When Chris "Failing" Grayling finally announced his decision to scrap plans for the full electrification of the Midland main line, it was widely reported - not least by this blog - that the wires would stop at Kettering. Today the government released the documents for those who wish to tender to run the service on the line and these show that the electrification will reach one station further north. It will reach Market Harborough. I would like to welcome this as recognition of my home town's growing importance as economic and cultural hub, but the reason for it may be ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

Reading the Government's plans for the Northern Irish border, you have to think that they are running out of sticking plasters and long grass to kick things into in Downing Street. The thing is, we need to know the permanent solution to all of this before we actually take the irrevocable step of leaving. The Government shouldn't get away with thinking that it can just kick all the difficult stuff down the road and then blame someone else when it all goes horribly wrong. Playing Russian roulette with the Irish peace process is not something that any responsible government should ...

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice


Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

From the Leicester Mercury: More than £58 million must be cut from Leicestershire's healthcare spending this financial year, but there is concern that none of the organisations responsible for allocating cash to services have yet confirmed where savings will be made.The Mercury also reports that members of the county council's health scrutiny committee have accused the two of the counties clinical commissioning groups of being evasive about where the inevitable cuts will fall. Two stalwart Leicestershire Lib Dems - David Bill and Matthew Hulbert - are quoted in the report. I have yet to read anything from the county's Conservative ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

Second paragraph of third chapter: Over the summer, a tavern had opened for the farming community around the camp and the Border guard alike. It was called the Elven Tavern. There was a sign outside that showed an elven warrior, though in oddly revealing armor that Elliot had never seen any elf warrior wear and striking a strange pose. Elliot brought the matter of the sign up with the tavern keeper. I am still not completely converted to the WSFS YA Award. But the vote was taken, the decision was made, and we have it for the next while at ...

Thu 7th

Vince's IPPR speech

Lib Dem leader Vince Cable MP was invited by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) Commission on Economic Justice to speak this morning. You can watch the speech here, with Vince's bit from 10:38 in. The entire speech is a long-read for lunchtime, from the end of this blog, but here is an overview of what Vince is calling for when it comes to outsourcing public services, which has come under fire in recent months following the collapse of Carillion and the financial woes of Capita. Vince's five-point plan calls for: 1) no outsourcing where the profit motive should ...

Posted by Kirsten Johnson on Liberal Democrat Voice
Thu 7th

Planting Up Whickham

On Sunday I was in Whickham to help the volunteers from Planting Up Whickham to plant the flower beds on Church Green. Job done by midday. In a few weeks' time, the flowerbeds will look great.

Posted by jonathanwallace on Jonathan Wallace

A bit late but this is the video of the last full council meeting in Gateshead on 24th May. As Leader of the Opposition I raised issues about EU funding, housing strategy, electric car charging points and devolution.

Posted by jonathanwallace on Jonathan Wallace

Several NHS stories have caught my eye over the past week, and I wanted to bring them together into a blog that emphasises, yet again, that our NHS needs funding, and needs it soon. I have a heightened awareness now, having travelled the length and breadth of North Devon over recent weeks and seen the lack of provision in the communities there, with the nearest hospital for some being an hour away – and the nearest hospital for many non-urgent appointments being two hours away. The NHS matters to all of us and needs sorting. We as Lib Dems are ...

Posted by Kirsten Johnson on Liberal Democrat Voice

weekly_food_challenge | Challenge #45 - Lime and Mustard salad dressing In which I reveal the recipe for my famous (and dead simple) favourite salad dressing If you like what you see here (or even if you don't) please consider dropping me a tip: [IMG: Paypal Donate Button] [IMG: Buy Me an uncaffeinated beverage (because I'm allergic to coffee) at ko-fi.com] [IMG: comment count unavailable] comments


Embed from Getty Images We can afford to laugh about it. You're delivering 200 Focii, and you come upon a floor level postbox. Oh dear. Do you kneel? Do you stoop down? Stooping down brings the blood to one's head and risks back pain. I have about 40 floor level letter boxes on one of my delivery rounds. I usually need an extra shredded wheat in the morning before I do that round. But there is no reason why new houses and flats should be built with low level letter boxes. British Standard BS EN13724 on mailboxes(which reflects the EU ...

Posted by Paul Walter on Liberal Democrat Voice
Thu 7th

My tweets

Wed, 12:56: Firelight, by Ursula K. Le Guin https://t.co/lFRQKRaJte The very last story of Earthsea. (Alas, partly paywalled.) Wed, 16:05: That Love Island Oxbridge comparison says more about you than modern Britain https://t.co/dsJxTQBdCC Was unaware of... https://t.co/0UtUJyhuGf Wed, 18:19: Collected Works, ed. Nick Wallace https://t.co/jAEE7t4pFQ Wed, 22:07: RT @brheading: rumour has it that David Davis wants to resign while staying in the cabinet, and believes that German car manufacturers will...

Yesterday was another classic example of Mayism. The Prime Minister was all set to send a note to Brussels about the backstop arrangements, a note that in true May style had a time limited clause that specified no time limit, her cabinet be damned, then David Davis got a bit huffy about it and so she agree to delay it. I guess the cabinet are meeting today to discuss the matter, but what can really be achieved here? You have one set of people who believe that anything other than close alignment with the EU is tantamount to allowing the ...

Posted by Nick on nicktyrone.com

Captain Corbyn desperately trying to communicate his policies to anyone who will listen. The problems is his policies are based on an outdated past and change from day to day As we approach a hugely important week in British Politics ... Continue reading →

Posted by richardkemp on But what does Richard Kemp think?

You may think this is a post about Theresa May's cabinet but no, it is actually about fruit, or more precisely the problems faced by UK farmers, many of whom voted for Brexit, in recruiting people to pick their fruit before it goes rotten in the fields. As the BBC reports, recruitment agencies are warning that they cannot secure the number of workers needed by British farmers to pick their fruit and vegetables. Over half say that they could not find the labour even in the "quiet" first months of this year, whilst the National Farmers Union reports that last ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black

Well done to Lib Dem Deputy Leader Jo Swinson on introducing her Parental Leave and Pay Arrangements Private Member's Bill yesterday in the Commons. Here she is talking about it: This bill would require firms which employ more than 250 people to publish their data on parental leave and pay arrangements. As reported in the BBC Ms Swinson said more than 54,000 women a year lose their jobs because of pregnancy and maternity discrimination, while fathers were worried about taking shared parental leave because of the negative effect on their careers. Well done Jo on leading the charge! If enacted, ...

Posted by Kirsten Johnson on Liberal Democrat Voice

www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqdfcccmLnk I came across this great video on You Tube and thought it was worth sharing – access it via the link above

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus

Helen and I spent Tuesday evening canvassing in Lewisham. We met the friendliest reception we have had on doorsteps for a long time, from people who remarked that everyone assumes that Lewisham is a safe Labour seat and no party then seems to care about the voters. We were the first canvassers they had seen so far, in this hurried by-election, rushed ahead by Labour to do its best to prevent any other party from mounting an effective campaign, with polling day on June 14th. So, if you can carve out an afternoon or evening, better still a whole day, ...

Posted by Lord William Wallace on Liberal Democrat Voice