Wed 9th

Europe Day 2018

In recent years I have always celebrated Europe Day (9 May) at a concert in St John's, Smith Square. But this year was different. London4Europe, the London branch of the European Movement, put on a celebratory occasion this evening, which I would have loved to attend, but I felt I ought to be at the [...]

Posted by jonathanfryer on Jonathan Fryer
Wed 9th

The Brixworth Eagle

I escaped the men in black by going to church. All Saints Brixworth is the largest Anglo-Saxon church in Britain and it used to be larger still. A monastery standing on a hill. There is much Roman tile incorporated into it. Though there is talk of it coming from a local villa, tests suggest much was carted in from the Roman buildings of Towcester and Leicester. The picture above shows an ancient sculpture of an eagle, known as the Brixworth Eagle. Pevsner says this is the Eagle of St. John, dating from the 9th century; others, says Sacred Destinations, think ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

According to this ONS report, net investment in the UK is much weaker in comparison to other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) nations. When we look at non-government expenditure on net investment, the UK is ranked as the lowest of any OECD nation. Obviously, this is bad news. We keep hearing about the productivity puzzle and how we can solve it. If we can solve this issue of low investment, we can make some progress in achieving the productivity growth that the OBR forecast at the Spring Statement 2018. Solving the productivity crisis will lead to higher wages ...

Posted by Tom Purvis on Liberal Democrat Voice
Wed 9th

Six of the Best 789

Mark Pack looks in more depth at the Lib Dems' local election performance last week: "the story is partly one of making progress against the government but finding it harder going against the main opposition party. That's a familiar pattern from Liberal Democrat history." Who needs Jordan Peterson when we have Ferdinand Mount? Ian Sansom celebrates an attractive Conservative thinker. "Cosmetics and clothing played a key role in allowing queer men to identify each other in a society where same-sex relations were illegal." Carianne Whitworth on gay life and police persecution in 1930s London. Owen Hatherley says developers' architecture too ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

Our Headline of the Day, as so often, comes from the Shropshire Star: Up to 12 naked men who ran back-and-forth on a town centre bridge are being sought by police.My photograph shows the bridge in question, but I must emphasise that it was taken some years ago and I was almost certainly fully clothed at the time.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

As I analysed in some detail in the last Liberal Democrat Newswire, the Lib Dem performance in this year's local elections is a mirror of last year.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

Second paragraph of third article (a letter to Octavia Butler from Karen Lord) in Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia E. Butler, eds Alexandra Pierce and Mimi Mondal:I did not have the strength to read more, and so I know more about your books through synopses, reviews and commentaries than through the direct experience of reading. I can see similarities to my own work: the concerns about balance of power, the boundaries of self, the joys and demands of community, and the bliss and burden of empathy. However, it is not your work that inspires me so much as the fact ...

Wed 9th

Sweeping Sandgate

[IMG: Kurt Stephens sweeping up in Sandgate High Street after rubbish collection] Cllr Kurt gets to work! Full marks to Sandgate Parish Councillor Kurt Stephens for cleaning up in Sandgate today! Following the weekly rubbish collection a whole host of smelly rubbish had been strewn across Sandgate High Street this morning (Wednesday 9th May). Kurt got his brush and bucket out and cleaned up: the High Street looked and smelled a LOT better after he had! Published and promoted by Tim Prater, 98a Sandgate High Street, Folkestone, CT20 3BYPrinted (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 ...

[IMG: Martello Tower 6 [Sandgate Escarpment] (Copyright Steve Popple and licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons Licence.)] The Sandgate Escarpment referendum is taking place today (Wednesday 9th May) from 9am-9pm at Sandgate Library. The vote is on the proposal from Sandgate Parish Council to buy woodland on Sandgate Escarpment including Martello Towers 6 & 7. A proportion of that land has planning permission for 5 houses on it gained by the current owner. If the Council buy the land, the planning permission will NOT be used and the woodland will be retained and made more accessible to local residents ...

I find telling at a polling station quite fun. The fun is trying to determine how residents are going to vote or how they have voted. In Wokingham, we targeted two Borough wards (which we won): both were gains. We are developing two other wards in Earley for next year. My ward is one of the development wards. There are two polling stations in my ward, and on polling day I spent most of the day knocking people up, but I also spent some time at the polling stations. The polling station in the west of the ward was inside ...

Posted by Tahir Maher on Liberal Democrat Voice

Children entering the care system every day is at a record high of 90 young people a day. The increase has been put down to such factors as substance misuse, inadequate housing, poverty and problems in the household. To March 2017 children that were being looked after in England and Wales was over 72,000. With so many cuts to Children Services, the services are at a breaking point. Funding pressures leading to gaps in services are putting children and families at risk. Figures show that three-quarters of English councils exceeded their budgets, by over £600 million for children's services last ...

Posted by Tahir Maher on Liberal Democrat Voice

For at least some of the courses all but three English higher education institutions will charge tuition fees of £9,250. The average tuition fee at English higher education institutions will increase to £9,110 in 2017-18, up from £8,905 the year before (source: The World university ranking). A leaked government document in 2016 revealed that our universities were not providing good quality teaching despite the increased fees. The leaked report goes on to say that even the Russel Group universities cannot justify the £9,000 fees for courses. A further disclosure suggests that the target of doubling the number of young people ...

Posted by Tahir Maher on Liberal Democrat Voice

UK police say 92% false positive facial recognition is no big deal Regrettably, this is not a satire piece Our window box, in which we generally plant very small and pretty things, appears to have sprouted triffids. Please, oh plant identifier people, tell me if I need to worry about these? Pharmaceutical specialist loses job and home due to tax error The Home Office are bastards At least 1,000 highly skilled migrants wrongly face deportation, experts reveal No, really, the Home Office are utter bastards. The People vs the Snoopers' Charter: Part II Donate to campaign to sue the government ...

Wed 9th

Thank you

Steve Cook, Muhammad Sadiq and myself are honoured to have been voted back in as representatives for Wallington South ward on Sutton Council. It is always a pleasure talking to residents on the doorstep, hearing about local issues and your aspirations for the area. It was also lovely to receive good wishes and thanks for [...]

Posted by jaynemccoy on Diary of a Sutton Councillor

Last night, the House of Lords inflicted the final bunch of defeats on the government in relation to the EU Withdrawal Bill, bringing the total to 13. The most notable amongst them was an amendment that, if passed when the Bill returns to the Commons, would force the government to try and keep the UK in the EEA post-Brexit. This would affect the government's negotiations with the EU a lot, to put it mildly. But it was worse for Corbyn. One, because he whipped the Labour Lords to vote against the amendment only to see a whopping 83 of them ...

Posted by Nick on
Wed 9th

My tweets

Tue, 12:23: RT @New_Europe: For many years Andy Carling, @quarsan, was much more than a journalist; he was a part of Europe's conscience. Our deepest... Tue, 18:43: Torchwood: Rift War Tue, 19:18: RT @georgiaEtennant: Having just finished all the episodes of 'Jenny' and now recovered from listening to 200 minutes of my own voice... I... Tue, 20:14: Very sorry to hear this. One of the gurus of my political youth. Hugs to his family and friends. Tue, 20:48: How Family Celebrations are Wiping Out Polio in Nigeria Let's hope! Wed, 06:39: RT @BarristerSecret: This is an INCREDIBLE ...

Am I the only one not to be too excited about the Lords riding a coach and horses through the EU Withdrawal Bill? Before I explain why, let's look at how the Lords have improved this Bill. When I say improve, it is all relative. There are some things you really can't polish. The Government defeats have come thick and fast, with Lib Dem lords leading the way. 1 and 2 on 18th April: An amendment in favour of staying in the Customs Union and another limiting Minister's powers to water down our rights 3- 5 on 23rd April when ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice

Commenting on last night's defeat for the Government in the House of Lords on the Single Market, Liberal Democrat Leader in the Lords, Lord Newby said:"This victory sends a clear message to those sat round the Cabinet table that Parliament won't just sit back while Theresa May leads us towards a hard Brexit."245 Peers from all parties and none have voted to stay in the Single Market and protect the UK economy, defeating a Government hell-bent on pursuing ideology over prosperity."

Posted by LD Neath on Aberavon & Neath Liberal Democrats
Wed 9th

Today is Europe Day

Europe Day /unitedkingdom/file/flagyellowlowjpg_enflag_yellow_low.jpg [IMG: EU flag] Europe Day held on 9 May every year celebrates peace and unity in Europe. The date marks the anniversary of the historical 'Schuman declaration'. At a speech in Paris in 1950, Robert Schuman, the then French foreign minister, set out his idea for a new form of political cooperation in Europe, which would make war between Europe's nations unthinkable.His vision was to create a European institution that would pool and manage coal and steel production. A treaty creating such a body was signed just under a year later. Schuman's proposal is considered to be ...

Posted by LD Neath on Aberavon & Neath Liberal Democrats

Yesterday's media was heavy with the recommendations of the Resolution Foundation's "Intergenerational Commission". The Commission, which was set up and chaired by former Tory minister, Lord Willetts, is "backed" by the CBI, TUC and the Institute for Fiscal Studies. It's an important contribution to the debate on many big problems our society faces. At first site, much of it seems sensible to and worthy of deeper reading. But there's one policy I believe Liberal Democrats should oppose. The Commission proposes that people of pension age who are still working should continue to pay National Insurance contributions. It argues that the ...

Posted by Martin Roche on Liberal Democrat Voice

A Red Squirrel – What could be more symbolic of Formby The Liverpool Echo has the story on its web site – see link above As a rule of thumb I don't go to Formby or indeed Southport when the sun is cracking the flags, particularly on Bank Holiday weekends, as I know that traffic chaos is all but a certainty. Don't get me wrong I love going to these places but, traffic jams and parking problems are not for me. I could tell what was going on in Formby from where the new Brooms Cross Road crosses Brickwall ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus

I don't often listen to First Minister's question time in the Welsh Assembly these days, but I had it on in the background yesterday whilst I worked on other things. I was just in time to catch the astonishing contribution from the Welsh UKIP leader, disgraced former Tory MP, Neil Hamilton smear the Welsh teaching profession. His allegation was that Wales' education system is being used as a tool of propaganda. He believes that parts of the Welsh Baccalaureate on topics like inequality are being taught from a "centre-left disposition" and that there is a "potential danger" that teachers may ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black

The love-hate relationship between France and Haiti is so old, so colourful, and so dramatic that there are few French people who are indifferent to this third island of the Caribbean, populated by twelve million inhabitants descendants of African slaves who worked in the sugar plantations of white settlers. Here is a piece of land [...] The post Can anybody help Haiti? appeared first on Radix.

Posted by Renaud Girard on Radix

Shropshire Council begins the final consultation on parking charges this morning. In the town centre, it will cost £1.80 an hour to park from 8am to 8pm. Coronation Avenue and Linney will cost 70p an hour. The 15 minute free pop and shop period will be cut to five minutes. The consultation closes on 30 May. I will be objecting, making it clear yet again that these charges will damage trade and tourism in the town centre. In making these changes local opinion in Ludlow has been ignored, not for the first time. Shirehall thinks it know what is best ...

Posted by andybodders on Andy Boddington

The above shots were taken on 1st May. The middle shot is of the station building and the last one is of the car park taking shape alongside the Poppy Fields housing development. All on schedule for opening on 18th June I understand but on Sunday 17 June there will be no Merseyrail services north of the present Maghull Station, as the commissioning of the new Station is taking place. Click on the photos to enlarge them

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus

The Government have received their eleventh defeat in the House of Lords during the Report stage of the EU Withdrawal Bill. The vote on an amendment to ensure our future interaction with EU law and agencies was passed by a cross-bench majority of 298 to 227 Commenting on the victory, Liberal Democrat Leader in the House of Lords, Lord Newby said: This vote was a victory for common-sense. Of course if the UK wishes to remain in specific agencies, such as Euratom, it should be able to. This allows us to replicate EU law and means that we can continue ...

Posted by Tahir Maher on Liberal Democrat Voice

The Guardian has the article on its web site – see link above This is a really interesting piece in The Guardian and it exposes one of Brexit's must troubling questions. Why do Brexiters feel it OK to put peace in Europe at risk, be it in Northern Island or across Europe generally via their isolationist stance. Have they learned nothing from history? With thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus

For some considerable time, along with nearby residents, Harris Academy and its Parent Council, I have suggested to the City Council that the westbound public bus stop on Perth Road that lies just east of Harris Academy should be moved very slightly west to in front of the school. This would have the following advantages : + Far better standing area for passengers waiting for a bus as the plaza in front of the school is spacious. + Less crowded situation than where the current bus stop is when passengers are waiting at the stop and school pupils are exiting ...

Today a Commons report highlights how much the adult social care sector is underfunded. Layla Moran said that this had to change: Care workers work tirelessly but instead of getting the support they need they face low pay, falling morale and a high turnover of staff. The country is in desperate need for a long-term plan to fund the increasing demand for care. That is why the Liberal Democrats propose putting a penny on income tax to raise the transformational investment needed to support care workers and protect the future of care services. We need to do more to value ...

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice