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preamble to constitution

The Liberal Democrats are different

We are a party that seeks to empower every person and every community. Find out what we're doing here in Braintree and Witham, or join us today, and we will support you to make the changes you want to see.

Latest News & Events

  • Survey: Feb 23, 2017
    2 questions

    Tell us how you could help out with our campaign for the Essex County Council Elections.

  • Dentist
    Article: Feb 22, 2017

    The City's only Community Dental Practice at Parkside, Melbourne Avenue - used by our most vulnerable residents - is set to close after being taken over by Community Dental Services CIC on 1st October. They have decided to meet the needs of the population of Essex from centralised 'hubs' in the larger population areas.

  • External view of Oldbury Nuclear Power Station and electricity pylon, on the Severn estuary near Thornbury, South Gloucestershire. 2 gas-cooled nuclear reactors (2 x 217MWe Magnox GCR).
    Article: Feb 22, 2017

    UK Power Networks have issued advice on what to do if you suffer a power cut in tomorrow's potential storm, or at any other time.

    You will be able to find regular updates at www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk and www.twitter.com/ukpowernetworks throughout this period.

    Anyone experiencing a power cut should:

  • Springfield Crime Wave
    Article: Feb 22, 2017

    Over recent weeks, residents in Springfield have been subjected to an increasing number of acts of vandalism. These have now spread to the Chelmer Village area and have resulted in Chelmsford Police acknowledging the problem and increasing police presence in the area. Particularly prevalent has been damage to people's vehicles such as slashed tyres and smashed windscreens.

  • Cash
    Article: Feb 19, 2017

    Essex County Council Conservatives have voted down Liberal Democrat proposals to:

    • address the Essex NHS and social care crisis by increasing funding for partnership working with the NHS and care providers
    • put more of the Highways budget under local control, to speed up the repair of local roads and deliver important safety schemes
    • invest in new youth services including school lunchtime sessions
    • address Conservative cuts to school transport and recycling centres
  • Green Liberal Democrats Leaf logo
    Article: Feb 19, 2017

    Community and the Environment
    Transition, Wildlife Trusts, Nature Reserves,
    Awareness Raising

    Community and the environment looks at how the community interacts and takes stewardship of the environment. Four main themes of this are: Transition, wildlife trusts, nature reserves, awareness raising

    LibDem Policy Papers:

    PP2­ Reclaiming the City, Quality of Life in Urban Areas (pub 1994)

    5.2.4 Conservation, both of the built and the natural environment, is a crucial element of planning

    policy. Local authorities should be given greater powers to designate and to offer proper protection to

    sites, with effective enforcement powers.

    PP45 ­ Local Economies, Local Choice (pub 2001)

    5.0.2 Liberal Democrats believe sustainability must be inextricably linked with all policy, especially

    economic policy and above all local economic policy.

    PP69 ­ Affordable homes in Safer, Greener, communities (pub 2004)

    4.2. looks at improving access to Open Spaces through minimum standards in planning

    developments and the rights of communities to reclaim under used land. Policy would allow rights of

    public access on private open space created and the rights to have the communities on management

    committees of these open spaces.

    4.3.2 makes the statement that "Liberal Democrats believe sustainable communities will only be

    achieved when local people are empowered, through their councils, tenant associations and local

    community groups."

    5.4.6 Makes a priority to identify land for new Community :Land trusts (CLTs), issues and issue guidance for councils and private foundations on how they can provide land for the trusts and encourages councils to undertake an audit and publish a register.

    5.4.3 introduces the concept of community land auctions to enable community to acquire land

    PP73 ­ Your community , your choice ­ local government policy paper (pub 2006)

    Although this is a local government structural paper it does give to major principles that link to the above;

    Reaffirming decisions to the lowest level and citizens should be given incentives to re­engage with their communities

    PP77 Green and prosperous communities (pub 2007)

    This paper looks at Social cohesion and regeneration as a them. Whilst not specifically talking environmental issues the paper looks at encouraging volunteering that could be for environmental projects.

    PP93 ­ Our Natural Environment (pub 2009)

    2.3.2 Introduces environmental labelling, the impact

    4.1.1 involves local communities in creating new community woodland and green areas.

    4.1.2 Encourages the development of 'greenways'

    4.2.1 introduces a special designation comparable to SSSI to allow the protection of allotments and other green spaces of particular value to the health and wellbeing of local people.

    4.2.5 Local authorities will be given the responsibility for working together to agree Landscape Policies to protect and enhance natural geographical areas such as river basins, moors, woodland areas, flood plains or islands.

    PP102 ­ Quality of Life (pub 2011)

    5.6.3 We will make the promotion of quality of life the central goal of the planning framework.

    Challenge Magazines:

    2008 Spring

    p8 Towards Greener Living

    2009 Spring

    p9 Small is Still Beautiful

    10 Spring

    p9 Saving Our Seas

    p15 Sustainable Tourism

    2010 Spring

    p23 The Path To Transition

    2010 Summer

    p15 People Power

    2010 Autumn

    p21 Localism and Climate Change in Eastleigh

    2011 Spring

    p6 Micro Hydro­power in Rural Africa

    2011 Autumn

    p22 Making Planning Work Differently

    2012 Summer

    p19 A Sustainable Future for Fish

    2012 Autumn

    p18 Reserve Judgement

    2013 Spring

    p6 Farming, Floods and Forests

    2013 Winter

    p5 Negating NIMBYism

    p22 Community Energy

    2014 Summer

    p10 Global Sanctuary


    (from 2014 Policy paper PDF here)
  • An array of Stirling engined concentrated solar power units in Spain
    Article: Feb 18, 2017

    Energy Generation, Storage, Smart Appliances, Efficiency

    Energy covers the installation of domestic energy sources and storage, utility ­scale installations such as windfarms and tidal lagoons, preparing for a future with electric vehicles, implementing the smart grid (including burying power lines to replace pylons) and using energy more efficiently. Councils are now permitted to be energy generators and providers, as well as having control over local plans to permit or restrict fossil fuel exploration.

  • Finchingfield bridge
    Petition: Feb 18, 2017

    We the undersigned oppose plans to build a large new bridge in the middle of Finchingfield pond. The existing bridge should be repaired or replaced, with a temporary bridge put in place.

  • Article: Feb 17, 2017

    Tens of thousands of deaths could be linked to cuts to health and social care, a new research paper by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and University of Oxford has found.

    The researchers concluded that "the evidence points to a major failure of the health system, possibly exacerbated by failings in social care".

  • Article: Feb 16, 2017

    Britain could be more vulnerable to terrorism and organised crime after a hard Brexit, Europol's chief has warned.

    Director of Europol Robert Wainright told Sky News today that Britain could be more vulnerable if the Government fails to secure access to vital intelligence sharing.

    Commenting on the warnings, Liberal Democrat Shadow Foreign Secretary Tom Brake said: "People did not vote to undermine our country's security.