Libs Dems launch Somerset campaign
The ink was barely dry on Somerset Structural Changes Order 2022 creating the new unitary council. Just 48 hours later the LibDems officially launched their campaign for the 5 May elections. The choice of Norton sub Hamdon, a nod to former leader Paddy Ashdown, and happier times. The sun shone and the village hall was reasonably full to greet party leader Sir Ed Davey (pictured below right). There wasn’t a lot of talk about policies, but plenty of geeing up the faithful. And, inevitably given the stories continuing to come out of the war zone, a homage to people in Ukraine.
In Parliament the LibDems are a shadow of the party that Lord Ashdown led, with just 13 MPs. But if the fortunes in national politics have faded, they have big hopes for the Somerset Unitary elections. The LibDems control 3 out of four district councils in the Somerset Unitary area. So it is not unreasonable that they hope to convert that support into councillors in the new unitary.
Somerset party leader Bill Revans (pictured below) was on hand to greet the audience. He and South Somerset District leader Val Keitch did interviews fielding some pretty friendly questions.
Cllr Keitch repeated several times that the LibDems in South Somerset would stand on their record. After the recent success in the by-election for Neroche, she felt there were reasons for confidence.