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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

  • Article: Oct 22, 2020
    Conservative run Herts County Council has wasted £119,000 of council tax payers' money on investigating a failed bid to turn it into a mega
    super council abolishing the 10 district and borough councils.

    Following questions raised by Liberal Democrat Group Leader Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst, it was revealed that the County Council spent
    £119,000 in the last year to explore local government reform in Herts. This was £107,000 on consultancy fees with Price Waterhouse Cooper and £12,000 on officers' salaries as staff were diverted to work on the project as requested by the Conservative Leader of the Council, David Williams.

    Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst said, " This is a sickening waste of money especially now that the idea of local government reform in Herts
    has been taken off the agenda for the foreseeable future. The reports and spend were kept secret from opposition councillors in an underhand way.

    "What is very concerning is that the majority of this money was spent and work was commissioned during the on-going pandemic. An Assistant Director from Adult Social Care was moved to work on this and that is a disgrace. This just goes to show that the Conservatives cannot get priorities right and have wasted council taxpayers' money that could have been spent on supporting local business."
  • Article: Oct 22, 2020

    At Tuesday's meeting of Hertfordshire County Council the Lib Dem motion supporting Marcus Rashford's proposal to extend Free School Meals through the holidays until Easter 2021, the leader of the Council, David Williams, and the Executive Member for Education, Libraries and Localism instructed their group to vote against it and the motion was defeated.

  • Article: Oct 21, 2020

    Conservatives at Herts County Council have refused to back Herts businesses affected by Covid closures and to help businesses recover from the impacts of the pandemic. Liberal Democrat councillors had proposed that the council should tell the government that more support for businesses was needed alongside timely, evidence based and effective action to tackle the pandemic as the survival of many local businesses is on a knife-edge thanks to the second wave.

  • Alistair Carmichael 2020
    Article: Oct 18, 2020
    Why the Liberal Democrats VOTED AGAINST the Tories' CRIME AUTHORISATION BILL. (Oct 15, 2020 5:10)
    This Bill will allow a whole range of employees of Government agencies to authorise crimes, up to and including murder and torture.

    The Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson ALISTAIR CARMICHAEL led cross-party opposition to the Government's Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill, calling a vote against the legislation in the House of Commons.

  • Wera Hobhouse
    Article: Oct 11, 2020

    Wera Hobhouse, Liberal Democrat MP for Bath

    Spokesperson for Justice and Women & Equalities, Shadow Leader of the House.

    Wera was born in Hanover, Germany and came to Britain in 1990 having met and married her English husband, William Hobhouse. They both cite the fall of the Berlin Wall, which they travelled to witness in November 1989, as a pivotal moment in their lives.

    Wera and William have 4 children, 2 boys and 2 girls, aged 20 to 27 years and live in central Bath.

    She has had several diverse successful careers: as a radio journalist, a professional artist and, in the UK, as a teacher of modern languages. She is fluent in English, German and French.

    Wera started her political life in Rochdale, where as a councillor she fought tireless against the building of 600 new homes and a children's nursery on asbestos-contaminated land, ultimately winning this 7-year battle.

    Since moving, with her family, to Bath she has immersed herself in local politics.

    She is perhaps best known for her pro European and Internationalist views. She is strongly opposing to the brutal and destructive hard version of Brexit that Theresa May has chosen for us.

    Politically Wera's other passion is the environment: encompassing traffic congestion, the pollution it causes and damage to the health of Bath's residents.

    Wera is noted for her strong and deep rooted principles and she is bold and fearless in her defence of them. She was reelected in the 2019 General Election.

  • Article: Sep 25, 2020
    North Herts Council has agreed to provide the necessary financial support to keep the district's swimming pools and leisure centres in Hitchin, Letchworth and Royston open during the Covid pandemic. The reduced number of people using them and the reduced capacity available whilst keeping people safe means that without extra money they could not have continued to operate.
  • Nick Hollinghurst's Nissan Leaf
    Article: Sep 20, 2020

    The Department for Transport recently ran a consultation exercise starting on 8th July and closing on 31st August, 2020. This was open to the public and we were asked to submit our ideas for and about the steps we should take to reduce emissions from transport. THis was to assist the government in creating a plan to ensure the UK transport is net zero in emissions by 2050.

    Cllr Nick Hollinghurst, who represents the Tring Division on Hertfordshire County Council and who was an early adopter of all-electric motoring, overcame any feelings of cynicism about government consultations and decided to make a full and positive response, uploading his completed questionnaire his responses in the final quarter of an hour!

    These are the answers he gave to the more specific and detailed questions.

  • Ellen All-Electric Ferry in Denmark
    Article: Sep 9, 2020

    Launched last August using a grants from E-Ferry, an EU-backed innovation fund, Ellen is Denmark's first electric ferry to dispense with diesel back-up generators.

    It was built in the Ridzon shipyard in Szczecin in Poland and power is provided from large-format lithium ion batteries specially developed by the Swiss company, Leclanché. At €30 million it cost 40% more than a convention diesel-powered vessel, but the running costs are 75% less and the pollution is negligeable by comparison.

    The Ellen can carry 30 vehicles and 200 passengers and is being used on the Fynshav - Søby and the Fåborg - Søby routes, each a distance of about 10 nautical miles with a journey time of just under an hour. It is designed to make 7 trips a day during the summer season and can travel 22 nautical miles on a full charge. It is owned and operated by the local council.

  • Article: Sep 8, 2020

    The county council is currently consulting on a new Speed Management Strategy for Hertfordshire roads. But questions must now be asked as to whether it is serious after an astonishing admission by Cllr Phil Bibby, the Conservative portfolio holder for highways at County Hall. In an email to St Albans Lib Dem county councillor Sandy Walkington, Cllr Bibby wrote 'this does not significantly alter our policy on 20 mph speed limits… In fact, there may be less scope for 20 mph areas/zones…'

  • Night Flight Noise (Guardian/Steve Parsons/PA)
    Article: Aug 15, 2020

    What with traffic being less and flight almost stopped because of covid-19 restrictions many people are now getting a better night's sleep. And this is a good thing too - because sleep disturbance or insufficient sleep has a series of adverse health consequences.

    It's now been known for decades that the modern way of life disturbs natural sleep rythms and interferes with the biological clocks ion our metabolisms that have evolved over millions of years - literally from the time that life began - and it's the higher mamals e.g. us that find sleep disturbance most damaging.

    A study around involving nearly 5,000 people living in noise hotspots close to 6 major European airports, including Heathrow, for over 5 years found a 14% increase in the risk of high blood pressure for every 10 dB increase in nighttime noise. There was no correlation with daytime noise. (reported in Guardian 13/02/2008)

    And it's not just the noise itself, but the way it disturbs sleep even if it doesn't wake you up.

    This adverse effect of night-time noise was confirmed 5 years later by a similar study involving 1,500 near Heathrow, which also detected an adverse effects with daytime noise. For night-time noise the overall increased risk of hospital admission for stroke was increase by 29%, for coronary heart disease by 12% and for cardiovascular disease by 9%. For day-time noise the corresponding figures were 23%, 11% and 14%. These effects were stronger in the case of persons with South Asian ethnicity.

    Other sources of noise were studied and, as measured by subjective reports of annoyance, aircraft noise was more annoying than noise from road traffic or from rail which in turn led to comparatively higher effects from aircraft noise. (reported in Guardian 09/10/2013)

    Noise is associated with activation of the sympathetic nervous system and so it would not be surprising for it to be associated with other health problems and last year an analysis of many different but similar scientific published papers (a meta-analysis) covering nearly half a million individuals found a 6% increase in the risk of Type 2 diabetes following only a 3 dB increase in noise exposure, regardless of source. Within the data, however, a stronger effect was observed with aircraft noise than with road or rail noise.