On Monday 2 April 2012, the £1bn Youth Contract will start. The Youth Contract was announced last year by Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg to tackle youth unemployment. The Youth Contract aims to ensure that all ... Continue reading →

Posted by Issan Ghazni on Issan Ghazni

Trust you're sitting down, but it's another day and another Daily Mail front page pushing a positive civil liberties story, reporting on good news from government as another idea from the Conservative part of the Coalition is failing to win favour. It's becoming rather a habit. [IMG: Share photos on twitter with Twitpic] * Mark Pack is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and writes a monthly newsletter about the Liberal Democrats.

Posted by Mark Pack on Liberal Democrat Voice

I didn't make it out to church today, I wasn't well enough, but instead I read a Sermon by a friend, The Rev'd Dr Peter Thompson, FIGOC. Fr Peter begins, There was a shocking photograph in the newspapers some time back. A cart was being driven through the streets of a city in the Far ...

Posted by Michael Carchrie Campbell on Gyronny Herald

Here are the stats from the Blackhill & Shotley Bridge area: 109 calls of which 23 were community related. Alcohol seizures 29 cans mixed cider & Lager in Blackhill & Consett Park No burglaries: 1 attempted break in disturbed by housholder No bogus callers Off-road motorcycles: 2 in Bridgehill & Cutlers Hall Road area Criminal damage: inc 2 vehicle damage Community policing: A trial cold-calling-free zone will be run in Golden Acre.

Posted by Owen Temple on Owen Temple

Once again, the BBC has equated the UK with England.... To mark her Diamond Jubilee, the Queen handed out money to people from all of the UK's 44 Christian dioceses. - BBC News I think that this should read, from all of the Church of England's 44 dioceses. There are many more dioceses in the ...

Posted by Michael Carchrie Campbell on Gyronny Herald

The cricket County Championship began today and Leicestershire marked the occasion by losing wickets to the first two balls bowled at Grace Road. I don't go to these games half as much as I used to. In fact the last game I went to was Leicestershire vs Sussex in July 2010, when I had arranged to meet the admirable blogger Backwatersman. In part this is because I have grown up and reluctantly recognised that there are more important things in life than sport. But it is also because something very odd has happened to the first-class fixture list in recent ...

Posted by Jonathan on Liberal England

In my new capacity as Treasurer of the Suffolk County Co-ordinating Committee - the bit between the Regional Party and the Local Parties - I have been tasked with opening a bank account. It probably tells you all that you need to know that we've never had one before. In the past, expenses have been defrayed from the wallet of whoever is doing things at the time. I had persuaded my colleagues that we should use one of the part-State owned ones, on the basis that anything that helps them improve their balance sheet is in all of our interests. ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on The view from Creeting St Peter

The saga where Ealing Council's contractor, Enterprise, has failed to collect the waste it should have taken away on Monday, continues. It appears that Ealing Council has some confidence that by the end of today (Thursday) all the streets in Southfield will have had all their waste and recyclables removed. Earlier in the day a number of streets in Acton Green and Bedford Park were left with uncollected waste. I phoned the Director of the department who are responsible for our waste and recycle collections. Like many residents I am not happy and passed on some of the views of ...

Posted by Gary Malcolm on Councillor Gary Malcolm

The Budget on 21 March generated much discussion about how the proposed changes will affect the UK and its economy. Routledge have put together a selection of free to access articles that contribute to the debate by exploring some of the key issues further. (It appears they will be free only for a limited time.) The key issuses explored are: taxdebt and deficitsjobshousingpensionsresponses to the fiscal crisis

Posted by Jonathan on Liberal England
Thu 5th

Six of the Best 239

"MPs, please, please, please take what your civil servants tell you with a huge pinch of salt: they're even more likely than you not to understand the internet, and even more likely than you to be swayed inappropriately by the copyright and security lobbies!" Paul Bernal's Blog explains why governments' digital policy is so bad. And SRoC: Slightly Right of Centre writes about what may be the latest instance of this: moves towards filtering of the internet. "You can have as challenging a curriculum as you like, but if you have a vicious struggle for league table supremacy and not ...

Posted by Jonathan on Liberal England

In somewhat of an usual polling, YouGov decided to ask it's volunteers (myself included) which party they thought a litany of famous TV characters would vote for in a General Election. It's all a bit of fluff on the surface, but I believe it reveals a bigger problem for us Lib Dems when you dig a bit further. The full list is here: Tory-voting characters Basil Fawlty Alan Partridge David Brent (The Office) Hyacinth Bucket (Keeping Up Appearances) Victory Meldrew (One Foot In The Grave) Ian Beale (Eastenders) Ken Barlow (Coronation Street) Mike Baldwin (Coronation Street) Labour voters: Del Boy ...

Posted by Andrew Emmerson on

So YouGov did a survey on which party people think various fictional characters would vote for. From the little I know, I would suspect most of them are correct, but I want to talk about the one I know is definitely false, and the one I think is probably wrong. Firstly, Victor Meldrew is definitely a Labour voter. This is canonical, he talks about it in the show, he reads the Daily Mirror onscreen on a regular basis, and in one episode is shown roundly abusing a Tory canvassar, and in another episode castigating a Tory politician in a ...

I'm not going to write much about the funeral. I don't feel the need or the urge to write about the pain that I have been feeling. After the funeral I walked away from my family and found a small brook within 400 yards of the Crematorium where I stood and thought. I threw plenty of twigs and sticks into the water and watched them not really do a lot. The brook was clearly flowing in one direction but the sticks seemed to be going in the opposite direction if moving at all. Bizarre. However that really isn't important. I ...

Posted by neilmonnery on The Rambles of Neil Monnery

Here's a quote from a Washington Post article from the 30/03/2012 regarding Britain's march towards marriage equality: "This is more of David Cameron trying to drag the Conservatives kicking and screaming into the modern world," said Ben Bradshaw, a ranking Labor lawmaker who in 1997 became one of Britain's first openly gay members of Parliament. "Of course, we'll support it, but this is pure politics on their part. This isn't a priority for the gay community, which already won equal rights" with civil partnerships. He added: "We've never needed the word 'marriage,' and all it's done now is get a ...

Posted on Neue Politik
Thu 5th

For Sale: Greece.

From ebay... Hat tip to @old_holborn

Posted by Richard Morris on A VIEW FROM HAM COMMON

In May last year I did a tour d'horizon of bans on saggy trousers/visible underwear in the States. Now Tennessee has passed a law outlawing students from showing their underpants, and it awaits the governor's signature. Needless to say, writing a blog with "Liberal" in its title, I think this is all crazy. But – big but – what US states do in their own domain is their look out. To get things in perspective, Tennessee is famously the state wherein Jack Daniels is produced. Lynchburg, Tennessee specifically. They produce it there, but they cannot legally sell it there because ...

Posted by Paul on Liberal Burblings

The option to put a photo next to your comment is open to everyone. In addition, if you're a party member you can also have this indicated when you post a comment. It's very simple. You just need to register for our online forum and get a username and password. Then in future before commenting, login with your username. (On most devices for accessing the internet, you can turn on the setting for your login to be remembered so you do not have to do this each time.) You will then see the party logo appearing next to your name ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Liberal Democrat Voice
Thu 5th

Dalek Relaxation Tape

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Going out with Rachelle Shepherd-DuBey talking to people in Winnersh over the past few weeks I have amassed a huge number of varied queries. That's usual for a councillor – as is being stopped in Sainsburys, bumping into people in the street who've got questions, and large numbers of phone calls and emails. But this year is different in one respect: whatever else they want to raise, just about everybody wants to talk about bins. The Lib Dems have been doing a survey around various parts of the borough, including Winnersh, asking people for their views on waste and recycling ...

Posted by pruebray on Prue Bray

The latest edition of my monthly Liberal Democrat email newsletter came out earlier this week. You can read edition #19 online here. If you would like to receive the next edition of the newsletter direct to your own inbox, just sign up here. It's free! And if you are already a reader and like it, why not Like my Facebook page to help publicise the newsletter to others?

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack
Thu 5th

We Have A Winner!

No sooner did we predict no news for the week, due to an observant Maundy Thursday, than we received news from Pembrokeshire of our first 2012 local election win! Hard-working County Councillor Bob Kilmister has been returned unopposed to the Dinas Cross division. Well done, Bob, we hope you're the first of many... Without any further election news, we'd like to take the chance to promote our new conversation space on Facebook. The group 'Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors' has been redesigned as a secure online space for ALDC members to discuss campaign strategy, interesting articles, and campaign stories from ...

Posted on ALDC

I like this picture, which comes from this website http://manchesterandsalfordillustrated.mysupadupa.com/ Proceeds from sales of the pictures go to Wood Street Mission . The artist, Guy McKinley explains the thought process behind the picture. In today's Manchester Evening News, there is ... Continue reading →

Posted by John Leech MP on John Leech MP

In the run up to the election, Alex Salmond made a pledge, similar to Nick Clegg's ill-fated tuition fees pledge, to continue no tuition fees north of the border, improve student support and to protect college places. This is something that once elected, the SNP went back on announcing a £40 million cut to college funding, ...

Posted by Nicola Prigg on Nic Prigg's Blog

The Cheadle Area Committee scheduled for 17th April 2012 has been cancelled due to lack of business. Because of "purdah" rules, council meetings avoid political subjects in election time, so local area committee meetings are generally held only when there are planning applications to consider. As there appear not to be this time round, there's no meeting.

Posted by Iain Roberts on Keith Holloway, Iain Roberts & Pam King
Thu 5th

Capital Projects

At the last Dulwich Community Council meeting we decided (in no particular order) how to allocate our limited capital to projects: 1. Artistically illuminate East Dulwich station bridge £10,000 – we think making the station area more attractive will help reduce crime and the fear of crime there. 2. Go slower signs £6,000 – residents often contact us that people are speeding on there roads but they don't want speed humps. Where do you think we should put the 4-5 active speed signs? 3. Cycle contraflow on Henslowe Road £8,500 – some residents have told us its a long cycle ...

Posted by James Barber on James Barber

The new waste contract continues to give problems for Cornwall Council. As well as hugely long phone queues, there are numerous stories of missed collections and bags and boxes being left half-emptied. As with any new contract, there are bound to be teething troubles in the first weeks. The test will be how quickly these mistakes are rectified and whether there are any still on-going after the first month. I know that the Council has massively increased the number of staff on duty in the call centre to deal with queries, but if the waiting time is still 25 minutes ...

Posted by Alex Folkes on A Lanson Boy

All, In a repeat of four years ago not enough people have stood for the Town Council to force an election. The 12 new Town Councillors will therefore be (those in italics were on the previous council): Ian Cooper Arthur Ivens Fay Ivens Roy Munden Ronnie Murphy Alan Noyce Rob O'Malley Paul Rathkey Mel Trapp Philip Vial Jackie Warner Mark Wildish With four new Councillors and the retirement of Simon Welch and Dot Courtney this will reduce the average age of the Council – but also swing it to be more in favour of development in general and the supermarket ...

Posted by Philip Vial on Shipston on Stour blog

Just imagine being given a £1.6bn budget and 530 hectares of land on one day, because that is what happened to the Mayor of London on Monday of this week as the Localism Act kicked in. The decision we all have to make on 3rd May just became more important. The mayor has taken over ...

Posted by Greenwich Liberal on Greenwich Liberal

Here is that video which I tried (and failed) to insert earlier on today: a Pesach greeting from the website of the UK's Deputy Prime Minister. Chag sameach, happy easter, etc.

Posted by Matthew Harris on Matthew Harris

Here's an interesting post from the always excellent Ragan's PR Daily on how companies deal with a crisis and a damaged reputation. The post is a review of an article that appeared in the Wall Street Journal. It makes the point that in the social media era it is easier to weather a crisis. However, the piece ends with a warning: crisis after crisis will dent reputation.

Posted by Simon Goldie on Simon Goldie

Amanda standing for re-election Liberal Democrat Councillor, Amanda Taylor is standing for re-election in Queen Edith's. Amanda has been in Queen Edith's for nearly twenty years and represented the area on Cambridge City Council since 1994. She lives in Holbrook Road with her husband Ashley, and their eight-year old son, a Morley Memorial pupil. Amanda is best known for her work on transport and housing. Her biggest achievements have been Dunstan Court on Wulfstan Way, which replaced Labour's sub-standard sheltered housing accommodation; and improved bus services, following her campaign for improved reliability. 'When I first came to live here,' says ...

Posted by Amanda Taylor on Amanda Taylor

I've never had the slightest desire to jog, let alone run, and to be brutally frank have always felt rather sorry for the poor guys and gals trotting past me along the road, attached to their iPod, bound up in their own thoughts and physical discomfort. But after reading Haruki Murakami's What I Talk About When I ...

Posted by jonathanfryer on Jonathan Fryer

All, Shipston Town Council's response to the draft Core Strategy can now be found here. There – I can write a short post! Philip

Posted by Philip Vial on Shipston on Stour blog

John Dodd is standing for re-election in Meols ward at thelocal council elections on Thursday 3rd May. He's a key member of the localLiberal Democrat FOCUS team.John Dodd gets things done in our area, and keeps in touchall year roundhe stands up for Marshside, Crossens and Churchtown on the councilJohn is proud to be a Sandgrounderhe listens to residentsJohn Dodd wants Southport to get more control over its ownaffairshe holds monthly Advice Centres with his fellow LiberalDemocrat councillorsJohn Dodd is a hard-working, experienced and effective localcouncillor

Posted by Nigel Ashton on Meols Lib Dems

The 40% increase in Arriva child bus fares has beenunanimously condemned by Southport councillors. Many Southport parents and children are appalled at theincrease in child fares brought in by Arriva buses on the 1st ofApril. The increase will particularly hit families with young children and addto the already heavy car traffic at 'school run' times. Councillors on the Southport Area Committee unanimouslybacked a Liberal Democrat proposal that the Council should write to Arrivaexpressing opposition to the increase and calling for a re-think.

Posted by Nigel Ashton on Meols Lib Dems

Southport is to benefit from a share of Merseyside's successfrom Government funding with the award of £4 million from the Department forTransport's Better Bus Area Fund Bid, announced by Lib Dem Norman Baker,Minister for Transport. The funding will allow a package of measures designed toimproved bus interchange facilities at Southport town centre with the provisionof new bus stops and shelters to produce a 'transport hub'. Cllr John Dodd member of Merseyside Integrated TransportAuthority (Merseytravel) said "improved facilities are good news for thepassengers of Southport".

Posted by Nigel Ashton on Meols Lib Dems

I've written very little about the NHS reforms. In many ways thankfully, my personal involvement with health-care in this country has been pretty limited, a mix of excellent and poor with a little inbetween. I hoped to learn more during the recent Health and Social Care Bill debates, but there was remarkably little impartial analysis of the issues. Positions had become too partisanly entrenched between those who claimed the Bill was wholesale privatisation that would kill off the NHS, and those who claimed the Bill would be our only hope of saving the NHS for future generations. From all that ...

Posted by Stephen Tall on stephentall.org

Blog posts relating to Tuesday night's conference call: (In no particular order) Zoe O'Connell, Complicity – The party machine's view on communication interception Jennie Rigg, Miss S B – I've Just Got Off The Phone After a Conference Call With the Office of the DPM and More on the CCDP thing, and on LibDemmery in general. Jonathan Calder, Liberal England – Some unsolicited political advice for Nick Clegg Richard Morris, A View From Ham Common – Observations on last night's conference call with the great and the good. A few prior to that call, or not related to it: Zoe ...

Posted by Zoe O'Connell on Complicity

In recent days Liberal Democrats have united against reported Home Office plans for the state to acquire unprecedented power to search private online communications. As Mark Pack noted, resistance to this has even won Nick Clegg rare praise from the Daily Mail. Many Liberal Democrats have the necessary habit of not just debating how society ought to be, but carrying liberal values into effect in daily life. Many Lib Dems who are passionate about education, including myself, serve as school governors. Likewise, party members volunteer as neighbourhood watch coordinators, Citizens Advice Bureau mentors or youth club leaders. If you feel ...

Posted by Antony Hook on Liberal Democrat Voice

Too often people condemn City financiers without asking what it is that they do. But we must try to distinguish the good from the bad. The tale of two larger than life City financiers who have got into trouble brings this into focus rather neatly. The first is Conservative donor and hedge fund manager Lewis Chester. He, or rather the fund he manages, has been hit with a massive fine by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for abusive trading in mutual funds, the US equivalent of unit trusts and OEICs. These collective funds provide opportunities for retail investors ...

Posted by Matthew on thinking liberal

Is "Game of Thrones" too white? - Salon.com Saladin Ahmed on GRRM. (tags: sf ) Civil.Ge | Georgian Dream Slams Decision on Ivanishvili's Citizenship Utterly outrageous! (tags: ) Opera duo Charlotte & Jonathan - Britain's Got Talent 2012 audition Awfully sweet. (tags: videos )

A fascinating talk from the Learn Liberty website. Not only does it provide an informative view of American history, it also raises important questions about power and what the powerless need to do to defend themselves.

Posted by Simon Goldie on Simon Goldie

Last night I joined members of Friends of Garston Park and the Garston family history group to work on the project to produce art for the outside of the sports pitches on the park. We spent time working on the Garston skyline aspect of the art. We've been picking particular buildings, past and present, that we think should be represented on the mural. We now have a set of photographs and some thoughts about the different sizes and the order they need to come in. The next step is to start the actual painting. There'll also be painted boards representing ...

Posted by Paula Keaveney on Paula Keaveney - Lib Dem Campaigner

I've added the comment below to a piece Stuart Bonar has written this morning in Lib Dem Voice. While I agree with much of Stuarts piece, I can't really go along with it's overall sentiment. I think the comment probably stands on its own two feet as a neat summation of where I'm at... The Telegraph is suggesting this morning that Nick signed up to proposals on surveillance and secret courts a month on Tuesday night, folk in HQ clearly saw this as a news management problem, and couldn't apparently see that the only legislation we should be pushing ...

Posted by Richard Morris on A VIEW FROM HAM COMMON

This Saturday 7th April 2012 at The Chichester Memorial Hall, Sandgate from 10.00am until 12.30pm The Sandgate Bakery - freshly baked bread, pies and biscuits, French cheese Juicy Fruits - fresh fruit and vegetables Izzy's Deli - homemade lasagna, soups, meat and vegetarian pies, pizzas and home cooked ham freshly sliced, English cheese Catherine Jordan Cakes - large and small cakes, seasonal fruit pies and tarts, scones and biscuits Old Hall Farm, Brookland - traditionally reared meat & sausages, rare breed lamb & pork and fresh eggs Alkham Valley Preserves - jams, preserves, raw honey and quail's eggs Originals by ...

Posted on Tim Prater
Thu 5th

Cressington mums group

Earlier this week I visited what will be the new location for an enterprising group of parents in Cressington ward. The group of mothers are turning an empty shop premised on Garston Old Road into a location for pottery, art and other activities. They want to become a bit of a hub so that parents can drop in and make friends, take part in things and get advice. The whole thing sounds fantastic and the location (just along from the coffee shop and florists) is a great place to be. They are planning several things, including an opening ceremony and ...

Posted by Paula Keaveney on Paula Keaveney - Lib Dem Campaigner

The Scotsman proudly announces that the Liberal Democrats are taking their Federal Conference to Glasgow in autumn 2013. Glasgow is in line for a £12 million boost as the Liberal Democrats announced they will hold next year's autumn party conference in the city. It will be the first time Scotland has hosted a national Lib Dem conference for over a decade and the event will also be the largest conference to be held in the city since 2004, with around 7,000 delegates expected to attend from across the UK. The event is in September 2013 at the Scottish Exhibition and ...

Posted by Helen Duffett on Liberal Democrat Voice

This was first published on LibDemVoice on 4th April at 2.05pm. On Monday, Ed Miliband, Leader of the Opposition, launched the Labour Party's local election campaign. Ed proclaimed that the government is "out of touch", and challenged us on growth, fairer taxes and a stronger society. On growth, he claimed that we need to deal with ...

Posted by Nicola Prigg on Nic Prigg's Blog

No need to hack phones - we stitch ourselves up | Anna Blundy The only comment needed on the Samantha Brick Nowtrage (tags: media ) Clothes and Self-Perception - NYTimes.com Fascinating article on how the clothes you wear can allegedly make a real difference to how your brain works. I'd love to see more research on this. (tags: brainstuff ) Where Are the Women Writers? (ASME Edition) | Mother Jones (tags: ) The Daily Mash - Totally inept losers confident they can lock down the internet (tags: ) Education, Skills & Slavery... and why we're probably screwed. | Marcus Povey ...

Since the March Parish Council Meeting there has been 9 Neighbourhood related calls in the ward. 2 calls relating to nuisance youths at Freemantle Road and Turner Court both in Enbrook Valley. There has been 1 noise call and 2 suspicious vehicles seen in Ross Way. During the same time there have been 2 reported burglaries, 3 incidents of criminal damage, 1 incident of theft of pedal cycles and 1 incident of theft from a motor vehicle. Crime and anti social behaviour remain low in the ward and simple measures such as locking up bicycles and removing tools and other ...

Posted on Tim Prater

Yesterday evening, I attended the April meeting of Community Spirit - the community group for the "north" part of West End Ward, covering Pentland, Tullideph, Ancrum and the Cleghorn area. There was a good discussion with a representative from the City Council's Environment Department about grass maintenance and related issues. I sought assurances about the removal of weeds from the gutters of West End roads which often becomes an issue as the summer approaches. I was also able to update the meeting about the on-going lack of Sunday buses serving Pentland and the north side of Logie, with some good ...

I blogged yesterday that it's time for Nick Clegg and the Coalition to see sense and stop the 'Charity Tax'. That was quite a wordy post, so here's an infographic to help explain why it's wrong: The graphic courtesy Charities Aid Foundation's #GiveItBackGeorge campaign website here. To help scrap the Charity Tax, you can sign the petition here. Posts Related to #GiveItBackGeorge - the infographic (aka Scrap the Charity Tax)Time for Nick Clegg and the Coalition to see sense and stop the 'Charity Tax'This year's budget was, in general, a good one for Lib Dems. Most notably, the party's number ...

Posted by Stephen Tall on stephentall.org

This research does what is says on the tin.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

As reported in this morning's Courier, following a further detailed pitches inspection yesterday, the Environment Department of the City Council has taken the decision to suspend use of the pitches until the start of the new season to allow all necessary work to take place to ensure that the stones problem is fully and permanently resolved. Suspension of play for the Saturday Morning League and the temporary transfer of matches to Lochee Park and elsewhere is disappointing although I think everyone appreciates the priority has to be the health and safety of players. I had a lengthy discussion yesterday with ...

Like many of my fellow Lib Dems I have had steam coming out my ears these last few days after reading over the weekend that the Coalition was considering the mass, unchecked surveillance of the entire population's emails, telephone calls, texts and tweets, as well as messages sent through Facebook and through games consoles like the Xbox. Initial attempts at comforting growing rage amongst Lib Dems - the fact that there was to be no central database and that the contents of communications would still only be viewable with a warrant - missed the point. The plans still seemed to ...

Posted by Stuart Bonar on Liberal Democrat Voice

All political parties have their problems from time to time. There is only one qualification needed to pursue a political career, a large ego. Thus candidates occasionally consider themselves bigger than the party and take their own path. More frequently they think they are bigger than the team they are part of and go off on a tangent. Whatever the explanation, unilateral action by the husband of one Labour candidate in Swansea has succeeded in getting his wife into hot water. The Western Mail reports, that controversial former Labour MP, Bob Clay is at the centre of a bitter row ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black
Thu 5th

Bad writing

Here are two sample sentences from a novel which I am reading. But it was the sight of the creature looming over the two corpses that caused Miller's knees to almost buckle in terror. That misplaced "almost" is really jarring. You don't cause something to "almost happen"; it either is caused to happen or it isn't. "Almost caused" would have been an improvement, though not much. Better yet would have been a more restrained "made his knees go weak with terror". Or indeed, why should poor Miller not be struck to his knees in shock? He is about to be ...

...and suddenly everything is all right again?

Posted by Dan Falchikov on Living on words alone