Peter Wilcock - Liberal Democrats Candidate

PUBLISHED: 18:01 21 April 2008 | UPDATED: 21:26 31 May 2010

EXPERIENCED councillor and Henham resident Peter Wilcock will be the Liberal Democrats parliamentary candidate in the next general election. Cllr Wilcock has lived in the Saffron Walden constituency, currently represented by Conservative MP Sir Alan Hase

EXPERIENCED councillor and Henham resident Peter Wilcock will be the Liberal Democrats' parliamentary candidate in the next general election.

Cllr Wilcock has lived in the Saffron Walden constituency, currently represented by Conservative MP Sir Alan Haselhurst, for 30 years. He was chair of Uttlesford District Council in 2005/06 and has represented the wards of Rickling and Widdington, and Newport.

Cllr Wilcock was pleased to have been selected as the LibDems' candidate and said he was eagerly anticipating contesting the seat.

"The key things for me are ensuring that I maximise the engagement with the electorate, as a good constituency MP must," he said.

"I will also ensure, if elected, that we protect and enhance the rural character of our constituency, working on issues such as eco-towns and the development of Stansted, both of which would of course have a massive impact on our community."

Cllr Wilcock said he suspected that Gordon Brown would not call a general election until the end of Labour's five-year term, predicting that the vote would come in 2010.

"The ideal opportunity was in October last year," he said, "but he bottled out.

"I know the build-up of support will be slow, but I'm confident that we'll be able to get our very positive message across by the time the election comes around."

Saffron Walden, the largest parliamentary constituency in Essex and largely rural, is being redefined prior to the next general election. It will lose the divisions of Hedingham and Halstead, but gain the Broomfield and Writtle areas in the Chelmsford borough. Cllr Wilcock said he was looking forward to meeting with residents of the Chelmsford areas.

Melvin Caton, chairman of the Saffron Walden constituency LibDems, was happy that his party would be represented by Cllr Wilcock.

He said: "The Liberal Democrats can win this seat. Peter has the ability to work with people across all age ranges to make that happen. Labour has come third at every general election here since 1974 and cannot win: they have no district, borough or county councillors in the new constituency.

"Here, in the northwest of Essex, the Liberal Democrats are the only party seriously challenging the Conservatives."

Cllr Wilcock lives in Henham with his wife Shirley. Politics must run in his family, as one of his three grown-up daughters is a town councillor in Bishop's Stortford.

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