Wellingborough's Green Party candidate says she champions community

Wellingborough's Green Party candidate, Marion Turner-Hawes, has a long history of working with communities and hopes people will see her as "a real actor at a local level".

Marion Turner-Hawes is standing for the Green Party in Wellingborough
Marion Turner-Hawes is standing for the Green Party in Wellingborough

Wellingborough has elected a Conservative MP at every election since 2005 and previous MP Peter Bone had a majority of 12,000 but Marion Turner-Hawes is urging people to consider voting Green.

She said: "The offer from the Green Party is profound. The investment isn't just about transitioning the country, it is about investing and putting loads of money back into local services. It's investing in communities, investing in people and helping us all live well.

"Add that to someone like myself who a real actor at a local level, that people know, and I know how to get things done."

Marion Turner-Hawes recently won a National Police Volunteering Award

Ms Turner-Hawes stood for election in Wellingborough in 2015, the first time she had ever stood for Parliament, but she has been an active community leader and recently won a National Police Volunteering Award for her work as Castle Fields Streetwatch co-ordinator where she patrols streets and litter-picks.

She has also been involved in campaigning for rail services, Glamis Hall, saving the Castle Theatre, supporting the Wellingborough Homeless Forum, re-opening the Castle Fields Park toilets after 20 years, and co-founded the Wellingborough LGBT Group.

Marion said: "I’d done a lot of community roles, a lot of work within the public sector and both working in local government, working with central government and also as a consultant.

"So, I’ve got a lot of knowledge about local authorities particularly, and a bit more knowledge about central government."

Marion Turner-Hawes is active within the Wellingborough Community

Ms Turner-Hawes says she and the Green Party have three main priorities - enabling a positive response to climate change, reinvigorating communities and local democracy.

She said: "All three actually hang off that second one about reinvigorating communities, because I personally have a very strong belief that for starters, as citizens, we now need to start standing up ourselves, or sitting up or whatever and playing more of a role in our communities."

Ms Turner-Hawes said active community involvement and a rethinking of how communities work for everyone could also be a chance to cut back on the use of services that require a lot of fossil fuels.

She also believes that people being involved in political processes would provide better services for more people and said: "I think that as people and communities, when we start taking action ourselves, we have much more choice, and we can create better solutions.

"So even though if we went back in a time machine, back to 2009, and there were more services then, it wasn't very democratic, often the councils did what they wanted to do. And many of us still weren't getting our needs met.

"I think the big thing coming back to community is that services are co-delivered and co-produced with communities."

Ms Turner-Hawes thinks communities should be directly involved with and not just consulted on what services are delivered for them.

She added: "We want to see a re-invigoration of local government and local decision making where we should be participative, not just representative."

In terms of the bigger picture of the Green Party's policies, Ms Turner-Hawes said: "The Green Party plan is to invest £100bn a year for the for the next 10 years, so that's one trillion pounds of investment to change the whole structure of how we organise our lives to be much more low carbon and much more self-sustaining.

"We're insulating over a million homes a year with this money, we are also building 100,000 homes a year that will be council or social housing based, and they'll be eco homes.

"It's also about helping industry decarbonise and change the ways it's operating."

Ms Turner-Hawes also said she wanted to tackle misconceptions about a change to a green way of life and said: "Some people think that with a green agenda, it's hair shirt stuff or what we're going to lose. Actually, what I want to assert loudly and strongly is what we're going to gain.

"We will have an array of responses around the climate emergency, which is about making life sustainable. But it's not just about sustainable in terms of energy use, it's sustainable in terms of human beings and having space for each other."

On Brexit, one of the biggest issues in this election, Ms Turner-Hawes said: "We are in a mess.

"Parliament has been in chaos, really, over the last few years, trying to work out how to deliver the will of the people through a referendum that asked one very, very simple question from which many people, even though they voted leave, had many ideas [about] what leave actually looked like."

Ms Turner-Hawes wants Parliament to be able to find a consensus and said: "Green Party policy, what we want to see is a deal, an arrangement, something being agreed in Parliament. It's got to be agreed in Parliament because that is where democracy lives."

She said this final deal should go to the people for a confirmatory vote.

Ms Turner-Hawes added: "There's precedent in Ireland and Northern Ireland when the peace deal was put forward, after the politicians had come up with the deal, there were two referendums, one in Northern Ireland and one in the Republic of Ireland just to check both nations were happy with the arrangement.

"This isn't a re-running of the original referendum. This is three years down the road, given what you know now, and given this deal that you see in front of you, is this the deal that you want or not?"

Marion Turner-Hawes said she feels she has as good a chance as any of the other three candidates, Conservative Peter Bone, Labour's Andrea Watts and Liberal Democrat Suzanna Austin.

She said: "I think the things I've got going for myself is that I am someone from the community that actually does stuff in the community, I don't just talk about it."