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Sally Symington Portrait

Our candidate for the 2019 General Election is Sally Symington (@SallySymington)

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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 21, 2021

    Liberal Democrat councillors were shocked and disappointed that their proposals to strengthen the Domestic Abuse motion were blocked by the Conservatives at the Full Council meeting of Hertfordshire County Council on 19 October.

    The Liberal Democrat proposals include Hertfordshire Police recording crimes which are motivated by sex or gender following the example set successfully by Nottinghamshire Police in 2016 and followed since by 10 other police forces; that the Council seeks funding from the government to support survivors and victims through the Spending Review; and that the backlog of domestic abuse court cases be addressed with urgency.

  • Railway Freight Locomotives (Network Rail)
    Article: Oct 19, 2021

    The Railway Industry Association (RIA) is the main industry trade group for railway equipment manufacturers in the United Kingdom and is based in Smith Square, London. They are emphatic that the UK needs immediately to double the current rate of rail electrification.

    Electrification is the main measure that will enable the UK Government to meet its commitment decarbonise by the railway system by 2050. However to do this means that at least 450 km of track need to be electrified every year.

    However, figures published by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) show that only 179 km of track were electrified in the UK in 2020-21.

  • Flag at Half Mast Cropped
    Article: Oct 17, 2021

    West Hertfordshire Liberal Democrats send their deepest condolences to the family of Sir David Amess.

    Sir David was cruelly stabbed to death on Friday during a routine constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea.

    He had served as the Member of Parliament for Southend West since 1997.

    He was a well respected man who worked hard as a constituency MP to represent the people in his local community.

  • Children in Care
    Article: Oct 10, 2021

    All children and care leavers deserve far more support than is currently on offer.

    By Liberal Democrats, Sep 18, 2021

    There are almost one hundred thousand children in care in the UK and they face significant disadvantages in life.

    The average child in care enters care at age 14, which is a crucial point academically. Only 12% of care leavers have entered higher education by the age of 23 and many care leavers rely on Universal Credit as their main source of income.

  • Article: Oct 4, 2021

    Liberal Democrat Councillors have expressed concern and disappointment in the £5.5m slippage of vital Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) capital spend from the current year.

    The delay in expenditure was revealed at a meeting of the Herts County Council Resources and Cabinet Panel on Friday 1 October.

  • No Planet B
    Article: Sep 30, 2021

    The climate crisis is an incoming storm. We must act now to undo the damage already done to our planet.

    By Liberal Democrats, Sep 18, 2021

    Soaring temperatures worldwide, flash flooding in central London and increasing numbers of wildfires. These are just a few ecological disasters we are seeing as a result of climate change. It is painfully obvious we must act.

  • Article: Sep 22, 2021

    Liberal Democrat Councillors have successfully persuaded the ruling Conservatives at Herts County Council to give a commitment to replacing thousands of trees that have been removed from highways.

    In a report, the Council's Highways and Transport Panel revealed that 4,494 trees had been removed from highways in the period 2018- 2021 but only 1,040 had been planted meaning a deficit of 3,455.

    Following pressure from the Liberal Democrats the Conservatives agreed to replace as many of the lost trees as possible where the location is suitable.

    Cllr John Hale, who pressed for the need to replace highways' trees said, "A large number of trees have been removed and very few have been replaced. I am pleased that the council has now agreed that more should be done to replace trees along our roads. Trees serve an important environmental purpose and should be replaced whenever possible."

    Group Leader, Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst said, "Urban street trees improve the street scene and contribute significantly towards reducing Co2 emissions in key pedestrian areas."

  • Article: Sep 17, 2021
    Herts County Council has refused to consider remarking any pedestrian crossings in Rainbow colours as a way of supporting and highlighting the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community in Herts.

    Opposition Liberal Democrat Councillors had proposed that the council follow the example of other Highways Authorities that have introduced 'Rainbow' or 'Progress Pride' crossings as a permanent way to celebrate LGBTQ+ communities and diversity.

    'Progress Pride' crossings with rainbow colours and chevrons show respect for trans and non-binary people, people of colour and those living with HIV/AIDS. It would show our respect for the diversity of Hertfordshire, claimed Cllr Sara Bedford in a motion she submitted to the Council.

    Rainbow crossings have been introduced in several authorities in the UK in recent years however Conservative run Hertfordshire County Council has now rejected the idea.

    In a report to the Highways and Transport Panel, officers confirmed that Rainbow Crossings are legal, but indicated that they had not discussed with councils who had introduced them to see how this was done.

    Liberal Democrat Leader, Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst, who is also Deputy Leader of Three Rivers Council which is introducing a Rainbow crossing on its own land said, " The officer approach was disappointing. They refused to discuss the matter with councils that have successfully introduced these as part of renewing normal crossings. They had the information from Three Rivers that it could cost as little as £1,300 per crossing. It is unfortunate that the opportunity to show wider support for our diverse community in this way was rejected by the Conservatives."

    However Liberal Democrat councillors won a concession from the ruling Tories when they agreed that the Rainbow displays and the Pride Flag could be included in any subway refurbishment if supported by the local community.

    Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst said, "It's a step in the right direction, but I had wanted more. We will be pushing this forward and holding the Tories to their words that they will not veto this if the opportunity arises."
  • 20's Plenty
    Article: Sep 15, 2021

    Opposition Liberal Democrat Councillors have hit out at an over complex set of rules that the Conservative administration agreed at Tuesday's Highways and Transport meeting. There will now be significant delays bringing in any new 20 mph speed zones.

    From now on, any areas that residents want considered for a 20mph speed limit will need to be assessed against a Speed Management Strategy, a Place and Movement Matrix, have on-site visits and maybe speed checks before the consultation stage can even begin.

    At the meeting, under questioning from Lib Dem Group Leader Stephen Giles-Medhurst, officers admitted that the process will mean that the earliest any new 20mph restrictions can now be implemented will likely be the end of 2022 or early 2023.

    The Liberal Democrats proposed an alternative approach, backed by Hertfordshire's 20's Plenty Campaign group, to adopt a default Speed Management Strategy of a 20 mph limit on side roads. They argued this would support the government's objective of sustainable travel by making roads safer for walkers and cyclists.

    Their proposal was voted down by the Conservatives.

    Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst said, "Only a very small percentage of Herts roads are 20 mph despite campaigns from residents for many more. With just 953 20mph roads in Herts, many schools still have 30mph roads outside them. We have one the lowest numbers of 20mph roads in the country with Kent CC having over 2,300.

  • Article: Sep 13, 2021

    A combination of a shortage of lorry drivers resulting from Brexit, an increase in waste during the pandemic and a lack of long term planning has left Herts County Council struggling to deal with the household waste that is collected across the county. The problems were revealed in a report to the council's Environment Cabinet panel and mean that the council's main waste transfer facility at Waterdale north of Watford has been under great pressure to cope with volumes of waste.