Mims Davies, the Conservative’s Eastleigh candidate in the general election, has hit back at stories being circulated that she lives near Gatwick and has to make “a three hour round trip” whenever she visits the borough.
Davies reacted to an article that was published in a Liberal Democrat newsletter while she was visiting the Arlington Fleet services facility with the Railways Minister Claire Perry.
“I have never lived in Gatwick” Davies told Eastleigh News.
“I am from Mid-Sussex but I have a house in Bursledon and I am well known in the area.
“Yes, I haven’t lived in the area all my life and I certainly haven’t been the leader or the MP for numerous years but I don’t think that precludes me from having a clear view of what matters to people here in Eastleigh”.
Claire Perry said that development in the area meant that more investment was needed to cope with extra traffic and in public transport.
She said she thought Mims Davies would “stand up for Eastleigh” and highlight these issues.
Arlington fleet services are based at the former British rail engineering works and around 80 people are employed in the maintenance and repair of trains.
In 2004 former British Rail engineers used their redundancy pay to start the company after Alstom vacated the site and so have kept link between the rail industry and the borough alive.
With Parliament set to dissolve on March 30, I asked the minister what she thought was the coalition government’s greatest achievement and Perry responded:
“Getting the economy from a place where it was heading off a cliff to where it is now, one of the strongest and fastest growing economies in the developed world.
“Businesses like Arlington have benefitted from that, from business confidence and the help that has been given to small businesses in terms of tax relief and the very enthusiastic economic climate”.