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.

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3 Comments

  • 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.

    Tony

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