A RISING political star is committed to looking after Cheshire if she gets elected to the European Parliament.
Conservative Eveleigh Moore Dutton, who represents Malpas and Broxton on the city and county councils respectively, said her ties with this area meant she would make sure the county's interests were advanced.
'There has been some feeling that I have got connections with a lot of Cheshire. I would not be expected to look after Cheshire but it's something I would do naturally,' explained Cllr Moore Dutton, who said it was 'a shame' MEPs were no longer responsible for a particular constituency.
Nowadays there are simply 10 MEPs representing the whole North West.
'You have to create those links to have accountability once you are elected, otherwise it's impossible to see six million people and you become just a distant figure.'
Cllr Moore-Dutton, 44, is currently doing 'meet and greets' with the Tory Party faithful to elicit their support for her campaign ahead of next June's Euro elections. She met the chairman of Fleet-wood Conservative Party along with activists who she hopes will go out to leaflet and canvass on her behalf.
'They are not going to support just anyone. If you don't impress him you won't get his commitment!' she said.
Under the European proportional representation system, the number of seats each party gets is related to the percentage of the vote they receive.
Each party has a list of candidates ranked in order of priority, with those nearer the top standing a better chance of getting in.
As a newcomer to the game, Cllr Moore Dutton has been ranked seventh on the Conservative Party's 10-strong list of candidates for the North West. The Conservatives' four sitting MEPs already occupy placings one to four. A fifth Tory MEP Lord Inglewood has announced his intention not to stand.
'Statistically number seven is not an obvious winner,' said Cllr Moore Dutton who lives in Tushingham, near Malpas. 'But it's not completely outside the boundaries of possibility. I'm gaining a huge amount of experience and having a great deal of fun talking to people.'
The issue of Europe has caused a seemingly irreconcilable division within the Conservative Party between those who wish Britain to remain independent and those wanting greater integration.
Cllr Moore Dutton does not want to become a member of the European parliament simply to abolish it. She is pro-European but wants to make Europe work better for Britain's interests.
'I want us to stay in but we must not just roll over. The fact we are an island makes us independent-minded and perhaps slightly cynical as a nation but I don't think any other nation is any different. You expect the French to look after its interests and the Germans do the same.'
If elected she would want to attack the gravy train of endless lunches and Champagne enjoyed by European MPs and bureaucrats as well as the stupidity of certain decisions.
'You have to compensate people for living away from their families but I think there is a huge amount of waste - like the whole of the European Parliament moving to Strasbourg every four weeks. It costs millions but achieves nothing.'
Politics is almost in Cllr Moore Dutton's blood having started life in the politically charged southern Africa. She was born in former British colony Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, but left aged just five-and-ahalf-years-old, when the unilateral declaration of independence was made under the leadership of Ian Smith on the basis of white minority rule. Her family moved to South Africa where she stayed until 1979 until being threatened with deportation for campaigning against apartheid.
She fled to Britain and ended up staying with a great aunt in Malpas, Cheshire. There she was introduced to friends of her grandfather including the family of her future husband Peter.
Today they have a small plant hire business and three children - Louise, 20, Mary, 17, and David, 15.
'I have done my years delivering spares, doing the wages, answering the phone and I even tried to drive a digger as well!' said the ambitious councillor.
Even if she does not succeed in the Euro elections it may not be the last we hear of Cllr Moore Dutton.
Although the councillor wants to concentrate on the European theme she admits being on the list to try and secure a parliamentary seat.