General Election 2017: What the Ludlow candidates said about – themselves

At the St Laurence’s hustings last night, the candidates were asked to introduce themselves. My notes are on what the candidates said about themselves not the statements they made on their party’s ambitions, track record and leadership. You can hear the candidates’ full statements on the audio recordings.

(My apologies that the recording quality occasionally has background noise, including a mobile phone and someone bumping into my sound recorder!)

Lib Dem, Heather Kidd. I have lived in the constituency for 30 years. Teacher by professional, governor at two local primary schools, also a long-term governor at a secondary school. I understand the pressures on education, including current cuts. A councillor for 20 years and a Shropshire Councillor since 2009. I was the leader of South Shropshire District Council, when we had a very progressive affordable housing policy that delivered well over 300 houses. We don’t do that now. We need to. Campaigning for ambulance and health services and better rural services.

Green, Hilary Wendt. I have a background working in community mental health services. I chair an innovative mental health project that supports around 1,400 vulnerable people in the area. My work has shown me how poverty and inequality undermines mental health and undermines communities. One of the reasons I joined the Green Party is because its anti-poverty policies have been judged to be the most effective of all the political parties. She then read a prepared statement on Green Party policy.

Conservative, Philip Dunne. Delighted to stand again representing the Conservatives seeking to be re-elected as the member of parliament for the Ludlow constituency, which I have represented since 2005. I was elected as a district councillor to represent Ludlow town centre back in 2002. I have an affinity for Ludlow as I was brought up in the hills behind here and I have always considered Ludlow to be my home town. I had a career outside politics before coming into the political sphere. I spent 20 years working in businesses, small and big, UK and internationally. I bring something to the political firmament which many of the politicians from all parties don’t have. I have had the privilege of serving for four years in the Ministry of Defence and for the last ten months in the Department of Health. I feel I have been able to build on my experience outside politics. Then continues about general election and national deficit.

Labour, Julia Buckley. I live down the road in Bridgnorth with my family and where I am a local councillor. In many ways, I travelled the furthest to be here this evening. I am the daughter of a coal miner and I went to my local comprehensive. I am extremely proud to stand in front of you tonight as the parliamentary candidate for the Labour Party. I have worked 20 years in government. I have worked in local, regional, national and have had five years in the European Parliament in Brussels. I was also awarded a scholarship to write a PhD about European policy. Back in the UK, much of my work has been extracting funding from the EU for about here. I ran projects for businesses, charities, community groups. Works around infrastructure, supporting people, the important work of a compassionate community. Continues on difference between a Conservative and a Labour government and on Conservative cuts.