Tim Farron kickstarts local election campaign with 48 hour tour of key battlegrounds

Tim Farron is today kick starting the party’s local election campaign, with a two day tour of key battlegrounds. He will be campaigning with activists in Sheffield, Hull, Newcastle, Southport and Liverpool over the next 48 hours.

In just five weeks’ time Liberal Democrat campaigners will be defending 351 council seats across much of England, and campaigning for gains in many areas.

Local elections are, of course, about local issues. What matters to local people and what we campaign on can be different from ward to ward, never mind in different parts of the country.

But there are some key themes that will resonate across all of us:

Public Services

We played our part in Government to balance the books. Now the Tories are going too far and public services are suffering. We will stand up for teachers and doctors, and fight unnecessary cuts to services that our communities rely on.  We are hugely proud of our NHS, our local schools, our local libraries and local community groups.



Liberal Democrats everywhere agree that we need more housing, and more housing that people can afford. We need housing that is right for our local communities and local communities should have a say on new development.



Being a Liberal Democrat councillor is not a career move. People do it because we have a shared belief in community politics and making a difference in people’s lives. Too often Westminster and town halls seem out of reach and out of touch. Politics is best done out on the street, where families face daily challenges, where we can make a difference. Wherever we have Lib Dem councillors they are great community champions standing up for their local communities.

All of us on the ground know that these elections are not going to be easy. Our opponents are fighting hard and so must we.

Our record in local authority by-elections remains impressive. Since January, Liberal Democrats have the best record of any political party in council by-elections, increasing our vote share by 7.4 percent.

All of us on the ground know that these elections are not going to be easy. Our opponents are fighting hard and so must we.


* Tim Pickstone is Chief Executive of ALDC (the Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors) and is National Spokesperson on Grassroots Campaigning

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  • Lorenzo Cherin 31st Mar '16 - 5:19pm

    Right with you Tim et al , but let us have talk of standing up for pupils , parents and patients , ahead of teachers and doctors , the Liberal voice is to speak truth to power , the government has more power than the professionals , yes, but those professionals are still infinitely more powerful than those , powerless, often, who are the very people who need the services !

  • Sue Sutherland 1st Apr '16 - 3:02pm

    Lorenzo, thank you. I so agree that our party should be speaking truth to power and that we are the party of the insignificant individual. Unfortunately our time in Coalition did nothing to show this as we got caught up in power. We should be talking to the patients, pupils, parents and forming our policies guided by what they say. We must show that we have learnt our lesson about power.

  • Simon Banks 1st Apr '16 - 3:41pm

    “Speaking truth to power” is an old Quaker motto.

    What Tim Pickstone says is all sound, but I’d like to see more stress on distinctively Liberal themes. True, opposing excessive public service cuts and campaigning for more social housing are good causes, but they are not distinctively Liberal or Liberal Democrat. When we speak of bringing power closer to people, it should not only be about hardworking and responsive councillors, but about changing systems to make them more open and democratic.

    At least this time we’re not starting with the millstone of a campaign theme dreamt up by the leader and having no credibility, as happened with Nick Clegg’s astonishing Vote Liberal Democrat in Local Elections because Tories and Labour both Waste Money on Loony Things initiative (listing amongst others some things local Liberal Democrats had voted for, for good reason).

  • Matt (Bristol) 1st Apr '16 - 4:21pm

    What Simon Banks said.

    A Lib Dem election launch that appeared to have basically been sourced by googling Daily Mail articles and undermined many of the basic principles of local government and local democracy was about the nadir of the Coalition era for me, personally.

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