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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: 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.

  • Article: Jul 29, 2020

    Opposition Liberal Democrats at County Hall have slammed a decision by the Conservative run council to spend an extra £11m that the council has been given for road and footway repairs on new roads instead.

    A few months ago, the government provided increased funding for highways maintenance, increasing the funding for this year for England from £1bn to £1.5bn. Hertfordshire County Council's additional funding is just over £11m.

    The council has decided that instead of using it for what it was intended, it will spend it covering the cost of new roads at the A120,A602 and at Essex Road Bridge in East Herts. This is despite the fact that the council has over £300m in contingency funds for the major schemes.

    This information became public during a question at Full Council last week when the Executive Member for Highways, Phil Bibby, admitted that the money was not planned to be used for what the government had allocated it for.

    Liberal Democrat opposition Leader, Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst, who found out the facts, hit out, " Frankly this is a disgrace and an insult to
    both the government and residents. The government rightly understood that more needed to be spent on highway and footway maintenance and to not do so from what is claimed to be a flagship Conservative authority is an insult to ministers and to all of us who have lobbied for this extra cash."

    "This money should be used to improve uneven and unsafe footways, cut back overgrown paths and cycleways and improve maintenance on our side streets. This was the government's intention. The County council has millions in reserves that it could use to support any extra road building costs - instead, it is saving it for its election year. By all means, ask the government to meet increased costs but we must put our residents first and not new roads. As usual, the Conservatives have got their priorities wrong in the green agenda."

  • Tring Market
    Article: Jul 19, 2020

    Despite the hard times of the covid-19 pandemic, Tring's Friday Charter Market, first established under a Royal Charter from Edward II in 1315, has kept going.

    Tring was, apparently, also granted the right to hold a Fair every year lasting 10 days and starting on 29th June, the Feast of St Peter and St Paul.

    This 10-Day Fair, seems at some time to have fallen into abeyance, which is not surprising considering the amount of stamina you would need to keep a fair going for 10 days. What with all the drinking and naughtiness which was customary at mediaeval fairs, agricultural productivity would have been seriously compromised, with a corresponding dent made in the profits of the Lord of the Manor.

    It would appear then, that good manorial fiscal governance made common cause with the advocacy of piety and the upholding of moral virtues leading to the 10-Day Fair being more honored in the breach than in its observance. High Summer in Tring calmed down and 29th June is now celebrated in a more wholesome manner as the Patronal Day of the Parish Church.

    However, be that as it may (or may not) have been, the Charter Market on Fridays proved a steady earner down the centuries and stood the test of time.

    And it was certainly in full swing a couple of days ago, now in its 705th year.

    Business was brisk, with well-separated queues, social distancing respected and in a tenth of the time that shopping now takes in a big supermarket.

    So don't let our good market and hardworking traders down - shop at the Friday Market, save time, support small businesses and help get our local economy back on its feet!

    And that's not all, on every second and fourth Saturday of the month we also have the Tring Farmers Market. Next one on 25th July, 2020.

  • Article: Jul 7, 2020

    Herts County Council has missed out on £450,000 of government funding for emergency measures to improve pavements and cycle ways. The council was promised nearly £1.7 million from the government for work that could be done in the next few weeks if it could come up with suitable schemes. Having looked at the council's proposals the government has cut the funding to just over £1.2 million. It is one of 22 councils who have missed out on their full allocation whilst 32 were given everything that they were promised. Hertfordshire's reduction is the third largest in England.

  • UK Aid
    Article: Jun 19, 2020

    The day before yesterday the Prime Minister announced that the Foreign Office and Department for International Development are set to merge.

    The Liberal Democrats have always made absolutely clear our unequivocal support for Britain's role as a world leader in providing aid to those most in need. UK aid prevents suffering.

    By working internationally we can achieve so much more than we can alone.

  • Article: Jun 5, 2020

    Conservatives show lack of commitment to climate change by generating extra carbon emissions.

    The Conservative-run Herts County Council has been slammed by environmental campaigners and the Liberal Democrat opposition for its
    failure to reduce carbon emissions from street lights.

    The Liberal Democrats proposed at a county meeting on Tuesday that all street lights that are switched on to full illumination at 5am in the
    morning be reduced to 50% illumination till 6am to save money and carbon emissions.