Could you give me a one minute biography?
My name is William Wragg, I am 27 years old (but aging rapidly doing this) and I am the Conservative candidate for Hazel Grove. Selected two years ago, I am currently a Conservative councillor for the Hazel Grove ward on Stockport council. My background is as a primary school teacher before which I provided learning support for special needs. I studied History at Manchester University, I was born in Stepping Hill Hospital, I attended local schools and I am also a governor of my old primary school, Hazel Grove Primary.
What do you think are the three most important issues for the country?
Firstly the economy, people’s individual job security, ensuring rising living standards.
Secondly I believe that nationally people want to know that there is a strong capable government prepared to make tough decisions about deficit reduction in order to keep mortgage rates low and allow the economy to continue to thrive.
Drawing on my background in education, I believe people want to know that there is going to be a better future for next generations, with increased school qualifications,apprenticeships and opportunities for their children
Who would most people regard as the Stockport’s greatest ever sportsman?
It would be Fred Perry, although Rebecca Adlington is now living in Romiley
Who would you vote for in this constituency if not yourself?
Goodness me, that’s a tough question. On a personal level and not on a party political basis, it would be Michael Taylor. I disagree with his politics but have a lot of respect for him personally
What do you think are the most important issues for the people of Hazel Grove?
Hazel Grove, although a single constituency, has a number of centres. All our district centres have distinct challenges. There are different issues for each local centre: the redevelopment of Marple, traffic congestion in Bredbury are two examples. Free parking, primary school places, infrastructure, getting rid of pacer trains etc all matter and I will continue to campaign on these issues.
With which policy of your own party do you most disagree with and why?
On a personal note, I would vote against the Repeal of the Fox Hunting ban
What is your position on HS2?
I am broadly supportive. I like the idea of HS3 more, the idea of linking Liverpool , Manchester and Leeds. We should also be building HS2 from the north southwards first. Perhaps that could the policy area I disagree with more: Where we start HS2 from.
Do you have a political hero or role model?
Most Conservatives would probably say Margaret Thatcher or Winston Churchill at this point, but, as a student of history and the Conservative party, I would probably plump for Benjamin Disraeli from the 19th Century
Ed Miliband wanted to weaponise the NHS , perhaps he was confused between Health and Defence. Could you tell me how much the UK spends annually in those 2 areas?
If I guessed it , I might be wrong. But if pressed, about £40 Billion on defence, not sure about the size of the Health budget. Although I could say that under this government NHS spending has gone up in real terms.
What is Bullock Smithy or the Bullock Smithy?
This was the original name for Hazel Grove, the actual smithy was where the Bullock Smithy/Bulls head pub is now. Changed in the 1830’s from Bullock Smithy to Hazel Grove. John Wesley, the father of Methodism, famously referred to Bullock Smithy as “… one of the most famous villages in the county for all manner of wickedness.” and he also said that the view from Mellor was “paradise” which gives you an idea on how varied the constituency is!
What will you do if you don’t get elected?
I would be bitterly disappointed, I have never stood for election in any other area. The one thing you can record is that on May 8th after the election I will not be going anywhere else.
( These questions were put to William Wragg in person and with no prior notice, his answers are reproduced faithfully here without comment )
Tomorrow Darran Palmer, UKIP