Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Engineers to fight for key marginal seats

Civil engineers and construction professionals will fight key marginal seats on 6 May.

Concrete Centre regional engineer Ian Gibb hopes to make headlines by reclaiming Ealing North for the Conservatives for the first time since 1987.

Gibb has been a local councillor since 1992 and is currently deputy leader of Ealing Council. He is the council’s cabinet member for children’s services.

He has more than 20 years’ experience in construction, having worked as a consultant before spending 18 years in the readymix concrete industry where he held a variety of roles including on-site technical responsibility on majo projects, product development, innovation and international business development.

“We have concerns about the Lib Dem’s exclusion of nuclear energy”

Tom Foulkes, ICE

Ealing North has traditionally been a Labour/Conservative marginal seat, and there have been extreme swings between the parties, in line with changing national political opinions.

In 2005 Labour’s Stephen Pound took 44% of the vote compared with Conservative candidate Roger Curtis’ 31%.

SLR Consulting geological consultant Stuart Penketh would need a similar swing to win the seat at Ellesmere Port and Neston for the Conservatives. Labour has held this seat since 1992 when it won it back from the Conservatives. Labour has had a comfortable majority in subsequent elections. Labour’s Andrew Miller took

48% of the vote in 2007 while the Conservatives’ Myles Hogg won a 33% share. However, the Conservatives gained a majority of council seats in the area in 2008. Penketh was elected to Bury Council in 2007.

Penketh studied geology at the University of Manchester and is a Fellow of the Geological Society of London.

“We will set up an infrastructure bank to direct private investment to essential projects such as rail”

Lib Dem manifesto

Contractors will be represented by JG McVey co-director Esther McVey. McVey is standing as Conservative candidate for Wirral West, another Conservative/ Labour marginal and generally regarded as the most affluent consistuency on the Wirral peninsular..

Her main interest is as managing director of PR firm Making It (UK) but she is also a director of her family’s Liverpool based construction firm JG McVey & Co.

However, the extent of the 1997 Labour landslide was sufficient for Stephen Hesford to defeat the former Conservative cabinet minister David Hunt and leave Labour with a clean sweep of the four Wirral seats, all of which it retained in 2001 and 2005.

Backers of London’s £15.9bn Crossrail scheme would be boosted by the election of Crossrail community relations manager Gareth Epps as Liberal Democrat MP for Reading East.

Epps is leader of the Liberal Democrat group on Reading Borough Council, having been elected to the Council in 2007.

Who are engineers voting for?

His main policy interests are transport, international affairs and the environment. He has run campaigns on recycling and has successfully stopped the Labour council making Reading’s inner ring road a one-way route.

Epps would need a sea-change in voting in the tight Tory/Labour marginal to win the seat. Liberal Democrat John Howson came third in 2005 with 24% of the vote while Robert Wilson was returned as Conservative MP with 35%.

Former British Rail project manager Michael Edwards hopes to claim South Derbyshire for Labour, where sitting Labour MP Mark Todd is standing down.

Edwards is a councillor and former deputy leader of Nottingham City Council, and was a Nottinghamshire county councillor between 1993 and 1998.

He takes a particular interest in transport and was part of the tram development board in Nottingham for many years.

Civil engineer David Dewes has the toughest task of all, standing as UK Independence Party (UKIP) candidate for the Yorkshire constituency of Pudsey.
Dewes is supporting UKIP’s five year moratorium on immigration for permanent settlement and Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union.

He also wants to see “a fairer share of national investment in the north of England, rather than the current trend to concentrate on London and the south east”.

  • How is the campaigning affecting your voting decisions? Vote in our homepage poll.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.