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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.

Recent updates

  • environment
    Article: Jul 19, 2021

    "The Conservatives are failing to protect nature", Sarah Olney MP

    The Liberal Democrats HAVE proposed changes to the Environment Bill to protect green spaces and wildlife.

    The Conservatives' Environment Bill will fail to protect British nature and our beautiful landscapes.

    We are already living in one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world. Our waterways are in a poor condition with just 14% in good condition. More than 40% of native species are in decline.

  • Wendover Canal near Wendover (Wendover Arm Trust)
    Article: Jul 18, 2021

    The 7-mile Wendover Arm Canal which feeds into the Grand Union Canal at Bulbourne, near Tring was originally constructed in 1799. It had the dual purpose of bringing water from springs near Wendover to feed the main canal system between London and the Midlands, as well as providing a transport connection to Tring and to Wendover.

    As such, at various times, it carried coal to three gas works, sent straw to London and received horse manure from London to improve the productivity of the local agriculture. It also brought wheat and other cereals to Heygates Flour Mills at New Mill in Tring and took away the resulting flour. Nearby there was a boat repair business which became Bushells Brothers boatbuilding business in 1875 and which operated until 1952.

    Unfortunately the stretch of the canal arm closest to Wendover developed leaks continuously and no satisfactory solution could be found, leading to the stoppage of navigation at Little Tring in 1904 and for several miles a pipe was laid beneath the canal bed to enable the crucial flow of water to continue replenishing the reservoirs that are essential to the national system.

    However, the Wendover Arm Trust (WAT) was formed in February 1989 as a voluntary body to promote the restoration of the Wendover Canal. Then, nearly 25 years later, the Canal and Rivers Trust/Glândwr Cymru (CaRT) was established on 12th July, 2012, and all British Waterways' assets, liabilities and responsibilities in England and Wales were transferred to them. At the same time, CaRT took over the Waterways Trust, a pre-existing charity previously affiliated to British Waterways with similar aims to CaRT.

  • Drain and Gravel 1
    Article: Jul 12, 2021

    "Dacorum Borough and Herts County both need to work together to solve blocked drain problems," says Lib Dem Councillor, Nick Hollinghurst who represents Tring West & Rural on DBC.

    He explains, "District and Borough Councils both have a shared responsibility to keep the highway and the gutters free from loose debris, grit, mud and litter.

    "The County Council has responsibility to keep the highway well drained and clear from flooding.

    "However under every drain is a large gulley or silt trap - and if the gutters and the highway are not kept clear, then silt, mud and litter will either block the top of the drain or get washed down and trapped in the gulleys.

    "This quickly fills up and then they are blocked, the outflow pipework is also blocked and the blockage then hardens.

    "Once this has happened, the gulleys have to be expensively dug out by hand.

    "Both authorities need to do their jobs to keep the drains free and the highways clear.

    "In particular Dacorum Borough Council needs to do better in keeping roadways outside Hemel Hempstead clear!

    "Although large brush sweeping machines are deployed across Hemel hempstead and seem to do a good job there, in rural areas and in the market towns older, smaller machines are failing to do the job.

    "The picture shows an extensive bank of gravel and silt at the A41 roundabout to the east of Tring - a spot known for a long time as a site where drains frequently block and rain water floods right across the A4251. The drain is barely visible.

    "The second picture shows the drain has been dug out, but the county sub-contractors who did that, just left the gravel and silt still heaped in the gutters waiting to washed in at the next thunderstorm - to fill the gulley and block the drain all over again!

    "County sub-contractors should be given instructions to completely remedy such situations by removing all adjacent gravel, and Dacorum Borough Council should keep all gutters in Tring and Berkhamsted well swept and clear - and both councils should co-operate with each other to get the work done properly!"

  • Unpaid Carers 2
    Article: Jul 9, 2021
    "The other day, I spent some time meeting with a wonderful group of unpaid carers", Ed Davey - Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Jun 11, 2021

    "People looking after their loved ones too often feel forgotten," said Ed.

    "The other day, I spent some time meeting with a wonderful group of unpaid carers.

    "We had been brought together by Carers UK and a number of other carers' organisations as part of Carers Week, so they could share their experiences directly with me and we could discuss what changes might make their lives better.

  • Massive Pothole
    Article: Jul 8, 2021

    As a former Herts county councillor, Nick Hollinghurst, was interested in the recent report on potholes in the Hemel Hempstead Gazette - a never ending problem it seems.

    There is, of course, one simple action we can all take to motivate the County Council to repair potholes faster - and that is to use the online HCC Highway Fault Reporting System!

    The County Council has an inspection rota for roads, according to their importance and use - every 3months, every 6 months or annually. As long as they work their rota and stick to their schedule, then they have a statutory defence in law against negligence - and your claim for damages caused by road defects will automatically fail.

    Unless… unless the pothole or other highway defect is serious, i.e. more than 50mm deep, and it has been reported.

    In this case the County Council is expected to take action within a "reasonable time", which is taken to be a working week. To be fair to HCC they try to take action within 24 hours of the reported serious defect being reported, though sometimes the "action" can just be putting out a warning cone or two.

    But the point is this. If we all report the defects, this will increase the pressure to get the problems sorted out.

    If you don't report them then you are relying on HCC to work its way round its inspection rota and a possibly serious hazard may be putting road users at risk for longer than is necessary. You or someone else may then suffer damage or injury.

    So go to https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk and you should find the "Report a road or pavement fault" box on the right hand side of the screen. Follow the menu and report the fault.

    Don't leave it to others and don't leave it to chance.

  • 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.
  • High Court
    Article: Jun 15, 2021
    Some people refer to this as "Procurement Piracy"

    On the 19th February, 2021, in a case brought by the Good Law Project, the High Court found that the Government had acted unlawfully in its failure to comply with Reg. 50 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 and the Transparency Policy and Principles.

  • Probation Service
    Article: Jun 14, 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.

Nick Hollinghurst