To Beaconsfield and back again – every vote still counts!

After the rigours of the Country Tour (some 650 miles supporting eight CLPs – from Lydney to Darwen) the tube and train swept me westward to spend Saturday supporting Tony Clements, our PPC for Beaconsfield (yes another Tony standing in that interesting part of Buckinghamshire!).  Given the response on the door-step and the street stalls…

The A303: The Chancellor’s road to the few

One of the common challenges of living on the coast, or in the country, is the smaller size of the local economy. That can be partly a question of the nature of the land, or sea, and partly the smaller population of people to participate in that economy, as producers, sellers or buyers. Anything that…

Putting the people of coast and country at the centre of decision-making.

I have lived in Hampshire for a large portion of my life and worked in a local authority in a predominantly rural county, so have seen first hand the kinds of unique issues people face when living in the countryside – particularly when they are also dealing with challenging life circumstances such as unemployment, disability…

The Coast & Country question: why should Labour bother with the rural vote?

In the last summer of 2013, I was interviewed on Radio Norfolk. They had recently heard about my campaign to get the Labour party to launch a “Rural manifesto” to reconnect with non-urban voters. Some had even read my Rural manifesto proposal – over-long and badly written, though it was. It was a terrifying experience,…

What Labour could do for Coast & Countryside Communities

With the General Election campaign emerging from the festive break every Prospective Parliamentary Candidate (PPC) is rightly concerned with building on their exposure and contact rate in each and every constituency across the UK. For those fighting non-urban seats – be that the 30+ marginals we need to hold or win for a majority, the…

Raising Aspirations in Coast and Country

It does not take much for figures on social mobility to astound our consciousness. Given one in every six children are still in relative poverty, it seems Britain is still a broadly unequal society. This situation underpins any modern progressive: spurring each of us on in finding solutions to tackle these problems. Under the last Labour…

Majority government starts in west Wales

The delightful counties of Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire contain four parliamentary seats, all of which have been Labour, which we need to win again if we are to have a good chance of achieving a majority government in 2015. Taken together these seats are perhaps a microcosm of the challenge we face to win a majority…