Could you give me a one minute biography?
My name is Darran Palmer, I am the UKIP candidate. I am 32 years old and I was born in Stepping Hill Hospital. I have lived all my life in Marple and Bredbury. I was educated at Marple Primary and Secondary Schools and then the Ridge college. After working in the college library, I worked for the Co-op bank, where I qualified as a financial advisor but the business suffered after the crash. I then set up a retail business in my hobby area of gaming and I now run an event business for table top strategy and wargames. Some 18 months ago, watching the news, I decided to get involved with UKIP as I did not like the way the country was going. I wanted to change things. I Became active and was asked to stand as a candidate
What do you think are the three most important issues for the country?
The NHS: it seems to be in a long crisis which started under Labour and continued under the Coalition. Staff are under more and more pressure with targets. We are not training anyone up. We needed people to come in and work for the NHS which brings me to my next point.
Immigration: it can be a good thing but it needs controlling. We have an open door to half a billion people. We want doctors, nurses and engineers. We don’t want the low skilled, unemployed and even criminals.
The EU: It’s straining our resources, if you look at how much we pay in we don’t seem to get anything back. It is now too political and no longer just a trading group. We want to trade with Europe but we don’t want to be ruled by Europe. Our laws shouldn’t be made by Europe
Who would most people regard as the Stockport’s greatest ever sportsman?
Fred Perry, probably.
Who would you vote for in this constituency if not yourself?
( Laughs) The Monster Raving Loony Party if they were standing here. In all honesty I would just probably spoil the ballot paper.
What do you think are the most important issues for the people of Hazel Grove?
Stepping Hill, it was recently the worst hospital in the country for waiting times. Care of the aged, being left to Stepping Hill to care for rather than under local authority care. One of UKIP’s policies is to merge health and social care. Care should be put ahead of the budget considerations of either the NHS or the local authority.
Traffic. Over last 15 to 20 years the Stockport Lib Dem council seems to have had a policy of installing traffic lights everywhere. Roundabouts would help the traffic. The bypass ( SEMMS the link from the airport to the M60 via Hazel Grove and Bredbury ) I cant see how an east-west road solves north-south traffic issues. A lot of residents don’t want it, it should be put to a public vote rather than be simply what a few councillors want.
With which policy of your own party do you most disagree with and why?
Of UKIP’s green policies, probably our energy policy on fracking. I am not in favour of fracking . I am favour of looking at renewable options before using fossil fuels. However we need to look at ways of storing energy generated by renewable methods such as wind and solar because its very expensive.
What is your position on HS2?
Completely against it. From Stockport , I can get to London in under 2 hours, reducing it down to an hour costs too much money that benefits only a few people. The £70 Billion could be spent on other things that are more important.
Do you have a political hero or role model?
Winston Churchill, because of how he dealt with the pressures of a crisis and he had the courage to warn about Hitler beforehand and he was ridiculed for it.
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?
The NHS, I believe its 96 Billion. On Defence , Its less than 2% og GDP because we want to get it back to 2%. GDP is £1.5 trillion.
What is Bullock Smithy or the Bullock Smithy?
Hazel Grove, it’s the original name of the village now known as Hazel Grove, also the pub on the corner of Torkington Road and the A6.
What will you do if you don’t get elected?
Continue working as I am self employed.
Continue campaigning as a private citizen for certain local issues such as damaged kerb-stones and road traffic monitoring on Church lane in Marple.
( These questions were put to Darran Palmer in person and with no prior notice, his answers are reproduced faithfully here without comment. )