

Jordan Newell (LABOUR): "Policing and community safety are a top priority for me. Cuts to police budgets have hurt communities like Colchester, and we now have 410 fewer police officers in Essex than we did in 2010. Labour plans to abolish Police Commissioners and put the money back into frontline policing."

Will Quince (CONSERVATIVE): "Without question, infrastructure. We need investment in our roads to get Colchester moving again. With more money in our railway, we could achieve Colchester to London in 30 minutes. Yet business is changing, so I will fight for world-leading mobile and broadband infrastructure for Colchester and the whole UK."

Sir Bob Russell (LIBERAL DEMOCRAT): "The NHS is one of several priorities for any government, as are our country’s defence interests both at home and overseas. But, as with a shopping basket, the list includes continuing to restore our nation’s economy, investing in education, tackling crime, further income tax cuts, and better pensions."

John Pitts (UKIP): "Training for our young people in apprenticeships has to be a crucial priority as we cannot prosper as a country unless our young people can find worthwhile employment."

What personally enhances your candidacy from your rivals?


Mark Goacher (GREEN): "That I’m not a career politician. People are fed up with the political class being out of touch or in it for what they can get out of it. I want to offer something fresh and to put the key issues, the town of Colchester and my constituents first."

Jordan Newell (LABOUR): "Working for the NHS gave me the chance to see my community in a different light and to see the many hidden challenges that people face in their everyday lives. I identify with many of these challenges, and I will use these experiences to better represent the people of Colchester."

Will Quince (CONSERVATIVE): "I have the energy, the determination and the fresh ideas to get Colchester moving again. We have lagged behind our neighbouring towns for too long. We need an MP able to make the case to ministers and secure the investment our current MP has failed to deliver."

Sir Bob Russell (LIBERAL DEMOCRAT): "Residents will decide who is the best person to represent the town and people of Colchester in Parliament. I grew up here. I would say my knowledge of Colchester, and a life-time’s experience of the town and from representing it in Parliament, are qualities which no other candidate has."

John Pitts (UKIP): "Having lived in Colchester all my life I know the town and people well. I am committed to doing all in my power to get Britain out of the EU and releasing us from the burdens of over-regulation which impede our progress. The EU costs us £9 billion a year."