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  • Article: Sep 17, 2020

    Tonight, Jewish communities in the UK and around the world will mark Rosh Hashanah - the Jewish New Year.

    The Jewish High Holidays are a time of deep contemplation and self-reflection. They are an opportunity for all of us to look back on the past year as we set new goals for the future.

    This year has been particularly challenging; we have all had to adjust to new ways of living, whilst grappling with economic uncertainty.

  • Article: Sep 17, 2020

    Our first ever full online conference is set to be one of our biggest ever. I'm so proud that we've been able to keep costs low for members to attend, plus no cost of travel, accommodation, or buying all your meals out.

    With a more accessible, affordable, and flexible conference, more members than ever will be able to have their say and vote on some of the fantastic policy motions coming up at Autumn Conference.

  • Article: Sep 17, 2020
    By Daisy Cooper

    I'm honoured to have been elected by my fellow MPs as Deputy Leader and I'm champing at the bit to get started.

    Whilst Ed is touring the country listening to and reconnecting with voters, it's going to be my role to help build a campaigning machine that will get us winning again at every level.

    It's going to be my role to help build a campaigning machine that will get us winning again at every level.

  • Article: Sep 17, 2020

    Boats could get access to the centre of Chelmsford for the first time in many decades, following a decision of the Lib Dem led Chelmsford City Council's Cabinet on Tuesday 8 September. Councillors agreed to commission a detailed feasibility study into replacing flood gates to the east of the city centre and adding lock-gates. This would allow boats to pass further west, up the rivers Chelmer and Can.

    If found to be feasible, replacing the automatic flood defence gates and adding a lock should allow the whole stretch of the River Chelmer from the Heybridge Basin through Chelmsford to be navigated. Currently boats cannot navigate any further than the weir gates, situated near the Essex Record Office.

    The automatic gates were built during the 1960s and are mainly used to retain water in the river by the city centre. Without them, water levels would be very low and even non-existent in some parts each Summer. They are currently operated by the Environment Agency (EA) however, the EA has indicated that it can no longer justify the continued maintenance of the gates.

    Cabinet Member for Greener and Safer Chelmsford, Councillor Rose Moore, said, "Improving our waterways is a key objective in the Council's new 'Our Chelmsford, Our Plan' and I am delighted that we are delivering on that objective. The City Council's Waterways Working Group is promoting this plan as one way to improve and encourage the varied use of the city's waterways and adjacent paths and open spaces, and we want to engage the wider waterway user community.

    "One of the key aims of the Working Group has been finding ways to enable navigation to the upper Chelmer. I am pleased that Cabinet has now agreed to develop these studies further."

    Lib Dem Leader of Chelmsford City Council, Cllr Stephen Robinson, said, "Enabling boats to access central Chelmsford's waterways has long been an aspiration for many of us. There are still a number of further steps to take before this becomes reality. However, this full feasibility survey will enable the Council to assess the viability, design solution and full costs, before deciding whether the scheme should be taken forward. This is a positive step forward and we look forward to seeing the detailed feasibility study

  • Article: Sep 16, 2020
    By Anthony Harris

    Our Remit

    The Federal Finance and Resources Committee (FFRC) is responsible for the budget and finances of the Federal Party and overseeing the administration of the Party. A key element of its role is oversight of compliance with external regulatory bodies.

    Guest Appearance by Geoff Payne (Chair of the Federal Conference Committee)

  • Article: Sep 15, 2020
    By Lisa Smart and Iain Donaldson

    Last week we officially welcomed our newest member - Director of Strategy, Research and Messaging Mimi Turner.

    Mimi provided for us her perspective on the Party's strategic and campaigning position, as well as an initial summary of what we might do differently in future. There is much to be done but we are excited by the steps the Party is taking to get more Liberal Democrats elected and our newly elected Leader's listening tour.

  • Article: Sep 14, 2020

    Liberal Democrat MPs have put forward measures to the Internal Market Bill that will remove controversial clauses that breach the Northern Ireland Protocol.

    Respecting the rule of law is fundamental to any self-respecting Government.

    The clauses in question allow the UK to unilaterally scrap "exit summary" forms for goods moving from Northern Ireland to Great Britain, and to apply UK state aid rules in Northern Ireland - contrary to what was agreed with the EU. A third clause seeks to protect the above changes from being considered unlawful.

  • Article: Sep 14, 2020

    I've been a member for many years but like many others, I'd never taken the plunge and dived into conference.

    That all changed last year when I went to the 2019 Lib Dem Party Conference in Bournemouth.

    I didn't know what to expect, but before I knew it, I was meeting fellow Lib Dems from across the country, sharing stories, learning new tricks, and feeling at home with over 3,000 like-minded members who share my values.

  • Article: Sep 8, 2020

    Saturday sees the first full meeting of our new Steering Group, created by the Federal Board in a pilot to find ways of improving how we run the party. As the Thornhill Election Review found in frank detail, failing to run the party well hinders our election prospects.

    Elections will be very much on our mind as one of our major items of business is next May's elections. The combination of general elections in Scotland and Wales plus two rounds of local elections in one will make this much more than a usual May. How much normal party activity to put aside so we can focus on the elections will be one of the issues discussed. It's always tempting to stop everything for the next election, but do that too often and many long-term problems build up. Some careful judgements will be needed.

  • Article: Sep 3, 2020
    By Layla Moran

    The new law, aimed at stamping out protests that have racked Hong Kong for the past year, can "prevent, stop and punish any acts or activities" that severely endanger national security." Such charges are often used in mainland China to silence dissidents and other political opponents. It has already been used to silence people.