A CONCERT pianist who has been elected to chair the Liberal Democrats for the new South Shropshire constituency.

David Gaukroger, who has been chair of the Ludlow Town Lib Dems since 2011 and a former Cleobury Mortimer councillor, replaces Councillor Heather Kidd MBE. 

Mr Gaukroger is well known in South Shropshire for his recent Flanders and Swann concerts with tenor Kim Begley in Ludlow’s Assembly Rooms, and has just performed in ‘A Christmas Carol’, in aid of MND research. 

“After Helen Morgan MP’s by-election triumph in North Shropshire - and our two stunning recent council by-election wins here in Worfield, and in Alveley and Claverley - it’s clear voters across Shropshire are turning to the Lib Dems," he said.

"For too long the Conservatives have taken voters here for granted.”

“South Shropshire had a Lib Dem MP, Matthew Green just a few years ago. I’m sure that with our parliamentary candidate Chris Naylor - who lives in All Stretton, in the heart of the constituency - we’ll be winning South Shropshire back again soon.”

Coun Kidd, who was awarded an MBE for services to rural communities, added: “I’d love to continue but our rules say I can only serve three years.

"I’m certain the Lib Dems here stand a great chance in next year’s general election - after our impressive victories here recently, where we’ve trebled the Lib Dem vote and halved the Tory support.

"It’s time for a change, we’ve had a Lib Dem MP here before and with Chris Naylor we’re going to do it again."

Mr Naylor, who lives in Long Mynd, has served on the local Patient Participation Group and the Radbrook Foundation supporting young people’s education.

He is also a National Trust volunteer and regularly helps with the sheep next to his home. H

"South Shropshire is such a special place with its beautiful landscapes, farms, and rural communities," said Mr Naylor.

"I want to play my part working with and helping local residents here. I’m delighted we have David Gaukroger as our new chair - he’s dedicated to improving the lives of residents and communities here too.”