A glorious spring day, sunny with a gentle breeze, and lots of opportunities to meet with activists across the county.

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First stop Coleford to meet party activists in the Forest of Dean, including Labour’s PPC Steven Parry-Hearn, Baroness Royall, numerous party members, and other local activists including Free Miners and members of HOOF – Hands Off Our Forest – who had been instrumental in saving the public forest from being sold off earlier in this parliament.

A rousing speech, a wide-ranging Q&A and an opportunity to start the tour with a restatement of Labour’s commitment to the public forest staying public!

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Onwards to Gloucester to meet Sophy Gardner our PPC there, together with her colleagues and comrades – and the perfect chance to promote Labour’s Animal Welfare manifesto with local Animal protection groups. Followed swiftly by a good canvassing session in the Matson area of the city.

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The sunny weather certainly prompted quite a few conversations with the eight of us – including an introduction to the work of the Gloucestershire Gateway Trust.

The Trust have entered into an innovative partnership with the Westmorland family (who run the Tebay Service station in The Lake District) to create the new north-bound services on the M5 between Junctions 12 and 11. We had the great pleasure of being shown round a service station which is a real flagship for local produce, local recruitment, training and staff development, and engagement with its community. It looks and feels as good as Tebay, and even has its own butcher!

We would recommend it to anyone (and south bound opens soon).

Wednesday, and we will be off to Worcester, and further afield in the West Midlands.

Hywel Lloyd is a Co-founder of Labour: Coast & Country

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, Labour: Coast & Country.

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