"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."
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Lib Dems plan to tackle excessive packaging
Liberal Democrats at Essex County Council have backed proposals to deal with excess packaging of goods, which include giving consumers the right to send their packaging back to the manufacturers. The proposals were part of a bill presented to the House of Commons by Lib Dem MP Jo Swinson.
Speaking about the proposals, Liberal Democrat spokesman on waste at Essex County Council, Cllr Ian Gale, said:
"The plans set out in this bill are sensible and very welcome and will do much to reduce the amount of packaging that fills our supermarket and shop shelves. To continue to allow manufacturers to excessively package up goods without any compulsory limit makes no economic or environment sense."The bill includes plans to establish a national body to promote and enforce packaging reduction, binding targets for packaging reduction in place of existing voluntary targets as well as power given to consumers to leave packaging in supermarkets for disposal. Cllr Gale continued:
"I'm sure that people will be horrified to learn that the average family now spends £470 a year on packaging; and even more horrified to learn that they also pay the cost of disposing of that packaging. Only last week, the Local Government Association announced that council tax payers face fines of billions of pounds in landfill taxes if we fail to reduce the amount of waste thrown in landfill. Consumers pay three times over for excess packaging - the cost of the packaging at the checkout, increased council tax and landfill taxes, and the environment cost of more waste going to landfill for years to come."
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Liberal Democrats call for reform of local tax
Liberal Democrats at Essex County Council have called for a fundamental review of how local councils obtain their finance. The group is seeking to charge local taxpayers on their ability to pay rather than the unfair council tax as now and a better deal from central government. Cllr Tom Smith-Hughes, Liberal Democrats leader on Essex County Council, said:
"We have long argued the case for local taxpayers to be charged for council services on their ability to pay, and overall we are looking for a local government financial system that is fair and transparent. It cannot be right that, as at present, people who are on low fixed incomes and on pensions, have to pay the same amount of tax to their councils as some of the highest earners.The Liberal Democrat motion, submitted to a meeting of the full council, received the backing of the Conservative administration at County Hall.
Friday, October 26, 2007
Little Parndon & Hare Street and Toddbrook by-elections
Commenting on the two 25 October by-elections in Little Parndon & Hare Street and Toddbrook wards, local Liberal Democrat leader Cllr Chris Millington said:
"These haven't been the Liberal Democrats' strongest wards - but Nick and Julian fought a good campaign on the issues that matter to local residents. Labour were fortunate to hang on in their one remaining stronghold of Little Parndon & Hare Street, though they must have expected the loss of Toddbrook, even with the procession of government ministers who visited during the campaign.
Monday, October 08, 2007
Parliament should serve a fixed term of 4 years
Following Gordon Brown's retreat from holding an early General Election, Harlow Liberal Democrats are calling for Parliament to serve a fixed term of 4 years, as proposed in a bill laid before Parliament today (Monday 8 October) by Cambridge Lib Dem MP David Howarth, the Liberal Democrat Shadow Solicitor General.
David Wright, Harlow Liberal Democrats Chair, said
"Gordon Brown's indecisiveness over whether to call a General Election shows lack of political judgement. But these events also show why the Prime Minister should not be able to pick and choose when to hold the General Election.
Liberal Democrat Shadow Solicitor General, David Howarth, MP for Cambridge, today (Monday) tabled a Bill to the House of Commons to introduce fixed parliamentary terms of four years. See also this BBC story.