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Local Election 2019 Manifesto


You can read our local manifesto here.

Thanking Mike Wood

Mike Wood and Terence Beckett Thank you

Mike Wood (centre) seated with Terence Beckett and Mione Goldspink

On 8 December we gathered to thank Mike Wood, standing down as President, and people who had helped in Terence Beckett's recent campaign.

Mike's distinguished service has seen him as Mayor of Bishop's Stortford, serving for extended periods as a County, District and Town councillor and hold all the main offices in the local party.

Terence recently stood in the Meads ward by election on 6 December 2018, where he was came a very good second.

Both Mike and Terence will be among our candidates for the elections in May.

When Mione, Chris, Stephen and Terence met Mark... and asked for a People's Vote...

LibDem activists prepare to meet Mark Prisk with a petitionOn Friday, 19th October, one day before the People's Vote March in London, 4 local LibDem campaigners met Hertford and Stortford MP, Mark Prisk.

Mione Goldspink, Chris Wilson, Stephen Skinner and Terence Beckett presented Mr Prisk with a petition of more than 300 local names, all wanting a say in what happens next, and all demanding a People's Vote on Brexit.

Then these 4 joined over 30 others from Stortford, Hertford and nearby in marching on London in one of the biggest displays of democracy ever seen! We want a People's Vote and we are not going away!

Winning Here! Sophie Bell wins landslide in Watton-at-Stone...

Sophie Bell, Julian Huppert etc at start of Watton campaign

Sophie Bell, on the first day of campaigning in Watton-at-Stone by election

Congratulations to Sophie Bell, the newly-elected member of East Hertfordshire District Council for Watton-at-Stone.

Sophie won in a by-election on 23 August 2018 with 67% of the vote, beating the Tories on 30% and Labour on 2.8%

Watton-at-Stone is in the part of East Hertfordshire which is in North East Hertfordshire constituency.

[23 August 2018]

Annelise Berendt Furnace

Annelise Berendt Furnace, Liberal Democrat member of Sawbridgeworth Town Council writes on Life as a Town Councillor:

"It is remarkable how much work our local councillors do for their residents and communities, and how readily citizens can engage with them. Five fascinating months as a Town Councillor in Sawbridgeworth have given me a real insight into the contribution councillors make to the life of the community."

Click here to read the complete article

Graphic from LibDem HQ

Leave liars must come clean

Vote Leave got away with lying about money for the NHS, visas for Commonwealth citizens and much more, but now the truth about the Brexit deal is emerging, they won't be able to lie anymore.

Astonishing claims have emerged today that suggests Leave campaigns worked together overspend during the European Referendum. If true, this could be illegal.

Documents released by a new campaign group alongside evidence from whistle-blower Shahmir Sanni, suggest that Vote Leave, the official campaign, and BeLeave, a youth targeting group run by two young graduates, worked closely together during the referendum, despite Electoral Commission rules which forbid that sort of collusion.

To add to the seediness, Vote Leave allegedly made a direct payment "on behalf" of BeLeave of £625,000 to a voter targeting company called Aggregate IQ. The intellectual property for Aggregate IQ is owned by Robert Mercer.



Vince Cable at 2018 Spring Conference

In his Leader's speech at the 2018 Spring Conference, Vince Cable said:

"I would go so far as to say Britain is now mired in a protracted, non-violent civil war.

Allied to the poisonous rhetoric about 'traitors' and 'saboteurs', and what Theresa May calls 'citizens of nowhere'... we have a toxic brew which fuels the populist right.

What a disgrace that the fools' errand of Brexit... embarked on to paper over cracks in the Conservative Party has resulted in hate crime on our streets.

Our message is clear: Liberal Democrats will rebuild an open, tolerant, outward-looking Britain.

We want our country back."

Click here for the full text of Vince Cable's Leader's Speech


VInce Cable

New poll shows public opinion swinging behind Lib Dem call for a vote on the terms of Brexit

An ICM poll for The Guardian has shown that Brits favour a referendum on the terms of Brexit by a 13 point margin. Once 'don't knows' are taken out, this rises 58% in support to 42% against.

This is the latest poll showing support for the Liberal Democrats' call for the public to have the final say on Brexit. Last month, a Survation survey showed that one in two people wanted a public vote, against 34% who did not.

Responding, Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable said:

"The evidence is mounting that the British people want a vote on the terms of any deal to leave the European Union.

"The Liberal Democrats has long been the only main party to call for this vote, which would include the option of an exit from Brexit. The Conservatives and Labour leadership must now respond to this demand given the clearly strong current of public opinion favouring having the final say."

Sign our petition for a referendum on the terms.


Vince CableCredit card changes are win for the EU not Tories

Commenting on the new EU rules banning credit card surcharges, Vince Cable, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, said:

"Once again the Tories are claiming a popular policy that they had nothing to do with.

"These new rules will make things easier, cheaper and more efficient for consumers. This is another good example of EU rules helping people in their everyday lives. Unfortunately this doesn't match Theresa May's spin so instead the Tories are lying to the public.

"This is a welcome change that gives more freedom and flexibility to people in their everyday lives."


Domos logo

Citizens' Voices comments on Brexit from Domos

With some rich detail on current perceptions, this report includes rich comment from people who regret voting Leave:

  • It's obvious, there are more factors that need considering than what we actually thought it would be the case at first I think, and there's a lot of difficult decisions to be made.
  • It's going to be really up and down… there're going to be a lot of problems.
  • Nobody told us we were gonna have to pay £50 billion! Nobody said a word about that.
  • I haven't got the knowledge of the financial implications, in us staying or leaving and I would guess that most people would agree.
  • They never asked the right questions - just, do you want to leave or not, and that was the end of it.
  • I don't think anybody knew, or had an idea of the complexities of it. We're all like yeah, it's a good idea, but then businesses started getting involved and saying hang on this is gonna cost a lot of money and then all of a sudden we were like, oh what are we gonna do now?


Vince Cable's new year message

Vince highlights:

  • the need to convince the government to build thousands of affordable homes so that younger generations are no longer cut off from the housing market;
  • the urgency of properly funding a woefully underinvested NHS - the Liberal Democrats argue for a penny in the pound on income tax for the NHS and social care;
  • the need to win the argument for an Exit from Brexit, but democratically, through a public vote on the terms of the divorce and any EU trade deal.

"The Liberal Democrats are the party to confront the establishment and vested interests, the party unafraid to swim against the tide and do the right thing, the party to stand up for the underdog."

"Looking forward to 2018, we've got a lot of work to do. Liberal Democrats have a lot of people to persuade to get behind us, but we can do it.

"There's still time to offer people the choice of an Exit from Brexit; there's a big opportunity to win a real cash injection for the NHS and for schools; and to win the argument for thousands more affordable homes.

"All over the country people are getting behind these campaigns by joining and supporting the Liberal Democrats. We have over 100,000 members and we're ambitious to grow.

"So, let's get back to what we're good at, getting out on the streets together, and campaigning. Thank you for 2017. And let's make 2018 our year."


Vince CableBrexit has cost each household £404 PA: Cable responds

A report by the Centre for Economic Performance has finally proved that Brexit is hitting the living standards of UK citizens, calculating the cost to be over £400 a year per household.

Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable said: "This comprehensive study finally nails the lie that the Brexit process has not damaged the economy, and with it the living standards of every British citizen.

"The average household simply can't afford to lose £404 a year at a time when many have not recovered from the financial crisis of almost a decade ago.

"But it didn't have to be this way: if the Conservative government had responded by guaranteeing that Britain would remain in the single market and customs union, the pound would not have fallen so sharply and inflation would not have risen. That was not the fault of how people voted but how the government responded to the vote, embarking on the most extreme and damaging version of Brexit."


March for Europe, 9 September 2017

Brexit rally 2017-09-09Among the people from Hertford and Stortford Liberal Democrats at the March for Europe on 9 September were Paul Eldred, Carole Luck and Mark Argent.

New leader

Vince Cable

Vince Cable, new Liberal Democrat leader

The new Liberal Democrat leader, Vince Cable, been quick to challenge both the Conservatives and Labour over Brexit.

He's said very clearly that Brexit can be stopped, and that there is a sizeable group in both the Conservative and Labour parties who are keen for the UK to remain in the Single Market, and the Customs Union and to preserve collaboration on research with our European partners. Fifty Labour MPs defied their leadership to vote in favour of staying in the single market: he urged Tories to have similar courage and promised to reach out to MPs on the right and the left to work together.

Recognising the growing pressure for an "exit to Brexit" he repeated the Liberal Democrat commitment to a referendum on the terms of the proposed deal.

He added that "Voters should be asked 'Do you wish to accept what is coming down the track, jumping off the cliff and hoping there's a tree to catch you or do we want to stay within the European Union?'"

More: BBCThe IndependentInews

Thank you gathering

Thank you event in Hertford

Some of the Hertford and Stortford Liberal Democrats who gathered in Ware for a "Thank You" party soon after the 2017 General Election with candidate Mark Argent.

Hertford Castle by Election (9 March)

Freja Waterhouse (Freja Waterhouse)

Freja Waterhouse

Congratulations to Freja Waterhouse for her achievement in the Hertford Castle by election on 9 March. She received more than double the proportion of votes Liberal Democrats gained in this constituency in the 2015 General Election

LibDems react to Theresa May's Brexit speech (17 January 2017)

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.

(Theresa May's speech led to many people joining the Liberal Democrats. Hertford and Stortford LibDems gained 18 people in the two days following this speech, and it sparked an article in the Observer)

Success in Richmond Park

Sarah Olney, Nick Clegg, Caroline Pidgeon

Sarah Olney with Nick Clegg and Caroline Pidgeon

The Liberal Democrat Sarah Olney won the by election in Richmond Park on 1 December.

The campaign focussed on Brexit and Sarah promised that she will vote against the triggering of Article 50 if elected. Tim Farron had already said that we would fight any snap election on a commitment to reverse Brexit, and Sarah's election has the potential to focus concerns around Brexit.

Coming on the back of a sustained series of victories in council by-elections, this result, overturning a majority of 23,000, is a clear indication that the Liberal Democrats are bouncing back.

Click here for more, or for Sarah Olney's victory speech.

[December 2016]

Protesting at Hockerill Crossroads

hockerill pollution 3

Hertford and Stortford LibDems at Hockerill Junction

Hertford and Stortford Liberal Democrat members have been tirelessly protesting and petitioning local residents t get the East Herts district council to take ACTION about the appalling levels of pollution at Hockerill Crossroads. This dangerous blackspot was identified as long ago as 2009 by the Conservative-controlled council and was therefore designated as an AQMA (Air Quality Management Area). Nine years on, Nitrogen Dioxide levels in the area were shown to be almost double what is legally allowed.

We are calling on the council to urgently do something to change this unacceptable risk to local residents' health and well-being. You can sign our petition here.

To read more about our ideas about how to improve the situation, click here.

[November 2016]

Campaigning in Witney

With Liz Luffman in Witney

LibDems from Hertford and Stortford with Liz Leffman

On Saturday 8 October 2016 some of us went to join in the campaign to get Liz Leffman elected in the Witney by-election, caused by the resignation of David Cameron as an MP.

It was an exciting day: more than 370 LibDems were out campaigning that day alone, offering the chance to connect with LibDems from across the country.

In the end the result was a leap from 7% of the vote in 2015 to 30%, with the Tory vote share falling from 60% to 45%. That's enough to register shock over the harsh tone of the 2016 Tory party conference, and rumours of a "hard Brexit".

Liberal Democrats remain committed to seeking a future for the UK within the European Union and a good result here would help pull things back towards finding a healthy future in Europe.

[October 2016]

East Herts District Council By-Election in Puckeridge - An encouraging result

Sara Mihajlovic

Sara Mihajlovic, working with a resident

On 16 September 2016, Sara achieved 18% of the vote in the by-election in Puckeridge, caused by the resignation of Conservative councillor James Cartwright. This is more than double the share of the vote achieved by Liberal Democrats in Hertford and Stortford and North East Hertfordshire constituencies in the General Election, and a remarkable result in a ward where we had not put forward a candidate in recent elections.Well done to Sara and the team for all their hard work.

[September 2016]