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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

  • 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.

  • Rosie and Nick Chesham
    Article: May 31, 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!"

  • plastic bottles
    Article: May 18, 2021

    A report in Local Government First reveals that in 2019/20 more than half a million tonnes of household waste collected for recycling could not be sorted and had to be rejected. This is because non-recyclable material had been placed in the wheely bins.

    However, a Lib Dem councillor on Dacorum Borough Council, Nick Hollinghurst says, "This is a real problem - but we shouldn't blame the public. It is actually quite difficult to know which types of plastic can be recycled and which cannot. Some common ones, including crisp packets, salad bags and plastic wrap are incredibly hard to recycle.

  • 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."

  • Cod Fishing
    Article: May 16, 2021
    Sadly, for many species this is old saying is no longer true. In some places cod can be fished sustainably, for example off Iceland, in the Baltic Sea, in the Atlantic off Newfoundland at the Flemish Cap fishing ground.
    However off Norway, the West of Scotland, in the North Sea and off the east coast of America, cod was badly over-fished in 2011 - and at the Faroe Plateau and in the Celtic Sea fishing restraint is also needed.

Nick Hollinghurst