Minister speaks out on local issues during election visit
Prime Minister visited the Wells constituency on Monday (May 4th)
to give his backing to his party's candidate James Heappey for
this week's General Election.
Cameron visited Wells where he met local residents in a walkabout
before answering questions from local reporters, including Burnham-On-Sea.com.
Mr Cameron said winning the Wells constituency is "vital"
to forming a Tory government, adding: "It's absolutely vital.
The south west is going to have the decisive say in this election.
The Conservative Party is 23 constituencies short of an overall
majority - we hold 303 seats and we need to win 23 and Wells is
one of them. If you look across the West Country you can see reams
of seats that could make the difference between a Conservative
majority government or the uncertainty and chaos of Ed Milliband
propped up by the SNP. It really is that tight and that close.
The West Country will have that choice so I want people to feel
empowered that their decision could make the difference for our
Prime Minister was asked about what can be done to help Burnham
address the impact of the EU's new sea water regulations. He said:
"The most important thing is to back James' campaign. Everyone
needs to get together in order to ensure the investment is made
and people's voices are listened to so that Burnham does not suffer.
Tourism is very important to Somerset's economy and I want to
make sure it keeps growing."
Cameron was pressed about the slow pace of high-speed broadband
rollout across Somerset. He said: "It is absolutely essential.
Not being connected to broadband is a bit like not being connected
to the road network, because for small businesses it is absolutely
vital. Our target here is that we will get to 95% in 2017. We
have piled money into rural broadband and will continue to do
that. We also want to look at all the solutions for getting to
the other 5% - whether that's by satellite, relays or other systems
- because we want everyone to have access to this technology."
about the housing 'crisis' in parts of Somerset with a lack of
affordable homes, Mr Cameron defended his 'help to buy scheme'
against recent criticism. He said: "Help to buy does help
because people only need a 5% per cent deposit rather than the
25% deposit they were having to get when I became Prime Minister,
so it has helped a number of people in this constituency. We'll
go further because the starter homes we're going to build will
be built for 80% of the market price. They can't be bought by
buy-to-let landlords or foreign property investors - only local
people under the age of 40. I also think the 'right to buy plan'
for housing associations will mean that they will get more money
to build more houses and, as councils start to sell off some of
their most expensive properties, they will be able to re-invest
that, so it's a more than one-for-one replacement."
follow-on question asked why some housing associations have not
welcomed the scheme, to which he responded: "Housing association
tenants are welcoming it - and it's the tennants that I'm more
interested in because they want to do something which others have
done - to buy their own home. That will work well for council
housing tenants and housing associations. Housing associations
themselves will be reimbursed for the houses they sell and they'll
be able to build more houses as a result."
questions during the visit asked about fracking, which he said
he's opposed to, adding: "no, we have very clear rules about
that," and discussions about reforming a Lib Dem coalition.
The PM and James Heappey during the visit, which coincided with
the May Fayre
Click here for the full
list of local candidates standing in the General Election