Liberal Democrats in the Coalition Government this week cut taxes for London's workers by raising the point at which they start paying tax to £9,200. This means £220 back in pockets of low and middle earners on top of tax cuts of £200 last year and £130 coming in next month. The move is a key step towards securing the key Liberal Democrat policy of raising the Personal Allowance to £10,000. This was on the front page of the Liberal Democrat manifesto and was secured by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in the Coalition Agreement. Today's announcement is the single ...

Posted by Gary Malcolm on Councillor Gary Malcolm

On 7th of march 2012 Maria Miller MP, Disabilities Minister, said that money to support disabled people into employment should follow individuals not insitutions and that Remploy factories should be set free from Government control. She also said that Government funded segregated employment is not consistent with an objective of disability equality. If segregated employment is not the way then why not close all of the Remploy factories? Instead the Government is going to work with Remploy's Board to identify which of Remploy's businesses can become free from Government control. Why is the Government then picking winners which will still ...

Posted by Maelo Manning on libdemchild, aged 11
Fri 23rd

Litter Pick on Ivy Green

The Friends of Chorlton Meadows are doing a litter pick on Ivy Green this Sunday (25th March).Meet: Ivy Green car park (Brookburn Road, opp. Bowling Green pub)Time: 10:30 am (don't forget that the clocks go forward on Sunday).


Fri 23rd

Election imprint

There are rules about published stuff during election periods (and we are in the run up). So to be on the safe side here is the stuff I need to make sure is on this blog (its also in the side panel) Hosted by Published by R Oglethorpe promoting P Keaveney (Liberal Democrat) all at 509 Smithdown Road, L15.

Posted by Paula Keaveney on Paula Keaveney - Lib Dem Campaigner

Saarland, where I live, is just about the smallest state in Germany apart from the city states. In terms of population it's actually smaller than Hamburg. In January the ruling "Jamaica" coalition between Merkel's CDU, the FDP, and the Green party in the state parliament fell apart, meaning we have elections on Sunday 25th March. ...

Posted by rankersbo on Standing above the fog

In my relative semi-retirement from frontline political activity, I find myself with a little time on my hands, and a wealth of experience and knowledge to call upon. Quite a lot of it, I hasten to add, is other people's, but you know what I mean. And so I'm musing on ways to re-engage myself, and others, back into the work required to drive the Party forward. New ways to participate, that kind of thing, and as much of it as possible in a gentler, more decent way. I rather enjoyed my campaigning in Stowupland last year, talking to voters, ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on The view from Creeting St Peter
Fri 23rd

Seabraes Lane

From the City Council : THE ROAD TRAFFIC REGULATION ACT 1984 : SECTION 14(1) THE DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL AS TRAFFIC AUTHORITY being satisfied that traffic on the road should be prohibited by reason of gas connection works being carried out HEREBY PROHIBIT the driving of any vehicle in Seabraes Lane, Dundee. This notice comes into effect on Monday 9 April 2012 for 3 working days. Pedestrian thoroughfare will be maintained. No alternative routes for vehicles are available. For further information contact 433168. Director of City Development Dundee City Council

Fri 23rd

Friday favourite 51

The Strange Death of Liberal England - one assumes the noble Lord Bonkers will have something to say...

Posted by Dan Falchikov on Living on words alone

You can find this review in today's Liberal Democrat News. A Guide to the Works of Art of the National Liberal Club, London (second edition) Michael Meadowcroft National Liberal Club, 2011 Designed by the great Victorian architect Alfred Waterhouse and opened in 1887, the National Liberal Club is a work of art in itself. Gothic towers and pinnacles pierce the Whitehall sky: its wine cellar is formed from the remains of an attempt to build a railway under the Thames to Waterloo. Between them are to be found portraits, busts and engravings that tell the story of the Club, of ...

Posted by Jonathan on Liberal England

Two Tories. Two arguments against marriage equality. Two completely different views. Shall we take a look? Just to screw with our chronology let's start with the most recent one first. Sir Roger Gale, MP for North Thanet here in Kent, has come out against marriage equality quite forcefully in the most recent edition of the Thanet Extra (available online for this week only here on page 14). His arguments against are, sadly for him, flimsy. Last week I was asked by a party colleague, a gentle man who I respect and like, why I wanted to stop him and his ...

Posted on Neue Politik
Fri 23rd

Neville is my hero

The "Heroine of Hackney" Pauline Pearce is appearing beside Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg at a party event tonight. I wish Lady P – as she is known – the very best as she stands for the party in a ... Continue reading →

Posted by Lester Holloway on cllrlesterholloway
Fri 23rd

Headline of the Day

A victory for the Scarborough Evening News with its: My 'mother' is a 9ft green alien, says councillor

Posted by Jonathan on Liberal England

Last weekend wasn't a good one for the environmental agenda. First came a DECC press release containing proposals that will give rise to a new 'dash for gas' in the UK. The announcement means that new gas power stations will not need to be more efficient or less polluting. It is part of the Treasury's anti-green agenda which holds the misguided view that green policies are anti-growth and increase costs for businesses and households. This is despite the fact that recent hikes in power bills have been largely due to large increases in wholesale gas prices. (Incidentally, the release was ...

Posted by Ben Wood on Liberal Democrat Voice

From my friend and occasional commenter here, Mark: For nearly 90 years, pensioners have enjoyed more generous personal income tax allowances than working adults: a legacy of the days when retirement was a short, painful and often rather alarming business. Now, in order to help fund large and continuing hikes in the personal tax allowance for low and middle-income workers (which have so far seen two million people lifted out of income tax altogether by this coalition government), those more generous pensioners' allowances are being frozen in real terms so that the working adults' allowance can catch up, until the ...

Posted by Paul on Liberal Burblings

Yesterday, I outlined some of the issues that impact on how we make policy as Liberal Democrats, and some very interesting comments came from that, for which I am grateful. Today, here are some thoughts of my own, which build on those comments and on my own thinking... Whilst Federal Policy Committee has been attempting to reconcile the variety of tasks to be addressed, the Party has seen the emergence of a number of ginger groups. Added to the long-established, but increasingly dormant, Liberal Vision, which appears not to have developed much beyond being a small group of libertarians with ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Democrat Voice
Fri 23rd

Remembering George

I spent this afternoon attending the funeral of an old friend George Mowat. George was a Young Liberal with me and had passed away last week at the age of only 49. He was from a strong Liberal and legal family - his father the late Sheriff Mowat had stood as a candidate in Caithness in the election before George Mackie won the seat and his brother-in-law Peter Barrett is my equivalent on Perth Council. George had studied law at Aberdeen and it was after graduation that we first met. After working in the legal sector, which I never though ...

Posted by Paul Edie on Paul Edie's Blog

Regular readers of my blog and followers of the Alan Turing campaign will have noticed the recent collaborations with Lord Sharkey in the Lords. We have been working together to try to secure justice for Alan Turing and ... Continue reading →

Posted by John Leech MP on John Leech MP

The Civil Wars - Billie Jean Beautiful interpretation, but it's not just me, that is Cap'n Jack Sparrow on guitar, no?

Posted on It's Just Jason

The westbound M4 Motorway between Junction 18 (Tormarton) and Junction 19 (M32)will be closed overnight 26/27 March for surfacing works and barrier repair. Diversion via A46, A420 and Avon Ring Road.

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

It's Friday. It's five o'clock. Here's a fistful of lists that sum up the LDV week: 5 most-read stories on LDV this week Time for the Lib Dems to blow the final whistle on national wage settlements (95 comments) by Stephen Tall Baroness Judith Jolly writes: Why Lib Dem peers have supported an amended Health and Social Care Bill (63 comments) by Judith Jolly Opinion: Lib Dems must replace Labour as the party of the Left (101 comments) by Jonathan Hunt 'How can Lib Dems avoid oblivion?' asks PoliticsHome (37 comments) by Stephen Tall Opinion: What message would scrapping the ...

Posted by Helen Duffett on Liberal Democrat Voice

1. On Monday Chris is speaking in a debate on Strengthening the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS). Participants and the audience will debate policy responses that can simultaneously address the climate challenge and enhance European prospects for economic stabilisation. 2. ... Continue reading →

Posted by Richard Marbrow on Chris Davies MEP

There is only one meeting scheduled for next week. Planning & Development Connittee , Ebor House, Thursday 29th March. Despite the full Council agreeing that all committee meetings would start at 6:30, this has been called for a 6pm start.

Posted by Alisdair Gibbs-Barton on Alisdair Gibbs-Barton

Chris Nicholson, Director of CentreForum, has posted his take on the Budget on Total Politics. He concludes: It is often said that the best Budgets are usually those that get the immediate negative headlines. While the press has focused on the alleged "unfairness" of the Budget, history is likely to be rather kinder in suggesting that the budget has been much fairer than it at first sight appeared. You can read the reasons for his optimism here. * Mary Reid is one of the Day Editors on Lib Dem Voice.

Posted by Mary Reid on Liberal Democrat Voice
Fri 23rd

Thanet Press a new dawn?

With local papers being hard pressed, due to the migration from paper to pixels, on top of the recession, it's encouraging to see the recent launch of a new monthly title "Thanet Watch", which if nothing else adds to local biodiversity. Having missed the first edition, coming across the April edition, probably gives a better idea of what to expect in future should it last that long. A quick glance and I have to say it's better than one of those little advertising booklets often found in chip shops, but has some considerable distance between itself and the Gazette. Still ...

Posted by tony flaig bignews on BIGNEWS MARGATE

Back in September of last year there was an idea mooted that local councils could charge a local tax on alcohol to help deal with the problem of anti-social drinking in town centres and the like. Now there is news that the government is looking at introducing a minimum price per unit on alcohol to tackle ...

Posted by Spidey on Spiderplantland

A-one+, the managing agent contractor for the Highways Agency, have sent us more details on the works taking place on the M60 slip road. When the work is completed (hopefully June) the changes can be made to the Kingsway lights to improve the right turn from Cheadle and Gatley. This junction is subject to heavy traffic congestion during rush hour with traffic exiting the M60 junction 3 clockwise and anticlockwise slip roads merging to form one exit slip road. This traffic then merges with two lanes of the southbound A34 Kingsway. Presently traffic on the M60 J3 slip road queues ...

Posted by Iain Roberts on Keith Holloway, Iain Roberts & Pam King
Fri 23rd

London Calling...

Thursday's biggest news came from the capital, where established local campaigner Alison Hopkins (pictured, 3rd left) and the Brent Lib Dem team held the Dollis Hill ward against Labour. This victory is the first by-election win in a Labour-facing seat in London since the general election. Alison's long track record of campaigning in Dollis Hill, having spent 55 of her 57 years in the ward, set her in good stead, with community leaders and long-time local residents providing valuable endorsements in her leaflets. The use of 'non-politician' endorsements, both as 'vox pop' artwork and as street letter/blue letter authors is ...

Posted on ALDC

Friday: It warms my fluffy heart to see the great and the good of the left (La Pollyanna Toytown and chums) manning the barricades on behalf of those who don't earn enough to benefit in this week's budget, who face more cuts to welfare and tax credits and who... Sorry, what's that? They're ACTUALLY kicking up a fuss about people who ALREADY get extra benefits being told they're getting even more on top? Riiiiiiiight. From the HOWLS and CARTOONS you'd think that Gideon was PHYSICALLY removing tenners from old ladies' purses and stuffing them into the thongs of passing Fat-Cat-Monsters. ...

Writing in the Financial Times (registration needed), Tim Leunig argues that pensioners have had an easy recession, with good pension increases and extras such as bus passes, free TV licences and winter fuel allowances. The freezing of the tax allowance cuts a trivial 0.25% off pensioner incomes, Tim says, but, even then, the Institute of Fiscal Studies says that pensioners are better off, while working age people have suffered the worst of the government's measures. Tim argues that employees' national insurance contributions should apply to pensioners' income from employment. * Paul Walter is Monday Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, a ...

Posted by Paul Walter on Liberal Democrat Voice

This was posted as a comment on somebody else's blog, but I figured it deserved a broader airing, since it's me explaining (again) how the government's actions are not neutral on pubs even when they try to appear so: Prices for everything will go up if there's a minimum price, not because of some nefarious plot by big business (or even the Tories), but because of simple economics. If a bottle of White Lightning costs #5, no self-respecting wine manufacturer is going to want their bottle of wine to cost less; all alcohol will rise in price because market position ...

Liberal Democrat MP for East Dunbartonshire, Jo Swinson has called for the media to be more responsible in the way they report eating disorders as the Herald reports today. She believes that there should be similar practice as for the reporting of suicide, where the details of how someone takes their life are not written about in detail. That's not just out of common decency and taste and respect but to avoid people copying specific details of methods. I think she has a point, specifically as families of people who have been very ill with eating disorders have said that ...

Posted by Caron on Caron's Musings

Imagine you have something you want to keep secret. You're going to do something, and you don't want anyone to know. Chances are, you'll take a look around and make sure there aren't any TV cameras pointed at you and rolling away live coverage to several channels. Perhaps the memory of politicians running into problems with comments caught on microphones come to mind, and you'll take a good look around to ensure there aren't any in the same room as you that might be used by a national radio station or two. Then you'll remember to check you're alone. Don't ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Liberal Democrat Voice

Well, if this is the dreadful reality of coalition politics that so many have warned about, then perhaps we ought to allow such a catastrophe to happen more often. While some of the reaction in the papers to the budget has been pretty bad, most people (who by-and-large don't read newspapers, of course) can look at it as an overall package, and actually breathe a sigh of relief. Excellent work by the Lib Dems has moderated the worst instincts of the Tory-led government, and in many ways brought out their better side, such as long-overdue tax relief for lowly paid ...

Posted by Mike on The Atomium
Fri 23rd

Campaign Countdown 5

With the clocks changing this Sunday you'll be getting an extra an hour in the evenings to get on the doorstep. In the next couple of days you should be receiving ALDC's "4 things to Win" checklist; key lessons for winning from the 2011 campaigns that we hope you will check against your own campaign plans for 2012. One of the the 4 was Postal Votes. Postal voters have a higher propensity to use their vote, particularly in local elections - the postal vote turnout is normally at least twice that of other voters, and so its key to maximising ...

Posted on ALDC

Speaking on Radio Four's PM programme yesterday, Carl Emmerson, Deputy Director of the Institute of Fiscal Studies said: The Treasury estimates that it will lose £100million from cutting the top rate of income tax from 50 to 45 pence. That is not an unreasonable central estimate but there is a huge uncertainty around that. It also thinks it will raise about £500 million or so from the increases in stamp duty. Again, not an unreasonable estimate but it still has a big uncertainty around it. So, I don't think the 5 to 1 ratio is particularly helpful, but it is ...

Posted by Paul Walter on Liberal Democrat Voice
Fri 23rd

On forgetfulness

About 20 minutes ago, I get a phonecall off my manager, asking me to reset the boss' password, text it to him and ask him to please not forget his password when the main administrator is on a train without Internet access. So, I booted up my Windows laptop, started VMware, went to the required server... and realised my own password is long and complicated enough to be nicely secure, but also flipping annoying to type in manually. Go to webmail, change my own password, log in to the server and reset the boss' password. Send the new password to ...

FROM: Tamara Gold, Chair, COCVS; Chair, Odanglesex Safer Cycling Partnership TO: All OSCP Colleagues: Just to update you that following the adoption of the Action Plan and everyone going away with actions they're responsible for, we've already made the following progress: * Police have agreed to monitor the Dark Hill Gibbet and Unwelcome Sailor roundabouts on a regular basis, using cameras to record dangerous and aggressive driving. * Hamish has gained the approval of his Children's colleagues for a questionnaire to go to all Head teachers asking about cycle facilities and cycling campaigns. * Seven local businesses have agreed to ...

Posted by SibatheHat on Siba The Hat
Fri 23rd

Six weeks off

It's been six weeks since I went to the gym. I've been off 'cos of a nasty chest infection. But hopefully, next week I will get back into the way of things properly. One thing that has improved is that I am starting to eat slightly more sensibly. Yesterday, for instance, I had two portions ...

Posted by Michael Carchrie Campbell on Gyronny Herald

From the simple reading of a book as light relief to his law course, Michael's thoughts turn to the creation of a lasting memorial to those who have lived (and are living) with HIV in Northern Ireland.

Posted by Michael Carchrie Campbell on Gyronny Herald

This is of course my opinion and not necessarily the view of the Medway Libdems... Some may have seen the Twittersphere alight this morning with a somewhat heated discussion on the notion of Boris Island between Cllr Osborne and myself.No? Well it dented my pool of calm and forced me to abandon my book (A clash of Kings by George R R Martin if anyone is interested.) and focus my thoughts on this. First I should illuminate - A while ago Medway Labour put forward the notion of holding a local referendum on Popular opinion over Boris Island at a ...

Posted by Chris Sams on The Ginger Liberal from Medway

My infographic on Liberal Democrat achievements in government is now updated with post-Budget information such as how the richest are having to pay £5 in extra tax for every £1 in tax cuts they are receiving. You can view it and share it here.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

Michael Gove's and Sir Michael Wilshaw's plans to use Ofsted to drive up standards in schools have been much vaunted in the press recently. Hit squads of inspectors started arriving in schools in January to force the 'satisfactory' schools into special measures and to force schools to rapidly rid themselves of their 'satisfactory' teachers. The fact that 'satisfactory' is a categorisation used for all qualities of service about which there is no cause for concern and which often includes highly regarded practices which don't tick the boxes Ofsted has defined for higher classifications (especially in teaching) does not concern them. ...

Posted by Rebecca Hanson on Liberal Democrat Voice

[IMG: Orange Business Competition] Mostly I know Orange for (a) having run a brilliant campaign around "The future's bright, the future's Orange" many years back, and (b) for doing those fun cinema adverts which ensure at least a few moments of entertainment even if you've gone to see a dreadful movie. However a new competition from them has rather caught my eye – offering substantial cash and support services (up to a value of £200,000) to support a new, different business idea. There is of course a business angle for them – they have plenty of telecom based services for ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

I was surprised yesterday to see that all of the headlines were about a "Granny Tax" rather than the reduction in the highest rate of tax. Ed Miliband didn't attack this immediately, I guess it hadn't been announced previously so all he did was allude to it in his rebuttal, however since then Labour have seized upon the indignation that seems to have been felt and gained some political points scoring. But is this just another case of the negative sound bite being better than positive substance? Are Pensioners going to be worse off thanks to the Government? No. When ...

Posted by Radar on iRadar

Kent Trading Standards is advising consumers of the recall of two batches of Morrison Supermarkets own brand cooked turkey breast due to incorrect date coding. The wrong use by date has been applied and eating the products could be a risk to health. The affected products are : Morrisons Cooked Turkey Breast, 160g, Use by 26th and 27th April 2012. These packs should have been labelled with 'use by' dates of 26 March and 27 March 2012. The company is recalling the affected product from consumers. Product recall notices will be displayed in store. If you have purchased the above ...

Posted on Tim Prater


Posted by Eric Avebury on Eric Avebury
Fri 23rd

Pasty Tax round-up

It's been a hectic 24 hours working with many others to try to stop the imposition of 20% VAT on pasties. Late on Thursday night I noticed that the small print of George Osborne's statement contained the implication that VAT would be applied to pasties sold through bakeries and supermarkets for the first time. I wrote a blog post about it and scheduled it to run first thing on Friday morning. I wasn't alone. Twitter-user @MrsTrevithick also saw this and tweeted leading to Rob Simmons also blogging. Gregg's the bakers also pledged to fight the tax which would hit them ...

Posted by Alex Folkes on A Lanson Boy

Surely it can only be spite and class prejudice that is driving the government proposals to increase the cost of alcohol to prohibitive levels. The government wishes to almost double the price of some alcoholic drinks to curb binge drinkers. David Cameron of whom it has been suggested, was in his younger days, familiar with excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages and the behaviour of the infamous "Bullingdon Club", would not have had his drinking habits modified by expensive booze since clearly he's come from a well healed background. The target of these proposals, is us the masses, the majority of ...

Posted by tony flaig bignews on BIGNEWS MARGATE

Remember that stooshie we had over the blatantly illiberal and actually discriminatory Conference Accreditation system for last year's Autumn event in Birmingham? For a refresher, have a look at the speech I would have made in the debate about it had I been there on time. Well, that can of worms has been opened again by way of a BBC behind the scenes programme which followed the Police as they provided the security for the Conference. We saw a policeman fill and charge 2 stone worth of armoury before she went out on her shift. We saw the Police helicopter ...

Posted by Caron on Caron's Musings
Fri 23rd

E & C future

Southwark Council is consulting on what the long term future of the Elephant&Castle area shoulw look like – the E&C SPD. Going through all the documents I had the following thoughts I've submitted via my political group. Many of the roads radiating from the E&C would be suitable for full Copenhagen style segregated cycle lanes. Such lanes would support feeder routes from the E&C hinterland. We know from Amsterdam, Copenhagen and many other European cities and towns that such segregated cycle lanes have been the key to unlocking huge cycle demand and all the benefits that brings. The document talks ...

Posted by James Barber on James Barber

David Laws penned his thoughts about the Budget in the Telegraph yesterday, under the headline "Budget 2012: Not so much a gamble, more a grand strategy" He writes: Despite its scratchy origins, this was a strong Conservative-Lib Dem Budget, reminiscent of the earliest days of the Coalition at its best. It was radical and combined both enterprise and fairness. It did not duck difficult decisions or end up with lowest common denominator compromises. At times, the run-up may have looked like Coalition politics at their worst. I would argue that what resulted was Coalition policy-making at its best. The Liberal ...

Posted by Mary Reid on Liberal Democrat Voice

My Lib Dem colleague and Transport Minister Norman Baker has made a statement this morning on bids to improve the bus network across the country. The great news is that Greater Manchester will be a £5million boost to its bus ... Continue reading →

Posted by John Leech MP on John Leech MP

There have been a couple more answers from Leeds GIC in response to Freedom of Information requests. The first is the "Information for Referrers" leaflet (PDF Link) which details what steps GPs should take before passing someone on to the service. We already suspected the most interesting part of this, specifically: "The GP would need to provide an up to date physical examination report...In addition to the physical examination an examination of the sexual characteristics would be highly desirable.". I struggle to see how a physical examination of "sexual characteristics" at this stage can be justified, particularly when by a ...

Posted by Zoe O'Connell on Complicity

UN rights body presses Sri Lanka war crime probes resolution #fb "credible probes into alleged crimes committed by both sides are an important step for justice and equality in post-conflict Sri Lanka." (tags: humanrights srilanka ) Does misinformation demobilize the electorate? Measuring the impact of alleged "robocalls" in the 2011 Canadian election (PDF) Evidence that the Canadian government *stole* its majority in the last election. Yes, *stole* it. (tags: canada elections ) Searching for a false middle instead of learning to tolerate difference. "...we liberals need to avoid demonising conservatives as homophobic bigots. But conservatives need to avoid demonising liberals ...

The link is to a story about child trafficking in Oxfordshire. Extracting from the start of the article:Police swoop on paedophile gang accused of modern-day slavery of girls in care aged 11 'bought and sold' for sexMore than 100 officers swoop on homes across Oxford yesterdayAlleged victims as young as 11, many of whom brought up in care'Groomed and given drugs so they could be raped by

Posted by john on John Hemming's Web Log

From me last night > Congratulations to 'Oxford Thinking' and the £1.3 billion (with one caveat!) # @oxford_thinking Great thx – and congrats on your own milestone, 1,200 followers! in reply to oxford_thinking # I wonder if Rowan Williams will find it any easier to achieve unity in an Oxbridge college than he has in the CofE? #qtwtai .. maybe # RT @samcoatestimes: Crikey. I went to Magdalene Cambridge. Not a very godly place, I thought.... << Not so v different from the CofE then [IMG: ;)] in reply to SamCoatesTimes # RT @lambethpalace: Archbishop of Canterbury to be ...

Posted by Stephen Tall on

Speaking on Radio Four's PM programme yesterday, Carl Emmerson, Deputy Director of the Institute of Fiscal Studies said: If you look just at yesterday's announcements, it is clear that pensioners as a group will lose from yesterday's announcements while other groups will win from what the Chancellor announced...But if you step back and say well actually let's look at the overall plan to get the deficit down...overall pensioners as a group are suffering less on average than other groups. They've been sheltered from the brunt of the changes. So, for example, working age benefits on average have been cut but ...

Posted by Paul Walter on Liberal Democrat Voice

Liverpool as a City creates a lot of wealth. 110,000 people work in our city centre of which only half come from the city itself. 80% of the top earners in the city live outside it. Inside the city there ... Continue reading →

Posted by richardkemp on But what does Richard Kemp think?

On BBC Question Time last night, Vince Cable said: I think imposing regional variations in pay would be completely wrong and it wouldn't work. Hat-tip: Tim Gatt.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

Former Doctor Who companions Katy Manning & Anneke Wills welcome the new girl This is really sweet - "welcome to the family"! 3 (tags: DoctorWho ) Matthew on an interesting academic study "The attentional system believed to have a causal role in anxiety disorders is therefore likely to be a general system that responds not to threat but to stimulus relevance; hence, nonevolutionary images, such as those from Doctor Who, captured attention as quickly as fear-relevant spider images. Where this leaves the Empress of Racnoss, we are unsure." (tags: Science science ) Were the Liberal Democrats used to 'send a ...

"Binge drinking isn't some fringe issue, it accounts for half of all alcohol consumed in this country." - David Cameron To be honest I am surprised it is only 50% given that anyone who drinks more than two glasses or wine or two pints of larger are classed as binge drinkers. By this measure I dare say a sizable proportion of out esteemed legislators have been binging in the Palace of Westminster this week. Listening to our journalists all do classic churnalism this morning really makes me wonder if they have any gumption to do basic research any more. If ...

Posted by Carl Minns on Carl Minns - Thoughts from Hull

When in May 2010 there were the last elections in Brent's three-member Dollis Hill ward, the third-placed Liberal Democrat won by only 27 votes. This week's by-election in a ward important to the history of computing was therefore likely to be a close-run thing. But Alison Hopkins held the seat for the Liberal Democrats with a majority of 37 on around two-thirds of the 2010 turnout. Congratulations Alison. UPDATE: More details on the Brent Council Liberal Democrats blog.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

Cambridge MP Julian Huppert has won a commitment from the Prime Minister to make cycling safer and promote it ahead of his Westminster Hall debate tomorrow (Thursday, February 23). David Cameron claimed that cyclists "take their life in their hands" riding in cities and he praised The Times 'Cities fit for cycling campaign' which will be supported by Julian during his debate. Julian asked Mr Cameron during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons: "Will the Prime Minister commit the government to supporting the Times campaign, increase investment in cycling and take much greater steps to promote cycling across ...

Posted by Andy Pellew on Focus on Bar Hill

There's no need to adjust your screens, it is true; we're on the way to introducing a flat rate pension for all of £140 a week. You might be thinking you've heard this before; well you're not wrong, except in opposition we used to call it the 'Citizens Pension'. We are on the verge of delivering on another key manifesto promise after the Chancellor announced in yesterday's budget the coalition's intention to give pensioners £140 a week. While this morning's headlines are heavily slanted to the reduction of the 50% tax rate, and the 'granny tax', nestled away inside yesterday's ...

Posted by Stephen Lloyd MP on Liberal Democrat Voice

Every comment by Liberal Democrats, on the budget, the NHS or anything else for that matter, should be prefaced by the phrase:"the Tories have 306 MPs, we have 57." Given that parliamentary arithmetic, the best Liberal Democrats can hope to do is nibble at the margins to ameliorate some of some of the worst consequences of Tory philosophy. So first the good news: the rise in fuel duty is to be retained. The Chancellor has stuck to his guns and not caved in to the motorist/road-haulier lobby as Labour so cravenly did under similar circumstances. Whether this is due to ...

Posted by Peter Wrigley on Keynesian Liberal

Cambridge MP Julian Huppert has won a commitment from the Prime Minister to make cycling safer and promote it ahead of his Westminster Hall debate tomorrow (Thursday, February 23). David Cameron claimed that cyclists "take their life in their hands" riding in cities and he praised The Times 'Cities fit for cycling campaign' which will be supported by Julian during his debate. Julian asked Mr Cameron during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons: "Will the Prime Minister commit the government to supporting the Times campaign, increase investment in cycling and take much greater steps to promote cycling across ...

Posted by Andy Pellew on Focus on King's Hedges

Inspectors have been around much of Cheadle and Gatley looking for potholes and marking ones due for repair with white paint. The work is still in progress, but we can see which ones have been marked up already. By marking up the potholes in this way, proper permanent repairs can be efficiently scheduled – they will happen over the next month or two.

Posted by Iain Roberts on Keith Holloway, Iain Roberts & Pam King

Two of my biggest passions are politics and marketing and the other night I sat down to read Peter 'Mandy' Mandelson's biography 'The Third Man'. If you are not from the UK I should probably explain that Mandy was behind the rise of New Labour, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown in British Politics and is ...

Posted by James Taylor on James Taylor

The April 2012 City Council Adult Learning newsletter is now available and can be downloaded at West End courses are :

Over at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation Blog, Gordon Hector brings a little bit of perspective to the wholly misleading and distorted view of the Chancellor's decision to freeze the Age-related tax allowance. He starts by putting it into the wider context of Coalition policy: They returned the earnings link for pensions. They introduced the 'triple lock' meaning it rises by earnings, prices, or 2.5%, whichever is highest. This Budget confirmed the state pension will be going up by 5.3%. Auto-enrolment is on the way. Pensioners were one of the big winners in the past 15 years - seeing a significant ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black
Fri 23rd

A Present for Innerbrat

OK, so it's not as good as the originals, mainly because it's only taken me ten minutes, and I couldn't be bothered downloading new fonts, but here's a rough attempt at filling your Darwin-shaped hole: [IMG: darwin] It might not be quite as pretty as the originals, but on the plus side, it's cost a lot less than $1500 [IMG: comment count unavailable] comments

I've concluded that Town and Community Councils are to small to be worth having, and that County Councils are far to big and remote to be democratically accountable. It's hard to decide whether to stay on in an organisation (or remain a Councillor) if one would like to see it reformed out of recognisable existence. You can carry on making the best of the tools you have and trying to reform from the inside. Or you can say "enough is enough". My loss of faith in the "sector" led me to write to Lyn Cadwallader Chief Executive of One Voice ...

Posted by Alec Dauncey on Aberystwyth.

Those interested in the issues of freedom surrounding the restriction of the rights of some Liberal Democrat members to attend their Party's sovereign body, the Conference, read on. The BBC have produced a heavily-propagandised programme, from a police perspective, in a series delightfully entitled Crime and Punishment. The programme can be found here: The programme does not, for a minute, question the discriminatory process of accreditation (used for the first time ever at a Liberal Democrat Conference at Birmingham 2011) which demied representatives exercising their democratic right (see past posts on the uniquely democratic nature of Lib Dem Federal ...

Posted by Gareth on Gareth Epps
Fri 23rd

Questions, Questions...

The Council's rules say that Councillors can ask questions: "a A councillor may seek an answer to a question concerning any business of the Council b Questions not related to items of business on the agenda for a meeting shall only be asked during the part of the meeting set aside for such questions." I formally posed some questions posted (anonymously) on this blog. I thought the answers prepared by the Clerk for the Chair of Finance were professionally done. The matter could have been left there, but the Clerk has recorded this in the draft minutes of the meeting: ...

Posted by Alec Dauncey on Aberystwyth.
Fri 23rd

Regional Pay update

Even though an investigation of regional pay for public sector workers was announced by the Chancellor in the budget, it seems not every minister is a fan: "I think imposing regional variations in pay would be completely wrong and it wouldn't work" Vince Cable Tweet

Posted by Alex Folkes on A Lanson Boy