Each week a different PPC provides us with an insight into life as a candidate and gives us a flavour of their own campaign and interests. If you are a candidate and are keen to be featured, please email Jonathan Isaby.
This week's diary is written by Pauline Latham, candidate for the newly-created Mid Derbyshire constituency. The parliamentary candidate for Broxtowe in 2001 and a candidate for the European Parliament in the East Midlands in both 1999 and 2004, Pauline was selected for this seat in June 2006 and will defend a notional Conservative majority of 5,329. She has been a member of Derby City Council for most of the last two decades, serving as mayor between 2007 and 2008.
A complicated new seat
This last week has been really interesting as the PPC for the new seat of Mid Derbyshire because alongside all the normal things I am doing, there was the Budget and then the Conservative Party Spring Forum at the weekend.
I am now spending the last few months - possibly a year - before the next General Election getting around Mid Derbyshire, a complicated new seat because it is made up of parts of four different constituencies: Derby North, West Derbyshire, Amber Valley and Erewash. The only town in it is Belper, known for its association with the late George Brown.
Instead of being a Labour stronghold as it was in his day, it is now much more Tory with all sixteen town councillors being Conservative. It has three different Police divisions, four different councils, two PCTs, two different education authorities, eleven Town and Parish Councils, making it quite a difficult constituency to have any cohesive identity. I am undertaking a series of ‘Latham Listens’ meetings involving schools, the Police, doctors' practices, Parish councils and others.