David Heath MP, Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for Somerton and Frome

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David Heath's campaigns

Pubs and post offices

With one of the most rural constituencies in England, David Heath has been a persistent campaigner for our villages.

Even Conservative MPs have complimented him on the leading role he took in campaigning to keep our sub-post offices and was one of the local MPs to get business rate relief for local pubs.

He understands that local pubs and post offices are the life blood of our rural villages and communities. He has led calls to protect sub-post offices and rural deliveries.

He's also highlighted the importance of market towns and has repeated calls for the abolition of the uniform business rate.

Bobbies on the beat

If there's one thing people in both towns and rural areas agree on, it's the need for more police officers.

David Heath has led the fight for more police in Somerset for the last ten years, first as chairman of the Avon and Somerset Police Authority, and then as our MP.

At the same time, he's argued for more visibility of police patrols to reassure the public.

He was the first to call for a new category of "retained police officer: to add to police strength in rural areas, in the same way that we rely on retained fire officers. That idea is now being taken up by other parties and the Home Office.

"We simply haven't got enough police officers in Somerset at present to do the job," says Mr Heath. "I repeatedly asked the Conservative Government for more officers and they always refused.

"The Labour government has been no better and it's time crime in rural areas was taken seriously. I believe in action not words."

Agriculture in crisis

No one can remember a worse time for the farming industry, with every sector depressed at the same time.

It's not just those directly involved in farming who will be affected. Hauliers, suppliers, engineers the whole rural economy is threatened. As spokesman on agriculture and rural affairs, David Heath has constantly raised the concerns of Somerset farmers in Parliament and has led calls for fairer milk prices, less unnecessary regulation and a fair deal on compensations.

He says: "Agriculture is still a key industry in Somerset and it's important we remind the Government of that fact. After the disaster of BSE that nearly destroyed the industry, the Tories have no credibility."

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