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LIB DEMS SELECT GENERAL ELECTION CANDIDATES

February 23, 2015 9:00 AM
By Soutampton Liberal Democrats

Southampton Liberal Democrats have selected Eleanor Bell and Adrian Ford as their ProspectiveParliamentary Candidates for Southampton Itchen and Southampton Test respectively.

Campaign Co-ordinator Colin Bleach says: 'We are delighted to have secured such strong candidates as Adrian and Eleanor to carry the Liberal Democrat banner in Southampton in May's General Election.'

Eleanor Bell - Liberal Democrat PPC for Southampton Itchen

Eleanor BellEleanor says: 'I am proud to have been selected as Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the constituency of Southampton Itchen. Most of my working life has centred on Southampton, and I am keen to contribute to the city's progress.'

A career in Further and Higher Education brought Eleanor in 1980 to LSU College on the Avenue. As European Projects Director she worked closely with the City Council and Chamber of Commerce on international projects. Her teacher training role took her into the city's primary and secondary schools.

Eleanor later moved to work as a Project Manager for the NHS Information Authority based in Winchester, where she experienced first-hand successive disruptive changes to the Health Service.

Subsequently she returned to an administrative role at Southampton University, where she also completed a postgraduate diploma in Business Administration.

A committed internationalist, she spent two years after leaving university with Voluntary Service Overseas in Sri Lanka. Later she spent a year as an exchange teacher in Quebec Canada. Eleanor also lived and worked for two years in France, and has always felt at ease with the multiple identities of British, European, and global citizen.

She is an active campaigner on environmental issues and climate change. Eleanor says: 'With its geothermal resources and potential for wave and tidal energy, Southampton is poised to become one of the greenest cities in the south of England. Ilook forward to pressing forward the renewable energy agenda. I am also passionate about preserving our environment, including our historic heritage'. She is a member of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, and a Trustee of Hampshire Buildings Preservation Trust.

An experienced campaigner, Eleanor has spent 12 years in local government as a Parish and District Councillor, including a period as Portfolio Holder for Environment, Planning and Transport.

Eleanor is married with two grown-up children. Her husband trained at Southampton Technical College (now City College) and, after a period at sea, moved into Further and Higher Education, finally taking up a post at Southampton Institute of Higher Education, now Southampton Solent University.

Adrian Ford - Liberal Democrat PPC for Southampton Test

Adrian FordAdrian says: 'I am honoured and delighted to have been selected as the Liberal Democrat Party Parliamentary Candidate for Southampton Test. I really enjoy living in Southampton with access to all of the city's facilities, including our wonderful parks and Common, heritage and diversity.'

Adrian has lived in Southampton Test constituency for the last 25 years, and lives with his family just off the inner avenue in the heart of the city.

For the last 17 years he has run his own business also located in the city centre.

Adrian has a degree in business studies from Southampton Solent University and has been chairman of his local trade association and of his daughter's school's parent-teacher association. He is also qualified in furniture design and crafts.

Adrian says : 'Although I think Southampton is a great place to live, I also believe that it needs to promote its assets, such as some of the best kept medieval walls in Britain , one of the largest cruise ports in the world , and the world centre for maritime research more effectively, and to create jobs by encouraging more tourism.

'Nationally I believe that good quality public services, including cheaper and more frequent trains and buses, investing in the health service to make it fit for the 21st century , more support for our schools , colleges and universities, are essential in order to provide all our citizens with a decent standard of living.

'I am keen to encourage development of all forms of renewable energy working towards a future where all of our country's energy needs are met by green renewable energy. '

Adrian is currently Chair of Southampton Liberal Democrats, and an active campaigner on a wide range of local issues.