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The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no-one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity.

Liberal Democrat vote share up in local elections

LibDEm Press vote share

Here in Hertford and Stortford the Liberal Democrat vote share jumped by 10 points in the local elections on 4 May, in line with the national trend. We came second to the Conservatives in total votes cast. That's a good start for the General Election 2017.

Vote Liberal Democrat in the General Election to stop a hard Brexit

Tim Farron addresses pro-EU rallyYou can help our campaign in Hertford and Stortford, by volunteering or donating. Become involved and help the Liberal Democrats stop a hard Brexit, and instead keep Britain open. tolerant and united.

Only the Liberal Democrats can prevent a Conservative majority.

Labour won't win any seats off the Conservatives.

But there are dozens of Conservative seats, including Hertford and Stortford, where the Lib Dems are the challengers. The only way to stop Theresa May winning a majority is by the Lib Dems winning in those seats.

The only way to prevent a Conservative majority is by voting Liberal Democrat.

Help us to mount a strong campaign here in Hertford and Stortford by volunteering or donating.

Campaigning in Hertford and Stortford

Canvassing 22 April 2017

Canvassing in Bishop's Stortford

The planned-canvassing session in Bishop's Stortford East had a different energy following the news of the General Election. Lots of people who normally vote Conservative or Labour were expressing support for the Liberal Democrats because we are opposing hard Brexit.

If you'd like to join in campaigning, or would be willing to put up a poster, please visit our volunteer page, or click to donate.

Petitioning for Road Safety for Bishop's Stortford Residents

London Rd petition

Local LibDem campaigner, Mione Goldspink has launched a petition to cut the speed limit to 20mph in a dangerous stretch of the London Road, in Bishop's Stortford. A recent tragic fatal accident on this thoroughfare has served to remind everyone of just how hazardous this route can be for pedestrians. To sign online, click here.

LibDems react to Theresa May's Brexit speech

Tim Farron - key Europe planTim Farron, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, has criticised the Prime Minister for declaring that she is taking Britain out of the Single Market and denying the British people a say on the final deal in her speech on 17 January.

Tim Farron said: "Theresa May has confirmed Britain is heading for a Hard Brexit. She claimed people voted to Leave the Single Market. They didn't. She has made the choice to do massive damage to the British economy.

"Theresa May also made clear that she will deny the people a vote on the final deal. So instead of a democratic decision by the people in the country, she wants a stitch-up by politicians in Westminster. The people voted for departure, they should be given a vote on the destination. This is a theft of democracy.

"This speech was a mixture of vague fantasies and toothless threats to our nearest neighbours. At the moment Britain needs friends more than ever, she has succeeded in uniting the rest of Europe against her.

"When it comes to British prosperity and British democracy, she is waiving the white flag from the White Cliffs of Dover.

"Only the Liberal Democrats are fighting to keep Britain open, tolerant and united, and are the real opposition to the Conservative Brexit government."

Here in East Herts, Brexit brings significant threats - to the tight connections with the rest of the EU through Stansted Airport, to the livelihoods of people commuting into London and working in the finance sector, to workers from other parts of the EU who are filling skills shortages in our hospitals.

If you too are worried about this: join the Liberal Democrats and make a difference, and read more about the LibDem plan for Europe.

[more news]

Recent updates from the Liberal Democrats

  • Article: May 26, 2017

    An announcement by the Labour Party that it would invest £45bn in the NHS and social care over five years as well as protect pensions could be rendered meaningless by Brexit, Liberal Democrats have said.

    Treasury analysis from 2016 estimated that the form of Brexit supported by the Labour and Conservative parties - a negotiated bilateral agreement as opposed to membership of the single market - would rob public services of £36bn EACH YEAR. A botched Brexit could cost the Exchequer up to £45 billion a year. The government has neither formally rejected this analysis nor commissioned new figures since the referendum.

  • Article: May 26, 2017

    A new survey for The Independent has found the majority of the public is now in favour of banning the most-polluting vehicles from city centres.

    Some 51 per cent of respondents agreed with this suggestion, with only 15 per cent against and the remainder not expressing a view, pollsters ORB said.

    Commenting on the reports which shows the public back the Liberal Democrat policy of banning the most-polluting cars from city centres, Liberal Democrat Shadow Transport Secretary Jenny Randerson said: "The air we allow our children to breathe is toxic and is leading to a national health crisis.

  • Article: May 25, 2017

    The Liberal Democrats have withdrawn their Party Election Broadcast that was due to air on BBC One in England this evening. The party is replacing it with a heartfelt, personal and non-political message from leader Tim Farron following the heinous attack in Manchester on Monday.

    In the emotive and deeply personal message, recorded yesterday, he reflects on his experience of visiting Manchester for the vigil in Albert Square on Tuesday night.

  • Article: May 23, 2017

    Tim Farron, leader of the Liberal Democrats, has announced that the party has suspended all national campaigning until further notice. Tim was due to fly to Gibraltar today as part of the general election campaign but has cancelled the trip.

    Tim Farron said: "The country is united in grief after this devastating terror attack. Just as the country is focusing all its thoughts on the victims and their families, so politicians should come together in solidarity and respect for the innocent people caught up in this vile attack.

  • Article: May 23, 2017
    By Nick Hopkinson, Chair of the Lib Dem Europe Group in West Sussex Times

    Please find below a recent letter by Nick Hopkinson, the LDEG Chair, to the West Sussex Times

    Dear Sir,
    Your recent editorial praised the ruling Conservative Party for its record as the majority Party on West Sussex County Council (WSCC). Is this really merited? Education continues to be woefully underfunded. West Sussex road programmes and maintenance remains patchy, and social care and re-cycling facilities operate on reduced hours. The list of Conservative led failings at WSCC goes on.
  • Article: May 22, 2017

    Conservative manifesto plans will mean the average household in Hertfordshire could be forced to pay £284,381 (74%) of the value of their homes for social care after they die, it has been revealed.

    The manifesto plans, which would mean that people would be forced to hand over assets worth over £100,000 to pay for social care at home, would have a particularly damaging impact on sufferers of dementia, who have complicated long-term health needs.

    The Liberal Democrats have hit out at the plans and are calling for a cap of £72,000 to protect people from crippling care costs.

    Mark Argent, Liberal Democrat candidate for Hertford and Stortford said:

    "The Conservative Manifesto shows us that the nasty party is back. Theresa May is betraying the frail and elderly by snatching back their homes when they die.

    "Many elderly people currently face the cruel situation of having to sell their home when they die to fund residential care home costs. Now the frail and elderly receiving care in their own home will face a 'Personal Death Tax' charged against their home. And the more help you need, the more Theresa May will snatch away when you die.

    "It's clear that if the Conservatives get their way, as you get old and frail the costs are down to you and you alone.

    "The Liberal Democrats will stand up to Theresa May's cold, mean-spirited Britain, protecting those that need the most help and fighting for a cap on social care costs of £75,000 to protect people in their old age."

  • Outside school
    Article: May 22, 2017

    34,532 schoolchildren in Hertfordshire will lose out on free lunches, under plans announced in the Conservative manifesto.

    Free school lunches for pupils from reception to Year 2 were introduced by the Liberal Democrats in government, but Theresa May now plans to scrap them. The changes would cost families an average extra £480 a year for every child.

    The Liberal Democrats have called on Conservative candidate in Hertford and Stortford, Mark Prisk, to make it clear whether or not he would vote for the plans.

    The Conservatives are also proposing to make older people pay for social care costs from the value of their own homes when they die. This means on average, families in Hertfordshire would expect to see 74.7% of the value of their home spent on care costs.

    Liberal Democrat for Hertford and Stortford, Mark Argent, commented:

    "This Conservative manifesto shows the nasty party is back.

    "Margaret Thatcher was known as the milk snatcher, it seems Theresa May will go down as the lunch snatcher.

    "She is cynically snatching meals away from thousands/hundreds of children in Hertfordshire, while the elderly receiving care in their own home will face a 'Personal Death Tax' charged against their home.

    "Mark Prisk must now come clean over whether he/she will vote to take away free lunches from the children of hard-pressed families.

    "The Liberal Democrats will offer a brighter future by extending free school meals to all primary schools.

    "We will stand up to Theresa May's cold, mean-spirited Britain, protecting those that need the most help and fighting for more funding for our schools and hospitals."

  • Article: May 22, 2017

    The Liberal Democrats have responded to proposals in the Conservative manifesto to abandon a cap on care costs and take away free school meals for infant children, saying this shows the "nasty party is back."

    Liberal Democrat Election Campaign Spokesperson Ed Davey commented:

    "It is clear the more you need, the more you pay with May. Theresa May is betraying working families by snatching school lunches from their children and their homes when they die. The nasty party is back - hitting families from cradle to grave.

    "The choices she's made in her manifesto will hurt over half a million frail elderly people and almost 2 million children.

    "The Liberal Democrats will stand up to Theresa May's cold, mean-spirited Britain, protecting those that need the most help and fighting for more funding for our schools and hospitals."

    Liberal Democrat Shadow Health Secretary Norman Lamb, who secured a commitment to a cap on care costs as Care Minister, commented:

    "Elderly people the length of Britain will shudder at these care cost proposals.

    "Many elderly people currently will face the cruel situation of having to sell their home when they die to fund residential care home costs.

    "Now the frail and elderly receiving care in their own home will face what is a 'Personal Death Tax' charged against their home. And the more help you need, the more Theresa May will snatch away when you die.

    'The cost of at home care currently met by the state will now be clawed back from estates after death, hitting over half a million vulnerable people. It's clear that if you get old and frail, the costs are down to you and you alone.'

    Nick Clegg commented:

    "By snatching those meals away and forcing families to pay hundreds of pounds per year for school lunches Theresa May will hit low-income working families the hardest.

    "So much for helping the 'just about managing.' MPs will need to vote in the next Parliament to undo the legislation we passed to provide infants with free meals under the Coalition.

    "Every Conservative candidate in every constituency must now come clean: will they troop through the lobbies to take away free lunches from the children of hard-pressed families? Or will they have the decency and courage to stop the Conservatives from becoming the party of lunch snatchers?"

  • Tim Farron manifesto launch2
    Article: May 22, 2017

    The Liberal Democrats' manifesto plans for a brighter future, with pledges to reverse Conservative cuts and increase funding for the NHS, schools and police.

    The Party's landmark policy would give the people the final say on the Brexit deal which would include the option to remain in the EU.

    The Liberal Democrats would put a penny on income tax for health and care would raise £40 Million a year for the NHS in East and North Herts, enough to fund 238 more nurses.

    An additional £56Million of funding for schools in Hertfordshire, paid for in part by reversing Conservative cuts to corporation tax, would be enough to pay for 307 more teachers.

    Meanwhile an additional £4.25M funding for Hertfordshire would pay for 85 more officers, helping to cut crime and ensure a stronger police presence in the area.

    Other key policies in the Liberal Democrat manifesto include plans for a £100bn infrastructure fund to build more homes, improve road and rail links and install fibre-optic broadband across the country.

    The Liberal Democrats will also give the people a chance to change Britain's future by holding a referendum on the final Brexit deal, with the option to remain.

    Liberal Democrat candidate Mark Argent said:

    "These plans would build a brighter future for people in Hertford and Stortford and reverse Conservative cuts to our schools, hospitals and police.

    "We want to build a fairer Britain, with good schools and hospitals, a clean environment and an innovative economy.

    "You don't have to accept Theresa May and Nigel Farage's cold, mean-spirited vision of Britain.

    "The Liberal Democrats will stand up to a bad Brexit deal that will cost jobs and put up prices and give you the final say.

    "As your Liberal Democrat MP, I will fight for a better deal on Europe, more money for the NHS and schools and a brighter future for Hertford and Stortford."

  • Vince Cable
    Article: May 21, 2017

    Real wages fell by 0.2% in the three months to March 2017, the first decrease in real regular pay since September 2014, figures published today by the Official for National Statistcs have revealed.

    The figures take into account soaring levels of inflation due to the falling pound since the EU referendum.

    Commenting, Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor Vince Cable said:

    "This squeeze on living standards is almost certainly caused by the falling pound since the Brexit vote.

    "If Theresa May is allowed to pursue her extreme Brexit agenda, we can expect further weakening of the economy and erosion of people's living standards.

    "People don't have to settle for a bad Brexit deal that will cost jobs and push up prices. A brighter future is possible.

    "The Liberal Democrats will give you the final say on the deal, with a chance to reject it and stay in the EU."

The Liberal Democrats are the only party fighting to keep Britain open, tolerant and united, and committed to continue to campaign for the UK to remain a member of the EU.

Open means open-hearted, open-minded, forward-looking, mod­ern, green, internationalist and pro-European. We believe Britain is at its best when it is creative, innovative and outward-looking, comfortable in the fast-changing modern world and open to the opportunities and challenges of globalisation and the digital revolution.

Tolerant means diverse, com­passionate and generous. We will always fight injustice and stand up for the underdog, the outsider, the individual, the minority and the vulnerable against the powerful.

United means we will always put the interests of the whole United Kingdom first. We reject the divisions in society, whether between young and old, urban and rural, leave and remain, or between regions and nations. We believe we are stronger - as communities, as a country and as a world - when we work together in our common interest.

If this sounds like you too, join us.

Liberal Democrats are back: standing up for local people and fighting against hard Brexit. We're winning by-elections across the country and our vote was up significantly on 4 May: support us on 8 June.

Lib Dem by-election wins 2016-17