Our local Party

This section includes information on what is happening locally and how you can get involved.


We have new Action Days planned, following the by-election in Bakewell comes news that another Tory Councillor has given up on his party and quit!

A by-election will take place in Crich and South Wingfield (a 2 member Ward) on May 2 where we already have one Councillor (Kate Smith) and have an excellent chance of winning the second seat with our candidate Marcus Johnson.

Future action days:

Saturday April 6 Ashbourne 10.00am - 12.00: Canvassing, and delivering in Doveridge. Start at the home of Peter and Midge Dobbs, St Andrews Lodge, 2b Windmill Lane, Ashbourne, DE6 1EY.

Saturdays April 13 and 20 in Crich 10.00am - 12.00: Based at Kate Smith’s house, 1 Hillcrest, Crich, DE4 5DH. Tel 01773 856090. A combination of delivering and canvassing, plus possibly clerical work if needed, for the May 2nd by-election in Crich and South Wingfield.

We will be operating in Crich itself, the part of the ward which is in Derbyshire Dales constituency.

If you are delayed please call Robert on 07730 011802 and we can meet up with you.

Derbyshire Dales 2024 – the task ahead

Roger Shelley, our new Derbyshire Dales Liberal Democrat Chair for 2024, has shared his thoughts on our direction and focus for this important General Election year.

Our Party has plenty of very good people, and plenty of good ideas too. Just a few examples of where these strongly apply to Derbyshire Dales, and where they are distinctively different from our opponents:

  1. Getting smoother trade and travel with Europe
  2. Urgent GP appointments within 24 hours
  3. Reforming NHS dentistry
  4. Stop sewage dumping
  5. Solar panels on all new homes,
  6. Extra funding for farmers

However, it can be quite hard remembering these, because there isn’t necessarily a common thread. Dig a little deeper though, and it starts to become clearer.  Staring us in the face, and perhaps because we have got so used to living in a great country, but where publicly funded things are falling apart, our campaign will focus on:

  1. The Dales are facing an unacceptable infrastructure crisis (dovetailing with a national crisis).  This pressure is dangerous; flooding/ sewage in water/ people cut off in isolated rural villages without transport. There are plenty of real examples all around us.
  2. The Government has failed to act to protect rural communities – there are now virtually no local banks, farmers are suffering because of poor EU grant replacement (the ELMS scheme), and there’s not nearly enough funding support for affordable, energy efficient housing in an area with high fuel poverty (yes, much higher than the national average). 
  3. We are going to provide the quality and range of social care needed, because the 65-85 year olds are about to become a huge demographic group in Derbyshire Dales, and their needs will swamp existing providers. Without addressing this, it’s not just younger people who will have to move away.
  4. If elected nationally we will reform the service providers and make sure there is proper accountability for banks, bus companies, water companies, and other quangos like the Forestry Commission and Peak Park Authority. And ensure investment to tackle these.

So, I hope this addresses the ‘so what?’ questions we will face, and the ‘why vote Lib Dem?’ question. It is not enough to say we aren’t the Tories.  These issues coalesce around the raw deal that our mainly rural area is getting, layered on top of the infrastructure crisis.  

It’s the Lib Dems and Robert Court who are on the side of people who can’t afford to pay high prices for private provision of services, and we are the ones calling on proper Government investment in our area.

Watch Robert’s great ‘Have you got a minute?’ films on his Facebook site or on Youtube. Underlying, are the simple truths that:

  1. The Conservatives have taken you for granted for too long – look at all the things (see above) they have ruined.  When elected, Robert will turn the focus on these rural infrastructure organisation and spending questions that affect everyday lives
  2. Robert lives locally, and clearly understands the issues you face (see above)
  3. And yes, the Green Party and Labour really can’t win here 

Labour have publicly stated on their national website that Derbyshire Dales is a ‘non battleground’ for them, they are not targeting here. They have not yet  selected a parliamentary candidate, this will change, but the point is that they will not have time to become known. They came third place in the 2023 constituency wide elections, actually going backwards (and if you want more, they have never come close to winning in modern times; most recent best result 37% in 1966.  Lib Dem best result outside of a by election, 35% much more recently, in 1987)

If you can help, now is the time to step forward; we have a timetable of canvassing action days, plenty of leaflets to deliver, and we’re particularly keen to find poster sites for the General Election, and ‘key influencers’ in communities we can introduce Robert too, and who will be prepared to talk with him.  Please, get in touch!