Category: Politics

Chesham & Amersham Lib Dem victory: What it means for Ludlow

Yesterday Lib Dems were in a state of high excitement have won the Chesham and Amersham by-election by a mile and a half. Although I don’t often publish national political stuff on this blog, the result was game changer. It would be remiss of me if I didn’t mention it. And the comments made by the defeated Tory candidate show how of touch the Tories have become. How arrogant they have become. There was a 25% swing to the Lib Dems in Chesham and Amersham on Thursday. That is huge. Ludlow constituency has been Lib Dem in the past. We would need a swing of 23.5%. That now look achievable. A big challenge. But achievable.

Parliamentary constituency boundary changes for Shropshire make sense including a new Ludlow and Bridgnorth constituency

It has been a long journey and for many areas of the country it may not be over yet. The Boundary Commission for England has made its latest “final” proposals for changing the boundaries of parliamentary constituencies, including those in Shropshire. Although the government had long abandoned plans to reduce the number of MPs from 650 to 600, it is pressing up to even up the size of constituencies. The Ludlow constituency, for now represented by Philip Dunne, is proposed to expand north to the edge of Shrewsbury taking in Dorrington and Cressage and adopting a new name of Ludlow and Bridgnorth. Shrewsbury and Atcham will lose Atcham and become plain Shrewsbury. Hinstock and Hodnet will be transferred out of North Shropshire into an expanded constituency, which could be called Newport and Wellington. These changes make sense to me.

New council leader Lezley Picton announces a pothole cabinet but will it get to grips with the climate emergency?

The Conservatives retained their majority on Shropshire Council in the 6 May elections despite loses of seats and its leader. On Thursday, the council appointed Lezley Picton, previously cabinet member for culture and waste. She will be the first female leader of Shropshire Council. There is some evidence that we have moved on from the Shrewsbury-centric obsessions of former leader Peter Nutting. But in her first day in the job, Lezley Picton outlined business as usual. Although she a promising a “pause and reflect”, the council’s most controversial policies – spending millions more on the shopping centres, demolishing Shirehall, building the North West Relief Road and the pushing through new local plan – she is not proposing to scrap the plans. The appointment of Cecilia Motely to head up transport, tourism and communities may bring a more rural perspective. And for the first time the cabinet has a member dedicated to the climate emergency and green economy.

It was a bloke’s world in the Super Thursday elections here in Shropshire – why do so few women stand for public office?

With thanks to the Fawcett Society and the Democracy Club, we can analyse the gender of the more than 21,000 candidates that stood in elections on 6 May. Just one third were women (33%). Of the major parties, the Greens had the highest proportion of women at 43%, followed by Labour (41%), the Lib Dems (31%) and the Conservatives (27%). I was one of 232 candidates standing for Shropshire Council on 6 May. It was depressingly like the national picture. Only 28.4% of candidates were women: Green 48.8%; Labour 31%; Lib Dems 29.8%; Conservatives 18.8%; and Independents just 14.3%. The newly elected council is now just 24.3% female. Why? I think if we really understood why, we would have as many women pitching for election as men.

Astonishing Blue on Blue attack as deselected Tory lashes out at council leadership

BBC Radio Shropshire is this morning reporting that a senior Conservative, who has been deselected and will stand as an independent, has taken a parting shot at her former colleagues. As the radio station reports, the email was sent to all 74 councillors not just the Conservative group. As such it was obviously meant to be made public. Laying in to the lack of leadership by the Conservatives, Hodnet councillor Karen Calder, who will stand as an independent, opines her sympathy for fellow councillors who have been deselected in the north of the county. She praises opposition leaders and rages against the cull of sitting councillors in the north of the county. Karen rages against backroom deals and despairs of the council leadership and the way many of her colleagues have been treated.

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