European elections: In Shropshire the news was the rise of the environmental and progressive vote, as well a win for the Brexiteers

The votes for the European Elections have been counted. In the West Midlands, the Lib Dems are back with one MEP. The Greens are growing in strength with one MEP. Three MEPs were elected to the Brexit Party displacing UKIP’s three MEPs. Labour did badly and the Conservatives much worse. Under the D’Hondt system of proportional representation, that gives one seat each to the Conservatives, Greens, Labour and Lib Dems. The Brexit Party has three seats with a bigger vote share than UKIP achieved.

In the West Midlands, the Conservatives and Labour lost 19,504 votes compared to the 2014 Euro elections. The Lib Dems and Greens gained 18,687 votes. The collapse of the Conservatives from 32% to 12% in a county that some regard as Tory stronghold is not just a reaction to the incompetent way that its politicians have managed Brexit. It shows diminishing faith in the three Tory MPs in our county.

There is no doubt that the big news of this election is the rise of the six-week-old Brexit Party. But the growth of the Continue reading “European elections: In Shropshire the news was the rise of the environmental and progressive vote, as well a win for the Brexiteers”

Proposals for new parliamentary constituencies will undermine Shropshire as a place we belong to

The final recommendations for new constituency boundaries have been published. The aim is to equalise the size of the electorate in each constituency and reduce the number of MPs from 650 to 600. Our county MPs should vote against the proposals.

Under the plans, Ludlow will become part of a new constituency with Leominster. Bridgnorth will join with the Wrekin. If the proposals go through, and that’s a “big if” right now, we will get a shakeup of MPs in the south and east of the county.

Ludlow is Shropshire. It should remain in Shropshire at every political level and not be merged with a very different county.  

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Ludlow MP Phillip Dunne exits his job as health minister after gaffe – it is time for him to represent us, not himself

Phillip Dunne, our Ludlow MP, is from today no longer a health minister. It comes just a day after he made an uncharacteristic gaffe in the House of Commons. But few will be surprised that he has lost his job after a lacklustre performance in the health role.

Now we have an opportunity to have an MP that puts Ludlow first and a parliamentary career second. Will Philip take it?

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Proposed parliamentary constituencies – Ludlow joins Leominster and Bridgnorth moves in with Wrekin

Ludlow constituency is set to see major changes if proposals put forward by the Boundaries Commission are adopted by parliament. Nearly 8,000 people will be moved into the constituency from north Herefordshire and it will be renamed Leominster and Ludlow. Bridgnorth will join the Wrekin and Wellington. There are small expansions to Telford and Shrewsbury constituencies, while North Shropshire remains unchanged under the proposals.

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Michael Gove will be an environmental disaster

Theresa May’s appointment of Michael Gove as head of the environment and farming ministry, Defra, is a disaster in the making. He is likely to sweep away many of the regulations that protect the environment and biodiversity.

Politically, we live in curious times with no certainty that the government will be stable or strong enough to survive the Brexit process. Theresa May has reappointed most of her pre-election cabinet, but she moved Andrea Leadsom from Defra to become Leader of the House of Commons. Michael Gove has been brought back to cabinet as Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. We have gone from a barely noticed Defra Secretary to one that will crave attention by swinging a wrecking ball through environmental regulation.

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