Since the referendum in 2016, the Brexit realities have become more and more stark. An increasing number of voters (by the latest polls a significant majority) believe that the costs of Brexit are too high versus the supposed benefits.
Whilst the government insist, at this point, that there will not be a second referendum, as the demand of the British people to have the final say on the deal grows ever stronger, it will become harder and harder for them to resist. The people want to take the final decision on whether our country remains in the EU, or we leave the EU; either on the terms the government negotiates or crash out with no deal.
We do not know when the British people will get the final say on Brexit, but it is clear that it is getting ever closer. To be prepared, we need to mobilise now to make sure that ALL voters are able to participate in this critical decision.
If you are reading this, and are not registered to vote, then sign up as soon as you can. Encourage, and help those around you to register as well, especially younger people. Since the last referendum there is a new cohort of voters who where 16 at the time and are now able to have their say. If you live overseas, many of you can also vote (if rules are the same as last time), and it is important that your voice is heard too. Make sure you are registered in good time!
The Your Vote Matters Website (https://www.yourvotematters.co.uk) provides good information on voter registration and who can vote in which election. It currently does not have any information on referendums as there are none scheduled yet, but that will, of course, change as and when a referendum on the final Brexit deal is put in place.
The Liberal Democrats in Huntingdonshire have a great team who work brilliantly to support residents!
1. We keep residents informed about what is going on in a number of ways. Firstly there are our famous FOCUS Newsletters (see picture showing recent St Neots editions). Different versions are delivered across Huntingdonshire. In December, Peter Downes issued his 130th edition for Brampton. Secondly, we also maintain a website and a FaceBook page for those who want their info. electronically, and thirdly our councillors and supporters meet residents face-to-face regularly.
2. We actively seek opportunities to listen to residents concerns, including the regular surgeries that we hold across Huntingdonshire, attendance at parish council meetings, focused surveys / questionnaires for residents, and of course our face-to-face contact with people in the community.
3. We are committed to make things better for residents, if we possibly can. We campaign on a wide variety of things that matter to people (AND ARE OFTEN SUCCESSFUL IN HELPING DELIVER). These include parking problems, improving street lighting, challenging inappropriate development etc. Our councillors also manage a lot of case-work for individual residents, who need additional support to sort out issues. Because we work as a close team, we are able to bring a great deal of experience to address issues and escalate, if necessary.
Huntingdonshire Liberal Democrats are a great team, that works hard for you ALL year round!!!
VOTE LIBERAL DEMOCRAT on 3rd MAY
Hopefully you have already seen our manifesto on our website. If not see HERE. The manifesto outlines what our priorities are, but of course, what is most important to residents are the specifics. Here are just SOME examples of what we are campaigning for:-
1. Ensure new development benefits the local area
- campaigning to get empty houses back into use
- opposing the Riversfield development in Little Paxton.
- opposing a road across the Ouse valley from Wyton
2. Make our streets safer
- tackling chronic parking issues in Huntingdon
- a pelican crossing for Cambridge Road – Love’s Farm
- getting pot-holes filled
- encouraging cycling and walking;
- supporting the new River Ouse cycle bridge in St Neots
- safer cycling routes to school
3. Encourage healthy living
- supporting our Leisure Centres
- promoting the enjoyment of sports
- promoting safe walking and cycling provision
4. Make local government more cost-effective
- reducing the number of councils and councillors
- Making sure money is spent wisely – getting the best value!
5. Create a better environment for all
- tackling fly-tipping and dog-fouling
- supporting the development of a better range of shops for our town centres including free parking
- encouraging energy-saving and green technologies
- reducing pollution, e.g. introducing electric charging points
Your Liberal Democrat Councillors and supporters work hard for residents ALL year round!!
VOTE LIBERAL DEMOCRAT ON 3rd MAY
Huntingdonshire Liberal Democrat's manifesto is published HERE.
The manifesto provides a summary of:-
What We Stand For
- Liberal Democrats work to build a fair, free and open society, balancing the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity
- Liberal Democrats care for all in our community
- Your Liberal Democrat councillors work hard for residents ALL year round
- The Liberal Democrats have provided EFFECTIVE opposition to the Conservatives in Huntingdonshire and we will improve how Huntingdonshire is run if we increase the number of Liberal Democrat councillors!
Who we are
We have a great Liberal Democrat team in Huntingdonshire, with County and District Councillors who work with over 300 members and many more supporters to connect with our community, understand issues and pursue policies that meet the needs of residents
As far as the District Council is concerned these are our top 5 priorities for this election:
- Ensure new development benefits the local area
- Make our streets safer
- Encourage healthy living
- Create a better environment for all
- Make local government more cost-effective
Vote for the team that works for YOU!
VOTE LIBERAL DEMOCRAT ON 3rd MAY
The latest edition includes a wide range of short articles including:
Council Tax: A summary of increases that have recently been approved. County (c.5%), Town (4%), Fire District (3%) and District (2%). The impact will, unfortunately, be painful for some, but it is a difficult job to maintain necessary services when the Tory central government is cutting grants to councils!
Fire!: Jason Ablewhite, current Police and Crime Commissioner wants to add the Fire Service to his empire despite the fact the Fire Authority members (Tory, Lib Dem, Labour and Independents) are unanimous in opposing this. The decision lies with the Secretary of State!
Parking and traffic: Redevelopment of Huntingdon centre is attracting more traffic and parking is becoming an increasing issue. Elsewhere, on-street parking by people wishing to avoid car parking charges at the station and elsewhere is becoming an increasing problem. Liberal Democrats are very active in trying to get action taken. Lib Dems have been successful in getting agreement to yellow lines in American Lane at long last, but we still await them being painted - it takes too long. We also keep banging on about the dangerous chicane on Sapley Way and potholes in Buttsgrove way. The budget cycle (and sheer lack of money) mean that action keeps getting delayed - its not good enough!!
Housing: Lib Dem Councillor, John Morris has been been championing the issue of social housing and trying to improve availability. Long term empty housing does not sit comfortably alongside increasing numbers of families in B&B accommodation. New housing developments in the area may start to provide some relief, and now that the District Council has been stung into action by John's campaigning and are promising policies soon, some of the families may be given some hope of a secure roof over their heads!
Your Lib Dem Councillors Mike Shellens and Set Greenall supported by a dedicated core team, including Trish Shrapnel, Michael Humphrey and others, work tirelessly on the behalf of residents all year round. The regular Focus Newsletters make sure residents are kept informed about issues and Lib Dems proactively seek feedback on what is important to people living in Huntingdon. Do you see that from other parties, and the Independents - don't think so!
The local elections to District and Town Councils will take place in early May - make sure that you are represented by people who are there with you and working for you all year round - vote LIBERAL DEMOCRAT!!!!
For more information read the Newsletter HERE
The latest edition provides residents with an update on what is happening at Cambridgeshire County Council. Council taxes are going up by 4.99%, primarily because of increasing pressures of providing adult and children social care and because of cuts to the grant from central government. Unfortunately part of the extra income will have to cover overspend in the last year. Lib Dems wanted councillor allowances cut to allow more to be spent on public services - this was vetoed by the Tories. On a positive note the Conservatives scrapped their proposals to increase care charges and Lib Dem and public pressure.
Local elections for District and Town councils this year. Sarah Conboy and David Underwood, your existing Lib Dem district councillors, will be re-standing together with Mike Grice a well-known local resident and secretary of the Huntingdonshire Lib Dems. They are a great team and work closely with your County Councillor Graham Wilson. 17 councillors to be elected for a four year term to the Town Council is non-party political.
The newsletter addresses some Godmanchester grumbles:-
Pigeons: In the last Focus, we reported we had a date for the works to be done to remove the pigeons from the A14 bridge. Since then things have been delayed! It will be in the next few months, hopefully.
Footpaths: Some paths can be dangerous for wheelchairs users / mobility scooter users. The County Council will meet us to identify the worst locations and to consider what could be done.
Buses: There are a number of complaints about the regularity of the bus services. We are raising these issues with the service providers and County Council officers.
Potholes: There are concerns about the condition of our roads and footpaths. We think that there are more potholes this year than last. This is worrying!
Streetlights: We continue to get complaints about streetlighting in many of our streets. We suggested to budget to replace some lights but the Tories rejected this and now we are left with a mess.
For more information read the full newsletter HERE
At the last minute, the Conservatives in charge of Cambridgeshire County Council have backed away from their plan to increase a range of charges for social care services. After a disastrous public consultation in which up to 83% of respondents opposed the changes, the Conservatives tabled a last-minute amendment at today’s Adults Committee meeting, announcing that they were ‘rejecting’ their own earlier proposals.
Liberal Democrat county councillors opposed the plan from the start.
“We realised straightaway that these proposals would hit some very vulnerable people very hard, and this was confirmed by the results of the public consultation”, says Cllr Graham Wilson, Lib Dem lead member for adult social care services.
“An awful lot of people across the county have experienced months of anxiety over this. It’s good that the Tories have backed down, but it’s a pity they didn’t listen to the Lib Dems in the first place.”
We have a busy and challenging year ahead of us with elections in May for all parish, town and district council seats in Huntingdonshire. We have already identified a good slate of candidates for many seats but we want to stand as many candidates as possible for parish and town councils, as well as to be District councillors to ensure that residents in our area are properly represented! (You can find out more about “Why be a Councillor and what they do” HERE)
To stand as a Liberal Democrat candidate and be a councillor you need to share our values and, obviously, be a member of the party. Liberal Democrat values are described in the Preamble to our Constitution:-
“The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity. We champion the freedom, dignity and well-being of individuals, we acknowledge and respect their right to freedom of conscience and their right to develop their talents to the full. We aim to disperse power, to foster diversity and to nurture creativity. We believe that the role of the state is to enable all citizens to attain these ideals, to contribute fully to their communities and to take part in the decisions, which affect their lives. ….”
If you want to join the Liberal Democrats visit the website HERE. We are seeing our membership grow month-on-month in Huntingdonshire and nationally. We now probably have more members than the Conservatives!
You will also need to be
- A British or a citizen of the Commonwealth or European Union
- At least 18 years old
- Registered to vote in the area or have lived, worked or owned property there for at least 12 months before an election
You can’t be a councillor if you:
- Work for the council you want to be a councillor for, or for another local authority in a political restricted post.
- Are the subject of a bankruptcy restrictions order or interim order.
- Have been sentenced to prison for three months or more (including suspended sentences) during the 5 years before election day.
- Have been convicted of a corrupt or illegal practice by an election court.
[taken from the LGA’s Guide]
And you need to be “approved”
- lodge an expression of interest (to stand as a potential candidate).
- Complete a form supplied to you.
- Attend a Candidate Approval Panel, where you will meet with a panel of 3 to talk through why you’d like to be considered as a candidate. The Panel will discuss with you which ward(s) you might be consider standing in. You will be notified and advised if you have been ‘approved’. If more than one candidate who wishes to stand in any particular ward, then the candidate selection is made by members living in that ward.
If you would like to be considered as a Liberal Democrat candidate then please get in touch. Contact Mike Shellens (firstname.lastname@example.org or tel 01480 456555). If you don’t want to be a councillor, but would like to give practical help in your area, delivering leaflets and putting up boards and posters in support of our campaign then we would also like to hear from you.
Please find attached the latest (January / February) newsletters for 1) The Hemingfords area and 2) Priory Park / Little Paxton, St Neots. These provide key information on topics that impacts residents in those areas, such as the A14 Project, the Huntingdon Local Plan, the National Infrastructure Commission’s recent report “Partnering for Prosperity: A new deal for the Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford Arc” and the positive, high-profile role of Liberal Democrats in opposing Little Paxton Riversfield Development.
Additional articles are included on how the Conservatives are struggling to fund services at Cambridgeshire County Council level, because they chose not to raise sufficient funds through very modest increases in council tax. In the news this week, we see that the neighbouring, Conservative run, Northamptonshire County Council are in even worse financial straits. Lets hope Cambridgeshire is not going to end up in the same situation!
Enjoy the read
Click HERE for the Focus Newsletter for the Hemingfords area
Click HERE for the Focus Newsletter for Priory Park / Little Paxton, St. Neots
The Huntingdonshire Development Plan, which identifies key areas of land for the development of new homes, jobs and services across the district, was approved by a full meeting of Huntingdonshire District Council in mid December, 2017.
The Development Plan IMPACTS EVERYONE living locally and local residents and communities need to be at the heart of the process and shaping the plans for our area.
The plan is now being published for a seven week period during which interested parties will be able to comment on its legal compliance and “soundness”. The examination of the plan will take place under a planning inspector, where those who made comments during the seven week period will be able to speak, and a final report will be issued. NOW IS THE TIME TO MAKE GET INVOLVED AND SHAPE THE PLAN!
Subsequently, the plan, together with comments received, will then be submitted to the Secretary of State, probably by the end of March, and will pass in to the hands of the Planning Inspectorate. The plan is expected to be adopted finally in 2019.
A link to the Huntingdonshire District Council website and the consultation is available HERE. A link to the document is given HERE (easier read!)