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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: Jul 20, 2021

    At today's meeting of Hertfordshire County Council, the Conservatives turned down a proposal from the Liberal Democrats to top up - by £31 per child - the Government's £50 part-funding of vital support over the summer holiday for each of the 34,400 children receiving free school meals.

    County Councillor Mark Watkin, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Children's Services and proposer of the top-up motion, commented;

  • environment
    Article: Jul 19, 2021

    "The Conservatives are failing to protect nature", Sarah Olney MP

    The Liberal Democrats HAVE proposed changes to the Environment Bill to protect green spaces and wildlife.

    The Conservatives' Environment Bill will fail to protect British nature and our beautiful landscapes.

    We are already living in one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world. Our waterways are in a poor condition with just 14% in good condition. More than 40% of native species are in decline.

  • Drain and Gravel 1
    Article: Jul 11, 2021

    "Dacorum Borough and Herts County both need to work together to solve blocked drain problems," says Lib Dem Councillor, Nick Hollinghurst who represents Tring West & Rural on DBC.

    He explains, "District and Borough Councils both have a shared responsibility to keep the highway and the gutters free from loose debris, grit, mud and litter.

    "The County Council has responsibility to keep the highway well drained and clear from flooding.

    "However under every drain is a large gulley or silt trap - and if the gutters and the highway are not kept clear, then silt, mud and litter will either block the top of the drain or get washed down and trapped in the gulleys.

    "This quickly fills up and then they are blocked, the outflow pipework is also blocked and the blockage then hardens.

    "Once this has happened, the gulleys have to be expensively dug out by hand.

    "Both authorities need to do their jobs to keep the drains free and the highways clear.

    "In particular Dacorum Borough Council needs to do better in keeping roadways outside Hemel Hempstead clear!

    "Although large brush sweeping machines are deployed across Hemel hempstead and seem to do a good job there, in rural areas and in the market towns older, smaller machines are failing to do the job.

    "The picture shows an extensive bank of gravel and silt at the A41 roundabout to the east of Tring - a spot known for a long time as a site where drains frequently block and rain water floods right across the A4251. The drain is barely visible.

    "The second picture shows the drain has been dug out, but the county sub-contractors who did that, just left the gravel and silt still heaped in the gutters waiting to washed in at the next thunderstorm - to fill the gulley and block the drain all over again!

    "County sub-contractors should be given instructions to completely remedy such situations by removing all adjacent gravel, and Dacorum Borough Council should keep all gutters in Tring and Berkhamsted well swept and clear - and both councils should co-operate with each other to get the work done properly!"

  • Unpaid Carers 2
    Article: Jul 9, 2021
    "The other day, I spent some time meeting with a wonderful group of unpaid carers", Ed Davey - Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Jun 11, 2021

    "People looking after their loved ones too often feel forgotten," said Ed.

    "The other day, I spent some time meeting with a wonderful group of unpaid carers.

    "We had been brought together by Carers UK and a number of other carers' organisations as part of Carers Week, so they could share their experiences directly with me and we could discuss what changes might make their lives better.

  • Massive Pothole
    Article: Jul 8, 2021

    As a former Herts county councillor, Nick Hollinghurst, was interested in the recent report on potholes in the Hemel Hempstead Gazette - a never ending problem it seems.

    There is, of course, one simple action we can all take to motivate the County Council to repair potholes faster - and that is to use the online HCC Highway Fault Reporting System!

    The County Council has an inspection rota for roads, according to their importance and use - every 3months, every 6 months or annually. As long as they work their rota and stick to their schedule, then they have a statutory defence in law against negligence - and your claim for damages caused by road defects will automatically fail.

    Unless… unless the pothole or other highway defect is serious, i.e. more than 50mm deep, and it has been reported.

    In this case the County Council is expected to take action within a "reasonable time", which is taken to be a working week. To be fair to HCC they try to take action within 24 hours of the reported serious defect being reported, though sometimes the "action" can just be putting out a warning cone or two.

    But the point is this. If we all report the defects, this will increase the pressure to get the problems sorted out.

    If you don't report them then you are relying on HCC to work its way round its inspection rota and a possibly serious hazard may be putting road users at risk for longer than is necessary. You or someone else may then suffer damage or injury.

    So go to https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk and you should find the "Report a road or pavement fault" box on the right hand side of the screen. Follow the menu and report the fault.

    Don't leave it to others and don't leave it to chance.

  • Article: Jul 6, 2021

    At the Resources and Performance Cabinet Panel meeting on 5 July 2021, it was revealed that Hertfordshire County Council failed to deliver £102m of budgeted improvements to residents during the last financial year 2020/2021. Hardest hit were children and young people, with £27.8m of the schools' expansion program and a further £12.5m of schools' repairs and maintenance being reprogrammed. Capital projects valued at nearly £2m (£1.7m) for Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) children and young people were reprogrammed, despite investment in this area being widely acknowledged as essential.

  • Rosette
    Article: Jun 27, 2021

    This is a Chance to Apply for Training and Approval as a Candidate in Dacorum Borough or Three Rivers District Elections

    This is an invitation to members to come forward with a view towards becoming local council candidates. Any paid-up member living anywhere in Dacorum can qualify to stand in that Borough, or living anywhere in Three Rivers can qualify to stand in that District. Obviously we can all benefit from training and this can be provided for potential candidates if they need and wish to take advantage of that.

    Becoming a candidate is a two-step process. First and fundamentally you need to be approved by an Approvals Panel of usually 3 or 4 people, which will take the form of an interview. Secondly you also need to be selected as the Candidate if two or more Approved Persons apply to stand in a particular ward. The selection is decided by a vote among the members in the local area and the selected person is then appointed as the candidate.

    It is greatly to everyone's advantage if we can build up a pool of Approved Persons as early as possible from amongst whom candidates can later be selected and appointed. This gives people the opportunity to build up expertise by doing casework for, and lobbying on behalf of, local people as well as learning about the way local government works.

    This makes selection easier and enables us to field candidates who have built up a track record of community action and who can contribute effectively to the election campaign from the start.

    Standing for a council seat gives people a chance to become part of the formal local decision-making and thus be more effective in representing Liberal Democrat values, building a foundation for subsequent parliamentary campaigns, representing the individuals in their ward and making an effective contribution to the life of the local community.

  • Article: Jun 22, 2021

    Herts County Conservatives voted at a recent meeting to charge double the amount they require for providing education if a home is built as a council house compared to one for sale on the open market.

    At the Growth, Infrastructure and Planning Panel on Tuesday 22nd June, a proposal to change the 'planning obligations' required from housebuilders was tabled. Part of that proposal was to charge more than double for any home built as a council house compared to one expecting to be sold on the open market. A 3 bed house for market would expect to see an education provision payment of £17,719, whereas if it was a council house, the County would expect £34,630.

  • Sarah Green
    Article: Jun 20, 2021
    The Blue Wall is crumbling!

    They're coming back, they're coming back, Lib Dems are coming back!

    Congratulations to Sarah Green MP and to her team, manager Candy Piercy and agent James Lillis. The organisation ran like clockwork.
    Yes, HS2 played a role, and the voters understood our position. However the proposed Planning Act 2021 was a bigger issue and some unfortunate building development is already in hand to give people a taste of what Tory planning relaxation might visit upon the area. But without doubt this was also a judgement on the Johnson Government, the play-acting and unconvincing rhetoric of the Prime Minister, the shambolic performance of some of his ministers and disquiet of the recent contracts awarded to some of their chums.

    Campaign volunteers felt it had been one of the best campaigns they'd ever worked in. Literature was especially good, as was the content & timing of the messages.
  • Article: Jun 14, 2021

    Liberal Democrat County Councillors have welcomed plans for a Hertfordshire tree strategy that could see more than a million additional trees in the county but called for big changes in the way the council deals with existing roadside trees. The tree "establishing" plans were discussed at a meeting of Herts County Council's Environment Panel on 10th June.