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  • 99ga
    Article: Jul 31, 2021

    Good news on two fronts

    Starting with

    Gaywood South in Norfolk

    LibDem: 39.3% (+28.0)

    Labour: 34.0% (-1.6)

    Tory: 22.9% (-25.3)

    Ind: 2.1% (+2.1)

    UKIP: 1.7% (-3.2)

    Liberal Democrat GAIN from Conservatives

    Then in Yorkshire

    Knaresborough Scriven Park (Harrogate),

    LDEM: 56.6% (+19.6)

    CON: 34.3% (-4.2)

    LAB: 8.1% (-16.4)

  • Stonehenge ()
    Article: Jul 30, 2021

    The High Court has quashed the development consent order ("DCO") which authorises the construction of a dual-carriageway road tunnel at Stonehenge to replace the existing A303 road. Mr Justice Holgate allowed the judicial review by Save Stonehenge World Heritage Site Limited on 30th July 2021 on two grounds, relating to the adequacy of the information before Ministers and his consideration of alternatives.

  • RNLI ()
    Article: Jul 30, 2021
    By South West Wiltshire Liberal Democrats
    For nearly 200 years the RNLI has saved the lives those in peril on the seas around the shores of Britain and Ireland. For nearly 200 years they have done this without fear or favour….. whoever was in danger, however they got into danger, the RNLI would risk (and all too often sacrifice) their own lives to save them.
    For nearly 200 years….. if you've found yourself in trouble off our shores, the RNLI would do their utmost to make you safe.
  • Article: Jul 29, 2021
    In Wiltshire Council

    A new youth hub has been set up to offer face to face advice and signposting for 16 - 24 year olds to support with next steps into employment, apprenticeships or further learning.

    Wiltshire Youth Hub is a pilot venture set up with partners and is available in Trowbridge Town Hall on Wednesday afternoons 1pm - 3:30pm until the 29th September 2021. A different partner will be hosting appointments at the Youth Hub each week, and young people can book a slot.

  • Article: Jul 29, 2021

    Following the annoucement by the Government of a fund to help Hong Kong British National Overseas (BNO) Passport holders who have taken residence in the UK, we have produced a template motion to allow Liberal Democrat councillors to raise with their Councils. For those where we are in control we can enact real change and for those in opposition to push councils to apply for this funding. Please do feel free to edit the template to fit your own local circumstances. The full text of the motion is below but can also downloaded here.

  • Article: Jul 29, 2021
    In New Valley News

    Soldiers who risked their lives crossing the lines, not on a battlefield but in the middle of a busy country road, will be doubling across a footbridge soon.

    Requests for a safe crossing for the camouflaged servicemen on the busy B390, which divides the north of Knook Army camp from the larger South barracks near Heytesbury, may soon become reality.

  • Article: Jul 29, 2021
    By Liberal Democrats

    A report from Which? [published 29th July 2021] has shown almost half (45%) of adults in England, around 20 million people, are unaware of plans for GP patient data to be shared by NHS Digital to external organisations.

    The Lib Dems have called for the scheme to be halted until proper transparency on the data sharing has been shown from the Government.

    Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson, Munira Wilson MP said:

    "Given the Government's complete lack of interest in publicising this scheme and its disdain for any kind of transparency it is no wonder that so many have never heard of it. That so many are considering opting out will render this scheme almost useless.

    "Grim experience has taught the British public to be wary of trusting the Government with its sensitive personal information. By collecting and sharing our health data in secret the Government is only losing the trust of the public further.

    "The Liberal Democrats are calling for the Government to pause the implementation of this scheme. Until there has been a full publicity campaign, proper transparency on who this data will be shared with and for what purpose, the Government cannot go ahead with this scheme."

  • Article: Jul 28, 2021

    Wiltshire Council is urging people to not let their holiday plans or possible COVID self-isolation stop them from voting in the upcoming Police and Crime Commissioner election - with postal and proxy voting options available.

    The election takes place on 19 August and you can make sure you still have your say by applying for a postal vote or registering someone to vote on your behalf.

  • nnd5
    Article: Jul 27, 2021

    Its now under 100 days before the Climate Change conference in Glasgow which aims to agree actions to be taken across the globe to reduce carbon emissions and reach the target of limiting temperature growth to under 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

    The growing number of climate catastrophises hitting the world in recent years shows how critical this is

  • nnt4 (Photo by Elena Mozhvilo on Unsplash)
    Article: Jul 25, 2021

    Despite the findings of the Intelligence and Security Committee last year that failures at the heart of Government have allowed the Russians to interfere and influence our democracy, it seems there is no stopping them from pushing funds at the Tories.

    The Mirror reports that new analysis has found the Conservative Party has accepted £280,000 from Russia-linked donors in the year since the publication of the Russia Report. And almost £2 million in Russian-linked cash has been donated to the Tories since Boris Johnson became Prime Minister.

    The paper adds for good measure, that none of the 21 recommendations of the Intelligence and Security Committee have been implemented:

    The heavily-redacted report noted that there had been widespread allegations that Russia sought to influence voters in the 2016 Brexit referendum - and that the government and intelligence agencies had failed to fully look into them.

    And it uncovered an influx of Russian money into the UK - and into "Londongrad" in particular - following the introduction of the "investor visa" scheme in 1994.

    The scheme, introduced for the first time by John Major's Tory government, allowed wealthy oligarchs to "buy" citizenship in exchange for a £2 million investment in UK bonds or shares through a bank.

    The so-called "golden visa" scheme was suspended in 2018 over fears it was being used for money laundering, but was restarted the following year.

    The report said the money was invested in building influence across the UK establishment - including "PR firms, charities, political interests, academia and cultural institutions" - all of whom were "willing beneficiaries of Russian money."

    And it went on to say: "In brief, Russian influence in the UK is 'the new normal', and there are a lot of Russians with very close links to Putin who are well integrated into the UK business and social scene, and accepted because of their wealth."
    The report noted that "several members" of the Russian elite - some of whom had close links to Vladimir Putin - have donated to UK political parties.

    But the report - at least in its redacted form - did not name the donors or the parties benefiting from the cash.

    There is no suggestion of any wrongdoing on the part of the donors, all of whom are now British citizens and are legally entitled to donate to UK political parties.

    Among the figures filling Tory coffers is banker Lubov Chernukhin, who is married to Putin's former deputy finance minister Vladimir Chernukhin, has given a total of £1.7 million to the party.

    These donations have included bids at fundraising auctions at the notorious Tory Black and White Ball, where over the years she has secured a night out with Theresa May, a tennis match with Boris Johnson and a private dinner with then-Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson in the Churchill War Rooms.

    She has donated almost £65,000 to the Tories in the last year.

    In March the Conservatives received £50,000 from Access Industries, the firm owned by Len Blavatnik, Britain's richest man with an estimated fortune of £23bn.

    Mr Blavatnik is understood to have made much of his fortune in 1990s Russia, where he invested heavily in the state's largest aluminium firm and its third-largest oil producer.

    But while many of his contemporaries - who maintained closer links to the Kremlin - have found themselves sanctioned by Western nations, Mr Blavatnik secured British citizenship in 2010 and a knighthood in 2017.

    Mr Blavatnik donated to Donald Trump's inauguration fund. While he was not mentioned in the unredacted sections of Robert Mueller's report in to Russian meddling in US elections, it was widely reported that he was under scrutiny from the probe.

    And Alexander Temerko, a wealthy businessman whose Aquind firm is awaiting government approval for a billion pound electricity interconnector under the Channel, has also been a frequent donor in recent years.

    Mr Temerko, who has been a critic of President Putin, and his firm have given more than £1.6 million to the Tories.

    A Spokesperson for Mr Temerko said: "Mr. Temerko is a Ukrainian-born British citizen and has no links to Russia.

    "Mr. Temerko left Russia in 2003, following his political persecution in the well-known Yukos Oil Company case by the Putin regime.

    "Since then, he has never returned to Russia, nor worked for or partnered with any Russian-linked business."

    The case for a reform of party political funding has never been stronger.