Baroness Sally Hamwee writes…Localism and liberalism, urban and rural

You have to admire the energy and determination of Lucy Hurds and the Lib Dem team in Hereford and South Herefordshire. When I went to Hereford the other day, I found I was the most recent of a gaggle of peers and MPs (is that the right collective noun for Parliamentarians?) whom Lucy had persuaded to trek westwards.

Going to rural seats always reminds me how different it is campaigning in the countryside. In my neck of the woods, the challenges are from entry phones and gated developments (how does anyone ever get in, or – as happened to one colleague who did achieve that, get out?) In other parts of the city it’s tall and too often liftless blocks. Lucy whispered to me that two members to whom she introduced me delivered a village every week.

Spirits were high, as that morning a Liberal Democrat initiative led to the unitary council taking the first steps to revert to a committee structure. I’m of the generation of councillors who knew nothing else, and was pleased at their glee that so many Conservatives had supported them.

But of course there is far more in common between town and country than divides us. Clearly so much of Lucy’s campaigning is based on her own involvement in local affairs. She is there for people, and has managed that trick of being the go-to politician. So it was entirely appropriate that the campaign I was asked to show my support for was Citizens Advice “because free advice makes society better”. I came away knowing I had met a group of good citizens.

* Sally Hamwee is a Liberal Democrat member of the House of Lords, and the Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party Committee on Home Affairs, Justice and Equalities.

Read more by or more about or .
This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • Gwyn Williams 19th Dec '14 - 12:16pm

    Well done to Herefordshire Council.
    We used to say a parliament of owls, perhaps the collective noun for parliamentarians should be ” an owl “rather than a gaggle. It depends how you feel about our parliamentarians.Are they noisy group who hiss and honk or are they wise old birds?

  • Tony Greaves 20th Dec '14 - 8:06pm

    Parliaments were of rooks. For ever gathering together with their own kind, squawking, bullying other birds, covering the world beneath them with excrement.


Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?


Recent Comments

  • User AvatarPeter Davies 31st May - 10:20am
    "In some ways the English layer of the Lib Dems is there because we are a Federal Party with the Party in Scotland and Wales...
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 31st May - 10:11am
    @ Michael BG, I had thought of suggesting that anyone who was short of friends should join a political party! But, I've probably had a...
  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 31st May - 9:52am
    Thanks, Antony, that's very helpful, to learn of the EU's comprehensive suggestions for our industrial and economic strategy. There seems much to agree on in...
  • User AvatarGeorge Kendall 31st May - 9:47am
    @John Marriott Glad we are agreeing on a lot. As far as I know, the NHS are already doing as you suggest, including trying out...
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 31st May - 9:42am
    Doesn't it make more sense to say a "targetted" basic income is necessary to protect those who have genuinely fallen on hard times? Just a...
  • User AvatarPeter 31st May - 9:28am
    " A universal basic income is necessary to support those who fall on hard times." The above statement is untrue. Let me correct it. "...