Sam Collins is a local Councillor in Hitchin and the Lib Dem Parliamentary Candidate for the Hitchin & Harpenden constituency. He lives in the constituency, in the pretty village of St. Ippolyts just south of Hitchin.
Sam is well known to the residents of Hitchin & Harpenden as the Lib Dem candidate in the 2019 General Election, when he achieved a record breaking result turning the constituency into a top tier target seat for the party. Even though he narrowly missed out on a shock victory, Sam and the Hitchin and Harpenden team achieved a huge 24.8% swing. In early 2022 Sam was re-elected by the Lib Dem members in Hitchin & Harpenden to fight the seat again at the next General Election.
Sam is well known by the residents of Hitchin & Harpenden, and more than 20,000 of them voted for him in the 2019 General Election
In 2018 Sam was elected as a District Councillor at North Herts Council, representing the Hitchin Highbury ward, and in 2021 he was appointed to the Council Cabinet as Executive Member for Enterprise, the Arts and Transport. As a Councillor he has built up a reputation as someone who gets things done, and he has a long list of achievements.
Sam played a key role in getting the Dixon Memorial fountain in Hitchin working again after it had been neglected for years.
Sam’s role on transport is notable as when the major timetabling issues hit our local rail services at both Harpenden and Hitchin stations, he worked closely with both the rail operating companies and local commuter groups to try to improve the situation. He raised the issues with Lib Dem Peers and had the issues raised in the House of Lords twice. While the incumbent MP was criticised for not taking action, Sam was regularly praised for his work, and that work is still ongoing.
If you want to get the train from London to Hitchin, work by Sam has made it easier to know which station your train will go from.
You can see some of his results every single day if you visit St. Pancras or Kings Cross stations in London. If you look at the departures board in King Cross you will be able to see the next service to Hitchin which leaves from St. Pancras, and at St. Pancras at the gate line there is a screen displaying departures from Kings Cross, saving people the walk between the two stations. These changes were the direct result of work by Sam with the railway companies.
Outside of political life Sam is probably best known for his work as Formula 1’s Technical Analyst, where he explains the technology and engineering of the sport in an accessible way. He is notably particularly keen on promoting the sustainability aspects of the technology used in the sport. Sam also has a passionate interest in promoting STEM subjects in education. He is involved in the Formula Student competition run annually by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and also gives tours and talks to secondary school pupils about engineering and politics.
While Sam left a full time career to be able to spend more time campaigning, he still works part time as Formula 1’s Technical Analyst and his broadcast sections are watched around the world.
As a professional writer Sam has written seven books and is a regular contributor to a number of magazines. In 2017 Sam decided to reorganise his working life and go freelance so that he could dedicate more time to supporting the Lib Dems and campaigning in Hertfordshire. Sam’s high media profile means that he is regularly featured in local and national news outlets promoting the work and policies of the Liberal Democrats.
In his spare time Sam enjoys browsing antique shops and flea markets when he can. He also has a keen interest in aviation, and regularly attends air shows at Old Warden & Duxford. He also enjoys “old trains, old cars and old machines in general!” It is typical for Sam to mix his interests with his work and recently his interest in agricultural machines has allowed him to form a strong relationship with the NFU in Hertfordshire. This gives him a great insight into matters which impact our farmers and rural communities.
Sam has a keen interest in local agriculture, and agricultural equipment in particular. This has resulted in him having a good relationship with the local NFU. Sam hopes to start competing in ploughing matches in 2022.
Another example of this is his interest in motor racing. Sam has taken knowledge gained from his activity in the sport and applied it in his political work. He was for many years a regular competitor in British and occasionally international motorsport events, pioneering the use of hybrids, sustainable fuels and electric vehicles. While he has not officially quit racing, he has not driven competitively for some years, but still refuses to rule out a return. Now Sam is using that knowledge to lead on North Herts Council’s EV charging infrastructure project.
Sam pioneered the use of sustainable fuels in British motorsport with brands like Lotus (bio fuel prototype pictured) and Nissan.
Most recently Sam has combined his interest in history with his role as the North Herts Council Executive Member with responsibility for North Herts Museum. His recent discovery of Roman buildings at a previously misunderstood archeological site in Hitchin gave him the opportunity to launch the first community archaeology project in the area in well over a decade. The project has resulted in a huge number of finds, including an 8,000 year old axe-head, and more Roman material than anyone expected!