I’m an East Midlander, born and bred. I’ve always lived in Leicestershire, went to university in Nottingham, and had grandparents who grew up in Derbyshire.
I love this region with all of my heart.
Which is why I’m so saddened that we and our friends in the West Midlands are, all too often, the forgotten region. Leicestershire, for example, is one of the lowest funded counties in England; in terms of education and invesetment in infrastructure. Despite this, the county consistently elects Conservative MPs who, in turn, consistently fail to persuade their own government to provide the necessary funding the people of our area deserve.
Given enough reason to do so, I believe there are constituencies like Bosworth who could return a Liberal Democrat MP. But it takes more than a good local record to overturn Conservative control.
The change needed, comes from the top – from our leader, MPs, Peers and spokespeople. Perhaps the lack of Lib Dem parliamentary representation in these areas explains the silence? Could it be a case of ‘out of sight, out of mind’?
Of course at local government level, we have County, District/Borough, and Parish Councillors working hard every day representing their residents and championing the need for more spending and focus here. But we need this energy and drive nationally too.
That is where a new group, which I’ve co-founded with Councillor Michael Mullaney, comes in.
Lib Dems for the Heart of England is here to champion our region in the party, to put forward policies which would be popular here, to encourage targeted messaging to Midlands voters, and to be a pressure group for our region.
We are completely independent of the formal party structures of the party in the region.
But the Conservative Party have failed this region time and again. We Liberal Democrats, locally and nationally, can be its champions.
We’re currently in the process of setting up an interim committee for the group and will be encouraging people to sign up to our e-newsletter soon.
You can already follow us on Twitter, at: @lib_heart.
If you’d like to be involved/sign up to our e-newsletter, you can e-mail me via
The Liberal Democrats are a national party or we are nothing.
We know we can win in both the East and West Midlands; both regions have had Lib Dem MPs before. We have majority-run Lib Dem councils in Oadby and Wigston and Hinckley and Bosworth and councillors at all levels across the region. All of this activity is underpinned by our fantastic members, activists and supporters.
We can and do win here…but we could be a greater success.
Liberal Democrats for the Heart of England hopes to play a similar role for our part of the country as the recently set up Northern Liberal Network is doing for theirs.
We are an extra voice championing the Midlands.
We hope you will join us!
Mathew Hulbert is co-founder of Liberal Democrats for the Heart of England. He is also a Liberal Democrat parish councillor for Barwell, Leicestershire and Tweets @HulbertMathew