The General Election

7th May 2015


Who can you vote for?

The Conservatives, Green Party, Labour, Liberal Democrats & UKIP are all fielding Candidates for our Seat - Dorset Mid & North Poole. The Liberal Democrats won the Seat in the 2010 General Election with Annette Brooke gaining a majority of 269.

To find past General Election Results for our Constituency from 1371 onwards, click here

To find out about the Policies of each Party, click here


What are the candidates like?

On 31st March, we sent a request to the candidates of the 5 Parties contesting this seat. We asked them to provide us with around 1,000 words about why Bere Regis residents should vote for them & what they will do for the Village.

You can read their responses below -


The Conservatives

Michael Tomlinson

I am a hardworking local family man, with a plan to help make our area an even better place to live and work. By voting for me you will be voting for both a hard working and dedicated local representative and a strong Government with David Cameron. If elected in May I will first and foremost be a good constituency MP, working hard locally representing our local community. This is the area that I have chosen to bring up my family, and so I am determined to do all that I can to make it an even better place in which to live and work.

My Background

I have lived in Purbeck with my wife Frances since moving to the area 12 years ago. We have three children and our family dog, Bella. The two eldest children attend our local school, and our four year old can't wait to join them. In rare moments of spare time I like going for walks or cycling in our beautiful countryside with my family. I also enjoy playing sport and have been an active member of Poole Hockey Club and Hamworthy Cricket Club.

As a practising barrister I regularly appear in Courts across the county and the South West. My practice includes representing and advising private individuals, small companies and local authorities. I also undertake pro-bono work locally. Nationally I have represented a number of different Government Departments including the Ministry of Justice and the Department for Transport. My areas of expertise include housing and property related work, including social housing and anti-social behaviour injunctions.

'My Plan' is to:

1. Support jobs and our local economy. Improvements to parking will encourage residents and visitors alike to shop locally and keep our local community thriving.

2. Improve Dorset's transport network, so that local people, tourists and businesses are not delayed by traffic trouble spots. Improvements to our railways and road will keep Dorset moving.

3. Get a better deal for local schools so that they received their fair share of government funding. This will ensure our children get the resources that they need.

4. Support local people in retirement by protecting pensions and savings while continuing to invest in vital local services such as the NHS.

5. Housing is required for the next generation. However I want to see brown field sites build on rather than our Green Belt, with the housing needs of local people given a priority.

6. Support the police and social services in the fight to keep crime and antisocial behaviour at record low levels so that everyone can live peacefully without the fear of crime.

Nationally only the Conservatives can deliver.

* There are now over 2 million more people in work than in 2010 – that’s more families with the stability and security of a regular pay packet. This is thanks to the hard work and the determination of the British people, and the Conservatives' strong leadership and clear economic plan.

* Our manifesto will commit to a minimum real-terms increase in NHS funding of £8bn in the next 5 years.

* To make sure more people can enjoy the security of home ownership, a Conservative Government will extend the Right to Buy to up to 1.3 million tenants of housing associations in England and create a billion pound Brownfield Regeneration Fund to unlock 400,000 new homes on brownfield land.

* The next Conservative government will take the family home out of Inheritance Tax. We will introduce a new transferable 'family home allowance' of £175,000 per person. For a married couple, this will effectively increase the Inheritance Tax threshold to £1 million.

* The choice is now clear: if you work hard, save and want to pass on your family home to your children - vote Conservative.

* We can keep going forward with the Conservatives, and build a country where those who work hard and do the right thing can enjoy a good life.

Many people have asked me about my priority. My priority is clear: to ensure that Dorset remains a special place in which to live and work; to protect it; and where possible to improve our area for the benefit of everyone.

If you have any questions or queries please do get in touch by phone 01202 624216 or email here


tw. @Michael4MDNP

fb. Michael4MDNP


The Green Party

Mark Chivers

I'm delighted to have been selected to stand in the area where I have lived in for over 20 years and where I brought up my children.

I’m also delighted to be standing in a landmark election for the Green Party. This is the first time ever that voters in Mid Dorset & North Poole will be able to cast a ‘Green’ vote at a General Election. In fact we have candidates standing in every constituency in Dorset – a pattern repeated across much of the country.

This gives people a real positive, progressive alternative and the chance to vote for our core beliefs;

Ø For a public NHS true to its founding principles but modernised to address todays issues such as an aging population and a desperate need for better mental health services.

Ø For a fair economy where those who can afford to pay a fair share of tax do so and where everyone is appropriately rewarded for their work

Ø For a safe climate, seriously tackling the greatest threat that humanity has ever faced

Ø For free education , including abolishing tuition fees

Ø For decent homes , building 500,000 social homes

Ø For better public transport, including returning the rail network back into public hands

On the surface it can seem like this is a relatively prosperous area, but many people are struggling because of the Coalition Government’s austerity agenda, an agenda we are fundamentally opposed to. Many have seen no real increase in income for five years and recent drops in inflation have done little to balance the increases in household bills experienced over this time. Even those unaffected by benefits cuts and the bedroom tax recognise the need for investment in the NHS, cheaper and more efficient public transport and affordable housing.

In fact, according to figures released by Shelter there are 170 families homeless across Dorset County and Poole Borough, 125 of which have children. Rent can take up to 40% of people’s income and if you’re on an average income here it could take 17 years to save to buy a house. Those of us fortunate enough to have been able to buy our own homes are now bringing up ‘generation rent’ those who may never own their own home - and this is a major crisis looming in the future. What pensioner could afford to rent a home? We need to bring empty homes back into use and provide 1,000s more good quality social homes.

The National Debt Line service report that over 300 people in this constituency have contacted them over the past three years, a figure that suggests, based on their research on the proportion of those who don’t seek help, that over 1,700 people have serious debt problems in this area alone.

My career in Financial Services has made it clear to me that what most concerns people is their future economic security. We need to build a system that provides this for all, fairly and sustainably.

This election is going to be very different; people are fed up with politics as usual and are looking for real change. I joined the Green Party because of its commitment to fairness, putting people before profit and its genuine plans to tackle climate change.

You can find out more about my views and our policies, by following my campaign on Facebook. On this you can see some of the pledges I’ve made from animal welfare, through nuclear disarmament, supporting cycling and local pubs (the last two should not always be combined of course!) and more are being added every week.

Please don’t believe the hype that only the Tories or Lib Dems can win here (they used to say something similar about Brighton!). Nearly as many people didn’t vote at the last election as voted for the winner. We’ve never stood her before and our membership has quadrupled in a year! Of course it would be a major surprise but a Green victory is not statistically impossible!

Whatever way it goes, this election we won’t just be selecting a new MP. Through voting we can express what matters to us. It is no good voting just to keep someone else out. This time we need to send a clear message to Westminster.

This time please vote for what you believe in. Vote Green Party.

Mark Chivers

Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Mid Dorset and North Poole


The Labour Party

Patrick Canavan

In Bere Regis, as elsewhere, the choice at this election is between the failing plan of the current Government which prioritises a privileged few and Labour’s better plan for ordinary families.

It is my view that Britain succeeds when working families succeed. That’s why Labour’s plan offers a better future for Mid Dorset and North Poole; for living standards, for the next generation, and for the NHS.

Working people are on average £1,600 a year worse off under the Tories and their policies have meant that 3,300 working families in Mid Dorset & North Poole have seen their tax credits cut in real terms.

Labour's plan to increase the National Minimum Wage to £8 before 2020 will boost pay for 113,600 low paid jobs in the South West where 22.60% of jobs pay less than the living wage. Labour will promote this with tax rebates for businesses who sign up as Living Wage employers in the first year of a Labour Government.

Figures show that 73,000 people in the South West are working on a zero-hours contract. The number of people working on such contracts in our region has increased by 23% in the last year. Labour will ban exploitative zero hour contracts so that if you work regular hours you get a regular contract.

In the NHS there is a crisis in A&E. In the last 12 months, over a million people have waited more than four hours which means more people having long waits on trolleys before being admitted to a hospital bed; and more people are having to wait in ambulance queues outside hospital because A&E is full.

Under the Tories waiting lists for treatment are growing – they’re at their highest level for six years. There are now more than 3,000 extra people on NHS waiting lists at The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals and more than 2,500 extra people on NHS waiting lists in Poole Hospital compared to May 2010.

On social care cuts to elderly care are making it harder for older people to get the care they need at home, meaning more end up in A&E. In England 300,000 fewer people over the age of 65 are receiving state funded social care services compared to 2009/10.More than one million hospital bed days were lost because hospitals were unable to discharge patients.

This costs the NHS over £290 million, money which could have paid for a year of home visits for over 41,000 elderly people, or nearly 7,000 extra nurses.

Labour has a better plan for the NHS. We will join up services from home to hospital, with a single point of contact for all who need it. A £2.5 billion Time to Care Fund to recruit 20,000 more nurses, 8,000 more GPs, 5,000 new home care workers and 3,000 more midwives, funded by a mansion tax on properties worth over £2 million, cracking down on tax avoidance and a levy on tobacco companies. Labour will also guarantee that you can get a GP appointment within 48 hours – and on the same day for those who need it.

Like many villages Bere Regis faces a dilemma over housing. Not enough affordable homes and pressure on the Green Belt from developers. Home ownership is now at its lowest point for 30 years and first-time buyers are simply priced out of the market.

Over 1.3 million families with children are now part of “Generation Rent”, with little security and the risk of being forced to move at short notice. Labour will get a fairer deal for private renters by making longer-term tenancies with predictable rents as the norm, and banning rip-off letting fees on tenants.

My own view is that local residents should be given a much greater say over planning decisions in their area. Most people see the need for more houses but worry about the number, design, location and the infrastructure that goes with them. This is especially true in places like Bere Regis which want to maintain the historic nature of their village whilst ensuring that young families can afford to but their own home.

The energy market just isn't working for families and businesses in Britain. Energy bills have risen by almost £300 since David Cameron became Prime Minister, and businesses say energy is the biggest cost they face. When wholesale energy prices go up, bills go up fast, but when they fall, bills stay high. Since 2010, energy bills in Britain have risen twice as fast as inflation, four times faster than wages and faster than in almost any other country in the developed world. Families and businesses can't afford another five years of this.

Labour will freeze your energy bills up to January 2017, saving a typical household £120 and an average business £1,800. An incoming Labour government will legislate immediately to make this happen.

We will abolish Ofgem which has failed to stand up for consumers and replace it with a tough new energy watchdog which has the power and remit to force energy companies to cut their prices and to revoke their licences when they harm the interests of consumers.

At the last General Election no one voted for a coalition government. We said then that a vote for the Liberal Democrats would mean a Tory government and that is precisely what we got. If you want another Tory government then vote for it. If, like me, you think this would be bad for Britain then Vote Labour.

Unfortunately the restriction on space means I have not had not been able to mention a range of other issues such as Europe, education, childcare, jobs for young people, Policing, or the importance of protecting our environment and tackling climate change. If you want more details of Labour’s policies can look at our website on and my email contact is here.

Thank you

Patrick Canavan

Labour Party Candidate Mid Dorset & North Poole


The Liberal Democrats

Vikki Slade

I moved to Dorset in 1999 to take up a promotion and it's the best move my husband and I could have made. Settling in Broadstone we started out family and our business and I became involved with local Lib Dems politics as part of Annette Brooke's volunteer team, stopping just days before the general election to give birth to my daughter Molly - after whom our cafe is named.

I believe that the Liberal Democrats offer a balanced approach to politics - solid economic policies and a progressive approach to taxation, whilst striving to build a fair society where everyone has the opportunity to get on whatever their background.

I am passionate about people and communities and Bere Regis is a wonderful example of this - a village with a good range of community groups, a thriving school and church pulling together to create a sense of belonging. I first got to know Bere Regis about 10yrs ago when Cyril Wood Court was extended and I catered for the opening party. I was struck by the welcome the community gave to residents and the wonderful eclectic mix of artists and musicians living here. I have visited the lovely church many times and supported the campaign for the new bells, and love to tell friends from other places about the links with Tess of the D'urbervilles - one of my favourite books!

As a councillor in Poole and I hope as your next MP I have been striving to protect and improve our bus networks. I was appalled when the village was left cut off from Poole - and similarly Lytchett cut off from Dorchester - and will do all I can to get funding for new community transport options and regular bus services. I believe wholeheartedly in the Concessionary Bus Pass for older people, and the new Lib Dem plans for a discounted pass for young adults, but these are pointless without the buses to use them on!

As the mother of 4 children, you won't be surprised to hear that education, training and jobs are central to my campaign. I have promised Annette to continue to fight for the F40 funding formula that will see us get a fairer share of money for our schools and I am thrilled that Bere Regis is now well on the way to getting its new primary school. But we need to go further.

Only the Liberal Democrats have promised to maintain the funding for education from nursery to college, extending pupil premium to nursery age children and allowing all 2yr olds access to free nursery care. I want to see every child taught by a qualified teacher and make sure that the workload on teachers is restricted so they have time to teach. My youngest daughter has found school much more tricky than her siblings and I want our teachers to be inspired to use their skills to bring out the best in children, use the fantastic natural environment around the village to expand their minds and their horizons.

I mentored young people at secondary schools around Poole and Dorset for 7yrs and when I knocked on the door of one of the students from Bere Regis earlier this year he told me that he had found an apprenticeship...another of the Lib Dem flagship policies. I have employed a number of young people so they can Learn and Earn at the same time and I want to see the opportunities grow for young people - and older people too who choose or are forced into a carer change. We need to improve our infrastructure so that small businesses can set up in and around our villages and make sure rural broadband allows companies to grow in the countryside and not force everyone onto the roads into Poole, Bournemouth and beyond.

Our environment is precious and we need to keep it that way. I have campaigned to prevent gravel extraction at Philiols Farm and Gore Heath and Annette has worked to protect the countryside over many years. I am thrilled that Brian May has invested in creating the new woodland and we need to ensure that as the village grows it does so sensitively and in the way the community want it to using the Parish Council but also other community rights that Liberal Democrats have brought in.

This brings me on to the sensitive issue of housing. It is a really delicate balance to weigh up the needs for young adults to stay in the village and bring up their own families, with the need to keep the village distinct. We cannot stand still, but new housing for Bere Regis and other villages in Dorset must be sensitive to the environment, in scale with the village and with the infrastructure to make sure that the existing residents are not disadvantaged and that new ones have decent facilities too. There should be a presumption of brownfield sites wherever possible and we should ensure that sufficient levels of housing are affordable - for rent and for low cost purchase for local people.

I dont want to take you through the whole Liberal Democrat manifesto, I am sure that the newspapers and TV coverage, along with the literature coming through your doors will give you all that you need. However, I do want to touch on the NHS and a small number of issues of health about which I am particularly passionate. I volunteered with Annette back in 2000/1 when she first stood for Parliament. I gave birth to my daughter Molly just days before the election and at Annette's celebration party Annette told me that by the time I had my next child the new maternity hospital would be underway! She is now nearly 14 and we have had a refurbished unit but nothing new yet. I was delighted to be at the opening of the unit and confirmed that I would work hard for the new unit that we all want to see.

Mental Health is the biggest cause of health related benefits in this country and I am really pleased that the Liberal Democrats are the party that are leading the way on this. In Dorset we have an acute shortage of Psychiatric Intensive care beds and currently this means that women are having to be placed many miles from home - some as far as Yorkshire! We also have a crisis in our Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) and I am committed to ensuring that both of these see real investment so that we can deliver on our promises of short waiting times for mental health conditions.

Finally, with an ageing population, I want to see mush more done for the lonely in our communities and to ensure that we have Dementia Friendly Communities throughout our area. I want to make sure that care can be given as close to home as possible by motivated caring staff and that families have as much support as possible, especially at the end of life.

I hope this gives you a flavour of why I believe that you should vote for me as your next MP to follow from my great friend Annette Brooke. I believe that I have a record of delivering for local communities, a passion for the area we all call home and the energy to get things done. I believe that being an MP is a full time job and hope that you will choose me to represent you on May 7th. If you would like to raise specific issues with me please feel free to get in touch via email, facebook, twitter or drop me a line. If you would like to know more about the Liberal Democrats you can find a link to our manifesto here.

Vikki Slade

Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Mid Dorset and North Poole


The UK Independence Party

Richard Turner

My name is Richard Turner and I have the privilege of being UKIP's parliamentary candidate for Mid Dorset & North Poole.

I moved to Dorset from NW London 10 years ago to join the family business and develop our marine company in Christchurch which is a Marina on the River Stour and the boat hire business on Christchurch Quay so I have a keen interest in two key areas of our local economy, marine and leisure. Having spent so long living and working in London, I know how lucky I am to live in such a wonderful place.

So for me, living in Dorset is a privilege and I believe that with privilege comes responsibility. I feel a responsibility to protect and preserve the wonderful natural and cultural heritage in Dorset and to be a determined and effective representative for every single constituent in Mid Dorset & North Poole.

Just to reassure you, I am not a carpet bagging politician. I did not go up and down the country looking for people who might vote for me, nor did I study the form and try to get a target seat. I would not be a candidate anywhere other than Dorset. Had I not been selected here I would not be a candidate anywhere else.

I became a parliamentary candidate because I want to change things. Because I believe that there are some serious issues in our country today and not only are they not being dealt with by the political classes, they are being caused by the political classes. We didn't get to were we are today by accident, there are issues that are a result of deliberate decisions taken by politicians who have no idea what life is like in the real world and quite frankly don't seem to care. I am standing as a UKIP candidate because I believe that UKIP not only has the people who passionately believe in Britain and the British people but have the common sense policies that this country needs.

For example the NHS.

We will ensure that the NHS remains free at the point of need and in funded through general taxation.

UKIP health policy is very different from the others though for a very important reason. We will ensure that the NHS is a national health service and not an international health service. We will make having NHS approved health insurance a condition of entry into the UK for migrants and visitors, ending health tourism that costs around 2bn per year. Some of that 2bn will be used to end hospital car parking charges in England. Something that has already happened in other parts of the UK.

Energy policy:

We will scrap the EU directives forcing us to build these monstrous wind farms destroying our precious coastline and blighting our green and pleasant land. Windfarms have proven themselves to be utterly useless. How can it be that we are spending billions and billions on energy production that relies on the weather! If I had to guess it would be that these windfarms are huge monuments to political ego's. Wind is completely unpredictable and uncontrollable. If we cannot control when we generate power and how much we generate then what use is it? That is why, as MP, I will do absolutely everything in my power to stop the navitus bay wind farm that threatens our wonderful world heritage coastline. There are some renewables that I support. Tidal generators, particularly tidal lagoons are things that I have long argued in favour of. The tide comes in and out twice a day, we know when, we know the speed and strength. We know the tides for the next 100 years so we can predict how much energy will be produced and when. We need to keep the lights on and keep British companies working and that needs common sense policies. All of these issues come from the department for energy and climate change who's policies have put thousands of our countries pensioners into fuel poverty. That is why UKIP will scrap the whole department.

And then of course there is the EU.

UKIP is the only party in Great Britain committed to leaving the EU. Therefore:

UKIP are, amazingly, the only party who genuinely believe in true parliamentary democracy. We are the only party who have as a clear policy, a total commitment that the people who make the decisions that affect every one of us in our daily lives must be directly accountable to the British people through the ballot box.

Every other party in Britain is committed to remaining in the EU where the decisions are made not by MEP's but by commissioners in a central committee who make the laws in secret. Behind closed doors. That's where 70% of our laws come from. And we must remember that the remaining 30% that are decided in Westminster must be EU compliant. These 28 commissioners are unelected and therefore unaccountable and unsackable. Disgraceful. It is simply a matter of democracy. The cavalier manner in which our right to self determination was handed over to a collection of unelected Eurocrates is, in my opinion, nothing short of treachery. The politicians of establishment parties gave away our sovereignty and we will take it back.

When we go to the polling stations, we must consider the future of the country as that is what we will be deciding.

We can vote for a party that rejects the status quo. That does not have a vested interest in trying to defend the mistakes of the past or an ideology long since debunked . A party that believes that Britain will be a fairer, more democratic and more prosperous society outside of the EU. We have that opportunity on the 7th May.

The fact is whether we are talking about Europe, immigration, taxation, energy, education, human rights, the choice is binary. It is the establishment consensus or UKIP common sense and I believe it really is time for common sense policies delivered by people who truly believe in Britain.

Richard Turner Email



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