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  • Article: Sep 23, 2021

    In our new film, Ed Davey sets out a vision for a fair deal for future generations.

    Boris Johnson's failure to defend children's education meant that his Government spent the same amount in one month on Eat Out To Help Out as in a whole year for our children's school catch-up.

    We're offering a new bulk-buy deal for England on digital advertising to show the film to voters in your area.

  • Article: Sep 23, 2021

    Autumn Virtual Conference 2021 was a smorgasbord of policy-making, debate, fringe sessions, training and incredible speeches. So you'd be forgiven for missing something or other. Catch up on all the weekend's major events with our Autumn Conference 2021 Recapped.

    Click the tiles to explore more ⬇️

  • Article: Sep 22, 2021

    Boris Johnson's failure to defend our children's education meant that his Government spent the same amount in one month on Eat Out To Help Out as in a whole year for our children's school catch-up.

    Imagine a future where our children's education is a priority. Where schools raise their mental well-being and their maths grades. Where they can excel at English and find their talent for music or sport. Where they grow into happy, healthy, adults.

  • Article: Sep 22, 2021

    Liberal Democrat Councillors have successfully persuaded the ruling Conservatives at Herts County Council to give a commitment to replacing thousands of trees that have been removed from highways.

    In a report, the Council's Highways and Transport Panel revealed that 4,494 trees had been removed from highways in the period 2018- 2021 but only 1,040 had been planted meaning a deficit of 3,455.

    Following pressure from the Liberal Democrats the Conservatives agreed to replace as many of the lost trees as possible where the location is suitable.

    Cllr John Hale, who pressed for the need to replace highways' trees said, "A large number of trees have been removed and very few have been replaced. I am pleased that the council has now agreed that more should be done to replace trees along our roads. Trees serve an important environmental purpose and should be replaced whenever possible."

    Group Leader, Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst said, "Urban street trees improve the street scene and contribute significantly towards reducing Co2 emissions in key pedestrian areas."

  • Article: Sep 20, 2021

    In 2019/20, 4.9 million women were victims of sexual assault in England and Wales. This statistic is appalling. We must put an end to this.

    The justice system is failing victims of domestic abuse. Only 2.4% of reported rape cases end in convictions. Out of 139,000 rapes estimated by the ONS, only 58,848 were reported to the police.

  • Article: Sep 20, 2021

    What a conference we've had!

    From motions to keynote speeches to training, there was something for everyone and the quality of debate was, as ever, excellent.

    We also got a huge amount of press coverage. Our stunning win in Chesham and Amersham has put us back in the spotlight - and the media are beginning to see that only we can dismantle the Tory Blue Wall.

  • Article: Sep 20, 2021

    Online fraud has risen by a third in the pandemic. We must ensure justice is delivered to victims and need to tackle this endemic of scams and frauds head on.

    The push to a virtual world in the pandemic has increased the rate of online fraud and scams. Hackers and fraudsters take advantage and prey on people over the internet.

  • Article: Sep 20, 2021
    By Sarah Olney

    Boris Johnson's woeful government has done it again.

    Their needless belligerence towards our neighbours has devastated the national supply chain. Shelves are bare and prices will rise.

    By refusing to work with the European Union, importing and exporting goods has become much harder. The skilled worker visa system brings high costs, inflexibility and bureaucracy. It's too hard to hire from the EU, and many EU nationals have gone home. And that's all thanks to this divisive government.

  • Article: Sep 20, 2021
    By Liberal Democrats

    I want to take you back to May 1999, and the first-ever elections to the then Welsh Assembly.

    Almost 600 years after the first Welsh Parliament was established in June 1404, the people of Wales once again had its own national democratic institution.

    Wales was entering a new dawn - an opportunity to meaningfully hand power to people, to communities, away from the corridors of power.

  • Article: Sep 20, 2021

    We have enjoyed fantastic links with our European neighbours for decades.

    Our school children have benefitted from easy language exchanges and visa-free school trips. Young people have been able to live, study, and work across 27 different countries. Students have enhanced their education via the Erasmus scheme. Artists and musicians have been able to travel freely between us and the continent.

  • Article: Sep 20, 2021

    Alex Cole-Hamilton, MSP for Edinburgh Western (Constituency) and Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats delivered an emotional speech to conference today.

    We've gathered the highlights for you to explore, or you can read or watch his full speech here:

    See Alex's full speech

    Alex kicked things off by expressing his heartfelt thanks to his Scottish Liberal inspirations:

  • Article: Sep 20, 2021

    Conference, it is a tremendous honour for me to address you for the first time as the leader of our Scottish party.

    I'm conscious that today I am addressing some of my political heroes.

    I cannot overstate the sense of responsibility I feel to the great Scottish Liberals on whose shoulders I stand, and whose legacy I inherit, among them friends and mentors like Jim Wallace, Jo Swinson and Charles Kennedy.

  • Article: Sep 20, 2021

    During the awful violence in May, Britain was absent from the world stage - despite our historic responsibilities to the region.

    That's why today we have set out a route map for the UK Government to follow in its engagement with the region. It is vital that long-term underlying tensions are to be addressed if we hope to achieve a lasting peace rather than a short term truce.

  • Article: Sep 20, 2021
    By Liberal Democrats

    Leader of the Welsh Lib Dems Jane Dodds gave her speech at conference today! We've put together some highlights below or you can read the speech in full here.

    She started with a reminder of a longstanding democratic tradition in Wales and the 1999 election to the Welsh Assembly

    "Almost 600 years after the first Welsh Parliament was established in June 1404, the people of Wales once again had its own national democratic institution"

  • Article: Sep 20, 2021
    By Layla Moran

    As Liberal Democrats we are hare holding the Government to account for its foreign policy failure over Afghanistan.

    20 years on from the US-led invasion, the Taliban have swept into Kabul. They seized power illegitimately without the consent of the Afghan people.

    The UK has a moral duty to the people of Afghanistan"

  • Article: Sep 19, 2021

    The Government has only managed to negotiate one new trade deal - with Australia - since leaving the EU. It has simply "rolled over" 23 existing trade agreements that we were already parts of. This simply isn't good enough.

    A thriving economy needs thriving international trade. UK companies doing business in the EU need our help now. We are also at risk of losing our long-established status as a finance hub. Put simply, the government must get its act together.

  • Article: Sep 19, 2021

    We've passed through some great changes to our Party constitution today that will update how party groups - previously known as SAOs and AOs work.

    The changes will expand the rights of party groups, simplify the process of setting one up and ensure that party groups get more support and are better integrated into the party.

  • Article: Sep 19, 2021

    Our society is a brilliant one. Our democratic system goes back hundreds of years and we are committed to the fair rule of law. We have a fantastic tradition of education, creativity and innovation.

    We have incredibly strong institutions. This is clear in the fact our National Health Service has bent over backwards to support us through this pandemic. As much as possible we contribute to key international organisations to support a cooperative global system.

  • Article: Sep 19, 2021

    Lib Dem leader Ed Davey gave his keynote speech to conference today! We've pulled some of the highlights for you - but if you want to read the full speech you can find it here.

    Boris Johnson's Conservative Government is steering us all into another terrible crisis.

    Ed started on the supply chain crisis

  • Article: Sep 19, 2021

    Conference, our country needs us.

    Our country needs the Liberal Democrats, fighting harder for a better future and a fair deal.

    Because after five years of Brexit division and disruption -

    And eighteen months of this awful pandemic -

    Boris Johnson's Conservative Government is steering us all into another terrible crisis.

  • Article: Sep 19, 2021
    By Mark Pack

    We have seen the Conservative Government fail over and over again. Indifference and inaction in Westminster has caused the deaths of over 150,000 people from Covid, and counting.

    Even senior members of the Government did not follow the lockdown and social distancing rules. It is clear they see it as one rule for them, and another for the rest of us.

  • Article: Sep 19, 2021
    By Liberal Democrats

    It was fantastic to talk with Ed today. He gave answers to our member's concerns on Liberal Democrat policy

    The full Q and A will be posted soon but below are some of our highlights.

    Resolving the Healthcare Sector Crisis

    Ed pointed out that the most important thing we can do for our healthcare system is to resolve the vacancies issue.

  • Article: Sep 19, 2021
    By Liberal Democrats

    As Liberal Democrats, we believe in an equal, open, green society in which everybody has the chance to succeed. Whether giving power to local governments to lead the communities that they know best or fighting for a Britain that steps up to its international obligations, we want the UK to represent the people who live here - not just a small group of Westminster politicians and elites.

  • Article: Sep 19, 2021
    By Liberal Democrats

    Our current constitution allows for too much of the power and decision making to take place in Westminster and Whitehall. This excludes entire regions of the UK especially in England from being able to make a contribution to decisions that affect them.

    Communities feel unable to control what happens in their local areas. This leads to a dangerous feeling of powerlessness and alienation.

  • Article: Sep 18, 2021

    Healthcare data matters. But so too does privacy. The collection and sharing of population health data is vital in advancing medical treatments and improving our nation's health. However, the public has a right to know exactly how their data is collected, stored, and shared.

    The Government has quite happily been collecting our healthcare data without paying much attention to privacy. It's time that changed.

  • Article: Sep 18, 2021
    By Liberal Democrats

    Soaring temperatures worldwide, flash flooding in central London and increasing numbers of wildfires. These are just a few ecological disasters we are seeing as a result of climate change. It is painfully obvious we must act.

    We need to be ambitious. It is only by working with every single nation across the globe that we can hope to take on this challenge.

  • Article: Sep 18, 2021
    By Daisy Cooper

    More than 800 years ago, St Albans Abbey hosted some of the very first meetings that led to the drafting of Magna Carta - the "great charter of liberties".

    That started a proud tradition here in our wonderful city - a proud tradition of fighting for greater democracy, liberties and freedoms.

    And in the last few years, there have been many such fights.

  • Article: Sep 18, 2021
    By Liberal Democrats

    The sickening treatmeant of the Uyghur people by the Chinese Government is genocide.

    And we cannot stand idly by while these gross violations of human rights are perpetrated.

    The Uyghur population are being rounded up and forced into internment camps.

    Half a million children have been taken away indefinitely from their parents.

  • Article: Sep 18, 2021

    There are almost one hundred thousand children in care in the UK and they face significant disadvantages in life.

    they face significant disadvantages in life"

    The average child in care enters care at age 14, which is a crucial point academically. Only 12% of care leavers have entered higher education by the age of 23 and many care leavers rely on Universal Credit as their main source of income.

  • Article: Sep 17, 2021

    The world's largest and most successful companies, including Google, Amazon and Facebook, are avoiding paying taxes in the countries where they operate. Instead, they shift their profits and hide in tax havens.

    they shift their profits and hide in tax havens"

    They must pay their fair share. And to do that, we need a global minimum corporation tax.

  • Article: Sep 17, 2021

    99% of businesses in our economy are small businesses. Unfortunately the Government is simply not doing enough to protect them.

    The pandemic devastated small businesses as they were forced shut overnight. Retail and hospitality were among the hardest hit. As a result, many businesses are in a rent-arrears crisis with unpaid commercial rent totalling £6 billion.

  • Article: Sep 17, 2021

    A 2017 government survey found that almost 1 in 13 LGBT+ have been offered or had conversion therapy. This rises to 1 in 7 amongst transgender people. Over half of these conversion therapy practices are carried out by faith organisations.

    As Liberal Democrats we champion the Individual right to privacy and autonomy. This must include the right to medical autonomy for adults.

  • Article: Sep 17, 2021

    Every year people flock to the beaches around our coastline. They are places of fun, enjoyment and pleasure.

    As an islander the sea defines a lot about you.

    Conservatives and nationalists will tell you that the sea is something that sets us apart, it divides us from other peoples and countries.

    They speak about us being an island nation.

  • Article: Sep 17, 2021
    Herts County Council has refused to consider remarking any pedestrian crossings in Rainbow colours as a way of supporting and highlighting the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community in Herts.

    Opposition Liberal Democrat Councillors had proposed that the council follow the example of other Highways Authorities that have introduced 'Rainbow' or 'Progress Pride' crossings as a permanent way to celebrate LGBTQ+ communities and diversity.

    'Progress Pride' crossings with rainbow colours and chevrons show respect for trans and non-binary people, people of colour and those living with HIV/AIDS. It would show our respect for the diversity of Hertfordshire, claimed Cllr Sara Bedford in a motion she submitted to the Council.

    Rainbow crossings have been introduced in several authorities in the UK in recent years however Conservative run Hertfordshire County Council has now rejected the idea.

    In a report to the Highways and Transport Panel, officers confirmed that Rainbow Crossings are legal, but indicated that they had not discussed with councils who had introduced them to see how this was done.

    Liberal Democrat Leader, Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst, who is also Deputy Leader of Three Rivers Council which is introducing a Rainbow crossing on its own land said, " The officer approach was disappointing. They refused to discuss the matter with councils that have successfully introduced these as part of renewing normal crossings. They had the information from Three Rivers that it could cost as little as £1,300 per crossing. It is unfortunate that the opportunity to show wider support for our diverse community in this way was rejected by the Conservatives."

    However Liberal Democrat councillors won a concession from the ruling Tories when they agreed that the Rainbow displays and the Pride Flag could be included in any subway refurbishment if supported by the local community.

    Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst said, "It's a step in the right direction, but I had wanted more. We will be pushing this forward and holding the Tories to their words that they will not veto this if the opportunity arises."
  • 20's Plenty
    Article: Sep 15, 2021

    Opposition Liberal Democrat Councillors have hit out at an over complex set of rules that the Conservative administration agreed at Tuesday's Highways and Transport meeting. There will now be significant delays bringing in any new 20 mph speed zones.

    From now on, any areas that residents want considered for a 20mph speed limit will need to be assessed against a Speed Management Strategy, a Place and Movement Matrix, have on-site visits and maybe speed checks before the consultation stage can even begin.

    At the meeting, under questioning from Lib Dem Group Leader Stephen Giles-Medhurst, officers admitted that the process will mean that the earliest any new 20mph restrictions can now be implemented will likely be the end of 2022 or early 2023.

    The Liberal Democrats proposed an alternative approach, backed by Hertfordshire's 20's Plenty Campaign group, to adopt a default Speed Management Strategy of a 20 mph limit on side roads. They argued this would support the government's objective of sustainable travel by making roads safer for walkers and cyclists.

    Their proposal was voted down by the Conservatives.

    Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst said, "Only a very small percentage of Herts roads are 20 mph despite campaigns from residents for many more. With just 953 20mph roads in Herts, many schools still have 30mph roads outside them. We have one the lowest numbers of 20mph roads in the country with Kent CC having over 2,300.

  • Article: Sep 13, 2021

    A combination of a shortage of lorry drivers resulting from Brexit, an increase in waste during the pandemic and a lack of long term planning has left Herts County Council struggling to deal with the household waste that is collected across the county. The problems were revealed in a report to the council's Environment Cabinet panel and mean that the council's main waste transfer facility at Waterdale north of Watford has been under great pressure to cope with volumes of waste.

  • Article: Sep 12, 2021
    By Mark Pack

    Setting out our vision for the country

    Our September Federal Conference has a key trio of debates on our vision for a Liberal Democratic society, our overall policy platform and the strategy to give us the political power to achieve those aims.

    Having spent the first part of this Parliament fixing many of the practical organisational issues that caused so many problems in the 2019 general election, we now need to shift up a gear to get the external aspects right too. Sarah Green's victory in Chesham and Amersham is a wonderfully inspiring example of what we can achieve when we get this right. The challenge is now to do that across the country.

  • Wendy Chamberlain (Official Portrait Wendy Chamberlain - https://members.parliament.uk/member/4765/portrait)
    Article: Sep 11, 2021

    North East Fife Liberal Democrat MP Wendy Chamberlain moved a "Westminister Hall" debate (transcript here) on Wednesday 8th September criticising the closure of offices of the British Council, an important cultural institution financed by the British Government. As Wendy noted "the British Council was created [in 1934] in response to a changing global stage: the United Kingdom was losing its traditional forms of influence, extreme ideologies were on the rise around the world and there was a global economic crisis." Wendy continued that "those problems may not sound unfamiliar to the Minister and others here today as he and his Cabinet colleagues seek to re-establish the UK as a global power outside the EU, respond to extreme ideologies at home and abroad, as we have devastatingly seen over the last few weeks, and tackle the economic and social implications of the pandemic and the climate crisis. Clearly, the British Council remains as relevant today as it has ever been."

  • Councillor Paul Zukowskyj (Hatield South)
    Article: Sep 9, 2021

    Conservatives are failing, across all levels of government, to deliver on promises to deliver sustainable transport solutions in Hertfordshire.

    Hertfordshire Lib Dems have learned that a £1bn infrastructure funding gap, to provide services and support for the expected 100,000 extra homes the Conservative government are demanding we build in Hertfordshire, is almost entirely made up from underfunded sustainable transport projects.

  • Article: Aug 24, 2021
    By Layla Moran

    The Conservative Government's decision to cut development spending has done extraordinary damage to Britain's reputation with our allies and partners from across the globe.

    In a week which will see the eyes of the world on the UK as we host the G7, now is the time for leadership - but instead, the Conservatives want Britain to hide from its responsibilities during a global pandemic.

  • Article: Aug 24, 2021
    By Lisa Smart

    Last week saw Jeremy Hargreaves (Federal Policy Committee Vice-Chair) join us to discuss policy development from the perspective of the FCEC and the impact our recent research projects have made on this work.

    We noted that whilst we needed a great deal of support from Liberally inclined Tory voters next time, it is imperative that we retain our core vote and are able to draw people from the Labour party as well.

  • Article: Aug 18, 2021

    Global leaders should hang their heads in shame.

    We've all watched the heartbreaking scenes at Kabul Airport showing citizens of Afghanistan trying to escape from the terror of the Taliban. Their situation is desperate.

  • Article: Aug 17, 2021

    Herts County Council has announced that it is changing the fuel used by its fire engines and other fire service vehicles but has missed the opportunity to cut their carbon emissions. The change is from diesel to "gas-to-liquid" (GTL) fuel, which the council says is cheaper than switching to electric vehicles, will cut NOx emissions but do little for CO2 emissions since GTL is a fossil fuel made from natural gas.

  • Article: Aug 17, 2021

    The statistics on Adult Social Care in England for August 2021 show clearly that the government continues to leave the care sector exposed with the statistics for August 2021 showing :-

    • There were 14,660 positive Covid tests among care home staff in the four weeks to July 27, triple the 4,552 positive tests recorded among care home staff in June, analysis of figures from the Department of Health and Social Care have revealed.
    • The figures are the highest since the pandemic was surging during the second wave in February of this year.
    • 2,047 care home residents tested positive in the four weeks to July 27, up from 596 the previous month.
    • The figures also show 78% of staff in care homes have now received two doses of the vaccine, while 93.5% of care home residents have received both doses.
  • Article: Aug 10, 2021

    Only £1 to come to conference

    Our autumn federal party conference is being held online in September. There's a brilliant offer for people who have not come to conference before: you can register for just £1.

    Conference will include an important trio of linked debates: on our party's values, our policy platform and our strategy. Traditionally, we have debated these separately at conference, even years apart. But all three need to fit together in a coherent way - which is one of the lessons from the 2019 election post-mortem. So this time we're doing things differently.

  • We urgently need more on street charging points
    Article: Aug 4, 2021

    Opposition Liberal Democrat Councillors have hit out over Herts County Council policies on providing electric vehicle charge points as totally lacking vision and unambitious.

    Herts County is proposing to only allow for on road chargers in limited circumstances creating a two-tier system.

    Liberal Democrat councillors tried to get the council to agree to allow their installation in residential streets which lack off road parking using, where feasible, existing street furniture. They were voted down by the ruling Conservatives.

  • Article: Aug 2, 2021

    Anyone who was at the last two Liberal Democrat conferences should remember the two debates that were held on the party's position on the future relationship between the UK and the EU. In a passionately argued debate last September, conference resolved that the party should support a longer-term objective of UK membership of the the EU, but we rejected a proposal for an immediate campaign to reverse Brexit, which, it was argued, was more likely to alienate voters sick of the recent history of Brexit-inspired division and bitterness. Conference also called for the closest possible alignment between the UK and the EU on trade, security, environmental, social, judicial, educational and scientific issues.

  • Article: Jul 22, 2021

    We all remember seeing the horrific scenes of the burning tower at Grenfell on the news over four years ago.

    The tragic loss of 72 lives was a dark moment for our country and the cladding scandal that emerged emboldened me to stand up for the rights of all those living in unsafe buildings.

    That event also was a lightning rod for the wider public and put a sharp focus on the quality of housing that many people live in - particularly in more densely populated urban areas.

  • Article: Jul 21, 2021

    Being involved in politics should be fun and rewarding. But it can be stressful and at times any of us may need to turn to others for help or support.

    Often that support can best come from colleagues in your local party or a party body you are active in. But sometimes help is needed elsewhere, and this piece sets out the main places to turn.

  • Article: Jul 20, 2021

    At today's meeting of Hertfordshire County Council, the Conservatives turned down a proposal from the Liberal Democrats to top up - by £31 per child - the Government's £50 part-funding of vital support over the summer holiday for each of the 34,400 children receiving free school meals.

    County Councillor Mark Watkin, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Children's Services and proposer of the top-up motion, commented;