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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

  • Tiverton and Honiton Result (BBC)
    Article: Jul 3, 2022

    Well, you can't take risks with something as important as this!

    So Rosemarie and I made a second trip out and joined the tired but confident Election Day Team, helping out with a couple of 4-hour telling sessions near Axminster.

    In the event it was an outstanding success which reflected Tory scandals, Tory neglect of the farming community, Lib Dem organisation and Lib Dem dedication.

    Congratulations to Richard Foord and the Team!

    Several voters mentioned that they were Labour Party members but voting tactically because they very much preferred a Lib Dem MP to another Tory.

    I duly expressed by appreciation - this must have helped. However a large number of normally Tory voters must have actually votred Lib Dem too, rather than just staying at home.

    The Polling Station I was sent to had a wonderful view, the weather was warm and dry, the birds were siniging and, ther being no Tory teller, the polling officers provided me with biscuits and tea.

    The time just sped by and the news of success in the morning made the long journeys worthwhile.

  • Honiton HQ
    Article: Jun 5, 2022

    Can you come and help in the Honiton & Tiverton By Election?

    Nick and Rosemarie Hollinghurst took some time out before the Jubilee Celebrations got started to get down to Devon to help out in this crucial By Election.

    They were very impressed with the HQ staff, the campaign literature, the beautiful countryside, the friendly people - and of course our candidate, Richard Foord.

    This is what the Liberal Democrat Press said about him:

  • Electric Bus UK
    Article: Jun 5, 2022
    "Clearer Air, a Quieter Environment, less Pollution and less Carbon Dioxide emitted - just some of the benefits from converting to electric buses."

    It was recently announced that Bristol's transport network is to be 'decarbonised', partly by introducing 250 electric buses and 1,000 cycle racks as the City Council aims to get the city to net zero carbon emissions by 2030 to tackle climate change. "Good for them!" says Nick Hollinghurst, a Liberal Democrat councillor on Dacorum Borough Council.

  • Sajid David
    Article: May 8, 2022
    Non-Dom Status Part 1

    "Non-Doms" are people who are classified as "not being 'domiciled' in the UK" for tax purposes.

    The Centre on Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) is a research centre based in the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick. It conducts independent policy-driven research informed by history, culture and behaviour focussing on explaining comparative long-run economic growth performance.

    CAGE Warwick and the LSE International Inequalities Institute have recently published a short study entitled "The UK's 'non-doms': Who are they,
    what do they do, and where do they live?"

    Your 'domicile' is where you say is your permanent home but if that's UK, you can't be 'non-dom'
    Everyone is considered to start with a 'domicile of origin' - your father's domicile when you were born - unless you are illegitimate, in which case it's your mother's domicile when you where born. You can choose to change to another domicile later.

    If you are a wealthy person and are accepted as a non-dom for tax purposes this can bring very significant financial benefits.

    Here are some highlights from their study.

    * Non-Doms are globally connected, either by birth or from time spent living abroad.

    Over 93% of those classified as Non-Doms in 2018 were born abroad.
    An additional 4% have lived abroad for a substantial period.
    * The share of people claiming non-dom status rises rapidly with income.

    30% of individuals who earned £5 million or more claimed non-dom status in 2018, and a further 10% had claimed non-dom status at
    some point in the past - as Sajid Javid recently revealed he had done. However, only 0.3% among those earning less than £100,000 had ever claimed non-dom status.
  • Johnson Putin (Byline Times)
    Article: Mar 20, 2022

    (Hint: it wasn't football)

    We call for a Public Enquiry into Russian Interference in British Politics!

    Don't be afraid to be seen as being critical of Russia.

    Please sign this petition if you haven't yet done so.

    Or is it that you're afraid to find out what it is they might have been up to?

  • Henry VIII
    Article: Feb 12, 2022
    A BILL TO Make provision about the Dissolution and Calling of Parliament, including provision for the Repeal of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011; and for connected purposes.
    BE IT ENACTED by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-
  • clean air
    Article: Feb 5, 2022

    In the light of proposals to expand Luton Airport, Hertfordshire County Council, after discussions and debate, unanimously agreed an appropriate motion to limit CO2 emissions originally proposed by Liberal Democrat Cllr John Hale, and seconded by his colleague, Cllr Steve Jarvis.

    The motion read as follows:-

    "That the Council notes that:-

    1. On 24 September, 2019, the Chair of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), Lord Deben, wrote to the Secretaryof State for Transport about net-zero and the approach to International Aviation & Shipping (IAS) emissions. The letter responded to the Government's request on how to bring IAS emissions formally within the UK's net-zero target, setting out the rationale and the implications for the UK's climate strategy.
    2. In that letter the CCC stated that, "Aviation emissions could be reduced by around 20% from today to 2050 through improvement to fuel efficiency, some use of sustainable biofuels, and by limiting demand growth to at most 25% above current levels. This is likely to be cost-saving. There is potential to reduce emissions further with lower levels of demand."
    3. That the Council has already expressed its serious concernsabout the environmental impacts of the proposed expansion of London Luton Airport from 18 million passengers per year (mppa) to 32 mppa.
    4. As per Appendix E paragraph 5.3 of the Executive Report to the County Council, a full draft response to the proposal to expand London Luton Airportwill be considered by theGrowth, Infrastructure, Planning and Economy Cabinet on 4th December.

    Given the CCC's call for demand growth to be limited to at most 25% above current levels it is proposed that in responding to the current consultation for the expansion of London Luton Airport, that the Council:-

    5. Objects to the proposed expansion plans on that the grounds that expansion of London Luton Airport capacity to 32 mppa would result in unacceptable harm to the environment; and
    6. That given the letter from the CCC, any plans to expand the airport should be deferred until the Government's response to the CCC's letter is published."

    During the debate, Cllr Nick Hollinghurst, former County Councillor for Tring, pointed out that no-one was asking for the public to give up certain activities forever, but although he might fly again one day, he had made a conscious effort to avoid flying and it was now 19 years since he had been in a plane. "Call it a gesture if you like," he said, "but if everyone made just one or two similar 'gestures' to reduce CO2 emission we will get through our climate problems."

    "But," he concluded, "we must all take the Climate Emergency seriously!"

  • Ballot Box
    Article: Feb 5, 2022
    Liberal Democrat (Anne Foster): 924 [64.1%, +13.9%]
    Conservative: 318 [22.1%, -5.6%]
    Green: 130 [9.0%, -5.8%]
    Labour: 69 [4.8%,-2.5%]
    Liberal Democrat HOLD
    Liberal Democrat (Dhyani Seema): 1319 [60.5%, +18.3%]
    Conservative: 599 [27.5%, -4.3%]
    Labour: 171 [7.8%, -6.3%]
    Green: 92 [4.2%,-7.8%]
  • Increase in Young People Mental Health Problems
    Article: Feb 5, 2022

    "The Child is Father to the Man", expressed by Wordsworth in 1802 must have been a commonplace thought even earlier than that, despite "breeding" having long been almost universally held as the dominant factor in the development of young people and in fixing patterns of behaviour throughout their subsequent years. But Wordsworth certainly popularised this thought, which speaks so uccinctly to the importance of early experience in setting trends for adolescent and post-adolescent development and behaviour.

    it is difficult, controversial and posssibly futile to prescribe an optimal development path for every child's journey from child to adulthood, but it is somewhat easier to recognise negative treatments, adverse circumstances and cognitive or psychological disadvantages that can hinder their social, emotional or intellectual development.

    However, there are lots of situations where society can recognise problems that, through timely diagnosis, treatment, counselling and advice, can be mitigated. Poor emotional wellbeing and mental health in children, for example, can often be improved by timely intervention. Distressed and bewildered young persons and their families can benefit from sympathetic explanations, diagnoses and coping strategies. Even more importantly, they can often be helped to recognise talents and benefits sometimes hidden within the person's personality by superficial behavioural and motivational difficulties.

    Early interventions like this can usually reduce much distress, frustration, unhappiness and the sheer misery which can so often blight a young person's family and damage their own personal future.

    As former or present county councillors many of us feel that the kindest way we can describe Hertfordshire's perfomance in caring for children and young people is that it has spent many decades in barely producing an average performance within a country notorious for its lack of interest in, and provision of specialist help for, cognitive and mental health problems in the young.

    With this in mind, in early 2020, the Herts County Councillors Ron Tindall and Nigel Quinton proposed and seconded a motion to Hertfordshire County Council commenting on the early responses to an improvement plan and committing the authority to further improvement to its own service delivery and to working through the Local Government Association to raise the government's awareness of the importance emotional wellbeing and mental health services for children and young people.

    This motion, which was carried, read as follows:

    " 1. This Council notes:

    (i) The CAMHS Provision Update report was considered by the Children, Young People & families Cabinet Panel on 12th November, 2019;
    (ii) That the CAMHS Transformation Plan programme has been in place since 2015 and in some performance areas has had difficulty in meeting its targets;
    (iii) That in 2018/19, CAMHS Specialist Services accepted only 4147 out of 9365 referrals and the current wait for assessment is 7 weeks compared to a target of 4 weeks. Ratios for other children's mental health services, Step 2 and PALMS, were equally challenged. In 2017/18 and 2018/19, Hertfordshire met the NHS targets for access to all NHS funded provision, 30% and 32% respectively;
    (iv) That NHS targets remain low so that only 34% of children who would benefit from help will get access, and that Hertfordshire will meet this, but will not exceed it. The NHS Long Term Plan sets out to provide support to 100% of those who need it:
    (v) That schools are increasingly concerned about the strain that the poor mental health of students is plcing on their resources;
    (vi) That the delivery of emotional wellbeing and mental health services for children and young people in Hertdfirdshire is undertaken by several NHS bodies, the County Council itself and third sector providers; and
    (vii) That the emotional wellbeing and mental health services follows a Thrive Model, looking across the whole system from Early intervention and prevention to the top tier of CAMHS sevice bprovided by the Herts Partnership Foundation Trust (HPFT).

    2. This Council is concerned that children and young people with mental health needs are currently having to wait many weeks for treatment and, in many cases, often not receiving any treatment at all.

    3. Therefore this Council
    (i) Calls for the Health Scrutiny Committee to include in its Work Programme an examination of how mental health services are commissioned and organised. This scrutiny could include consideration of approaches used by other council and NHS clinical commissioning group areas, for example the Lambeth Living Well collaborative and the cornwall Children's Services' HeadStart Kernow Partnership;
    (ii) Acknowledges that Hertfordshire schools are under increasing financial and workload pressures and calls for greater NHS support to schools in respect of CAMHS;
    (iii) Recognises that the challenges of addressing children's, young people's and family emotional wellbeing and mental health services, including Early Intervention and prevention, requires appropriate resourcing; and
    (iv) Will continue to work with the Local Government Association to ensure that the importance of the wellbeing of children and young people is recognised by the incoming government."

    1. 10% of children and young people (aged 5-16 years) have a clinically diagnosable mental problem (ONS 2004)
    2. 20% of adolescents may experience a mental health problem in any given year. (WHO 2015)
    3. 50% of mental health problems are established by age 14 (USA research, 2005)
    4. 75% of mental health problems are established by age 24 (USA research, 2005)
    5. 70% of children and adolescents who experience mental health problems have not had appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age (Children's Soc., 2008)

  • twenty is plenty
    Article: Jan 31, 2022

    OK, we know you're only the Opposition on Hertfordshire County Council and ditto on Dacorum Borough Council, but could you please remember some "Here and Now" projects and policies that could help mitigate Climate Change and make it a bit more likely that there'll be a "Here After" for our grandchildren and our greatchildren? Help them have a better chance of surviving the fires, floods, famines, storms and wars that are on the way.

    This is not criticism, but rather suggestions and encouragement! However, we do call upon the Lib Dem DBC councillors to Plan for Dacorum, don't just plan for Hemel Hempstead!

Nick Hollinghurst