Lib Dems to focus on health as party kicks off local election campaign

The Liberal Democrats are set to place health services at the heart of their local election pitch as the party launches its campaign for May’s polls.

Sir Ed Davey is expected to urge voters to “send this out-of-touch Conservative Government a message” about the state of local health services when he kicks off the Lib Dem campaign on Wednesday.

The Lib Dem leader is due to speak at an event in Hertfordshire to mark the start of the local election campaign, travelling to what the party describes as a “Blue Wall battleground” in a bid to challenge the Conservatives in southern England.

Last year’s local elections saw the Lib Dems gain 21 councillors in Hertfordshire and take overall control of Dacorum Council, and the party will hope to make further gains in the county on May 2.

On Wednesday, Sir Ed is expected to highlight the impact of poor performance by English ambulance services on older people who have to wait long periods for help after falling at home, saying: “Everywhere you turn our health service is in crisis.”

He will also call for the Government to implement a “falls prevention plan” to reduce pressure on the NHS from elderly people falling at home.

Sir Ed is expected to say: “At these local elections, communities across the country will have the chance to send this out-of-touch Conservative Government a message.

“Above all else, the country desperately needs a general election to get rid of a Conservative Government which has run health services into the ground.

“This May, families and pensioners have the chance to vote for local Liberal Democrat champions who will stand up for local health services.”

In 2023, the Lib Dems won 20% of the popular vote and gained 407 councillors, taking their total to 1,628.