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©2019 by Victoria Charleston

My Liberal Vision

Liberty and Equality

I believe fundamentally in a person’s ability to make judgements about their own lives and defend their right to be able to do so.  Too many people in our society are constrained by the inequality within our systems to reach their full potential, whether this is in lack of access to decent jobs, affordable housing, or a weak pound affecting household budgets.

I am passionate about speaking up and speaking out on behalf of those who struggle to be heard.  My career to date has focussed on supporting vulnerable people and enabling them to live their best possible lives.  It is why I worked in Westminster to change laws around housing tenants’ rights to legal protections, and why I campaigned for greater protection for stalking victims through the Stalking Protection Act 2019.

The Liberal Democrats made great strides during the coalition government to work towards a more equal society, but this is being eroded by the Conservatives.  As your candidate, I will continue to work for all people to have an equal stake in our society, secure jobs, and decent housing.

The NHS & Social Care

Our NHS was born out of a liberal belief that, for an individual to be free, the constraints of society: squalor, ignorance, want, idleness, and disease must be removed.

Our NHS is something to be proud of, but it is under immense strain, dangerously lacking in the central funding it needs from the Conservative government.

There is still a depressing ‘postcode’ lottery when it comes to treatment within the NHS.  One of my proudest campaigns was to work alongside Tessa Munt MP, and former England Rugby captain, Lawrence Dallaglio, to push NHS England to fund better radiotherapy equipment. Eventually, after 4 years’ agitation, we won an extra £51m, ensuring that those in the South West were able to get the best and most effective treatment locally.

We need to start treating people holistically as a matter of course – integrating health and social care, investing in public health and preventative measures properly, funding mental health services nationally.

Victora Charleston and former Lib Dem MP fo Wells Tessa Mut

Victoria and former MP for Wells, Tessa Munt

Victoria Charleston speakingat an anti-stalking event in Parliament

Speaking at an anti-stalking event in Parliament

Climate Change

Liberal Democrats have a strong, and proud history of campaigning on environmental issues; the belief in the need for economic and social systems to be designed to work with the natural environment.

Working in sustainability, I saw first-hand the threat climate change is having, and will have, both at home and abroad.  I worked specifically on changes to renewable energy tariffs, fuel poverty and behaviour change, lobbying government officials and the Chair for the Committee on Climate Change to ensure the best deal for sustainable businesses, the least well-off and our environment.

We are running out of time to make the changes needed to avoid climate disaster. The UK must take climate change seriously and this means having a longer-term vision than most politicians tend to.

As Salisbury's strong voice, I will continue to fight for action on air pollution, better investment in renewable technologies, reduction in plastic pollution, and the highest energy standards for all buildings.