Wed 22nd
Ryan Cullen

Dear bloggers,

it's that time of the month again when the hosting meter needs a few more pounds to keep the site ticking. Ideally we need £10 before the end of the month, otherwise it has to come out of my pocket. With over 50 blogs listed, if each author donated just two pounds a year the site would stay alive. Why not make this month the month you help out?


Many thanks
Ryan Cullen

Are There More Trees on Earth Than There Are Stars in the Milky Way? Actually, yes, as it turns out. (tags: mathematics biology astronomy ) Inside the Secret World of Russia's Cold War Mapmakers Fascinating piece (from 2015) (tags: Russia Maps ) Same But Different My friend Siobhán: "I can see the world as a white person and as a black person." (tags: race ireland )

Britain's former business and trade minister Vince Cable says the government is "completely unprepared and completely ill-equipped" to strike trade deals once Britain leaves the EU.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

Conservative seat. Cause: Resignation LD Candidate: Zoe-Marie Rogers. To help, please contact the agent, Gavin James, on

Posted by Claire Halliwell on Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors | Mute

Another in this series of videos from Londonist. If nothing else, it gives readers a break from the Oswestry to Welshpool line.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

Just before the New Year before last, I set myself the goal of walking ten thousand steps each day. I had managed forty-nine consecutive days when I was struck down with food poisoning and wasn't really capable of walking anywhere for three days. However, on 18 February last year, I started again. And, according to my Fitbit app on my iPhone, I haven't missed a day since. I am, I admit, quite pleased with myself, as I did doubt whether I would have sufficient willpower to keep up with the walking. It has, occasionally, involved some planning. Dealing with days ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on A liberal amongst the country gentry... | Mute

The next Arts Fresco, Market Harborough's international street theatre festival, will take place on 10 September 2017. The organisers write on their blog: To ensure the long term future of Arts Fresco, we need to look at alternative methods of fundraising. Enter Crowdfunder, an online fundraising website. If everyone who came to the festival last year donated a tenner on our page, we'd raise enough funds to keep the event going for the next three years. That could make Arts Fresco a sustainable event for Harborough, able to draw the best street theatre acts from the UK and abroad. ... ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

Thanks to BBC News, we have our Headline of the Day. Thanks to my county councillor for tweeting this story.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

[IMG: John Potter Campaign Videos] We asked the wonderful John Potter to share with us how he makes such brilliant campaign videos. John's a professional cameraman and video editor with years of experience at the highest level. We've been lucky enough to get him to share some of his top tips with our members. How to make campaign videos Video is [...]

Posted by Ed Stephenson on Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors | Mute

[IMG: knockforchoc] Here at ALDC we're celebrating Fairtrade Fortnight (27th February to the 12th March) by giving your team the chance to take win some Fairtrade chocolate goodies. The team that makes the most contacts with in one ward on the doorstep and over the phone wins the jackpot – a delicious gift box from Green & Blacks [...]

Posted by Ed Stephenson on Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors | Mute

It's that time of year. Once again, I've run the Nebula Best Novel finalists (and the Norton finalists) through LibraryThing and Goodreads to see how widely they are owned by those on each system. Nebulas first. Goodreads LibraryThing owners av rating owners av rating All the Birds in the Sky, by Charlie Jane Anders 60284 3.59 612 3.64 The Obelisk Gate, by N.K. Jemisin 19913 4.39 256 4.18 Ninefox Gambit, by Yoon Ha Lee 10454 3.99 167 4 Everfair, by Nisi Shawl 6014 3.32 94 3.65 Borderline, Mishell Baker 5221 3.93 104 3.85 Impressive user rankings for The Obelisk Gate ...

Elections and Campaigning We have continued to see significant Liberal Democrat success in local authority by-elections. 2016 was the best year 'ever' for the Party - certainly since modern ALDC records began (20 years ago). In principal by-elections this has been: We've already got off to a good start in 2017 with two stunning by-election [...]

Posted by Joe Mulvihill on Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors | Mute

I always found one aspect of military history interesting – yes, army logistics. It's all very well sending 200 people out but how do you feed them at breakfast, in the morning, at lunch and in the evening and then when they are randomly hungry? So we have sought to run a HeadQuarters that is warm, friendly, welcoming and well stocked. Now there have been a few local stalwarts who have been champion at ensuring our kitchen has been well stocked – croissants, biscuits (most variants), savoury biscuits, bread, oranges, bananas, apples (most variants), and yes we also have oatcakes, ...

Posted by Ed Fordham on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Jen Robertson dug out this interesting but rarely used word because on the odd occasion I am known for saying some inadvisable things but it did make me think of recent seeming uses of it all be it without it actually being said. The EU Remain campaigning Labour Party doing a complete U-turn and voting for Brexit? Inadvisable The classic of Nick Clegg saying he would oppose Tuition Fees and then dropping that opposition. Inadvisable Labour saying they were going to defend the Sefton Green Belt and then voting to build on it. Inadvisable The Tories saying in their 2015 ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus | Mute

Land behind Maghull Station. Looking towards Melling Lane with the station platform building visible on the right. The land behind the Liverpool bound platform of Maghull Station, that is also backed onto by houses in Grange Park and Hurst Road, has been cleared seeming for development to start. Planning permission was given quite some time ago for a small housing development after years of tussling between potential builders/land owners and Sefton Council's Planning Dept. I recall that a previous attempt to cut down trees on the site some 20 years ago led to environmental objections to the felling. But things ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus | Mute

[IMG: Instagram picture 8 logoless] From the 1990s: a who's who of ALDC bigwigs opposing cuts. Nice playing card design/slogans. #StopRiggingTheDeck #GiveLocalPeopleAFairDeal

Posted by Joe Mulvihill on Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors | Mute

At Spring Conference in York, Liberal Democrats will debate a new policy paper, Towards a World Free of Nuclear Weapons. This is an important debate for Liberal Democrats, because we understand all too well the catastrophic consequences of detonating nuclear weapons. The ethical questions they raise go to the heart of our party's values: we believe that any nuclear war is morally unacceptable and must never be fought. We appreciate that as a founding signatory of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation on Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the UK has a legal responsibility to reinvigorate international nuclear disarmament initiatives. And we have ...

Posted by Neil Stockley on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

It was a real pleasure to meet Ethel Williams on her 100th Birthday. Ethel lives at Dovehaven in Southport. Ethel was born in Leigh Lancashire in 1917. During the war she served as a Land girl in Montgomeryshire in central Wales where she met her husband who worked for the Forestry Commission and settled after the war. It was great to hear Ethel's memories and to discuss how much things have improved. She spoke of how much difference the automatic washing machine made. Ethel played the organ at the Victoria Methodist church in Blowick.

Posted by iain on theMayoralBlog | Mute

The Reform Synagogue in Southport invited me to a Shabbat Service to be precise Tu B'shevat Shabbat Shirah. The Service leader was Student Rabbi Kath Vardi. There was a special, fruit themed chavurah afterwards. I was most impressed by the was Kath Vardi led the service in large part singing the liturgy in Hebrew. We were invited to look at the scrolls and the way the readings were laid out. It was good to hear that the Iman Soyful Alam was coming to the synagogue to give a talk and answer questions. He is certain to get a friendly welcome. ...

Posted by iain on theMayoralBlog | Mute

Perhaps some of you don't follow the goings on of the American alt right as closely as I do, so allow me to explain the initial premise of this article: Milo Yiannopoulos, the (former?) darling of the movement known as the alt right, has got himself into a fair amount of hot water over comments he uttered in an interview regarding sex with minors. Basically, he talked about how relationships between older and younger men could be beneficial to the younger partner, how paedophilia only applies to pre-pubescents (so something in there about 13-year olds)....look up the story if you ...

Posted by Nick on | Mute

The agenda for the Liberal Democrat spring conference in York 17-19th March is now available here. We already knew the topics to be covered from Zoe O'Connell's report three weeks ago, but this is the first chance for most members of the party to see the full texts to be debated and consider proposing amendments. Here's my rapid summary of some key points (and I have decoded some of the titles): F4 Sex work Decriminalise sex work as the best way to reduce harm from it and to reject the Nordic model. F5 Prison overcrowding We are against it. F7 ...

Posted by Joe Otten on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Nominate Your 2017 Pride Charity : Out at Tesco So Tesco is after an LGBT charity to big up. I nominated Mermaids, and would politely suggest that you do too, for the lifesaving work they do. Reflecting on one very, very strange year at Uber — Susan J. Fowler What amazes me is the number of (generally male) people who think this isn't just normal life in the workplace for a lot of women. I've worked in places like that. My friends have worked in places like that. Obviously I am lucky enough to not work in places like that ...

Dodington Parish Council is arranging three litter picks this spring, one in each ward, to coordinate with some other local events: Saturday 25th February 2017 10am - 12 noon Litter Pick: Meet at Parish Hall, Finch Road Or join in the conservation work at Lilliput Park from 10am - meet at Kingfisher Road gateSaturday 25th March 2017 10am - 12 noon Litter Pick and conservation morning at Wapley Bushes Meet at Shire Way entrance to Nature ReserveSaturday 8th April 2017 10am - 12 noon Litter Pick: Meet at Kelston Close, Front of Changing Rooms Or join in the Abbotswood Action ...

Posted by Paul Hulbert on Focus on Sodbury, Yate and Dodington | Mute

The so-called leader of the United States has now qualified his statement regarding immigrant-related incidents in Sweden but nobody is any clearer. According to the Independent, Mr Trump says that he was referring to a story broadcast by Fox News. The TV channel ran a clip of a film by Ami Horowitz on Friday that alleged Sweden had seen a surge in gun violence and rape following an influx of immigrants. The only problem is that the facts in that film are in dispute. The paper says that Mr Horowitz's documentary has been criticised for being riddled with inaccuracies. One ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black | Mute

On Thursday 23rd February, Ninewells Community Garden is running a workshop to help develop a vision for the garden. • How do we see the garden and charity develop? • What are the opportunities and challenges? Starting at 1pm, the workshop will take approximately 2 hours, after which there will be refreshments and a presentation to volunteers. All are welcome - no booking required - please bring food or drink to share if you are able. More information is available here.

Bury Council is now formally consulting on its proposals to close 10 or 11 of our 14 libraries. Consultations run until 27 April. There are two options are: 1) to retain the following library buildings: Bury (plus Archives), Ramsbottom, and Prestwich; 2) to retain Bury (plus Archives), Ramsbottom, Prestwich and Radcliffe. You can read the proposals online at or read a hard copy at any library or at Bury Town Hall, Whittaker Street in Radcliffe, and 3 Knowsley Place in Bury. How to have your say: Online - go to By post - to Bury Library, Manchester Road, ...

Posted by timpickstone on Tim Pickstone | Mute

The new application for three houses at Linney House is proving somewhat troubled (17/00230/FUL). Both the Environment Agency and Shropshire Council's tree service have objected. They join local objectors, the town council and myself. The tree officer said the application is "retrograde" and is not sustainable. It is also outside the Ludlow's development boundary as defined in the local plan, SAMDev. The Environment Agency has objected to the scheme, saying it partly lies in the flood zone. The agency says the sequential test must be applied. This test asks whether there are alternative sites outside the flood plain that could ...

Posted by andybodders on Andy Boddington | Mute

The Daily Telegraph was once a Liberal newspaper. It praised Gladstone as "the People's William", supported the abolition of the death penalty in the nineteenth century, and reform of the House of Lords. As the Liberal Party lost public strength in the inter-war years it became a Conservative newspaper, although like Liberals in the 30s, opposed Hitler and the Conservative policy of Appeasement. It also gave Tony Blair a sympathetic hearing in 1997 and 2001. In recent years it has seemed to drift to the more UKIP end of the Conservative Party. It was the only daily broadsheet newspaper that ...

Posted by Antony Hook on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

At the last full meeting of Bury Council a question asked by the Prestwich team of Liberal Democrat councillors was on the impact of the A56 road works and changes on surrounding roads. Work is due to start on the A56 between Church Lane and Fairfax Road in Prestwich 'shortly', to make this length of road single file, with parking bays and a one-way cycle lane (southbound only). The scheme is being pushed ahead despite very significant opposition in its own consultation on the issue. We wanted to know what the projected impact of the scheme is on other routes. ...

Posted by timpickstone on Tim Pickstone | Mute

Services are due to start running on the 'second city crossing' in Manchester from Sunday 26 February 2017, with a new network map for Metrolink services. Bury line services remain (what they always were) Bury-Altrincham and Bury-Piccadilly, and all our trams will use the existing route through Shudehill and Market Street. Click for full size Services will be: Altrincham - Bury (via Market Street) Altrincham - Etihad Campus Bury - Piccadilly Ashton-under-Lyne - Eccles MediaCityUK - Piccadilly Manchester Airport - Deansgate-Castlefield East Didsbury - Rochdale Town Centre (via Exchange Square) East Didsbury - Shaw and Crompton (via Exchange Square)

Posted by timpickstone on Tim Pickstone | Mute

Two events for young families are taking place at Prestwich Library to mark 20 years of World Book Day. A story time session for pre-school children and their parents will take place on Thursday 2 March (10.45am to 11.30am). Come dressed as your favourite book character to listen to fantastic stories, songs and take part in crafts! The cost is 50p per child, and children must be accompanied by a responsible adult. Meanwhile, a World Book Day story writing competition is taking place, and youngsters are invited to drop off their amazing stories at Prestwich Library no later than Saturday ...

Posted by timpickstone on Tim Pickstone | Mute

A new weekly Friendship Group for asylum seekers and refugees is taking place at St Margaret's Youth and Community Hall on St Margaret's Road (M25 2QB). This is every Wednesday 12noon – 2pm. Lunch, friendship and ESOL. FREE. Children welcome. More information from:

Posted by timpickstone on Tim Pickstone | Mute

Gill Howie obituary I had completely missed that she died four years ago. What a shame. #fb (tags: death ) All you need to know how to influence the EU in one easy chart Plus a few extra points. (tags: eu lobbying ) South Sudan warns of hundreds of thousands facing famine First declared famine in the world for six years. Very sad. (tags: southsudan ) Octopi are taking over the oceans, and no one knows why Be afraid. Be very afraid. (tags: environment Biology ) Mrs May's emerging deal on Brexit: Not just hard, but also difficult As ever, ...