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England’s blue and pleasant land...
Written by Steve Glennie-Smith   
Friday, 13 December 2019 11:05

Unsurprisingly, Tory Bill Wiggin was returned in the North Herefordshire constituency, which includes Ledbury - and with a 1% increased majority.  Also unsurprisingly, Labour suffered the greatest percentage loss (-5.6%) and was pushed into third place by Ledbury’s very own Phillip Howells (Lib. Dem).  The Labour loss could partly be due to their candidate (Joe Wood) being yet another ‘plant’ from the West Midlands.  (In recent elections, only the 2017 Labour candidate was local - from Bromyard.)

The results were:

  2019 candidate Votes Share (%) |
+/- %
Conservative Bill Wiggin 32158 63.0 | 31097 1 +1.0
Liberal Democrat Phillip Howells 7302 14.3 | 5874 3 +2.6
Labour Joe Wood 6804 13.3 | 9495 2 -5.6
Green Ellie Chowns 4769 9.4 | 2771 4 +3.8

Additionally, two Independents and a UKIP candidate stood in 2017, with UKIP coming in last.
Owing to the pact between the Conservatives and Farage’s Brexit Party, the latter did not field a candidate in North Herefordshire.

The Conservative majority is 24856.
Turnout was slightly down on 2017, at 72.6% vs. 74.1%.

The national story was repeated in South Herefordshire (which includes the city of Hereford):

  2019 candidate Votes Share (%) |
+/- %
Conservative Jesse Norman 30390 61.2 | 27004 1 +7.7
Labour Anna-Maria Coda 10704 21.6 | 11991 2 -2.2
Liberal Democrat Lucy Hurds 6181 12.5 | 3556 4 +5.4
Green Diana Toynbee 2371 4.8 | 1220 5 +2.4

An Independent came third in 2017.
UKIP came last that year: there were no candidates from either in 2019.

Adhuc in excremento sumus - sed profunditas aucta est.

Wiggin not considered to be a 'good MP'
Written by Steve Glennie-Smith   
Wednesday, 04 December 2019 19:05 has published The People-Power Index: How did your MP score? listing all current MPs (ie. those elected in 2017) in order of 'goodness'.

Bill Wiggin (Conservative - North Herefordshire) is listed as 595th (out of 650). used ten data sources to make the index: these measure the following (in priority order):

  1. Your MP’s availability to their constituents.
    This looks at how your MP is available online (email and social media), offline (holding “surgeries” in your local area and a caseworker), and whether your MP is distracted by a second (or third) job;
  2. Your MP’s participation in Parliament.
    This looks at your MP’s participation record for voting in Parliament, so that your constituency is counted when new laws are passed, and how often your MP raises issues from your constituency in Parliament;
  3. How an MP listens to the public.
    An MP’s top priority is their constituency, but they also have a responsibility to the wider general public to bring political attention to public campaigns and priority issues by discussing them in Parliament.

Update: Even a certain J. Rees-Mogg came in at 555th and his ERG chum Marc François (whose French surname is spelt here as it should be - with a cedilla) was 560th.  Jesse Norman (Conservative - Hereford and South Herefordshire) did somewhat better, at 341st position.  It has come to something when former senior Tories Sir John Major and Lord Heseltine are both advocating voting for independents or Lib Dems.  However, voting tactically in North Herefordshire would be pointless, according to - not surprising since even a sheep with a blue rosette attached to it would stand too good a chance of getting in....
(“Numquid quis oves mentionem?  Speeble.  Squirp..” “Errm.. Yes, Boris - no, Boris....”)

Jonathan Pie’s rant about austerity and Boris’s appalling track record says it all:

Warning: contains colourful language. Nil illegitimi carborundum...

Last Updated on Friday, 06 December 2019 21:20
The Brexit Party's Website
Written by Willy Biggun   
Friday, 22 November 2019 19:34


Voters in my constituency of North Herefordshire will be denied the opportunity to vote for the Brexit party, owing to a pact between Nigel and our glorious leader Boris, whereby my large majority in 2017 could not be split between the two parties.  Those who have the temerity to stand against me on December 12th will be candidates from the Labour Party, Lib Dems and the Greens.

Candidate details, including comments about my directorship of a Bermuda-based company that advises on how to launch hedge funds in tax havens can be found here.

Mr Farage failed to secure the domain, thus letting this scurrilous ‘donkeys’ crowd perpetrate the truth about poor old Nigel....  The asking price for the domain started at a million quid and is rising by £50k per day (or just under 58p per second).

Gladman loses appeal
Written by Steve Glennie-Smith   
Saturday, 02 November 2019 22:09

The Gladman appeal against Herefordshire Council's failure to grant planning permission for P184032/O has been refused by the Government's Planning Inspector.

The application was for 420 dwellings on fields running alongside the Dymock Road, south of the site that Barratt Homes is now developing beyond the bypass (this was an earlier Gladman application that was allowed on appeal).

Throughout the Inspector's report, in addition to issues such as landscape impact and HC's planning policies, she focuses on sustainable transport issues.  She has determined that the site location is so far from Ledbury's schools, amenities, the train station and employment and is so poorly connected by desire-line, safe cycling and walking routes, that residents will be car dependent.  This is contrary to planning policies and with consequent danger to vulnerable road users.  The full report is available on Herefordshire Council's website.

Thanks to all who took the trouble to write to object to this planning application.  Every individual's contribution has an impact!

The third Gladman attack on Ledbury, for 210 houses opposite the UBL factory on Little Marcle Road seems to have gone quiet: Herefordshire Council's planners asked for more information in April 2019.  No reply had been received so the council wrote to Gladman on 1st October to say the application had been 'disposed of'.

West Midlands Railway Survey
Written by A_Cyclist   
Saturday, 02 November 2019 21:51

For what it's worth, West Midlands Railway (WMR) is conducting a survey to identify areas for improvement at Ledbury train station, including provision for cyclists and disabled users. This followed earlier consultation with Herefordshire Council about the service overall.

If you have the time and inclination, and use (or are disinclined to use) Ledbury railway station, WMR would really appreciate feedback via this quick survey.  Please pass it on to other Ledbury rail users.  WMR also intend to canvass responses from regular commuters, including students.

Suffice it to say that the short term (eg. 10 years) franchise system is unhelpful: viz, upon winning a franchise, the time lag between ordering new rolling stock and delivery is about 3 years.  Similarly, there are delays recruiting and training drivers etc.  Fragmentation of delivery of the national railway services doesn't help much, either!

[Nor does the threatened strike on Saturdays, commencing 16th November, leading up to Christmas.  Though one does sympathise with the reason - the removal of 'guards' from trains.  Quite apart from safety, having no guard/conductor/train manager will give fare dodgers a field day - the only ticket barriers in the area (at Hereford) are usually open...]

You can find the survey on

If you need further info on the woeful state of Ledbury Station, look here.


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