We told you recently about South Glos's "Ageing Better" consultation. The Ageing Better Plan aims to guide South Glos's work to support older people (age 65+) They are holding two consultation events, one of which is a drop in event, open to the public and is taking place on Wednesday 22nd November 2017, Yate Outdoor Sports Complex between 9.30am - 12.30pm. Everyone is welcome and they would encourage everyone to attend, as it is really important that people have their say. The second event is being held for voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations, on Wednesday 29th November, 10.00 ...

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

I confess to knowing very little about anything – in particular political campaigning. But one thing I can talk about at length is how we did it in a small rural patch of North Norfolk (six shops, four pubs, two petrol stations and zero towns), going from fourth position last time to first in May 2017 with a majority of 420. It was the first time I'd fought a campaign from start to finish, and it was quite a ride. So much so that Freya, my sister and campaign manager, and I decided to write a book about it called ...

Posted by Steffan Aquarone on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute
Mon 20th

the plain

Under a low sky, scraping the bounds of the earth a stillness mists around us that makes the world opaque and shuttered to the light, in a landscape framed through glass I had neglected, blaming eyes I'd bruised by facing the absurdities of life... eyes blinking, shocked at what a scan now shows of our society, [...]

Posted by AL Franklin on Maintain the Advance! | Mute

Older readers may remember me, the first face of the Inland Revenue, as voiced by Sir Alec Guinness. I may be a distant memory, but I never left my desk. The news in the lead up to this week's Budget has been coloured by the Paradise Papers, as noted by David Becket in the comments sections when they first hit the headlines, who wondered why they haven't been covered here. Well, in truth, tax policy is quite dull, and the issue of taxation of overseas holdings is rather more complex than is thought. Here are some thoughts, however. Holding funds ...

Posted by Hector Inspector on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute
Mon 20th

Door-knocking in Dunston

I was part of a team of local Lib Dem campaigners in Dunston on Thursday, knocking on doors of homes near the former Dunston Hill Primary School which has been left to go derelict by Labour. We were collecting signatures on our petition calling for the old school to be demolished and the site to be used for affordable houses. We featured this issue in our recent Focus newsletter and we

Posted by jonathanwallace on Jonathan Wallace | Mute

It's a long week, although we're not expecting much drama in terms of voting until the New Year. The next few weeks are about clearing the decks whilst the EU Withdrawal Bill weaves its increasingly uncertain way through the House of Commons. Monday sets the tone, with only Day 5 of the Committee Stage of the Data Protection Bill on the legislative agenda. There is an oral question from Dee Doocey on the impact of the UK's exit from the EU Open Skies Agreement on the UK's tourism industry. Will the Minister have an answer? Don't bet on it. It's ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute
Mon 20th

My tweets

Sun, 12:56: Serious question, repeated and updated from August: what has Liam Fox actually *achieved* in 16 months as Trade Secretary? Sun, 16:30: Rainbow. https://t.co/Ztb3VP8ufy Sun, 16:31: Excellent, brief thread on Ireland and Brexit. https://t.co/EbSPUBnbn8 Sun, 17:47: RT @ianjamesparsley: Those who say it is politically impossible to place a customs border between Great Britain and Northern Ireland need t... Sun, 20:48: RT @youngvulgarian: Hello, I wrote a piece about Brexit and the differing moods in Westminster and Brussels: https://t.co/ElhtY2AzJu https:... Mon, 10:21: RT @CrisisGroup: Our dialogue on the challenges facing #Europe and its neighbourhood is about to begin! Follow #CrisisTalks ...

Following claims on Marr by the Chancellor that "there are no unemployed people", Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable said it showed the Conservative government was hopelessly out of touch with huge numbers of people in Britain today.Vince Cable said:"As Chancellor, Philip Hammond needs to be on top of the numbers, and as he should know very well, there are actually 1.425m people unemployed. Worse, a large number of them are second or third generation out of work, suggesting that all that a large number of people are inheriting in Britain today is poverty."It underlines just how out of touch the ...

Posted by LD Neath on Aberavon & Neath Liberal Democrats | Mute
Mon 20th

Politics and prosperity

Did I hear this correctly? Brexit secretary David Davis is saying that we should put prosperity before politics. I support this view but I find it rich for a leading Brexiteer to be saying it. Pulling out of the EU is a political decision, supported by a small majority of those who voted in last year's referendum. It was taken despite concerns about prosperity. It was a decision taken in spite of

Posted by jonathanwallace on Jonathan Wallace | Mute

The Liberal Democrats have responded with incredulity to reports that the Home Office will have to recruit staff from Eastern Europe to administer Brexit. According to The Guardian, the Home Office cannot recruit enough staff to process newly required registration papers for as many as 3m European citizens. Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson Tom Brake said: "Oh the irony! The Home Office having to recruit Eastern European workers to manage Brexit which was billed by the Brexiteers as the way to reduce immigration. "And what a monumental waste of time and money it will be to register all these EU citizens. ...

Posted by LD Neath on Aberavon & Neath Liberal Democrats | Mute

The Ludlow and Clee Local Joint Committee (LJC) is to hold a special meeting on 30 November to discuss Shropshire Council's draft local plan. This sets out ambitious policies to expand housing and employment across the county. Ludlow councillor Andy Boddington is chairman of the LJC, says: "This opportunity to debate our ideas about the future of the county. Shropshire Council's new plans aim for economic growth and building nearly 1,500 homes a year across the county. Much of this will be in the north and east of the county but we also need to work out what is best ...

Posted by andybodders on Andy Boddington | Mute

To: Shepway Planning and Kent Heritage Conservation [IMG: Taylor Wimpey notice to level WW1 training trenches] I draw your urgent attention the the attached site notice in the Sandy Lane area of Sandgate / Hythe (know as the "Back Doors Training Area", notifying of works to "level the informal bike jumps and the jumps known as the Daggers Trails". It's my understanding that although they have been adapted and used in recent years as informal bike ramps they are in fact WW1 training trenches and other areas of significant military historical interest. Despite the "reassurance" that an archaeologist will be ...

Twitter RT @andrewducker: How childhood gender-stereotyping damages boys Twitter RT @andrewducker: How childhood gender-stereotyping damages boys 'We salute you': Rock world pays tribute to AC/DC's Malcolm Young - Planet Rock RT @PlanetRockRadio: 'We salute you': Rock world pays tribute to AC/DC's Malcolm Young Sexual harassment: a chance for change - Jo Swinson - Medium An outstanding call to arms from the Deputy Leader. "I'm boiling with rage. The bullies are winning. Lies are winning." Carole Cadwalladr in the Grauniad on Brexit On the Trans Stories in the Media | Sci-Ence! Justice Leak! In which Andrew is Right. As usual. [IMG: ...

"The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it." These were the words of John Stuart Mill in On Liberty. They echo the Voltarian principle that, even [...] The post Fierce in the defence of the right to think differently appeared first on Radix.

Posted by Joe Zammit-Lucia on Opinion - Radix | Mute

North Road, Yate, from its junction with Armstrong Way to the bridge over the River Frome, is expected to close from 6am to 8am on 23rd November so the leaves can be cleaned away.

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

Yesterday it was revealed that the government is recruiting Poles and other EU migrants to help in the forthcoming registration of EU citizens resident in the UK because there aren't enough qualified and willing British workers to do it. The whole Brexit fiasco gets more surreal by the week. Far from saving Britain money and [...]

Posted by jonathanfryer on Jonathan Fryer | Mute

'It is wholly unacceptable for the First Minister to be the sole decider on whether he and his cabinet colleagues have broken ministerial rules.' That was the judgement of the then leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, Kirsty Williams in November 2012 as she led a move to establish a system that allows the Ministerial Code to be policed independently of the Welsh Government and the National Assembly for Wales. Kirsty moved a motion in the Assembly Plenary on 21 November calling for the Welsh Government to commit to ensure the policing of the ministerial code is independent and transparent. ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black | Mute

* Editorial note: as indicated earlier, all comments on this piece will be moderated before publication. Today, as always on the 20th of November we at LGBT+ Lib Dems, along with many other organisations around the world, are observing Transgender Day of Remembrance. This is the twentieth year when one of the biggest events in the LGBT+ calendar is not a celebration, but a commemoration of those who have been taken from us by violence. You can find the list of names for this and previous years here. TDoR is always sombre, commemorating as it does the deaths of trans ...

Posted by Jennie Rigg on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL - WEEKLY ROAD REPORT REPORT FOR WEST END WARD - WEEK COMMENCING MONDAY 20 NOVEMBER 2017 A85 Riverside Drive - prohibition of right turn from westbound lane of Riverside Drive into Riverside approach and prohibition of right turn from Riverside Approach in to Riverside Drive for 3 weeks for works to the sea wall. Prohibitions will only be in place when required. A85 Riverside Drive (at Railway Station) - eastbound nearside lane closure for 3 weeks for SGN essential valve maintenance.

The issue of new Liberator is arriving with subscribers, which means - I very much fear - it is time for Liberal England readers to spend another week in the company of Lord Bonkers. Enjoy. Monday Like every red-blooded Englishman (and, indeed, ever red-blooded Englishwoman), I am looking forward to this winter's Ashes series Down Under. How will our touring party fare in the likely absence of Ben Stokes? He is the chap who was filmed engaging in a bout of fisticuffs at chucking out time in the middle a one-day series - scenes reminiscent of the Minor Counties Championship ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

A rather more sombre opening to this Monday, in deference to the day being marked today. To be honest, I'm not proposing to add much to that introduction, as I suspect that I wouldn't have much of value to add. There will be an article dedicated to the day, and I would ask any commenters to show due respect to our transgender friends and colleagues. Please note that I will not show much tolerance to any transphobes who might be minded to offer us the "benefit" of their supposed wisdom. Take it somewhere else. What else do we have for ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

I have started work on a short ebook on Richard Jefferies. Some of the writing will require visits that are now best left until the spring - Worthing, Surbiton, Swindon... Writing is a glamorous life. So if I post on here a bit less often than has been my habit, I hope that is the reason. (Mind you, I notice this is my fourth post today and I have scheduled one from Lord Bonkers for tomorrow morning.) There is also the sad fact that neither blogging nor the Liberal Democrats are what they were a decade ago. I have been ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

Embed from Getty Images What do we want our politicians to be like? I would rather like it if they were prepared occasionally to raise their eyes from day-to-day politics and talk about the deeper and longer-term questions we face. That is just what Philip Hammond did this morning: Mr Hammond was interviewed on the Andrew Marr Show ahead of Wednesday's Budget, where among his announcements he is expected to pave the way for an expansion of driverless cars. Challenged on the impact of wider automation on people's jobs, he said Britain had to "embrace change", adding: "I remember 20 ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

Brighton's daily paper The Argus has revealed that the city's derelict Hippodrome has been bought by a property developer: In a recent update to his LinkedIn social media profile, Mr Sheikh wrote: "We are pleased to announce the purchase of a [sic] iconic site in Brighton. For the development of a boutique 5 star 70 bed hotel, 25 high end serviced apartments and a concert, theater[sic], conference and banqueting venue."This is the old theatre I blogged about in the spring when I was down in Brighton as part of the day job. Caroline Lucas, the Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

After effective negotiations and some successful appeals, the overall business rates bill for Ludlow has gone down. The town had been facing above average increases after the revaluation of properties last year. It is still facing above average increases but more than seventy businesses have had their rates bills reduced since the increases were announced.[1] One in nine Ludlow businesses will see a reduction in rateable value and the changes have moved three local businesses out of the business rate regime altogether. The reduction in rateable values for those businesses that pay rates under the current rules amounts to £120,000. ...

Posted by andybodders on Andy Boddington | Mute

Lib Dem Councillors John Dodd, Daniel Lewis, Nigel Ashton and Jo Barton are holding their next advice centre in Churchtown. We will be at BoxTree Kitchen for Queenscourt café, Manor Road/Cambridge Road, roundabout, from 10:30 to 11.30am on Thursday 23rd November. We will be there to meet you and discuss any Council problems you may have. No appointment necessary. Just pop in. We also hold a monthly advice centre in Crossens, at St John's School, Rufford Road, Crossens every month (except August) on the second Saturday of the month from 11:00 am to 12:00. We will be there to meet ...

Posted by John Dodd on Meols Lib Dems | Mute

(Trigger warnings for this post: cissexism, transmisogyny, sexual assault, murder, suicide. Also, probably, there should be a trigger warning here for clueless cis man talking about stuff outside his lane.) This is not a blog post I want to be ... Continue reading →

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

Embed from Getty Images Jo Swinson has published an article on Medium titled "Sexual harassment: a chance for change". She writes: Many people have been shocked by recent revelations about the extent of sexual harassment in politics. Sadly to many of us it does not come as a shock, but we have welcomed the focus on a persistent problem that has too often been trivialised or ignored. Some sections of the media have — without any sense of irony — provided illustrative answers to the endless questions about why victims hesitate to come forward to tell their story. While it is depressing still to ...

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Embed from Getty Images The majority of Australians have backed equal marriage in a postal vote survey: 61.5% of Aussies endorsed the rights of LGBT+ citizens. It is now over to the Australian parliament to implement the will of the people. LGBT+ Aussies and allies rejoice after a deserved victory. But it is sad that this referendum had to happen at all. I realise that to most, holding the referendum was just sensible politics and a civilised means to settle a debate in a democracy. But this vote really was petty: someone's private relationship is neither a political or democratic ...

Posted by Chris Park on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

This is the letter that 90 MPs sent to the Prime Minister last week. We need all-Party action like this if we are to save the NHS At the end of last week, a highly important development took place when ... Continue reading →

Posted by richardkemp on But what does Richard Kemp think? | Mute
Sun 19th

The cost of football

Embed from Getty Images My two grandchildren both love football, and one of them takes it very seriously indeed. We all know the huge social and health benefits from taking part in sport and I have a great respect for all those parents who help to keep community sports clubs alive and kicking, as it were. But children who love a sport also want to watch professionals playing, so it is very sad to learn that major clubs are effectively pricing out younger supporters. The BBC has published its annual report Price of Football 2017 and found that most ticket ...

Posted by Mary Reid on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute
Sun 19th

The Pirates: I Can Tell

Johnny Kidd and the Pirates has hits in 1959 (Please Don't Touch) and 1960 (Shakin' All Over), before packing it in in the mid 1960s. Remarkably, The Pirates, sans Johnny Kidd, had a renaissance at the end of the 1970s and sounded very much at home on the pub rock, punk and new wave scene. I saw them at York in 1978 and here they are a year later

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

The Irish government has made a bold and daring move. It has said that the next round of EU-UK talks cannot go forward unless the UK guarantees that under no circumstances will there be a hard border on the island of Ireland. In theory, this shouldn't be tricky given the UK government has assured everyone throughout all the bluster that this will be the case. However, this impediment to talks erected by Leo Varadkar, the Irish Taoiseach, sort of calls their bluff on this, as in reality there are only two real options for the UK if it wishes to ...

Posted by Nick on nicktyrone.com | Mute

I am a bit of a luddite secretly, at least when it comes to technological advancements that aim to cut out the human touch. I don't do on-line banking, I don't have a Netflix or Amazon account and for the life of me, I don't see why anybody would want to develop driverless cars. Don't get me wrong. I am not the sort of person who mourns lost employment opportunities following the abolition of the man with a red flag who used to walk in front of the earliest motorcars. Nor do I want to go back to the days ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black | Mute
Sun 19th

The Decline of Language

We live in an Information Age, in which there has never been so much and such easy communication. Yet parallel to technological advances, the quality and precision of languaage have declined. Some people blame this on the "vocabulary" of text-speech; the demands of an SMS encourage us to abbreviate and to have recourse to stock [...]

Posted by jonathanfryer on Jonathan Fryer | Mute

Your Focus Team welcomes news that local health managers have rowed back on proposals to cut the upper age limit for which women are eligible for IVF treatment on the NHS after protests - but more cuts are to come. Faced with a growing deficit, NHS chiefs proposed a series of cuts to local health services, including limiting fertility treatment to women between 30 and 35 years of age. They already only fund one treatment, rather than the NICE recommendation of up to 3. They have now decided to keep the age limit for IVF treatment at 40. However they ...

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

The irony of Maghull Town Council taking out hedges (otherwise know as a habitat for wildlife) in Glenn Park only yards away from other hedges along Eastway, which they have previously left uncut despite complaints from pedestrians, due to Habitat Regulations is not lost on me. This saga goes back a while now (to 2015) and I have posted about it previously. Here's my most relevant previous posting:- What's brought the matter back into focus now is the removal of a couple of quite long hedges from within Glenn Park by Maghull Town Council in the past few days. ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus | Mute

From the Corporate Affairs Officer at Scottish Water : I have been made aware from our contractors CWA who are carrying out our water mains upgrade works in Dundee of an additional piece of work to take place within your ward. This work was originally planned previously however due to issues with the proposed backfeed (to reduce amount of customers affected) the work was unable to be completed. I have been informed that the work will now take place from Monday 20th November for approximately 2 weeks. The work involves the lining of existing water mains in Fyffe Street (near ...