Thu 23rd
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

Wed 22nd

End of term report

It felt like the end of term at today's final council meeting of this four year electoral cycle. It started off in jovial mood, with jokes cracked and some councillors taking selfies, but soon we moved into "questions from AAPs". This is where a council officer from one of the area action partnerships reads out a question, only to have a cabinet member read out a very long answer which has almost certainly been written by another council officer. It's a tedious process with very little informational value (and even less informational value). It is probably most effective as a ...

Posted by Owen Temple on Owen Temple & Margaret Nealis | Mute

When I posted my photo of the last day of the Clayton West branch, I also linked to someone else's photo of the terminus. I said: If I am in it, I am one of people in the middle distance walking along the track towards the signal box.I know that because I took this photo of it that day. In fact I was allowed into the box (as I also was at Redmire and the much busier Ilkley Junction). Those were the days. Clayton West Station Cabin had already lost its nameboard. No doubt it had already gone to Collectors' ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute
Wed 22nd

Six of the Best 677

"This lack of engagement with any actual evidence permeates the entire piece. The widely understood phenomenon of induced demand (building roads creates more traffic) is dismissed as 'anti-car environmentalism', while any attempts to point out that issues might be linked are dismissed as 'holistic (i.e. woolly) thinking'." Nick Barlow is not impressed by a new publication on the environment from Liberal Reform. "Edinburgh City Council has employed a social return on investment model which concluded that for every £1 of investment in parks, around £12 of benefits are delivered, with a higher return when money is invested in premier central ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

I was reflecting on this a couple of hours after the awful events started to unfold this afternoon. On a daily basis, the highest concentration of people I care about in terms of sheer numbers is in and around the Palace of Westminster. From parliamentarians and staff to my friends and colleagues in LDHQ across the road. I love that part of London. If I'm down for a meeting, I'll often wander around Parliament Square, soaking up the atmosphere, watching tourists try to get the right angle for their photo to get Big Ben in, thinking of all the people ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

... Because of various travails within LGBT+LDs we lost our chair. This evening I was elected Acting Chair, and will be so until the AGM at autumn conference in Bournemouth. No flowers ;) [IMG: comment count unavailable] comments

Yesterday, our project to extend Kingsway Community Orchard in Sunniside took a big step forward. 20 volunteers from the Princes Trust, a couple of officers from Gateshead Council, Cllr Marilynn Ord and I planted 100 fruit trees, more than trebling the orchard from the 46 that were planted 5 years ago. The total cost of the project was £200 - I was able to negotiate a bargain price with

Posted by jonathanwallace on Jonathan Wallace | Mute

A Labour motion about cuts to school budgets was debated last Thursday. We supported it, despite the large number of grammatical and punctuation errors and unnecessary padding it contained. The mover of the motion was Cllr Chris McHugh who was, until recently, a teacher. As I believe he had a major role in writing the motion, I decided to mark and correct his homework and hand it back to him

Posted by jonathanwallace on Jonathan Wallace | Mute
Wed 22nd

Sunday Conference Photos

These are a bit late as I've been rather busy this week but here are a few photos from Lib Dem conference on Sunday morning. The auditorium was the most crowded I have ever seen it for a leader's speech. And Tim Farron was at his best. I'm pleased he was prepared to talk about patriotism. I'm fed up with the way the Right has hijacked patriotism and it's time to reclaim it. Party

Posted by jonathanwallace on Jonathan Wallace | Mute

The Earth, greatly relieved at hearing all its problems have ben solved. Jimmy Carr has a joke about being stopped on the street by someone asking him 'can you spare two minutes for cancer research?' 'Sure,' he replies, 'but I don't think we'll get much done.' I suspect members of the Liberal Reform pressure group don't get that joke, as going by their recent publication 'The Environment: A Solution', they're probably thinking about what they'd do with the thirty seconds they'd have left after curing all cancers. Yes, the brave minds at Liberal Reform (and despite this having only one ...

Posted by Nick on What You Can Get Away With | Mute

Just to let residents know about recent planning applications in your area. Please just let me know if you have any queries. Two storey side extension 75 Kenilworth Avenue, Whitefield, Manchester, M45 6TR Ref. No: 61198

Posted by timpickstone on Tim Pickstone | Mute

Former Liberal Democrat MEP Edward McMillan-Scott ahs written an open letter to his former Brussels colleagues explaining from a pro-EU British perspective what the hell is going on over here. As you all know, what started as former prime minister David Cameron's attempt to pacify the UKIP tendency within the Conservative party - the reason I left it - has resulted in the dominance of that group in the Theresa May administration, and their determination to push for a hard Brexit - and as soon as possible. Do not underestimate their determination to sever all ties with the EU at ...

Posted by NewsHound on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

I wasn't able to jot down everything the council leader said in a surprise announcement as part of his report to full council, but I definitely did get the down following fragments. Speaking about the Teaching Assistants' dispute he said that the council is "extremely close to confirming new grading proposals which will represent a sea change." Other fragments included the statement that the council, unions and teaching assistants are "on or ahead of schedule" in relation to a resolution of the dispute by the start of the new school year, and the phrase "significant progress." Speaking for the Liberal ...

Posted by Owen Temple on Owen Temple & Margaret Nealis | Mute

"Our roofs will power our washing machines. Our cars will be charged at home. Our homes will be warm without turning the heating on. Our energy will be British, it will be clean." This is the vision Tim Farron set out as part of our strategy for Britain to lead the clean energy revolution. A smarter energy system is a key piece of the puzzle, which will mean this vision can be delivered. Academics such as Professor Dieter Helm have frequently talked about the potential of this change to improve how our energy systems work. Not only will smarter energy ...

Posted by Lynne Featherstone on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

You may have noticed that the previous two posts were somewhat light on my usual "we debated this motion, and I voted this way on it" details. That's mostly because after I had done the reporting-back-from-FCC bits (which I pledged to do upon my candidacy for FCC - I keep my promises, me. Mostly...) the posts were already stupidly long, but also in part because my lovely friend Andrew has done an excellent summary of the salient points here, and given that I am his evil twin (or he is mine - honestly, basically the only difference between us is ...

I am no big fan of George Galloway. His comments that rape allegations against Julian Assange were nothing but "bad sexual etiquette" and his attacks against his female opponent at the 2015 general election showed he is not only a hard left, Brexit-supporting political dinosaur, but has deeply disturbing views towards women. Meanwhile his political approach, based on dividing communities instead of bringing them together, is the polar opposite of that of the Liberal Democrats. So I'm looking forward to taking on his controversial views head on in the campaign ahead. I am confident that the people of Manchester Gorton, ...

Posted by Jackie Pearcey on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

I have posted a few times recently about the work of the Merseyside North Volunteers who have been trying to tidy up/clean up the the start of the Cheshire Lines Path in Maghull behind Sefton Drive. I went to have a look at their work a few days ago and here are a couple of photos which show how much bramble, rubbish and overgrowth has been cleared away and of course the seats that they have erected too. It's looking good. Looking north towards Lydiate Station site with Sefton Drive to the right. Much bramble clearance is evident. Time for ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus | Mute

Following on from my previous post on York conference, I thought people might be interested in how we plan the debates and how cards get chosen and things like that. ( I also recognise that many of you will NOT be interested in this in the slightest, so am putting it behind a cut ) And then of course, we had Not The Leader's Speech. The tradition of Not The Leader's Speech started when Cleggy was Our Glorious Leader. I went to a couple of his leader's speeches and found them excruciating. In the pub after, a Bad Influence who ...

Former Liberal Democrat MP for Wells Tessa Munt hopes to make a political comeback in May as she is standing for Somerset County Council against the current Tory leader. From Somerset Live: A spokesman for the Lib Dems said the party has identified mid Somerset as a key battleground. Speaking as Wells Lib Dems introduced their local candidates, Ms Munt said: "I simply cannot stand by for the next three years and watch as the Conservatives run our county into the ground." The Lib Dems say they are feeling buoyant after their shock victory in a recent Wells City Council ...

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Mhari Black has been facing a lot of flak on social media for the things she's being saying about Scotland in relation to London and the two places' relative political power. This tweet from her summarises her position to date: "Scotland has 59 MPs. London has 73. The second largest country in the UK can be outvoted by a single city. That's the real shame." People from all over the political spectrum have descended on her, pointing out that the reason London has more MPs than Scotland is that it has a lot more people. In fact, proportionally, London should ...

Posted by Nick on | Mute

What's happened? Sustrans, who are the leading UK charity enabling people to travel by foot, bike or public transport, have put together a report ahead of the mayoral election in Cambridge and Peterborough. What have they said? "...the Mayor must commit to continuing to lead the way nationally, by investing £20 per head on cycling [...]

Posted by Cllr Darren Fower on Cllr Darren Fower | Mute

We all remember the madness of the Ed Stone. Not so much the image of the Leader of the Opposition standing in a wet and windswept car park next to a giant slab of granite that had to be held up by scaffolding to prevent it crushing poor Ed. But more the vacuousness of the 'promises' made - vague, impossible to measure, some them actually meaningless. They haven't learned anything. Here are the pledges that Labour will stand on in the May Local elections To invest in Britain.To offer better health and social care.To create educational opportunities for all.To create ...

Posted by Richard Morris on A VIEW FROM HAM COMMON | Mute

Nick Clegg has been writing for the Independent in the wake of the Dutch elections in which the racist populist Geert Wilders didn't do as well as expected. He recounted a family gathering in the Netherlands at Christmas time. What was striking when we were talking about the Dutch elections, however, was almost everyone around the table wanted to cast a vote that provided the best guarantee of keeping Wilders out of power. For most, that seemed to point towards supporting Mark Rutte, the affable and skilled Dutch PM, even if they'd never voted for him before. It worked and ...

Posted by NewsHound on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

At the end of the second world war, aware that they were losing, the Japanese drew on a long standing tradition and sent out pilots on kamikaze missions to deliberately crash into US warships in the hope of sinking them. It feels a bit like that now as we head into negotiations on the UK's exit from the European Union, with Ministers coming out with more and more bizarre and dangerous positions in an attempt to look tough for the negotiations ahead. According to the Guardian,Brexiters in the cabinet and other Conservative frontbenchers have privately told colleagues they are relaxed ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black | Mute

The short version of What I Did At Lib Dem Conference is: Attended lots of FCC meetings and training; co-hosted Glee for the second time; hall-aided my first debate as a member of FCC; "organised" Not The Leader's Speech. ( click here for more detail on the first three ) Coming soon: What I Did At Lib Dem Conference part two: structuring an actual debate: this time it's personal PLUS Not The Leader's Speech. [IMG: comment count unavailable] comments

Theresa May ruled out a snap election and it can be revealed Tory MPs had begged the Prime Minister NOT to go to the country in an early poll. West Country Conservatives — who routed the Lib Dems from the south west in 2015 — feared a fresh contest so close to the Brexit vote could give the pro-EU party a foothold, putting the PM's 17 seat majority at risk. [The Sun] With Liberal Democrat membership doubled, fundraising edging ahead of Labour and dramatic council-by election gains most weeks, not to mention Witney and then Richmond Park, it's easy to ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

Just to let residents know about recent planning applications in your area. Please just let me know if you have any queries. Two storey rear extension and rear dormer extension 245 Bury Old Road, Prestwich, Manchester, M25 1JE Ref. No: 61249

Posted by timpickstone on Tim Pickstone | Mute

I am currently in my first year at the University of Leeds, studying Politics and Parliamentary Studies. I officially became a party member in November 2016, but I have always been a Liberal Democrat at heart! Last weekend was my first time at a party conference and I can honestly say it was one of the best weekends of my life. I did not really know what to expect, but I certainly did not expect to get to meet Nick Clegg on the first day! This was a pretty momentous occasion for me as you could call Nick my 'Lib ...

Posted by Rebecca Yates on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

University of Dundee - Saturday Evening Lecture Series 2017 - Dundee to the World Saturday 25th March 2017 An evening with three graduates who shaped and reported on global events. This is also the Drever Commemoration Lecture. This event will celebrate three of our prestigious graduates who studied here during James Drever's time as Principal. James Drever was a massive advocate for political discourse, encouraging students to strike and make stands against funding cuts. Each of these graduates has gone on to make an impact in the field of politics: • Sir William Patey has played a leading personal role ...

Just to let residents know about recent planning application in your area. Please just let me know if you have any queries. Two storey extension at rear 39 Poppythorn Lane, Prestwich, Manchester, M25 3BX Ref. No: 61170 Two storey extension at rear 10 Newlands Drive, Prestwich, Manchester, M25 3BU Ref. No: 61140 Single storey extensions to front and side 514 Bury Old Road, Prestwich, Manchester, M25 3DF Ref. No: 61108

Posted by timpickstone on Tim Pickstone | Mute

Azerbaijan's lost transparency Ilgar Mammadov still effective though in jail. (tags: azerbaijan ) Belgian civil service and my car: the unbearable lightness of incompetence. @AlinaBelskaya loses 7 months and 3000 euro. (tags: Belgium ) David Rockefeller, Philanthropist and Head of Chase Manhattan, Dies at 101 His wife (who dies in 1996) was a distant cousin of mine. (tags: deaths ) A very long way from home: early Byzantine finds at the far ends of the world From Japan to Mali. (tags: archaeology ) Why Did Greenland's Vikings Vanish? Climate change and global trade. (tags: greenland archaeology ) Hungarian secret agent ...

So I thought I'd report back to the world at large about what it's like being at Lib Dem Conference right now. While I've been a member of the party for eleven years, for various reasons I've very rarely been ... Continue reading →

Posted by Andrew Hickey on Sci-Ence! Justice Leak! | Mute