THE leader of the Liberal Democrats visited a Somerset constituency on the day a pact with the Green Party was announced.

Jo Swinson arrived in her election campaign bus at the Free Rangers Forest School in Welton, near Midsomer Norton, to talk with owner Charlotte Lucas about the struggles early years education centres face.

Burnham and Highbridge Weekly News:

Ms Swinson spoke with families who use the facilities, and the struggles parents face returning to work.

Burnham and Highbridge Weekly News:

Many parents explained how there was 'no incentive' to return to work, when they were left with a bill for childcare where the 30 free government hours fell short.

Ms Swinson toured the site and learnt how to whittle a stick and start a fire, she then toasted some marshmallows and spoke with the forest school pupils, who taught her how to 'respect the fire'.

Burnham and Highbridge Weekly News:

Earlier in the day, it was announced the Lib Dems would be forming a Unite to Remain alliance with the Green Party and Plaid Cymru.

The pact means candidates would stand down to allow for a clear 'remain' choice in certain constituency.

No Green Party candidate will stand in Taunton Deane and in Bath following the announcement.


READ MORE: Taunton's Green Party candidate Clive Martin will not be standing in the General Election 


Afterwards, she caught up with your County Gazette to discuss the current election.

We asked:

By declaring the Liberal Democrats intend to revoke Article 50, is the party in effect sacrificing candidates in Leave consistencies across Somerset, including Gideon Amos in Taunton Deane and Mick Clark in Yeovil?

JS: "Not at all, Liberal Democrats are very clear where we stand on Brexit and wanting to stop Brexit, I don't think anyone could accuse us of not being honest and straight forward about what we believe, and we are standing on a very democratic basis here, setting out what we want to deliver and encouraging people to vote for it.

"We recognise also, for many people, it's not the only issue in the election. People are also going to be attracted by our offer to make sure we invest in public services, whether that's in child care, our schools, mental health services to make sure people get the support when they need it, and also as we've unveiled today, tackling the climate emergency.

"These are all issues that appeal to people, whatever their views on Brexit.

"Plus the fact, they know that in Liberal Democrat MPs, we've had a long history of having many excellent Liberal Democrat MPs in the West "Country, that they get solid constituency representation. We are committed to championing the local area and improving it."

Previously, the Government has been consulting on introducing a compulsory register of home-education children, provoking anger in the home-ed community, who so often use forest schools and other alternative education settings such as the one you've attended today. Would a Liberal Democrat government support home educators and scrap plans for such a register?

JS: "We certainly want parents to be able to have the right to chose and to make sure children can be educated in the way that is appropriate for them.

"We definitely want to make sure parents have the choices available to them."