Category: Politics

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

Today’s election results tell us we need to change the shape of local politics

There were no elections in Shropshire unitary area yesterday. Next door in Telford, Labour bucked the national trend and gained seats. This followed a lacklustre performance by the Tories and a very strong Labour vision for the future of the town. That message, about delivering local priorities, worked in Telford. Lib Dems and independents gained across the country fighting on local platforms. The Greens did very well too. Labour lost seats when they should have been gaining in mid-term election. The Tories suffered dis-May, losing hundreds of seats and dozens of councils. Few people turned out to vote. The consistent message I hear is that is voters are disgusted with politics that have become obsessed with the survival of politicians and parties. Politicians looking to their careers at the expense of ignoring the interests of the people they represent.

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.  

I felt physically ill when I sat down at Shropshire Council’s Performance Management Scrutiny Committee last Wednesday. We were there to yet again to argue against a damaging rise in parking charges in Ludlow from next September. It was the second time the matter had come to scrutiny. The last meeting looked like a stitch up. I knew the moment that I walked in at this meeting we were due a repeat. And it proved to be so. We are get charges until 8pm on the streets in the town centre and they will be set at £1.80 an hour, the highest outside Shrewsbury. There is no justification for this.

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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