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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

  • 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.

  • Probation Service
    Article: Jun 13, 2021
    Cuts to services that are designed to reduce or mitigate problems inevitably end up costing society more, whether or not management are hitting their targets. Seven years of Conservative meddling in the Probation Service could cost us more than just money.
    The Ministry of Justice has been in the news recently because of the murders at a conference about re-offending which took place about a year ago. The right-wing were as usual quick to discredit the whole concept of re-habilitation of offenders. They saw the conference as evidence of failure.
  • Blackdown Hills AONB near Upottery
    Article: Jun 6, 2021
    Recent travels have shown many of us the pretty gruesome affect HS2 progress is wreaking on the Chilterns environment and on points further north.

    But this will be just a localised side-show compared the nation-wide results from the combination of:
    • A. the compulsory government housing targets for councils and
    • B. the Planning Act 2021.

  • Bees on flowers
    Article: Jun 2, 2021

    As long ago as the Hertfordshire County Council Meeting on 16th July 2019 the Liberal Democrats took a lead in improving bio-diversity in terms of encouraging wild flowers at the roadside, thereby protecting pollinators of all kinds. At that meeting the Liberal Democrat County Councillor for Royston West & Rural, Steve Jarvis, who also represents the Weston & Sandon Ward in North Herts District, proposed a motion calling on HCC to bring forward proposals to manage highway maintenance in ways that improve bio-diversity.

  • Rosie and Nick Chesham
    Article: May 30, 2021

    Happy smiles from Lib Dem activists on Saturday working for candidate Sarah Green, who is standing in the Chesham & Amersham Parliamentary By-Election, where voters go to the polls in 17th June.

    Shown here Rosemarie and Nick Hollinghurst from Wigginton in Hertfordshire were back at the Lib Dem HQ after a warm day's leaflet delivery in the hilly Chilterns town of Chesham.

    Rosemarie and Nick had been helping with leaflets in the aptly named Hilltop area. "Talk about 'sunny uplands'", said Nick afterwards. "Hilltop is certainly positioned to catch the sun - something that is shown by the lovely gardens and the extensive, productive allotments along the slopes of the valley sides!"

  • bus
    Article: May 28, 2021

    The Conservatives should know a bit about buses. It was, after all, Mrs Thatcher's Transport Act 1985 which accomplished the destruction of nearly all municipal bus companies outside of a small number of metropolitan areas. Barbara Castle's earlier 1968 Transport Act had introduced the concept of public support for socially important but uncommercial services and this principle was retained. However, the deregulation that was a key element in the Thatcher act, led to a focus on profitable routes, destructive competition between companies and a lack of co-ordination or continuity of services.

    The result was a slow reduction in bus service use outside the large designated conurbations - for 36 years so far.

    But now, the Johnson Government, after a sleep nearly twice as long as Rip van Winkel's, has woken up with a belated promise to make buses, "the transport of choice" after the pandemic. A new 'Bus Strategy', headlined as being worth "£3 billion" is to tackle the fragmented bus service market and "reform the fare system".

    There will be a "daily price cap", 4,000 new electric or hydrogen-fuelled buses and additional funding for councils to support bus services in their areas.

    Last month, the Local Government Association's Transport Spokesman welcomed these measures but went on to say, " We would urge ministers also to plug the £700 million annual funding gap councils faced before the pandemic in providing the concessionary fares scheme, which would help protect local routes and reverse the decline in bus services."

    Local Dacorum Borough councillor, Nick Hollinghurst - who is a member of the Green Liberal Democrats - added, "Any help for Britain's beleagured bus services is of course welcome. However lasting change and maximum benefit will only come if the people of the UK recognise the benefits that will derive from an improved and affordable public transport system, and also accept that, apart from a handful of specialised routes, this will require a continued, adequate level of public support."

    "That, the power for local authorities to achieve control and co-ordination through active operating partnerships, and a measure of connectivity with the railways are all fundamental components for a modern socially-beneficial transport network."

    "Or," Nick concluded, "we can all go back to sitting in expensive private cars in traffic jams, breathing in exhaust fumes and cooking up heart attacks as the planet slowly gets hotter and hotter!"

  • Flooding at London Road, Hemel Hempstead (Hemel Today)
    Article: May 16, 2021
    Inadequate road maintenance is a false economy.

    The Tories idea of fiscal prudence is to put money aside "for a rainy day" - but then when it rains, they still don't spend it.

    "There is one simple old trick the Tories kept missing all the 16 years I was on Herts County Council," Tring councillor, Nick Hollinghurst, "And that was... a good way to reduce flooding is to keep the drains and ditches clear! Who would have thought it? They didn't."