HAVING been roundly defeated by Labour’s Jessica Toale in Bournemouth West, may I congratulate her and Tom Hayes on their election as Bournemouth new MPs, whilst thanking those who voted Liberal Democrat for their support.

It is clear that the desire for a new government was uppermost in the electorate’s minds, and I have no doubt that Keir Starmer will do more to address the country’s needs than another five years of Conservatives would or could have done. He is clearly leading a more caring government and that can only be to the good.

The challenge to our new MPs will be to address Bournemouth’s needs, and they will be judged on their success, or failure, to achieve real change here. There were three key aims featured on Labour’s campaign literature, which I hope that they will achieve before too long.

First Bournemouth town centre, replacing business rates, tackling owners who demand too-high rents, freeing up planning to build homes and bringing it back to life.

Second, safer streets, more neighbourhood police, crime and anti-social behaviour dramatically reduced.

Third, the cost of living crisis tackled, the homeless homed and supported and no longer on our streets, foodbanks not needed, poverty reduced, our society made more equal than in the Conservative years.

All of these were common aims in the campaign that has just ended, Labour and LibDem alike - and Green. In the same way that Conor Burns began to work with the Liberal Democrat led council, I hope that politics can now be set aside, and that we can work together to achieve these goals for Bournemouth.

In all of this, I wish our both our new Bournemouth MPs, every success.

Cllr Jeff Hanna

(Former) LibDem Candidate for Bournemouth West