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Broxbourne Liberal Democrats

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Click here to learn about your Broxbourne Lib Dem team

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    Article: May 28, 2020
    By Fabio Bonfante

    County Councillor Stephen Giles-Medhurst Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, and Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Highways & Environment

    "Must do better and be more pro-active" was the message from opposition Liberal Democrat councillors at County Hall to the four pilot schemes announced by the County Council that they brought in last weekend to encourage active travel and support for social distancing as more retail premises open.

    Levels of walking and cycling have increased dramatically across the UK during the lock down. The Government recently announced a package of £250m of support to councils for changes as more people begin travelling to work again and there is an easing of restrictions, while capacity on public transport is still significantly reduced due to the ongoing need for social distancing.

    The health evidence indicates a significant link between Covid-19
    recovery and physical fitness. The health benefits of choosing more active travel options are even more important than ever, as are the reduced carbon emissions and improved air quality.

    The four new schemes in Watford High Street, Hertford Fore Street, Borehamwood Shenley Road and Bishop Stortford Town Centre were introduced from this Saturday aiming to reduce motorised traffic and allow for better social distancing whilst encouraging cyclists.

    Liberal Democrat Group Leader and Highways Spokesperson, Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst said. "I welcome these initial moves and it's great the county is doing something but they seem to lack ambition. I know county officers have been working on up to 16 schemes. However none of these have been discussed with elected county councillors first, not even those for the areas these schemes cover. At the last minute in my own area that covers Watford High Street I got hold of the plans and had to point
    out errors and omissions so changes and additions had to be made as they had not used my local knowledge. Not consulting local councillors is unacceptable."

    "The Liberal Democrats fully support more improvements and changes to support active travel by walking and cycling. We have raised this at every county budget in the last 10 years with the need to invest more in footway improvements, tackle neglected cycle routes and bring in lower speed limits on residential side roads".

    "The COVID crisis could lead to a social and health change but
    only if we move quickly and act now. At the start of the lock down I and my colleagues highlighted, yet again, that many designated cycle routes and overgrown footways that needed cutting back. In most cases the county has done nothing. It's normally the excuse of no money or "it does not meet our criteria for action". I've been told where there is a verge next to an overgrown path people should walk or cycle on that instead! This is unacceptable. All to often we have cycle lanes and routes incomplete or end at a road junction with nowhere to go. The result is
    they cannot be used."

    "It's time to ignore the county rule book and improve our footways and cycle routes that currently hinder people in keeping to social distancing rules!"

    With fewer people using buses at present we need to look at what
    temporary changes to routes and bus stops could be made to better allow for social distancing in town centres. We need to look at what would be cycle commuter routes into our key areas to encourage people not back to their cars but on a cycle. We need to make those routes happen over the Summer. We must look at places like Watford that now has a cycle hire scheme to get similar in place in other key centres like Stevenage, St Albans, Hemel." said Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst.

    The Liberal Democrats said they would have a five point plan to meet the governments and health and social distancing objectives.

    1. Prioritise maintenance/repairs of existing cycle and pedestrian
    routes including cutting back overgrown vegetation and trees, repairing crossing points that are damaged or flood and installing new dropped kerbs in high pedestrian footfall areas.
    2. Investigate, install and complete existing cycle routes and introduce at least temporary ones that assist commuter cycling.
    3. Give greater priority to pedestrians at traffic lights and crossing
    points - to prevent bunching and assist slow walkers.
    4. Move quickly to introduce a 20 mph zone and limits as the norm for residential roads in Herts towns.
    5.Consult and involve local county councillors for their ideas for their communities.

    "It's time to think positively, to think green and promote a heathy
    safer environment, let's do it." said Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst

  • Article: Jan 5, 2020
    By Fabio Bonfante

    Please click the below link to find out more about our local museum and consider signing the petition to save it from closure.

    https://www.change.org/p/broxbourne-borough-council-save-lowewood-museum-hoddesdon-from-closure-at-the-end-of-june-2020

    UPDATE: The museum has been saved thanks to the hard work of many local campaigners and supporters. Thank you for your support!

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    Article: Sep 26, 2019
    By Brox Libdems



    After more than fifty years with a Conservative MP, now is the time for a change. The Liberal Democrats in Broxbourne are demanding better for our community.

    Julia Bird is our Liberal Democrat candidate for Broxbourne when the next general election is called.

    Committed to improving the lives of Broxbourne's residents, Julia and the Liberal Democrat team will work hard to ensure the community's needs are being addressed.

    As an economist working in London, with a particular expertise in Urban and Transport Economics, Julia has helped develop Liberal Democrat policies, including our recently adopted

    "Fairer Share for All" plan, which fights against the deepening inequalities in the UK, recognising that everyone deserves a decent income, decent services, with opportunities to make their lives better.

    Julia and all the Liberal Democrat team here in Broxbourne are concerned about a number of local issues:

  • Article: May 9, 2019
    By Fabio Bonfante

    Thank you for all you did for our recent Local Election campaign. Whether you delivered letters, wrote a cheque or simply voted for us - thank you.

    Broxbourne Borough Council 2019 Election

    Results and highlights

    · We had a candidate standing in every seat for the first time ever (as far as anyone can remember).

    · Despite a reduced voter turnout on 2018 we virtually doubled our votes polled, and increased our numbers in all bar one seat

    · Traditionally the third or even fourth party, this year we had four 2nd places.

    · There were 11 seats available, Labour won one and the Conservatives took the remainder.

    Goffs Oak - David doubled his vote share to 37% coming second polling 668 votes to the Conservative's 999

    Cheshunt North - Kostas more than doubled last year's votes and took 25% of the vote share and came 2nd, polling 409 to the Conservative's 876

    Broxbourne and Hoddesdon South had 2 x seats this year - Kirstie more than doubled last year's votes, took 18% of the vote share and came 2nd, polling 407 to the Conservative's 1445 Lukasz in his first ever election took 15% of the vote share and came 2nd, polling 287 to the Conservative's 1276

    Hoddesdon North - Ruth polled 300, almost double last year's votes and took 16% of the vote share, to the Conservative's 1215

    Hoddesdon Town and Rye Park - Luca polled 217, virtually double last year's votes and took 15% of the vote share, polling 217 to the Conservative's 779

    Wormley and Turnford - Lisa polled 251, 80 up on last year's votes and took 15% of the vote share, the Conservative's polled 1215

    Cheshunt South and Theobalds - This was a difficult situation, there was a fourth candidate here representing the BNP - I am so sorry to tell you they pushed us into fourth place. But even here Deb managed an increase on last year, polling 169 to the Conservative's 811

    Waltham Cross - Fabio polled 260, which was down on last year. Sadly we did not have the resources to carry out a campaign here like we did last year. He still had 14% of the vote share though, and it was a Labour victory of 942

    Flamstead End - Kypros virtually doubled last year's votes and took 10% of the vote share, polling 155 to the Conservative's 1017

    Rosedale and Bury Green - Bradley in his first ever election, in a ward we'd never stood in before took 15% of the vote share polling 221 to the Conservative 878

    We are all so proud of our team and our campaign.

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    Article: Apr 27, 2019
    By Fabio Bonfante

    Pick up your local paper and you will read about Broxbourne local council congratulating itself, in advance, for achieving "sustainability" by 2020. Unfortunately, this is interpreted very narrowly as balancing the Councils books by slashing budgets and the wholesale commercialisation of front-line services. Goffs Oak Voters know the quality of their local environment continues to deteriorate due to poorly planned development.

  • Article: Mar 18, 2019
    By Fabio Bonfante

    According to the Hertfordshire Police, knife crimes have more than tripled across the county since 2014 . Despite knife amnesties and other local initiatives, the trend is remorselessly upwards and Hertfordshire towns are becoming as unsafe as Britain's inner cities. Tragically, over 1,000 young people ( age 10-19) were admitted to UK hospitals with knife injuries last year and 10 teenagers have been killed in just the first two months of 2019.

    Sadly, this increase should not surprise us. You can't cut police numbers, essential services in schools, access to mental health services and youth work, and not expect there to be consequences. Beyond the tragic injuries and fatalities, there's a climate of fear. The fear experienced by young victims and their loved ones every time they leave home. Nationally police budgets have been cut by £250m since 2010, leading to 21,000 fewer officers on increasingly dangerous streets. The police are becoming a reactive 'blue light' service with fewer Officers available to engage with local communities or to carry out 'stop and search' operations around knife crime 'hot spots'.

    Austerity driven cuts to Police Budgets are only a part of the problem. Since 2010 there has been a massive contraction in community services like youth clubs, resulting in many more young people spending time on the street, where risks are higher and the temptation to carry knives for 'protection' is greater.

    Maintained Schools and Corporate Academies, focused on tests and targets are excluding 40 'disruptive' or 'under achieving' children a day. Small wonder that bored young people, lacking positive role models, are targeted by criminal gangs who use Social Media to paint a beguiling picture of drug dealing and violence. 90% of young people serving sentences in youth offending Institutions have previously been excluded from School.

    The epidemic of knife violence can only be countered when schools, police, health and youth workers work together, intervening early to support young people at risk of being sucked into knife crime. This approach has been used by the Scottish Government to reduce violent deaths in Glasgow, once "The Murder Capital of Europe", from 41 in 2005 to 0 in 2016.

    The continuing spate of stabbings involving young people amounts to a national crisis requiring a sense of urgency and strong leadership. This is not being provided by a government obsessed with the Brexit end game. Theresa May is in denial insisting that "there is no direct correlation between crime and police numbers". Phillip Hammond thinks that the police should "become more efficient" but will not commit to extra funding. This country and our young people deserve better!

    A piece by David Payne, a local campaigner and prospective candidate in the local elections in May

  • Article: Mar 13, 2019
    By Fabio Bonfante

    Your BroxLibDems have been busy listening to your views around Goffs Oak recently and have talked to parents anxious about the imminent transfer of their local community primary school from the local authority to corporate control ( The Academisation process beloved of Mr Gove). Amongst other things, they are very concerned that they and teachers will be frozen out by the new management. Please will you help them by signing their petition against this by clicking the link below:



  • Article: Feb 20, 2019
    By Fabio Bonfante

    December 2018 marked 100 years since women first voted in the 1918 General Election. Even then, only women aged over 30 could vote (40% of the electorate) as an electorate evenly divided between men and women was politically unacceptable! Women had to wait another 10 years before Electoral Equality was finally achieved in 1928.

    Of course, Electoral Equality did not just happen. The women's suffrage movement was born out of the frustrations of those tired of not having their voices heard. It required tireless effort by several generations of women who were not afraid to speak out.

    In 1897, various local women's suffrage societies came together to form the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies (lead by Millicent Fawcett)." The law-abiding suffragists "of the NUWSS promoted their cause by debate, petitions and peaceful demonstrations. Possibly the most spectacular was the Great Pilgrimage of 1913 from Cambridge through Hertfordshire to a rally in Hyde Park. Not all went smoothly; The Pilgrims had to be rescued by the police from a hostile mob as they tried to march through Ware.

    Frustrated at the glacial pace of progress a group of women (lead by Emmeline Pankhurst) broke away in 1903 to take a different path. The Women's Social and Political Union or the "Suffragettes" used more disruptive tactics, including civil disobedience and arson. Emily Davison, from Sawbridgeworth, was one of the most daring and reckless of the militants, enduring repeated imprisonments and forced feeding. She became a martyr to the cause by throwing herself in front of the Kings Horse during the 1913 Derby.

    100 years on, let's celebrate what the women's suffrage movement achieved. However, we should not kid ourselves that because women have the vote, they have equal citizenship. Women still earn 81p for every £1 earned by men, less than 30% of our MP's are women and violence against women remains a stain upon society. We still need to speak up for equality because everybody benefits - even men.

    A piece by a local Liberal Democrat campaigner, David Payne

  • Article: Jan 21, 2019
    By Brox Libdems



    The leafy Borough of Broxbourne has one of the worst rates of

    homelessness in the Country (ranked 22nd in a recently published list of

    50 homeless hot spots around the UK)




    There is no night shelter

    in Broxbourne and, at the Council's estimate, you can expect to find

    three or four people sleeping rough within the Borough most nights. It's

    easier to become homeless than you might think. Lose your job or your

    partner, face a period of illness or unemployment, fall behind with the

    mortgage or the rent, and you and your family could be on the way to

    losing your home.

  • Article: Jan 14, 2019
    By Brox Libdems

    Broxbourne suffers with some of the highest levels of illegal air pollution in the country. A government air pollution plan, ordered by the High Court earlier this year, revealed air pollution in Broxbourne to be much worse than previously feared, in fact it is amongst the eight worst areas in the country outside of London.

    The main pollutant in the air is nitrogen dioxide and the main cause of that is traffic.

    Amongst the worst air in the borough is along the A10 in Cheshunt but there are several others in the borough including Waltham Cross and Wormley that well exceed the minimum accepted levels.

    The area has been above the legal limit for some time but originally it was expected to be able to get down to the legal limit by 2019. After reviewing just how bad the problem is, Broxbourne Council revised that date to 2028.

    The most likely way the Council will address this problem is by implementation of a charging Clean Air Zone (CAZ) ie vehicles entering the area that do not comply with the specifications required will be charged a fee. They are hopeful this would enable the area to get to minimum compliance by 2023. This still leave us all breathing dangerous levels for another four years.

    A final plan on how they intend to address the issues must be with Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs by October 2019.

    Broxbourne council currently ask residents in the area not to make short car journeys - I would suggest better, and more frequent bus routes should be implemented so short car journeys are less necessary.

    In addition, Broxbourne District council are in direct opposition to Hertfordshire County council. Herts instigated the proposal for a 350,000-tonne incinerator that will pump further nitrogen dioxide into the Broxbourne Lea Valley and generate another c98,000 lorry movements - so huge potential for even higher levels in the north of the borough.

    A Piece by Elaine Thatcher - Chair of the Broxbourne Liberal Democrats