Ahmed Khan

Ahmed Khan

Actively putting people before party and committed to returning power to you.
North East (Top)
United Kingdom
Owner: Ahmed Khan
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Candidate for the North East (Top of the List)

Why would you like to represent your region?

For the past 12 years I have lived, worked, run a business & brought up my family in the North East & am passionate about this fabulously diverse region that I call home.
Like every region we have our problems & concerns. Increasingly these problems stem from Brussels & impact on our everyday lives. They also have serious implications for our children.
My entire working life has evolved around people, this has helped shape my views & opinions. I am a hard working individual who is able to communicate & connect with people from all walks of life & as your MEP I will be striving to ensure your voice is heard where it matters.
Like many of you I am concerned about the effect of EU Legislation on the UK, for example border control, social, education, environmental & economic policies.
As an Independent MEP I will be campaigning for our region. I will tell you what I am doing on behalf of the region & promise to put your interests above self interest.
I believe the North East is crying out for a strong Independent voice & promise to represent the entire region. This means every town, village, hamlet & city will have a voice in Brussels.
Our region faces some key challenges: ageing infrastructure, tourism, the environment, declining rural areas, the demise of our fishing fleets, jobs, economic development & regeneration. Whether we like it or not, Europe will play a large part in how we overcome them. Together we need to ensure we get the best possible deal for the region.

Areas of interest - reasons and personal views

Area : Heritage/Culture/Marketing/Media
Reason : The North East has an attractive mix of natural, recreational, cultural and lifestyle assets. We have two (and bidding for a 3rd) World Heritage Sites Hadrian’s Wall and Durham Cathedral and Castle, a national park, large areas of outstanding natural beauty, numerous historical buildings and some of the country’s finest coastline.

In recent years there have been some dramatic changes with regeneration taking place in many parts of the region, and this is helping change our regional identity.

Views : We need to continue developing and improving our natural, cultural and heritage assets for the economic benefit of the region. This will create jobs and new business opportunities.

We need to be less reliant on seasonal tourism by encouraging year round tourism.

At the same time we must protect our environment and heritage for future generations to enjoy.

We need to actively promote the region in the UK and abroad and establish much closer links with local tourist boards across Europe and beyond.

Area : Agriculture and Food
Reason : The Common Agricultural Policy, CAP, accounts for 40% of the EU’s budget with 70% of support going to the biggest 25 % of farmers, whilst many smaller producers get little benefit from the subsidies.

Food prices have risen sharply yet farmers are still being paid unfair prices by large supermarket chains.

Our fishing communities are in decline. Whilst I appreciate that the over-capacity in fishing fleets needs to be reduced and that fish stocks should be preserved we must stop this decline now.

Views : The emphasis of the CAP should be shifted from subsidising production to sustaining the rural economy and protecting our countryside. The system should be simplified so that farmers who need help get it quickly. Further reform is needed to put an end to practices such as compulsory set aside. Action is needed to stop supermarket chains holding producers to ransom and ensure that farmers are paid a fair price for their produce.

Fishing communities need financial help from the EU to develop other economic activities and more equitable fishing quotas are needed.

Area : Business/Management/Enterprise
Reason : Small and medium enterprises account for some 99% of all UK businesses and are responsible for around 54% of the UKs GDP. These businesses have to contend with a disproportionate amount of legislation and regulation. This means additional costs to SMEs and inevitably affects the ability of an SME to perform well, particularly in the current climate. Starting up an SME today means battling with regulation, bureaucracy and a minefield of legislation. Reform in this area is long overdue.

Views : Reform needs to work both ways. Less burdensome regulations and the removal of unnecessary barriers are necessary to encourage new SMEs and would encourage existing ones to grow.

Financial institutions need urgent reform and regulations must be tightened to stop a repeat of the economic crisis we now face.

Banks need to prove that they are lending the billions they have received from the taxpayer responsibly. Priority for lending must be given to UK SMEs and not foreign businesses.

Other political issues of interest

I believe that the current system does no more than pay lip service to the term democracy it's time for change, it’s time to put people before party & for openness & transparency in our political system. The only way we will break the party mould is to vote for an Independent candidate who will put our interest before self interest. By doing so you will be sending out a message to the politicians of all parties - you are not prepared to put up with them lining their own pockets at your expense.

Summary of life and career

I was born in a small town in Yorkshire & spent my early childhood living in the heart of the Colne Valley.
At the age of 12, I spent a year living & studying in Asia before returning to the UK to complete my education.
From an early age I worked in the family business which my father had started after losing his job. I took a number of part time jobs during my education to support myself before securing a post as a Community Project Officer. This gave me an insight into the workings of the statutory & voluntary sectors & allowed me to gain an insight into partnership working.
I secured similar positions (but on each occasion more challenging) in the Midlands, Manchester & London before taking up a position at Manchester Airport.
I left this post to fulfil a long standing ambition to work in the tourism industry. I held a number of senior positions with several UK companies & worked in Turkey, Greece, India, Sri Lanka, Maldives & Kenya before opening a small tourism related business in Turkey.
I have & continue to travel extensively in the UK, Europe, the Middle East, Africa & Asia.
I returned to the UK in 1998 & settled in the North East. In 2000 I opened a retail business & employ 5 people.
In 2007 I stood as an Independent in the local elections & lost by 33 votes. I filed an election petition following several irregularities. My actions revealed that around 1000 spoilt postal votes had disappeared.
In 2008 I stood again & romped to victory by 433 votes.

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