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Lib Dems select Duncan Hames to stand for the new Chippenham constituency

July 18, 2006 8:29 PM

Liberal Democrat members in North and West Wiltshire have this weekend selected local councillor Duncan Hames to be their candidate in the new Chippenham constituency at the next election.

Speaking after the declaration of the result Cllr Duncan Hames said: "I am absolutely delighted to have been chosen to lead the Liberal Democrat campaign in the constituency that is my home. This new seat is set to be a very close race between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats. I shall be campaigning on the issues that matter to local people here: championing the cause of our community hospitals, listening to concerns about the health of our local economy, and supporting neighbourhood policing."

Welcoming the result, Bath Lib Dem MP Don Foster said: "I know Duncan from his past campaigns in West Wiltshire, he works tremendously hard and I am sure that he will be a first class MP for the new Chippenham constituency."

Duncan Hames lives in Holt in West Wiltshire (part of the new Chippenham Constituency) where he is a district councillor. He trained with accountancy firm Deloitte, before joining the board of the South West of England Regional Development Agency in 2003, and starting his own business last summer. He was the Liberal Democrat candidate in the Westbury constituency at last year's general election where he polled over 19,000 votes and secured a small swing towards the Lib Dems.

The new Chippenham constituency includes the towns of Chippenham, Melksham, Bradford on Avon and Corsham, and the neighbouring villages including Holt, Bowerhill, and Hilperton. Independent analysis (http://www.ukpollingreport.co.uk/blog/newseatguide2.pdf) suggests that the new parliamentary boundaries will wipe out past Conservative majorities in the area, producing a constituency that is finely balanced between the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives.