North Bedfordshire’s Lib Dem candidate says voters are craving change

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Joanna Szaub-Newton. Image: Bedford Borough Liberal Democrat Group
Joanna Szaub-Newton. Image: Bedford Borough Liberal Democrat Group

The Lib Dem candidate for North Bedfordshire has said politicians need to think longer term and work across parties to solve the country’s big issues.

Joanna Szaub-Newton said she has spent the past 15 years working in the health and environment as a scientist which will help her to work towards finding solutions to issues affecting communities in North Bedfordshire and across the country.

“As a scientist there is a specific way of finding a solution to a problem,” she said.

“I think the problem with current politics is we are expecting one-dimensional, or at best two-dimensional solutions, to really complex problems.

“For example, if there is a problem with sewage this is not only affecting our environment and the quality of our rivers, it also affects the wider population.

“It affects the health of our pets, the health of environment’s biodiversity and has knock-on effect on other aspects of our life, including our health.

“We can’t only look in one dimensional way, and as scientists we are trained to look for evidence, think in a system way, and approach complex problems with doable and feasible solutions,” she said.

Ms Szaub-Newton said the problem with not only British politics, but across the world, is short-sightness by only thinking about action and reaction to an issue over five years.

“Because that’s how long the parliament and government lasts, and that’s how they are judged,” she said.

“But we also have to add the complexity of thinking long term, meaning all parties will have to contribute towards the vision of how the UK looks like in 20 years.

“Unless all parties at least contribute or get on board on that vision we will always operate in these five-year chunks.

“And we’ll never solve any problems because of the need for instant solutions.

“I maybe somewhat overly optimistic thinking this can be done, but we’ll not solve issues that are critical for our future, such as climate change, energy security, housing, and access to healthcare and education unless we start thinking long-term and in a more systemic way.

“Or the problems might be repeated.”

Ms Szaub-Newton said next month’s election is ultimately about three things, a fair deal, a local champion, and change.

“Change, people crave it, need it, and essentially are expecting that there will be change of government,” she said.

“We need a local champion, someone who’s embedded in the community and understands problems their community is experiencing.

“A fair deal for all of us, so we have access to high quality health care, to be able to have an affordable home that is in a safe and clean environment.

“And for every child to go to school and have real opportunities with real impact, so they are set up for life,” she said.

The other candidates standing in North Bedfordshire are: Pippa Clayton – Reform UK, Philippa Flemming – Green, Richard Fuller –Conservative, Richard Fuller – Conservative and Uday Nagaraju –  Labour.

The election will be held on Thursday 4 July.

by John Guinn
Local Democracy Reporter