Victoria Collins chosen as first General Election candidate selected for new Hertfordshire constituency

14 Apr 2023
Victoria Collins our candidate for Harpenden & Berkhamsted

The Liberal Democrats have selected local e ntrepreneur and environmental campaigner, Victoria Collins as their election candidate for the new ultra-marginal Harpdenden & Berkhamsted constituency.

The new boundaries mean the constituency is set to be a two-horse race between the Liberal Democrats and the Conservative party.

Currently, the Liberal Democrats hold 25 Councillors within the constituency, with the Conservative Party holding only seven. The Liberal Democrats already hold St Albans District Council that covers Harpenden and look set to make gains in May in the Dacorum council elections.

The constituency boundaries neighbour two Liberal Democrat seats including Chesham and Amersham, where the Liberal Democrats won a famous by-election in 2021 with a 25% swing from the Conservative party. It also neighbours St Albans where Daisy Cooper, the Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats, took the constituency by storm in 2019.

The Liberal Democrats are the first party to select their general election candidate for the constituency. Victoria Collins lives locally and is an entrepreneur who has run award-winning businesses. She also brings her experience from working on economic policy at the European Parliament and environmental and sustainability projects. Victoria grew up helping her mother on the shop floor of their gift shop and was inspired by her father's work in sustainable housing. She now advises international blue-chip companies on sustainable change. Victoria aims to be our first Liberal Democrat MP of East and South East Asian origin.

Victoria's top three priorities for the constituency are:

  1. Saving chalk streams and our canal from sewage discharges: In 2022, sewage was dumped by Thames and Anglian Water 287 times lasting 2,748 hours into Hertfordshire's rivers and lakes., while in the last three years together they've dumped sewage in England's waterways 95,988 times lasting 908, 104 hours Liberal Democrats are calling on water companies to be taxed and for an end to sewage dumping in our waterways.
  1. Cutting ambulance waiting times: Local people have been left waiting hours for an ambulance in an emergency, the Liberal Democrats are calling for a 5-point plan to tackle the ambulance wait time crisis including higher recruitment and retention alongside more investment into social care.
  1. Tackling the cost of living and supporting local businesses: Victoria wants to use her economic and business experience to campaign for support to protect the local economy in difficult times. Most recently the Liberal Democrats have been calling for the Government to cut energy bills for people and businesses for another 6 months.

Liberal Democrat candidate for Harpenden & Berkhamstead Victoria Collins said:

"I am proud to stand for Parliament for my local area and am determined to give this constituency a strong voice in Westminster. The towns and villages in this new constituency have been taken for granted for too long by Conservative MPs.

"It is time we had a local champion who will fight to protect our waterways, save our health services and support local businesses. We have Liberal Democrat MPs in neighbouring constituencies who are delivering every day for local communities, and I want to follow in their footsteps

"At the next election, it will be a two-horse race between four more years of a tired and out-of-touch Conservative party or a fresh start with a Liberal Democrat MP."

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

"It is fantastic to see Victoria selected. Her passion for the local environment and expertise in business is the perfect combination for Harpenden & Berkhamsted. I've seen Victoria's determination to save the local chalk streams and I know she will take the fight to Westminster if elected next year.

"When I was in Berkhamsted last month, I heard first hand from local people who are fed up with being taken for granted by the Conservative party. Next year, local people can elect a strong local champion in Victoria and finally deliver change for the area."

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