Cllr Dine Romero selected as parliamentary candidate for North East Somerset and Hanham

9 March 2024

Long-serving Bath and North East Somerset councillor Dine Romero will be the Liberal Democrats’ Parliamentary candidate for the new North East Somerset and Hanham (NESH) constituency.

The new NESH constituency is positioned in an area of Lib Dem strength. In last May’s local elections, the Lib Dems romped home in North East Somerset, inflicting a bruising defeat upon the Conservatives.

The Liberal Democrats are a strong force in local government within the NESH area. Of the councillors in the wards located within NESH (the constituency has wards from both the South Gloucestershire and BANES authorities), 12 are Lib Dem and 9 are Conservative. Labour and the Green Party only have 4 and 1 councillor respectively.

Dine Romero has been a BANES councillor since 2003. In her time in office, she has served in a number of important roles and led the local authority through the Covid pandemic.

Most recently, as chair of the council’s Children, Adults, Health and Wellbeing policy development and scrutiny panel, Dine has launched an initiative to explore how BANES council and other bodies can do more to tackle knife crime among young people - an issue that has come to the fore after a number of recent and tragic incidents in both Bath and Bristol.

In addition to tackling knife crime and anti-social behaviour, Dine’s priorities are:

  1. Improved access to NHS and social care services. Across the constituency, people are suffering from unacceptable wait times for GP appointments, emergency ambulances, referrals and treatments. Dine is calling for improved access to NHS dentistry after nearby Bristol made the national press with images of long queues of people seeking to register with an NHS dentist.

  2. Tackling the cost of living crisis. Dine knows that people across the constituency are struggling with energy bills, food prices, soaring mortgages and rents. Dine wants the government to do more to help people, especially in rural areas where the effect of the crisis is often more keenly felt.

  3. Campaigning for better local bus services. Local residents have been let down by Labour’s WECA Mayor Dan Norris, who has squandered money on vanity projects rather than essential bus services. Dine will campaign to get services that have been cut or reduced, running again.

Commenting on her selection, Cllr Dine Romero said:

“I’m thrilled to be selected as the Lib Dem candidate for the North East Somerset and Hanham constituency. I want to build on recent Lib Dem successes in the area.

“Unlike other parties, the Lib Dems work hard and keep in touch all year round. We take the time to listen to people’s concerns and be their voice. That approach is recognised and appreciated by local people and explains why the Lib Dems performed so well in last year’s local elections.

“For over 20 years I’ve been a voice for local people at the BANES council - and now I have an opportunity to be a voice for us in parliament.”

This part of Somerset will see significant parliamentary boundary changes. The new NESH constituency will differ radically from the current North East Somerset seat. Only half of the existing seat will remain in the new one; Bathavon North moves to the Bath constituency and Radstock and Midsomer Norton joins the new Frome and East Somerset constituency. The Bristol suburb of Hanham in South Gloucestershire also becomes part of NESH.

Dine will be standing against high-profile Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg. The Conservatives’ bruising defeat in local elections last year was even felt in Jacob Rees-Mogg’s home ward of Mendip, where the Lib Dems won a massive 75% of the vote whilst the Conservatives only managed 16%.

The Labour party has yet to announce a candidate for the NESH constituency and in a leaked internal party document, Labour described the constituency as one of its “non-battleground” seats.