Kylie Keens is an independent candidate for the Esher and Walton seat at the upcoming General Election 2019 on December 12.

She was previously the finance business partner at Highways England South East.

As with other candidates for the seat, the Comet spoke with Ms Keens about her views and policies on a range of topics about Esher and Walton and beyond.

Quotes from her responses are reproduced below:

On reasons for standing:

Firstly I'm very passionate about politics but locally what's been going on with South West trains is in absolute chaos. A lot of my potential constituents catch SW trains and will be affected by the strikes. Personally I'd like to have SW trains up in front of a select committee with multiple MPs. I'm a transport expert and I think I could make a real difference on the chaos of trains and also the chaos of roads.

On Transport:

Cycle lanes in neighbouring Kingston are causing traffic chaos. Although it doesn't come under the constituency it's impacting people in Esher and Walton, many of whom work in Kingston or go there for shopping and so on. We can't look at constituencies in isolation. Taxi drivers, bus drivers and constituents all tell me this needs sorting out.

On Brexit:

I think all three main British political parties have let the country down. My own view is that we should respect the referendum. You can't just have perpetual referendums. What they should have done is listened to the outcome and worked together as a team and then go to the European Union and negotiate certain terms. We need to work with all parties and work with Europe as well.

On education:

My two eldest daughters previously attended private school and then had to leave. They're in the state school system now. I absolutely love state schools but when you look at the per pupil funding cuts since 2015 in Walton, Esher and everywhere, it's just not sustainable. You can't expect people to deliver more while giving them less money. My own children's school don't have a full class capacity. From the school's perspective that's bad because of economies of scale and per pupil cuts. If I was running the finances there I'd be struggling. You have to get out there and lobby hard.

On working as an Independent in parliament:

I will get in contact with every MP and the press, get my constituents heavily involved. It's all about getting out there and galvanising things. It's about lobbying and getting MPs joining up with each other and their constituents.

On chances of winning in Esher and Walton:

As an accountant — never quote numbers! I wouldn't be going for it if I didn't think I could win but it's not just about winning. It's about creating awareness about things. Even if I didn't win, someone might think 'well we've got this expert on transport in our constituency, would it not be a good idea to get her involved in some capacity'. I'm a qualified account and am passionate about politics and economics. I've worked across the public and private sectors, I know how they work.

On austerity:

I worked in Citizens' Advice. I think every MP should do several weeks training there. People would often come in with one problem and left with three. That's the poverty trap. People don't realize that they have all these other issues going on in their life. I saw the full frontal impact of austerity. I'm very much anti austerity but then again I'm very entrepreneurial. I'm an accountant and I've worked with Virgin Atlantic. There needs to be a sense of fairness. I want to give more people the opportunity to retrain and pursue new lines of work.

On the increase in foodbank use in Esher and Walton:

The waste of food in supermarkets is absolutely shocking. It's outrageous that food is thrown away. So firstly we need to cut down on waste. Secondly we need to give grants to food banks so they can cope. At the end of the day you have to tackle both the causes like austerity and also the symptoms. I don't like waste!

On housing:

We need to build more houses and also look at where they are being built and whether that's in the right place. It's tied back into transport. I would much prefer new towns being built so that you could then build new transport infrastructure to tie in. How many people are working in offices in central London when they could be working from home two days a week? I think flexible working could make massive in roads in transport and housing.

On the climate emergency:

Absolutely I agree there is one. Ironically I'm getting a lot of campaigning leaflets through my door and I don't think that's environmentally friendly. It's about having better relations with the rest of the world including big polluters like China and India. We need to find a system that come up with policies and ways of using the expertise in Europe and help developing countries develop green energies. In Esher and Walton I want to encourage people to use their cars less and the whole thing hinges on flexible working. I think it can make a massive change.

On personal favourites:

Book: To Kill A Mocking Bird (Harper Lee)

Film: The Blindside