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Recent updates
  • Trowbridge Hilperton Cycleway ()
    Article: Aug 5, 2020
    Great to see the speed at which this cycle way linking Hilperton to Trowbridge, providing safer access to the town centre for cyclists and pedestrians is being created,
    The momentum behind this scheme makes it even more difficult to understand why in July 2020, Wiltshire Council voted by 52 to 31 to reject a Liberal Democrats resolution encouraging cycling, walking and horse riding.
  • The Weekly Whip
    Article: Aug 4, 2020
    By Liberal Democrats

    Top Lines

    Govt must act to strengthen NHS Test and Trace ahead of new school year

    Scientists have today warned that current testing and contact tracing is inadequate to prevent a second wave of coronavirus when schools in the UK reopen.

    • After months being cooped up at home, millions of children are looking forward to getting back to school in September, but safety must remain the top priority.
    • In the absence of a vaccine, a comprehensive test, trace and isolate system is the only way to keep people safe as we reopen schools. The Government must do everything in its power to strengthen that system if we are to have any hope of a safe start to the new school year.
    • Equally, the Government need to be honest about the very real risk that, if they do not get the NHS Test and Trace system in order, or in the event that we see a sharp rise in infections, children may have to go back to learning from home. Ministers must put in place safeguards now to ensure children are still able to get their education in this worst case scenario.
  • BBC
    Article: Aug 4, 2020

    The Liberal Democrats are to debate plans at their Autumn conference to ensure the BBC licence fee level is set independently next year after government cuts forced the BBC to end free TV licences for most over-75s.

    Liberal Democrat Culture spokesperson Daisy Cooper, who will move the motion at the Party's first digital conference, warned the Government must never again be allowed to "force the BBC into a corner where it has to choose between cuts to programming or raising these fees on the most vulnerable."

    The Party, which led a cross party group of 106 parliamentarians calling for a review of the decision to cut hundreds of BBC staff working across regional programmes, will put forward plans to protect the long-term future of the BBC.

    They will call on the Government to uphold its promise to retain the licence fee model until the end of the current Charter period in December 2027, and for a transparent and independent body to review the cost of the licence next year.

    The Liberal Democrats also use the same policy motion to take a swipe at Boris Johnson ducking BBC scrutiny during last year's General Election by calling on all senior politicians to make themselves available for scrutiny in televised interviews and debates.

    Speaking ahead of the debate, Liberal Democrat Digital, Culture, Media and Sport spokesperson Daisy Cooper said:

    "Families around the UK have flocked to the BBC during the coronavirus pandemic as a source of trusted news, entertainment and education, demonstrating the true value of public service broadcasting at a time of national crisis.

    "As families face serious financial hardship and the prospect of local lockdowns, it is absurd that the BBC is left with no choice but to cut jobs and programmes that will reduce people's ability to know what's going on in their area.

    "Ending free TV licences for the over 75s, which could push some of the poorest pensioners into poverty, jars with common decency.

    "We must be clear: the responsibility of these cuts falls squarely at the feet of Conservative Ministers. With these plans, it is no wonder we can find neither hide nor hair of Boris Johnson when proper media scrutiny comes calling.

    "To save BBC programming we must never again allow Ministers to force the BBC into a corner where it has to choose between cuts to programming or raising these fees on the most vulnerable. That means ensuring the licence fee is set independently

  • House of Lords ()
    Article: Aug 3, 2020

    The Times: "Mr Johnson's appointment of his brother to the Lords shows that however talented Jo Johnson may be nepotism knows few bounds in modern Britain"

    And it's facilitated by an undemocratic, corrupted second chamber.

    Liberal Democrat's have long called for reform of the House of Lords.

    Particularly relevant as the latest Lords appointments are a laughing stock across the world, as last week Johnson nominated 36 more people for peerages, but today it seems Number 10 says today the size of the Lords 'needs addressing.

  • Munira Wilson
    Article: Aug 3, 2020

    Liberal Democrat Health, Wellbeing and Social Care spokesperson Munira Wilson commented on the Treasury's "Eat Out to Help Out" discount scheme for restaurants starting on Monday,

    "We all recognise the need to support the high street through the pandemic, but the Government should have been more discerning with this scheme.

    "Obesity is already an immense challenge for people and the NHS, but the latest research suggests it also contributes to the deadliness of coronavirus. With a number of fast-food chains signing up to the scheme, it seems clear that public health did not factor into the Government's decision.

    "The Government must put public health first and exclude from the scheme meals and drinks proven to contribute to obesity. We cannot afford to risk lives as we re-open the economy."

  • Housing ()
    Article: Aug 2, 2020

    New homes and hospitals will be granted "automatic" permission to be built as part of sweeping planning reforms in England, as it was announced a "permission in principle" will be given to developments on land designated "for renewal" to speed-up building.

    But Shelter has warned against any reforms that lead to "bad-quality" housing. The homeless charity has said 280,000 homes received permission in England between 2011 and 2016 but were never built.

  • Car industry
    Article: Jul 31, 2020
    By Ellen Nicholson

    Reports state that the UK car industry is likely to have its worst year since 1954.

    "This pandemic has left the car industry on its knees. The Government must step in to stem the tide of job losses. But the recovery must also be an opportunity: the car industry must change to produce low emission, green vehicles said Acting Leader of the Lib Dems Ed Davey.

  • NHS App
    Article: Jul 30, 2020
    By Ellen Nicholson
    Ellen Nicholson had the opportunity to speak on LBC this evening in response to Matt Hancock's announcement for more online consultations.
    Aside from being spokesperson for the Lib Dems in SW Wilts, Ellen works for the NHS and advocates the use of online consultations as they free up time taken going to appointments but also advocated some caution on the programme this evening in the rush to online first consultations, as some people who are less tech savvy or have specific difficulties, may find themselves excluded.
  • Article: Jul 30, 2020

    Today, the Crown Prosecution Service announced a new strategy to tackle the drop in charging and prosecutions for rape, as it was also reported that the number of rape convictions in England and Wales had fallen to a record low.

    Responding, Liberal Democrat Justice Spokesperson Daisy Cooper said:

    "Survivors deserve justice. They must be properly supported to come forward, and be listened to when they do. However, Government inaction is failing survivors of sexual violence and allowing too many criminals to walk free.

    "Although the CPS' new strategy is clearly badly needed, this move alone will not overturn the dramatic drop in convictions.

    "The Government announced a review to identify why convictions have fallen more than a year ago, but the group conducting it has only met four times and we still haven't seen any results.

    "Ministers must complete the review as soon as possible and urgently make improvements across the whole justice system. Survivors mustn't be left waiting any longer for the justice they need."

    Article: Jul 29, 2020

    Responding to an LSE report released today (29/7) stating that Brexit will harm the industries unscathed by COVID-19, Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

    "As Britain's economy enters the deepest recession for 300 years due to Covid, the Conservatives could have justifiably chosen to delay Brexit to prevent even more job losses and a double whammy for our economy.