We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

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

  • Article: May 28, 2020

    Although there are 235 deaths listing COVID 19 registered in Hertfordshire between 10th April and 15th May according the Office of National Statistics, Herts Liberal Democrats have calculated that as many as 500 deaths are likely to have occurred according to figures that the County Council has collected from care homes. The Liberal Democrats have also raised concerns that a far higher number of deaths have occurred in care homes in Watford and Hertsmere than in other districts.

  • Article: May 28, 2020

    The evidence is clear. Because of the failure to provide adequate testing arrangements, the Government has no scientific basis on which to tell Primary Schools that they should reopen on 1st June. Each and every school has been forced to carry out its own risk assessment in deciding when it will be appropriate to reopen. This must be based on the physical limitations of the school buildings, the number of staff who are able and prepared to come back to their classrooms, and most importantly the number of parents willing to send their children to school.

    The County Council has to make it clearer to every school that it should feel under no pressure to open unless all these conditions are met. County Councillor Mark Watkin, Lib Dem Opposition spokesperson for Education comments: "There has never been a more important time for the County Council to give strong and clear guidance to schools and support them in whatever decision they take. Every day that our schools stay closed, our children's education suffers. It is imperative that the Government introduces reliable testing systems as soon as possible so that Heads and Boards of Governors have reliable information on which to base their decision. We also want to see more evidence that the County Council is actively helping schools to ensure that as much as possible is done to provide education for the pupils, and especially for those in danger of slipping behind due to prolonged absence from school."

  • Article: May 28, 2020

    "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.

  • Article: May 1, 2020

    The second of Callum Robertson's interviews is with Dr Julian Huppert, Director of the Intellectual Forum at Jesus College Cambridge and Visiting Professor at King's College, London. He was MP for Cambridge from 2010 until 2015. Julian is a former research scientist and has a particular interest in science and technology policy.

  • Article: Apr 24, 2020

    East of England Liberal Democrats launch a series of podcasts about the wider party to engage members during the covid-19 crisis

    During the Covid-19 crisis, East of England Liberal Democrats are working to provide more information about the Liberal Democrats and how we work to our members and supporters. Presented by Regional Policy Chair Callum Robertson, the new series features a number of discussions, interviews and round tables with Council Leaders, MPs and other party figures.

  • 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.