A FORMER police officer and entrepreneur from Middlewich is planning to win over Mid-Cheshire voters at this year's general election.

Helen Clawson will be standing as an independent and has already informed the returning officer, who she says has been ‘wonderful’ helping her navigate the ‘murky waters’ of the process without a party machine behind her. 

The mum-of-three was a police officer for 14 years, but had to retire from the force early after suffering a brutal attack at work.

She now works to support domestic abuse victims for Manchester-based charity, TLC, and also runs her own business, Adaptive Clothing UK, designing and manufacturing clothes for children with additional needs.

In Helen’s view, a key issue facing voters in Mid-Cheshire is cuts to local council funding from central government, which forces them to charge for things people have already paid a reasonable price for through their council tax.

It also means they're forced to accept new residential developments to boost revenue, which at the same time diminishes the quality of the services they can provide.

The 42-year-old also believes transport needs to be looked at, especially the lack of council-supported services for children who travel to other towns for school, as issues like potholes caused by ‘wholly inadequate' long-term investment in the county’s road network.

Helen says independent MPs can better serve the community as their first loyalty is to the people they represent, not a party’s national agenda.

She said: “I want to improves the lives of ordinary people, and to make this new constituency a better place to live. That’s what being an MP should be about, but it doesn’t always seem to be the case.

“Members for the major parties are told how to vote. Independents can vote according to their conscience and their communities’ best interests. That brings a significant benefit, in my view.

“Like a lot of people, I’m fed up. Even in local politics, parties fight among themselves instead of prioritising their towns when they make important decisions.

“I’m also fed up with politicians who have no understanding of the lives of ordinary people.

"We have a sitting prime minister who’s on the cusp of becoming a billionaire, who obviously has no clue about how much of a struggle things are for a large majority of ordinary working families.

“They have no idea how the cost-of-living crisis is impacting the people of Mid-Cheshire. We need more relatable people making the decisions.

“It’s fantastic we have more women and people of colour at Westminster, but there’s a huge exclusion of people from working and lower-middle class backgrounds. A democratic institution needs to aspire to reflect the people it represents.

“I grew up in poverty on a council estate. I’ve been a single parent, and I’ve struggled to pay my bills, and at times, I’ve not been able to afford food. I understand what it’s like. I had to use a foodbank while I was a serving police officer.

“No-one should have to choose between food and warmth. I genuinely care about people, and I want to make a difference."

Helen was also recently selected to be a United Nations delegate to its international Status of Women Conference, which she says is ‘quite an honour’.

"It's going to be such a privilege representing women both at home internationally at the conference over the next three weeks," she added.