There will be local elections to North Herts District Council across Hitchin on May the 3rd this year, and I will be standing as the Lib Dem candidate for Bearton ward. Although I’m a relative newcomer to active politics, I am standing because I strongly believe that, in this era of polar extremes and online echo chambers, there is a vital need for more moderate voices to stand up and make themselves heard.

I’m delighted to be standing to represent the ward that I have called home for more than seven years. From playgrounds to traffic and the imminent but unpopular and poorly thought-out brown bin charge, I care about local issues as a fellow resident. But I am very keen to hear about the issues that matter to you, either by email or on Twitter.

As a university lecturer and scientist, my priorities at the national level are very much in higher education and research and development, where the UK is world-leading but can’t afford to be complacent. And as the proud husband of a hardworking Spaniard, I also have a lot of personal investment in the unfolding political disaster of Brexit. At over 68%, Hitchin Bearton had the highest Remain vote of any North Hertfordshire ward, and many of us are dismayed at how unwilling the government has been to build any consensus during its negotiations with the EU.

I strongly support the Liberal Democrats’ commitment to a Britain that is open, tolerant and united, and I will always be happy to hear from anyone, whatever their views on the issues that matter to us all. If you are a UK, EU or Commonwealth citizen, please vote on May the 3rd!