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Sally Symington Portrait

Our candidate for the 2019 General Election is Sally Symington (@SallySymington)

Please donate to Sally's campaign

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.

News

  • Stevenage Platform 5 Testing (Steve White)
    Article: Mar 15, 2020

    Two rail replacement bus service has been operation Mondays - Fridays on the Hertford Loop while Network Rail complete a major upgrade to Stevenage Station.

    • Between Stevenage and Watton-at-Stone - served by a people carrier
    • Between Stevenage and Hertford North - served by a double decker bus

    This involves not only Stevenage Station but also the track that connects Stevenage with Watton-at-Stone and destinations further south on the Hertford Loop. A major element in the upgrade is the construction of a new fifth platform at Stevenage. However, extensive work to the track, signalling and other infrastructure is required to connect services to the Watton-at-Stone line.

  • Urbos Tram in Birmingham
    Article: Mar 3, 2020

    Despite the scaremongering and misunderstanding that's around, the situation is clear. Vehicles of all sorts will be powered less and less by the internal combustion engine as time goes on. Diesel engines will probably remain the power source of choice for the larger lorries, but any smaller vehicle could use electric power from batteries - and anything larger with more space to spread the weight, such as a train or a boat, could do the same thing using cheaper and simpler batteries.

    Now trams are the latest form of transport to start using batteries in a big way, and for the simple reason that in crowded city centres tram operators can save a lot of cost and maintenance by restricting those overhead wires to the more spacious outskirts and suburbs.

    CAF, a Spanish engineering company with over a century of experience since they made their first tram in Zaragoza in 1897, produced their first tram capable of running without wires in 2009. This was a modification of their flagship product, the Urbos tram. 21 Urbos trams were supplied to the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) in 2012 for use in Birmingham. In 2018 CAF were asked to fit these trams with batteries and the trams have successfully demonstrated their ability to be used on stretches of track where there are no wires.

    Now the company has won another contract from WMCA to supply a second tranch of 21 more Urbos trams - this time already fitted with battery electric storage - with an option for a further 29. They are to be used on the Midland Metro between Birmingham and Wolverhampton and including the new Centenary Square extension which was built from the start without overhead wires.

    Meanwhile, rather further afield, CAF's subsidiary company, Solaris, has won a contract in Venice, for 30 of its Urbino 12 electrically powered buses which will replace all of the diesel powered buses operating on the Lido and Pellestrina islands

  • Document: Mar 2, 2020
    591.43 KiB drawing or desktop publishing document

    General Election Thank You Democrat from Sally Symington and an Introduction to the Liberal Democrat Police and Crime Commissioner Candidate, Lara Pringle.

  • CLLr Adrian England at Dacorum Borough Council
    Article: Mar 1, 2020

    In a motion to Dacorum Borough Council at its Budget setting meeting on 25th February, 2020, the Liberal Democrat Borough Councillors, without opposing any of the Conservative proposals, sought to amend the budget for the coming financial year by the addition of 10 items, mainly aimed at strengthening existing measures to mitigate Climate Change.

    The motion was proposed by Group Leader, Cllr Ron Tindall and seconded by the Deputy Group Leader Cllr Adrian England.

    They took note of the council's Medium Term Financial Strategy and only proposed new services and initiatives that could be paid for out of existing resources and reserves. The amendment implied an increase in Council Tax of £5.00 but they considered that the need to amplify the council's response to Climate Change more than justified this trivial per annum increase.

  • First High Voltage DC Connector
    Article: Feb 19, 2020

    The Orkneys are one of the best places in the world for wind, wave and tidal power - and in fact several advanced technology innovations have been proved practical on and close by the islands.

    The islands now produce 20% more energy than they can use but can export this small surplus to the mainland through two old, low capacity cables laid in 1982 and 1988.

    However, there is potential there for 10 time the current generating capacity and the new developments are compromised by insufficient local use and the lack of a high capacity connector to Caithness to connect to the grid.

    The picture shows the first High Voltage DC connector which was installed between Sweden and Gotland - a distance of 96 km - and completed in 1954, nearly 70 years ago.

    Now, despite the project having been first proposed about 15 years ago, prevarication and lack of interest from successive UK governments, have meant that the Orkney-Caithness Connector Project has only just reached it first review stage.

    There would be 50 km of cable between Caithness and Orkney with another 20 km of various undersea cables connecting all the islands around Scapa Flow.

    The lack of this cable has really caused an embarrassing delay to further developments in the islands and is depriving Scotland in particular of a very important green energy resource.

    Perhaps this should have been a Scottish project - not a UK one.

  • East West Rail route through Cambourne (East West Rail)
    Article: Feb 18, 2020

    East-West Rail announced at the end of January 2020 that, following on from an extensive consultation, which included the views of Hertfordshire County Council, the company had decided on Option E as their Preferred Route. This is the route through Cambourne.

    Hertfordshire has road traffic that is 35% higher than the UK average and, in addition, suffers from a lack of East-West transport infrastructure.

    Although not passing through the county, East West Rail has the potential to reduce some traffic flows through Hertfordshire. In addition a restored rail route will be more sustainable and far less environmentally damaging than the proposed "Oxford-Cambridge Expressway" which will roughly follow the same general direction - again outside of Hertfordshire. However, whether the "Expressway" will ever get build is another matter.

    With regard to the East-West Rail project, local Lib Dem councillors are in favour of Option E as the Preferred Route for the Central Section to link Bedford with Cambridge.

    The route via Cambourne was the option South Cambridgeshire District Council said should be chosen when asked during a consultation.

  • Lara Pringle Candidate Herts PCC
    Article: Feb 16, 2020
    Hertfordshire Liberal Democrats announce Lara Pringle as their Police and Crime Commissioner candidate.

    Lara is an experienced criminal barrister and a Liberal Democrat Councillor in Dacorum. She has built up a reputation as a formidable campaigner and a champion of social justice.
    As a criminal barrister with over two decades of experience prosecuting, Lara understands what drives crime. She recognises the huge challenges faced in the criminal justice system and knows that strategic investment and a change of focus is required.
  • Article: Feb 10, 2020

    Hertfordshire Liberal Democrats decry the decision by Conservative members to close three short break respite homes across the county, significantly reducing capacity.

    The three sites slated for closure are at Tewin Road, Hemel Hempstead, Hixberry Lane, St Albans and Apton Road, Bishops Stortford.

    At the Adult Care and Health Panel today, a petition was presented by the Carers organisation, Carers in Herts, making very valid points and seeking a cooperative process with Adult Care Services to build the right respite strategy service before closures are considered, and Cllr Ron Tindall as LibDem spokesperson put this forward as an alternative recommendation to the panel. Sadly this vote was lost with all Conservative members voting against, despite several of them having echoed the concerns of the petitioners and opposition members during the debate. Instead the proposal to authorise closure was voted through; all opposition members voted against. One Conservative Member who had suggested that the recommendation should be amended to consider the plans further before committing to closures at least abstained (much to his credit).

  • Aldbury Traffic Calming Consultation Jan 2020
    Article: Jan 30, 2020

    Tuesday 21st of January saw a full house in Aldbury's Memorial Hall as local residents crowded in. The occasion was a presentation by a consultant hired by Herts County Council officers for new proposals for traffic calming measures.

    Some years ago the villagers started a quest for bringing in traffic calming to their picturesque and tranquil village. discussions took place at the time with the County Council and shortly afterwards Parish Council was awarded a grant from the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner for design work to be carried out by consultants that they has appointed and were paying for.

  • PAYG Contactless at WGC Station (Peter Alvey / Govia Thames Railway)
    Article: Jan 22, 2020

    Govia Thameslink Railway are introducing contactless payments at three stations, Welwyn Garden City, Hatfield and Welham Green.

    It's a Pay-As-You-Go system and generally offers the cheapest single fares - depending on the time of day - towards London. Travellers simply touch their contactless payment card or smartphone payment app on the yellow card readers at the station.