Conservatives in Shropshire bucked the national trend with a convincing win in the local election on 3rd May. I congratulate all our successful councillors and commiserate with those candidates who worked so hard. I thank all for bearing the Conservative standard and all those who helped in the campaign.
This result was a positive vindication of public support for Conservative councillors taking tough decisions in difficult times while preserving front-line services and freezing Council Tax over the past four years.
In the Ludlow constituency there was little change overall, though I was extremely sorry to see Martin Taylor-Smith lose his seat in Ludlow South. He has dedicated himself for many years of painstaking public service in Ludlow on the town, district and Shropshire Councils.
The only other change was that the LibDems lost Highley to an Independent.
Nationally Conservative losses from a high point when last contested in 2009 were to be expected, but the striking feature was how UKIP rather than Labour captured more of the mid-term anti-government vote.
We need to reflect on what we must do better to attract support from those disengaged from mainstream politics. My view is that the economic problems of recent years has bred disenchantment, so economic recovery will be vital to restore confidence in our political system and support for the Conservatives as we take the tough decisions to get the economy moving again.
But here in Shropshire UKIP did not mount an effective campaign and did not win a single seat.
Philip Dunne MP