On 4th March, I was invited to take a goat to Church Green where Planting Up Whickham were carrying out a maintenance day. The idea was that this would help to get the event noticed. The main guest at the event however was the Bishop of Carlisle. This is the video I shot on the day and includes an interview with Bishop James. Spotless, the billy goat I took to the event, was remarkably well

Posted by jonathanwallace on Jonathan Wallace

Flowers are an incredibly common gift to give. They are on the same level as a box of chocolates or a giant sift teddy bear, especially on Valentine's Day. Mothers Day is just round the corner and flowers will again be a big deal. Thousands of pounds will be spent on hundreds of thousands of different flowers. For the majority of people, flowers are beautiful things with gorgeous smells and brilliant range of colours. A vast array of reds, blues, greens, yellows and so many more colours all mixed together in buckets and vases. However, for me, they represent something ...

Posted by Matthew Metcalf on The Mec Journal

The drone footage of Crowland Abbey I posted yesterday was accompanied by a familiar tune: Pachelbel's Canon. It put me in mind of this sketch from John Finnemore... and its follow up...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

When I first read this entry I was inclined not to believe a word of it. After Jeremy Corbyn'a performance at prime minister's questions today, I am forced to admit that, as so often, the old boy is right. Wednesday The Conservative Party, like the KGB, is always scouting for talent at Oxbridge and our leading public schools. What is not widely known, is that they sometimes recruit at an even tenderer age. Years ago a drunken Tory confessed to me that his party has talent spotters at prep schools. What they look for goodness only knows - a winning ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

A couple of years ago, the SNP was planning to make this super ID database which made what Labour's planned ID cards from 2008 look positively timid. They intended allowing 120 public bodies, including the Royal Botanic Gardens and Quality Meat Scotland, access to the NHS Central Register. Alison McInnes, our then Justice spokesperson was on it straight away, as was Willie Rennie and made such a big fuss that the idea has now firmly been consigned to the dustbin. Following parliamentary questions from Liam McArthur, our new Justice Spokesperson, the Scottish Government admitted that it had "decided it would ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice

[IMG: Roadworks sign] Military Road, Sandgate will be closed 20th March for up to 3 days to allow for ironwork to be carried out by Kent County Council. The road will be closed between the junctions with Sandgate High Street and Oxenden Road between the hours of 07:00 and 19:00. An alternative diversion route will be signed while the road is closed via Sandgate High Street, Sandgate Hill, Sandgate Road, Earls Avenue, Shorncliffe Road, Risborough Lane and Military Road. Please allow extra time for your journey, delays expected. For more information see http://www.kenttraffic.info/ Published and promoted by Tim Prater, 98a ...

Bags of Help is Tesco's community grant scheme where the money raised from the 5p bag charge is being used to fund thousands of local projects. This month the choices at our local Tesco include two very valuable projects in our area: The Armadillo Youth Venue and Cafe are aiming to create a green sporty space featuring fruit and veg growing boxes to promote healthy eatingSt Nicholas Under 15 Girls Football Team hope to buy winter kit and football equipment to keep their players warm and dry while training.If you find you need to buy a 5p bag, please consider ...

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

The problems of health and social care will not be solved by privatisation or by demonstrations outside hospitals but by careful work and thinking about how to update both these sectors to meet new needs Both a motion to the ... Continue reading →

Posted by richardkemp on But what does Richard Kemp think?

[IMG: The LGA Lib Dems support Liberal Democrat council groups across England & Wales] With a possible by-election in the offing, York Lib Dems have organised an Action Day during Spring Conference on the Sunday. The local contact during conference is Darryl on 07484 843316 or email ds1219@york.ac.uk.

Posted by Joe Mulvihill on Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors

Embed from Getty Images I recently revisited an article that I wrote ahead of Autumn Conference in 2015. My article opened with the line, "Another Lib Dem conference and we find ourselves talking about our nuclear deterrent once more." And they say politics has changed in the last eighteen months! In York this week, we will again debate the future of the UK's nuclear deterrent. At conference's request, the FPC has commissioned a policy paper on nuclear weapons (pdf). The paper, written by party members after long consideration, advocates a step down the nuclear ladder by moving to a medium-readiness ...

Posted by Tim Farron MP on Liberal Democrat Voice

Embed from Getty Images Many politicians protesting, quite rightly, about the unfair hike in National Insurance contributions for the self-employed have missed the real solution. The important contribution is the one paid by employers, at 13.8 per cent of wages for abroad middle range of employees. It is an expensive outlay on workers, and often claimed to be a deterrent to increasing the payroll. More unscrupulous companies, mostly but not all US-owned multinationals, are evading this tax. They do not employ most of their workforce, but engage people labelled as self-employed. As one who has been self-employed for many years, ...

Posted by Jonathan Hunt on Liberal Democrat Voice

Remainers and Scottish Nationalists may have a common enemy in Theresa May's government. That shouldn't make us friends. A few years back, I was an intern at a solicitors firm.* At one point, I was sent to court to help the barrister representing one of our clients in a child protection case. It was a [...]

Posted by Mark Mills on Matter Of Facts

The link above to the Independent web site is amusing but it also hits fair and square at Labour's weakness these days – their inability to be clear about things. This is just another example when they have also been all over the place about Brexit amongst other things. On Brexit their MP's and Lords were whipped to back Teresa May's Government yet Jeremy then pops up to say he backs campaigns to ensure EU citizens get the right to stay in the UK after we have left it. But hang on a minute Labour MP's and Lords had ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus
Wed 15th

Winning in Witney

[IMG: C6gyp6yWsAQSC7c] Last Thursday, Kieran Mullins gained the Hailey, Minster Lovell and Leafield seat on West Oxfordshire District Council with a 15% swing from the Conservatives. His victory was built on the work done in the Witney by-election campaign in the autumn and was led by by-election candidate Liz Leffman. We selected a very strong local candidate [...]

Embed from Getty Images Here we go again - Scotland is (if Westminster grants a S30 Order) being treated to yet another bitter, divisive and emotional constitutional referendum where lies and spin will confuse one and all and we will likely end up with a narrow result that satisfies no one. What joy! I voted No before. This time we are told that circumstances have changed (thus the SNP and the hyper-nationalist Scottish Green Party are demanding the re-vote that they would have demanded whatever happened) and some of my LibDem friends say that Brexit means they will now vote ...

Posted by Stephen Harte on Liberal Democrat Voice

[IMG: Website image right to remain] This Monday Labour were a disgrace. EU Citizens who live in this country were let down by Labour in the Lords and some Labour MPs in the Commons. As Liberal Democrats we believe in an open, united and tolerant future for our country. That's one reason why we backed and will continue to fight for [...]

Posted by Ed Stephenson on Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors
Wed 15th

Scotland - be brave!

In the 2014 Referendum on Scottish independence I argued that that the best result would be for Scotland to vote to remain in the UK, but for the Westminster government to grant the Scots full home rule, that is full autonomy, including tax-raising powers, on domestic matters. Now I'm not so sure. Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon (who talks more sense on the economy than any other British politician except perhaps Caroline Lucas) is right that the Westminster government's determination to take us out of not just the EU, but also, in spite of contrary assurances during the campaign, the ...

Posted by Peter Wrigley on Keynesian Liberal

For some time now, readers of mine on social media have overwhelmingly requested I write about one particular topic, that being the story around the Conservative Party having possibly overspent in certain places during the 2015 general election campaign. Today, I've relented and here is the result. Two things to say off the bat. One, I actually have technical insight into the problem, having singlehandedly completed (and subsequently got through audit) a national campaign electoral return. As a result, I have a reasonably vast knowledge of what the law regarding spending limits are, how parties sometimes circumvent them, and what ...

Posted by Nick on nicktyrone.com

Embed from Getty Images The adage "if you want to keep something secret, say it in the House of Commons" certainly extends to the Lords on Fridays, when Private Members Bills are taken. However, our team made significant progress last week in pushing the government to take seriously their own manifesto commitment "to continue to seek agreement on a comprehensive package of party funding reform". We have been plugging away at this by whatever means possible, including by initiating a special Select Committee on party funding reform last year, and by introducing my Political Parties (Funding and Expenditure) Bill last ...

Posted by Paul Tyler on Liberal Democrat Voice

4 years ago, Cllr Marilynn Ord, Cllr John McClurey and I arranged for a community orchard to be planted on unused council land next to Kingsway, Sunniside. Gateshead Council's Local Community Fund (LCF) paid for 40 trees which were then planted by children from local schools. A year later, I was offered 6 fruit trees by a nursery if I gave them a free advert on my self-sufficiency blog (

Posted by jonathanwallace on Jonathan Wallace

The Gurkha Justice campaign, seeking to give those who had served in the British army the right to settle in Britain afterwards, is a classic and heartwarming story.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

[IMG: 2017] With less than two months to go until polling day, we want to make sure candidates and agents are ready for the elections. You should have all of your deadlines marked out for expenses and to ensure your candidate is registered. Please don't forget from next Monday, we are running our next set of webinars. Sign-up [...]

Posted by Claire Halliwell on Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors

[IMG: Instagram picture 10 - web pic] To coincide with Spring Conference this weekend... here's a picture of our stand from one in the mid-90s. If you're heading to York, drop by stand 33 and say hello and to see if it's changed much over the past 20 years.

Posted by Joe Mulvihill on Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors

Embed from Getty Images At the last conference Alex Cole-Hamilton explained his opposition to Scottish independence by noting that he was a UK citizen, an EU citizen and wanted to remain both. It is a fine sentiment. The time, though, is fast arising when he and others may have to decide which is more important. When no amount of campaigning against the decision will prevent the outcome, when the Tory backbenchers melt and when the Labour leadership get behind the Brexiteers, then then people of Scotland are faced with a choice. It is a stark choice, it is a difficult ...

Posted by Tony Lloyd on Liberal Democrat Voice

The Independent adds to the woe over the potential impact of Brexit by reporting on warnings by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors that almost 200,000 construction jobs could be slashed if Britain loses access to the European single market, jeopardising half a billion pounds worth of infrastructure projects and dealing a sharp blow to major UK cities' global competitiveness. They say that 8 per cent of the UK's construction workers are EU nationals, accounting for some 176,500 individuals: Almost a third of construction professionals surveyed by the professional standards group for the study said that hiring non-UK workers was ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black

With thanks to Sheena Wellington, here's the latest update from Friends of Wighton : Wighton Heritage Centre, Central Library - Saturday 18th March at 11am (doors open 10.30am) Cappuccino Concert with singer/songwriter Bob Knight Bob Knight is a singer from Aberdeen who has slowly but surely been making a name for himself in the world of folk and traditional music. He comes from a long line of traditional singers and musicians, and is related to many of the great traditional singers from North East Scotland. He is well known in North East Scotland folk circles as a singer and writer ...

There are two major complaints about petrol and diesel in Ludlow. The Co-op is expensive and motorists have to suffer long queues. Now, Applegreen is coming to Bromfield Road in Ludlow. The petrol station and store could be open by October. This could not be better timed given the chaos caused by the Co-op suddenly reducing its opening hours. In May 2015, Shropshire Council's South Planning Committee approved a petrol filling station and convenience store on the junction of Bromfield Road and Coronation Avenue. The committee were insistent that the petrol tanks are located above ground and that safe pedestrian ...

Posted by andybodders on Andy Boddington

Accidental Pilish: Unintentionally Constrained Writing in English Literature may I have a drink? - Certainly, Mr. Holmes but I felt a great curiosity to behold And I have a great Objection to firing and a half, a fixed tradition at Berlin but a good, straightforward narrative of things (tags: mathematics english ) When the Children Crashed Dad's BBC Interview: The Family Speaks The truth, at last!!! (tags: television northkorea internet ) Scotland isn't different, it's Britain that's bizarre What's wrong with being normal? (tags: ukpolitics scotland ) The Empire Strikes Back - really? @shada_islam deconstructs Britain's Commonwealth rhetoric. (tags: ukpolitics ...