The campaign group Keep The Ban (http://www.keeptheban.org.uk/) are asking all parliamentary candidates to commit to keeping the hunting ban if they are elected on 8 June. And Cheltenham's Liberal Democrat candidate Martin Horwood has been quick to sign the pledge.
The Liberal Democrats have announced they would plug funding gaps for the NHS and social care by putting a penny on income tax, in their first major manifesto commitment of the election campaign.
The tax would raise an additional £65m for Gloucestershire, with £42m for the NHS, including mental health, and £23m for social care each year.
This is the party’s flagship spending commitment and its first major policy announcement for the election. The Liberal Democrats will also set out a ‘five-point recovery plan’ for NHS and social care services in their manifesto.
The Liberal Democrats have topped the poll in Cheltenham in the local elections, gaining 49.4% of the vote compared to the Conservatives on 35.1%. The Cheltenham party won seven of the town's ten seats on Gloucestershire County Council and only lost the remaining three by a few hundred votes.
Originally published 27 April 2017.
Brighton and Hove Liberal Democrats have announced they will not be standing a candidate against Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas, echoing the decision by Cheltenham Green Party not to stand in 2010 against then Cheltenham Liberal Democrat MP Martin Horwood.
Martin, now running to regain the seat in Cheltenham at the General Election on 8 June, said:
"I'm really not sure if this is the beginning of a 'progressive alliance'. It's always better to allow democratic local parties to reach their own decisions not impose pacts from on high. That's what happened here in Cheltenham in 2010 when I welcomed the Green Party's support and beat the Conservative candidate Mark Coote.Read more
Originally published 26 April 2017.
Sources within Cheltenham's own Conservative Party believe that incumbent MP Alex Chalk may at risk of losing the seat to former Lib Dem MP Martin Horwood in the general election on 8 June, according to the Conservative website conservativehome.com.
The website's analysis of battleground seats in the southwest (see story here) says:
"Alex Chalk captured this with an 11-point swing to secure a majority over the Lib Dems of over 6,500, but local sources suggest this pro-Remain town may be at risk. Not only do they have an overwhelming majority on Cheltenham Council but Martin Horwood, the former MP, is their candidate again. Whilst UKIP got just over 3,800 voters in 2015 there are plenty of Labour (3,902) and Green (2,689) to reinforce Horwood. Electoral Calculus give Chalk an almost four-in-five chance of hanging on, but that may be underestimating a concentration of Lib Dem strength in this seat."