Clive Woodbridge is an Independent candidate for the Epsom and Ewell seat at the upcoming General Election 2019 on December 12.

Mr Woodbridge is currently a Residents' Association Councillor on Epsom and Ewell Borough Council (Ewell Ward).

As with other candidates for the seat, the Comet spoke with Mr Woodbridge about his views and policies on a range of topics about Epsom and Ewell and beyond.

Quotes from his responses are reproduced below.

On chances of winning in Epsom and Ewell:

I think I have more of a chance than people think because I think so many people are disillusioned with the state of national party politics at the moment. So many people I speak to on the doorsteps say 'look, I don't know who to vote for' or 'they're all as bad as each other'. I think a credible, independent candidate is being well received. When you're taking on a safe seat you have to face that with a certain amount of realism but I think this will be a strange election and we're going to see strange results around the country — why not in Epsom and Ewell?

On Residents' Association success at local level but not beyond:

I'm standing as an independent this time because Residents' Associations are focused on local politics. I think the RAs do very well because our responses to local issues are better. I think this time around is really is different. There is a need for MPs to better reflect the needs of their residents. There is no doubt that we are, in this constituency, remaining in the European Union, yet we have an MP who is very active on the Leave side.* That's not the only issue at all — The Heathrow expansion for example is something many people are really worried about but we have an MP who supports that.

On Heathrow Expansion:

At a time when councils around the country are declaring a climate emergency and the evidence and around climate change is incontrovertible, here we are expanding one of the most polluting facilities in the country. Until air travel can minimize its carbon emissions more or even become carbon neutral, I don't think we should be expanding Heathrow. We have to rethink the way we do things and maybe over the next 10 years we can't fly as much as we need to. We will be one of the areas affected if Heathrow is expanding.

On the climate emergency:

We've declared a climate emergency on Epsom and Ewell Borough Council but I think we need to take the first steps and do a lot more work here. Local authorities have to take action on their own and as an organization we have to become more environmentally friendly. We also have a role as place holders and leaders. We need to work with partners in the borough for example by installing more electric car charging points. The declaration is the easy bit, now we need to come up with tangible ways of taking action.

On balancing the need for more housing with many residents' wishes to avoid excessive development:

This is one of the big challenges of our time. Absolutely we need to build more houses and accept more houses in the borough. It needs to be the community's decision as to what types of houses we build and where. What concerns me is that at the moment it's very top down, imposed by central government, rather than being community led. We need to get people more involved because people feel alienated from it at the moment. The government have set us targets and in my view they are excessive without more investment in our infrastructure. We need to help first-time buyers find houses here as an attractive place to be in, just as we need to help older buyers find a place here they can grow old in.

On the rising use of foodbanks:

We've been letting people fall through the cracks. The changes that have happened during the years of austerity have left people behind. There should be a level that nobody should fall below and that hasn't been happening at the moment. It's an affluent area here but there are pockets of real poverty too. We tend to get looked at as being alright but we're not and the information from the foodbank is sobering. The next parliament needs to find ways of making sure people don't fall into food poverty. The benefits system needs an overhaul and we need more decentralized policies because we understand this area.

On your first question be at PMQs:

I want to raise the issue of mental health. For adults and children in this country, mental health issues are way below what is required and I thiknk we're on the cusp of a mental health emergency in many regions for so many reasons. When is the government going to give mental health prevention treatment the resources it deserves? That's what I would say to whoever is at the dispatch box.

On personal favourites:

Book: 100 Years of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)

Film: Anything with John Wayne in it / Annie Hall

Music: Free / Taylor Swift