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Cllr Peter Thornton - The Tim I know and why I am backing him

June 10, 2015 10:31 AM

It seems a long time since I sat in a Kendal pub and talked with a young 32 year old parliamentary candidate who had dreams of being our local MP. The Tories had been in power here for just short of 100 years and we thought that was enough. The District Council had a Tory leader and I was there to see if I could be persuaded to stand as a Liberal Democrat for my local Ward, to bring us a little nearer towards taking control.

It's 13 years since that meeting, Tim's now our MP and we run the Council. We're building homes for local families, who previously were being forced out of South Lakeland, and we're helping create jobs by having a strong local plan. Our targets are 1,000 new affordable homes to rent and 1,000 new jobs. We came into politics to change lives for the better and we're doing that in South Lakeland.

We used to run many more councils across the UK, all with a good story to tell, and if we are to rebuild our party we need to take these councils back! That's why I'm writing to ask you to join me in backing Tim Farron as our new party leader.

I believe that the qualities I've observed in Tim over the past 13 years are exactly the qualities we now need to lead our party. We need someone who can communicate, who can make the right decisions and who can build, and lead, a great team

We need a leader who can communicate with the man in the street. I can tell you that Tim is the person who can do this. He understands the concerns of voters and those voters recognise this. You will have seen Tim on television and I'm sure you've seen how he breaks through the political speak and communicates effectively with ordinary people like you and me.

The ability to communicate and empathise with voters is vital for any successful politician but so is the ability to follow up with action. I've seen Tim listen to his constituents over the years and at the end of the conversation out comes the notebook into which go the relevant details to be passed to the casework team back at the office. This team have completed 67,000 pieces of casework in 10 years and that's why Tim was the only Lib Dem MP with over 50% of the vote on May 7th.

To do this, you need to build a good team and to be able to inspire people to work with you. Tim can do this and I've watched him earn the loyalty and affection of activists, councillors and hard nosed businessmen alike.

Working with Tim is both exhilarating and exhausting, but if you want to see our party begin the fightback on July 16th then please join me in voting for Tim as our new leader