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.
URGENT: EU NATIONALS
The deadline to obtain UK settled status as an EU national has passed, however applications are still being considered. Please use the link below to find out more.
Article: Oct 4, 2021
Liberal Democrat Councillors have expressed concern and disappointment in the £5.5m slippage of vital Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) capital spend from the current year.
The delay in expenditure was revealed at a meeting of the Herts County Council Resources and Cabinet Panel on Friday 1 October.
Article: Oct 4, 2021By Jane Carr
Nazir risked his life working with the British Forces in Afghanistan as an interpreter from 2009 - 2012.
In 2021, he and his family were forced to leave behind their former lives in Kabul for fear of Taliban retaliation against him and his loved ones.
He can't show his face in interviews because it would endanger his relatives who were left behind.
Article: Oct 4, 2021
The President's award
The President's award seeks to recognise people for their hard work, long service, and demonstrable dedication to the party, at whatever level.
This year's winner is Cllr Mel Allcott.
Mel first stood for election to the City Council in 2014 where she received 794 votes, 250 short of the winner. She stood again in the area in 2015 and 2016, increasing her vote share each time, and in 2019, in a by-election, she finally won with 1,307 votes. A fantastic achievement after 6 years of tenacious campaigning, always listening to the voters and focusing on the issues that mattered to them.
Article: Oct 2, 2021
October is Black History Month - an opportunity to celebrate the enormous contributions that Black people have made across our country.
From Mary Prince to Paul Stephenson, so many Black pioneers have transformed our society's cultural and political landscapes. We owe a great debt to everything they have achieved.
Article: Oct 1, 2021
With COP just weeks away, the Prime Minister has been urging countries to announce meaningful cuts to emissions.
But his speech hides something entirely different. His Government are failing to make progress on cutting emissions and are instead going backwards.
1. Tree planting humiliation
In the 2019 election the Conservatives promised to plant 30,000 hectares of trees a year by 2024. But rather than increasing they're actually going backwards.
Article: Oct 1, 2021
Yesterday, there were 6 local council by-elections. Here are the results so far! We are super happy to announce a successful gain from the Conservatives in the Peak District and made some excellent progress in Sunderland and West Suffolk!
We have always been the party of communities and we're so proud of our local activists standing up for people across the country!
Article: Sep 29, 2021By David Chalmers
The Liberal Democrat Conference on the Future of Europe
I hope you managed to have a break of some kind this summer and are now, as we head into the autumn, refreshed and ready for our conference and debating season. For those of us for whom Europe is still the most defining issue of our time - and I suspect that as a member of the Lib Dem European Group (LDEG) that includes yourself - the next couple of months are going to be very exciting. You are being offered the opportunity to have your say.
Article: Sep 29, 2021
The spring 2021 conference instructed the FPC to 'carry out a programme of work, including consulting
widely within the party, to determine the best possible future framework for the UK-EU relationship across
all policy areas, with the aims of: (a) demonstrating the benefits to UK citizens and businesses of a much
closer relationship compared to the government's inadequate measures; (b) recommending roadmaps for
the UK to rejoin the Customs Union, Single Market and other EU agencies and programmes as appropriate;
and (c) maximising public support for eventual UK membership of the EU.'
The FPC has appointed a small group, chaired by Duncan Brack and including representatives of the
parliamentary party, the Federal International Relations Committee and the Liberal Democrat European
Group, to implement the conference instruction. We have decided to approach our task through a series of
conference motions and papers rather than one big one. Since we cannot realistically cover every possible
relevant topic through conference motions, we are also encouraging our parliamentary spokespeople to
put forward proposals for closer and stronger relationships with the EU in their spokespersonship areas.
We organised a consultation session at conference in September, and we are collaborating with the Liberal
Democrat European Group in organising these regional events, in order to give party members a chance to
tell us what they think are the priority policy areas we should address, what the possible solutions within
each area are, and the messages the party should use in promoting closer cooperation between the UK and
EU. This is our initial list of key topics -
Cultural, artistic and educational ties
We thought this was a good topic to begin with, so the FPC submitted a motion to conference on
'Rebuilding our Cultural, Artistic and Educational Ties with Europe'. The motion called, among other things,
for the UK to rejoin the Erasmus Plus scheme, to establish a European cultural fund and to improve the
Youth Mobility Scheme. It was passed without opposition.
The key topic is obviously the trading relationship between the UK and EU. For next year's spring
conference we are planning a motion on Single Market and Customs Union membership. This is such a
complex area, covering, among other things, freedom of movement, social, health and environmental
standards and the Northern Ireland Protocol, that we'll be accompanying it with a short paper, to be
published alongside the conference agenda. There is no doubt about the party's commitment to rejoining
the Single Market and Customs Union - that was made clear at spring conference this year- but there are
many issues to consider about the practicalities, the phasing and the impacts. Among other things, this
should provide at least partial solutions to the recent supply-chain problems, including shortages of HGV
drivers and staff in the transport, farming, food and catering and care sectors.
Climate change and energy
The FPC's policy paper on carbon pricing, which was approved by conference, includes the proposal to link
the UK Emissions Trading Scheme with the EU ETS, thus increasing the effectiveness of emissions trading;
and rejoining the EU ETS would be a requirement of UK entry to the EU in any case. Other potential areas
for cooperation include working together with the EU in international climate negotiations; meeting
emissions reduction targets jointly with the EU (in the same way as EEA countries do); and promoting
greater interconnection with EU energy networks.
Potential areas for collaboration include re-adopting EU standards in areas such as pollution control, water,
air, chemicals, biodiversity, waste, genetically modified organisms and environmental impact assessment
(most of this would be required under Single Market membership in any case, but this approach could be
adopted in advance); working with the EU on its new measures to require businesses to protect the
environment, and human and labour rights, in their supply chains; and working together with the EU in
international biodiversity negotiations.
Rights of EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU
This topic covers guaranteeing EU citizens' rights in law, including physical proof of settled status;
automatic upgrading for those with pre-settled status; strengthening the Independent Monitoring
Authority; and reiterating our commitment to the European Social Charter. We could also urge the UK
government to ensure that EU member state governments are upholding the rights of UK citizens.
Issues under this heading include police and security cooperation, including access to the Schengen
Information System (information-sharing for security and border management); rejoining Europol and
Eurojust and the European Arrest Warrant; and arrangements for the reciprocal nature of judgements, for
example under the Lugano Convention, which clarifies which national courts have jurisdiction in crossborder
civil and commercial disputes and ensures that judgments taken in such disputes can be enforced
Key aspects include alignment and co-operation as far as possible with EU science programmes such as
Horizon Europe; participation in satellite systems including Galileo, EGNOS (the pan-European satellite
navigation system) and Copernicus (the EU's Earth observation programme); participation in Euratom; and
measures to improve access for EU nationals to UK academic institutions.
Topics include workforce issues such as recognition of professional qualifications, scrapping the
Immigration Health Surcharge, improving visa routes; agreement on health insurance cards (EHIC/GHIC)
with EEA member states; cooperation with the European Medicines Agency; and the possibility of joint
pandemic preparedness exercises between UK and EU in the future.
Foreign affairs, security and development
This heading covers a wide range of issues, including cooperation over security challenges such as those
posed by Russia or China; the impacts and possible strategies towards unstable regions such as Afghanistan
or the Middle East; and cooperation over development challenges, including Covid vaccination and climate
finance. Other possibilities include coordinated use of 'Magnitsky sanctions' targeted on individuals
responsible for human rights violations or corruption; and the creation of a shared forum for European
states to address foreign and defence policy issues.
Comments on this paper are welcome, either in person at the LDEG regional events and conference on 30
October, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Article: Sep 29, 2021
Questions 1-3 are on a similar topic so have been grouped together, they were also answered orally during Conference.
Q1. Submitted by Prue Bray
I like the disciplinary proposals, but the system still does not deal satisfactorily with complaints about councillors. Will you discuss this with local government representatives?
Article: Sep 27, 2021
Your email open rates are about go up - and this is a problem (sorry!)
Yesterday, Apple released iOS15, the latest version of their operating system for iPhones and iPads.
In that is a new feature called "Mail Privacy Protection". (MPP)
It's a very sensible and reasonable change that will improve your online experience and privacy and is something to be welcomed.
The Liberal Democrats are the only party fighting to keep Britain open, tolerant and united.
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.
A Fresh Start for Hertford & Stortford
Goodbye to Mark Prisk and hello to Chris Lucas
Introducing our candidate. Read more here.
Bircherley Green - Don't waste this opportunity
This is a golden opportunity to put the public good ahead of private profit
The council needs to take advantage of this new chapter to put the needs of Hertford first, please read our statement on Bircherley Green here.
Tories deny Climate Emergency in East Herts
On the 24th July, the Liberal Democrats put forward a motion to East Herts District Council to declare a Climate Emergency in East Herts.
The Conservative Party on the council heavily amended our motion, removing all reference to 'climate emergency' and replaced it with 'climate change' and removing many of the concrete actions. By this, the Tories at EHDC have declared that they do not consider climate change an emergency and showed that they do not understand or acknowledge the seriousness of the situation.
Please sign our petition to call on them to reconsider.
We're at 120,000 registered members and supporters. With Boris Johnson as PM and Jeremy Corbyn failing as the Opposition, the time to act is now.
Britain deserves better.
Demand better with the Lib Dems.
Join today: libdems.org.uk/join
Congratulations to the new Liberal Democrat Leader: Jo Swinson
Read her acceptance speech
Click here to join the Liberal Democrats
Anti-Brexit March for Change, 22 July
Members of East Herts LibDems and friends from other parties in East Herts for Europe on the way to July's march.
European Election results in East Herts
We were in second place in the European Elections in East Herts. The Brexit Party came first, on 14,374, followed by Liberal Democrats on 11,090, Greens on 6,592, Conservatives on 4,953 and Labour on 2,234.
Stunning Gains in East Herts
We are pleased to announce that after the Town and District elections on 2nd May 2019, the number of local Liberal Democrats Councillors are as follows:
East Herts District Council: 6 (+6) *
Bishop's Stortford Town Council: 5 (+5)
Hertford Town Council: 2 (+2)
Sawbridgeworth: 1 (+1) *
Ware Town Council: 2 (+2)
*compared to 2015