Best performance ever in Bromsgrove by the Lib Dems

Although not the result we were looking for, and in common with the national picture, not what the Lib Dems expected. It was nonetheless the best ever general election performance by us in Bromsgrove.

Over 10,000 votes (up 3,000) and almost 20% share of the vote (up 5%) whilst both the Conservatives and Labour saw both votes and share of votes decline, even if the Conservatives have an increased majority.

The Lib Dems will be building on this in next years local elections and the next general election (whenever that may be!)

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Guardian acknowledges its close in Bromsgrove, but the Liberal Democrats are picking up votes from everywhere!

Article by Gary Younge in the Guardian on Saturday

“Apart from a hiatus under Labour in 1973, Bromsgrove has been Tory since 1950…It was about as safe as a Tory seat could get.

This time the Tories are having to work hard for it. An independent Conservative is standing against the official candidate, Sajid Javid. Add Ukip, the British National party, an increasingly confident Liberal Democrat party and other independents into the mix and, while the Tories remain the favourites, the result is anything but assured. Labour is losing votes to the BNP; the Tories are losing votes to Ukip; and the Liberal Democrats are picking up votes everywhere.”

With your support we can turn Bromsgrove yellow!

Two horse race in Bromsgrove

It is evident from speaking to thousands of residents in the Bromsgrove constituency that it is a two horse race for the parliamentary seat between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats. It is not a safe Conservative seat.

Number of reasons:

  • The Liberal Democrats have a strong candidate who listens and answers voters questions honestly.
  • Expenses scandal is still raw and has lost the Conservatives votes
  • Some voters don’t like the new Conservative candidate’s professional background (investment banker), how he was chosen (central shortlist) or the fact he’s not even from the West Midlands
  • Weak Labour support and campaign
  • Number of independent candidates and the rise of the Bromsgrove Independent Conservatives
  • UKIP will take core Conservative votes away.

If you want a change for a fairer, better Bromsgrove and Britain then vote Liberal Democrat on 6th May.

Chance to meet and quiz Philip Ling

We’ve organised a small number of public meetings so that questions can be asked of me, plans for Bromsgrove and Lib Dem policies.

Monday 26th April, 7.30 – 9pm at Wythall, Woodrush High School,

Tuesday 27th April, 7 – 9pm at St John`s Church Hall, Bromsgrove

Wednesday 28th April, 7 – 9pm at The Wheel,  Blackwell

Sunday 2nd May, 7 – 9pm at Bournheath Village Hall, Bournheath   

Hope to see many of you there.

Warning if I struggle to have anything meaningful to say I’ll just answer “I agree with Nick”…

The work of an MP

Article by Simon Hughes  in the Guardian on being a constituency MP for Southwark and Bermondsey. I’ve met Simon a few times and he’s always struck me as very diligent, and like all good MPs has a photographic memory of faces and names. He writes

“It is a seven-day, 80-hour a week job being a constituency MP. Every day by phone, letter, email or simply being stopped in the street, people ask for help. Everything from finance to helping bury a relative to business support for the latest love potion.”

The funniest section for me was below.

“There is always a load to laugh about. Canvassing reveals a large number of people at home with no clothes on – and still clearly happy to answer the door (now you understand the genesis of my campaign for better insulation and lower fuel bills).”

That’s certainly never happened in Bromsgrove, and hopefully long may it continue!

Bromsgrove commerce needs politicians to promote it, something I intend to do

I met with the council last week to discuss economic development for Bromsgrove, specifically the High Street and Technology Park. After speaking to numerous business owners as well as constituents it is obvious that not enough is being done.

The recession has been tough for businesses all around the country and Bromsgrove has been affected.

However, the decline in the High Street and the lack of development on Bromsgrove Technology Park has been around before the recession.

Business rates are fixed by central government but the Liberal Democrats would allow local authorities to control business rates and give them another tool to build up local commerce.

However, the MP and local council can do more to promote Bromsgrove and its connections to the rest of the country.

For example there should be conferences/events to attract businesses to Bromsgrove and a proper plan to target specific types of retailers and industries. The local council could also provide better support to local independent entrepreneurs who are looking to start a business whether in retail or industry. A recession is a time to work even harder, not just use it as a ready made excuse.

Tories broken society more like a broken record…

At least that’s the verdict by the Economist who disagree with the notion that Britain is in a mess and getting worse.

I have spoken to many public sector and charity workers in Bromsgrove who deal with the people the Tories describe as part of the “Broken Society” and they don’t recognise the term. Sure the country isn’t perfect, but it’s not “broken” and if it was what are the Conservatives doing to help the few who need help the most?

Almost all their policies are aimed at the middle class voters. Marriage tax allowance; inheritance tax threshold increase; allowing parents to run schools (only those with time will do this) and focus on only imprisoning criminals.

The Lib Dems, however, are focusing on helping those most in need to create a better society for all:

  • Increase income tax threshold to £10k to help break the poverty trap and improve the incentives for individuals on low incomes
  • Extra £2.5bn in education for schools with pupils on free school meals. This resource can be used as headteachers deem appropriate, whether smaller classes or one on one tuition. Many classes can only proceed as the slowest pupil so this will benefit all pupils.
  • Scrap tuition fees, to break the psychological barrier of debt for many people going to university. There is enough student debt and c. £10k less would make a big difference to many future graduates
  • 67% of prisoners will re-offend when they are released, why? Because some have no alternative of employment, they may be illiterate, don’t know what to do. We would do more for rehabilitation and give these people skills and the ability to become a part of society.