"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."
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Street lights: experts back Lib Dems on Tory plans
The Institute of Lighting Engineers (ILE) has published a set of guidelines to help local authorities tackle CO2 emissions and reduce their energy bills - and expressly states that turning off street lights is not the way to achieve this.
The guidelines have been published in response to Essex County Council's recent decision to switch off some of its street lights, a decision that was opposed by the Liberal Democrats. Cllr Keith Francis, Essex County Council Liberal Democrats highways and transportation spokesman, said:
"The ILE's expert advice to local authorities backs up all the points we made to Cllr Bass (Conservative cabinet member responsible for highways and transportation) when we called in this decision earlier this month. The ILE rightly states that street lighting reduces people's fear of crime, prevents night time personal injury and promotes evening social and leisure activities.
Join the 'one home' campaign
Harlow's Liberal Democrat leader Cllr Chris Millington is encouraging local residents to sign a petition calling for one home for the European Parliament.
At the moment, while the European Parliament sits most of the time in Brussels, its constitution requires it to spend twelve days a year (one day a month) sitting at Strasbourg - at a cost to taxpayers across Europe of 200 million euros a year.
Swedish Liberal MEP Cecilia Malstrom has started a petition to end this requirement, and needs 1 million signatures to force a discussion on the issue. With over 925,000 signatures already, she is within striking distance of the target. Chris Millington says:
"If anyone hasn't yet signed this petition and would like to, please visit the campaign website where there is more background information and an online petition form."
Friday, August 11, 2006
Lib Dem tax package would be good news for people of Harlow
Local Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesman Lorna Spenceley has welcomed plans unveiled today for a fairer, greener and simpler tax system. She said:
"These proposals would mean lower tax bills for most households in Harlow, as well as tackling inequality and environmental damage."The proposals published today by the Liberal Democrat Tax Commission would
"The current system of taxation is not fair. The poorest 20 per cent of households pay a bigger share of their income in tax than the richest 20 per cent. Wealth inequality has actually risen since Labour came to power.
At the stroke of midnight, Cinderella will have to go home in the dark
Cash-strapped Conservatives at Essex County Council have agreed to go ahead with their plans to turn off street lights at midnight across Essex in a bid to put a lid on rising electricity costs. People enjoying a night out will have to keep their wits about them when they find themselves plunged into darkness on their journey home.
This was one of the concerns from local residents that Liberal Democrats raised with Conservative county councillor Rodney Bass, the cabinet member responsible for highways and transportation, when they 'called in' his decision to switch off street lights between midnight and 5am across Essex. Cllr Tom Smith-Hughes, Liberal Democrats group leader at County Hall, said:
"Whilst we are strongly in favour of economising on energy and CO2 emissions, we expect this to be balanced against anxieties about security and safety of local people who have to live, work and play in areas where lights may be switched off.
Saturday, August 05, 2006
A new vision for the Town Park
Liberal Democrat environment spokesman Cllr Eleanor Macy has helped launch the new vision for the Town Park. The proposals include
is to be submitted after Christmas to help begin this long term vision.
A new website has been published for residents to see the proposals in more detail; they will also be on display in the Environment Marquee at the Town Show on Sunday 3 September, where council officers and experts will be available to talk to.
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
A Home Office minister visited Harlow today to help the police and Harlow Council crush some of the mini motos seized during a recent crack-down.
In an event that attracted national publicity, Joan Ryan MP helped crush some of the motorbikes picked up when councillors, including Liberal Democrats Ian Jackson and Lesley Rideout, accompanied the police on a two-week campaign against nuisance vehicles.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Liberal Democrats question Tory bid to turn off street lights
Liberal Democrats at Essex County Council have 'called in' the Conservatives' decision to turn off street lights in Essex from midnight until 5am. The Tories claim that turning off street lights during the night will save money and energy. Cllr Mike Mackrory, Essex County Council Liberal Democrats deputy leader, said:
"Whilst we welcome any initiative on saving energy, we do not expect that to be at the expense of our residents' security and safety in the community generally. We need to be clear about the extent of the residential areas affected. We will now have an opportunity to meet with the cabinet member responsible to discuss our concerns."Under council procedures, the proposal will not go any further until the meeting has taken place next week.