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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

  • Students unable to access their campuses during lockdown
    Article: Jan 12, 2021

    Lib Dem Councillors and Activists from across Hertfordshire have written to the Vice Chancellor of the University of Hertfordshire asking for clarification regarding its position on rent expections for on-campus accommodation at the University. Lib Dem Hertford Rural candidate Daniel Newton says:

    'It is essential that students are supported at this worrying time. We want to work with the University to make sure they are not paying the price for services they cannot access.'

  • Capitol Hill
    Article: Jan 10, 2021

    Democracy and freedom can never be taken for granted

    Lib Dem Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Layla Moran responds to the Trump-inspired attacks on the US Capitol Building in Washington D.C.

    By Layla Moran MP, Jan 08, 2021

    Like you, I watched domestic terrorists and insurrectionists storm the US Capitol last night with a sense of horror and shock.

  • Low Emission Zone (FoE)
    Article: Jan 3, 2021

    With some highly selective reporting based on a recent paper prepared for the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), an article in the 'Times' dated of Dec 7th 2020 turned out to be no more than a blatant and misleading attempt to discredit Electric Motoring by alleging that tyre and brake particles were worse than in the case of internal combustion engine vehicles.

    They wrote, "While switching to electric cars will remove pollutants from exhausts, models with large batteries capable of travelling 300 miles between charges emit up to 8% more fine particles from tyres and road wear than petrol and diesel cars." and called for Electric Vehicles no longer to be exempt from "tolls and congestion charges aimed at reducing road traffic emissions".

    However the electic vehicles (EVs) emitting "up to 8% more fine particles" were light commercial vehicles and SUVs with battery capacity enabling 300 km travel before recharging. The 300 km range private cars (themselves top-of the range vehicles) only produce an additional 3.6% more of the 2.5 micron particles and the figure given for the 10 micron particles is a reduction of 6.5%. In fact, when these larger (but still damaging) particles are considered - all other cases in the study's comparison with petrol powered vehicles shows reductions in particles from EVs.

    The OECD Report is detailed but perhaps a little ahead (or behind?) its time since it is quite open that there is a need for more practical work to be carried out on tyres, the wearing of road surfaces and the role of dust thrown up from the road by passing vehicles. They are also quite clear that they have estimated tyre wear based on assumptions about vehicle weight, rather than making any measurements.

    This is one problem about the study. It is known that tyre wear and particles increase as the vehicles get heavier - and at the moment the batteries make EVs heavier than their petrol driven equivalents. However the authors have made estimates about the battery weights which are out of date. They have used a figure of 10 kg/kWh of capacity, when in reality it's already below half of that. So it makes the electric vehicles in their study much too heavy and consequently over-estimates the tyre wear particles that will be generated. Not only that, but they don't take into account that new developments mean that by 2030 EVs will be much lighter still. So that makes their future predictions of the numbers of particles over-estimates as well.

    The second problem is that the survey also includes road dust - which hasn't got much to do with how the car is powered anyway - and much of the data relates to California, where the air is drier and battery powered SUVs exist in far greater numbers than in Europe, where they are almost unknown.

    Sorry, 'Times' - if you want to continue your crusade against the Congestion and Low Emission Charging Zones in London, you'll have to your homework more thoroughly. Better still, though, if you were to campaign positively for cleaner air in all our major cities!

    Thanks to Auke Hoekstra of Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, Noord-Brabant for pointing out the problem with the battery weight assumption. Pic from FoE.

  • housing
    Article: Dec 29, 2020

    All of the 18 Liberal Democrat Councillors on the Conservative-run Dacorum Borough Council have sent an Open Letter to the Rt Hon Sir Mike Penning MP for Hemel Hempstead and to Gagan Mohindra MP for South West Hertfordshire.

    In it they point out that the housing target which the Government is imposing on Dacorum Borough is based on 2014 housing estimates instead of the more up-to-date 2018 estimates. The consequence of using these outdated estimates instead of the latest ones, is to inflate housing targets across Hertfordshire as a whole by nearly 20%, with a similarly anomalous increases for for Dacorum, Watford and Three Rivers.

    They ask their two MPs to take the matter up with the Minister and ask for the latest and more accurate estimates to be used instead of figures that are 4 years older and correspondingly less reliable.

    The text of the letter written on their behalf by Cllr William Allen, who is one of the 3 Liberal Democrat councillors representing the Boxmoor Ward is as follows.

  • Holly Berries 2016
    Article: Dec 27, 2020
    Best wishes at this unusual Christmastide.
    Take care.
    Stay safe.
  • Leisure Parking at Wilstone Bridge
    Article: Dec 27, 2020
    I hope everyone is well and had a good Christmas.

    Last week I noticed that Herts Highways Dept had sent me a Christmas present after all. I'm trying to sort out muddy verges and erosion of the side of the road by installing what I call "Leisure Parking" - small parking areas for one or two cars where people want to walk the dog, go for a walk themselves or go fishing or birdwatching. It's neater, saves further roadside damage and encourages active recreation and access to the countryside.
  • Housing ()
    Article: Dec 20, 2020

    Three small but crucial parts of the Local Plan to highlight today.

    Comments on the Dacorum Borough Council Local Plan - Site Selection - looking at the proposals for Affordable Housing.

    Can we afford to NOT to provide Affordable Housing? With the waiting lists we have in Dacorum surely we have to do this?

    So what is going to be done about this shortage of properly affordable homes?

    There is a section on affordable housing in the main plan document.

    https://www.dacorum.gov.uk/docs/default-source/strategic-planning/part-1---local-plan-emerging-strategy-for-growth-2020-2038---pages-1-to-187.pdf?sfvrsn=93bf0c9e_10

  • housing
    Article: Dec 17, 2020

    Dacorum Borough Councillor, Liz Uttley, has been looking at the Dacorum Local Development Plan. She writes,

    "To be "sound" (and get accepted), a Local Plan like the one being consulted by Dacorum must follow the rules set out in something called the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). What's that?

  • Business
    Article: Dec 16, 2020

    The Conservatives at Herts County Council have refused to back the idea of providing support to Hertfordshires businesses affected by Covid closures and to help businesses recover from the impacts of the pandemic.

    At the end of October, Liberal Democrat councillors had proposed that the council should write to the government to tell them that more support for local business was needed alongside timely, evidence based and effective action to tackle the pandemic.

  • Article: Dec 16, 2020

    Despite opposition from the Liberal Democrats, Conservatives at Herts county council have voted to approve a flawed Speed Management Strategy which will make it harder to introduce 20mph zones and means that Hertfordshire has fallen behind other authorities in the widespread introduction of 20mph limits.