Helen Morgan won her seat of North Shropshire in a by-election in November 2021, a seat previously considered a Conservative stronghold, where she overturned a huge majority of 23,000. The following year she was appointed the party's Spokesperson for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. As well as representing the federal party's concerns for housing in Parliament, she is a strong community voice and is dedicated to her constituents. Having been a resident of Harmer Hill in her constituency for over eight years, she is committed to ensuring vital public services are highly functioning and readily available to all members of the community.
Some of her campaigns see her fighting to:
This is central to Morgan's beliefs and she is determined to get more ambulances to assure a smoother and more efficient service to reduce wait times (See her petition here - She even did a 12-hour shift with local paramedics to experience the problems first hand!), her goals also include striving to increase the numbers of local GPs.
This would include 7 days a week bus routes to hospitals and other transport hubs such as train stations and to aid people in commutes to jobs. Furthermore, it is vital that small villages would be frequented on these routes to connect them with local towns.
She promises to boost development which would make them accessible to all people, partiuclarly those with disabilities and mobility issues.
Farmers are facing detrimental cuts and will be at risk if the Government's Basic Pay scheme is replaced.
She has joined calls alongside her Liberal Democrat peers to end sewage dumping - in 2023 she said sewage had been dumped into her local Shropshire rivers for 379 hours. Sewage companies must clean up the rivers and their act and stop polluting our natural environment and protect public health.
Through all of these campaigns there runs a green thread - underlying every one is a careful consideration for the impact on local communities whilst also building better and protecting the environment through sustainable development and calls to protect natural ecosystems.
Saving and improving public transport, such as saving local and rural bus routes or trains or ensuring accessibilty to public transport for disabled people has a great impact on reducing emissions. More rural bus routes allows for residents to make the lower carbon impact travel choice. Aside from the obvious benefits of providing public transport to less-able bodied people - like limited ability to travel if they can't drive or be driven, it is often the case that people with disabilities and mobility issues do not always have the privilege to make the more environmentally conscious choice of using public transport. These disenfranchisments become particularly clear in the case of rural areas where transport hubs face funding issues or are under threat. The fight to a sustainable UK must be just, and this has to include consideration for accessibility when developing travel infrastructure.
We also recognise that Farmers are the caretakers and stewards of our land. Providing them with as much support as possible is so important as they have a crucial role to play helping the environment. Their role in preserving biodiversity is vital, through agricultural practices which promote biodiversity and regenerative methods; protecting against soil degradation, significant habitat loss and nutrient leaching. Additionally, horticultural farmers can play a role in carbon capture with their crops.
As the Spokesperson for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities she has been devoted to increased backing for social housing and financial aid for local authorities to support this.
Helen Morgan and the Liberal Democrats acknowledge the urgent need for more and affordable housing. We are in the midst of a housing crisis. And in rural communities particularly, this is no different - she advocates for rural areas to be included more in levelling up plans and has highlighted that they are frequently ignored as funding has been funnelled into bigger towns and cities.
At the 2023 Autumn Conference, Helen Morgan made it clear that we will uphold the commitment of building 380,000 new homes per year (as opposed to the Conservative's plan for 200,000 p/a) in her policy motion. However, reaching these goals will mean hundreds of thousands of new homes which will require energy, and Helen Morgan has highlighted the necessity for all of these homes to be fit for future. This means making sure that where new homes are built, the environment must be taken into careful consideration.
For the Lib Dems, building new homes is a major goal, but making these new homes environmentally sound is also important. The focus on sustainable development also triumphs that of the Labour party's plans, whose housing commitments have made no mention or guarantee of "carbon", "net zero" or environmental pledges.
These targets and pledges are also in line with the recognition that as more people move in, it is vital that councils are prepared to cope with extra stretches on social provisions and can put in preventative measures before the problems come to pass. These new houses need to be heated, and have energy, but fossil fuels are unsustainable and will run out.
As we move into an age where reliance on fossil fuel based energy and heating is becoming more and more obsolete, our housing projects must engage in sustainable development plans. Helen Morgan said "when we build new homes, we must protect the environment,". Critics say that whilst we are still experiencing a cost of living crisis and many people struggle to heat their homes, using gas is vital to bring down these costs. However, eco-friendly new-builds should not only be for those who can afford it. Conitnued and accelerated investment in renewables and clean energy, Morgan agrees, will bring down the prices of this type of energy and bring about new economic improvements. Sustainability and economic growth go hand in hand.
She has made it clear that she is absolutely opposed to fracking, even where it is to cut the cost of living . Cutting the cost of energy bills cannot necessitate a dependency on gas. What is really needed is an accelerated movement towards investment in renewables and reversing the ban on on-shore wind to shift into a new age of renewable energy.
She is a signatory on the joint letter alongside other MPs, such as Climate Change and Energy Spokesperson Wera Hobhouse, to reverse the 28% cut on renewable energy funding as it would jeapordise the likelihood of the UK reaching its climate goals and acknowledges the urgency with which the UK needs to act. Furthermore, Helen Morgan recognises the huge economic opportunities in growing the renewable sector - we must have a clean and green energy sector.
"This must happen alongside an energy efficiency programme, to cut people’s bills and warm their homes."
"This can all be done immediately, and without destroying swathes of our beautiful countryside and productive farmland."
We can't think of anyone better able to make environmental change happen in Parliament so we'll be doing all we can to help make that happen. Will you join us?
Read more about Helen and her campaigns here.