Steve Bolter

To my friends in the Hedinghams and the Maplesteads from Steve Bolter

My home parish of Gestingthorpe has now been moved into Stour Valley South Ward.

While it was tempting to stand in the new Hedingham Ward, where I know so many people, I decided to stick with my principles and stand for my own Ward.

I thank the residents of the Hedinghams and Maplesteads who helped me with deliveries or just voted for me.

I have lived long enough to know that neither my party nor I are always right, so I also thank Hedingham people of other political persuasions, who engaged me in serious doorstep discussions.

The Lib Dem Parliamentary candidate for Braintree is Matt Klesel. I hope you will vote for him. Every vote matters. Remember the Lib Dems got only 8% of the seats in 2010, but 23% of the total vote. Our strength in the Coalition, whether measured by number of positions in the Government or by the proportion of our policy we were able to implement, much more reflected our 23% proportion of the nationwide vote than our 15% of coalition seats.

Matt is in his mid-twenties. I hope that the youth of our Parliamentary candidate will encourage more young (or even middle aged) people to stand for the local elections.

Gestingthorpe is still in the Hedingham County Division, but I will be approaching 75 at the next County Election. My age and my workload for the Green Lib Dems, an internal organisation dedicated to ensuring the Lib Dems have a strong environmental policy, mean I will not be standing for County again.

During my years as candidate for the 3 seat Hedingham and Maplestead Ward, I was continually looking for at least one female candidate and at least one young candidate to stand alongside this elderly male. Now I am not standing at all, I hope that in future Hedingham Ward will find two candidates, at least one female candidate and at least one young, and that someone in the Maplesteads will put themselves up for the Lib Dems in their new Ward.

Steve Bolter

Hedingham County Division

Comprising the District Wards of The Colnes, Bumpstead, Gosfield & Greenstead Green, Hedingham, Stour Valley N, Stour Valley S, and Yeldham

New Braintree District Wards for the 2015 elections

As part of a scheme to reduce the number of sears on Braintree District Council, the Electoral Commission decided that the 3 seat "Hedingham and Maplestead Ward" be divided up, with a new 2 seat Hedingham Ward, and the Maplesteads going in with Greenstead Green and Gosfield , and Gestinghthorpe and Wickham going into Stour Valley South, all single seat wards. Upper Colne Ward would be distributed between Yeldham, Bumpstead and Stour Valley N and Bulmer would move from Stour Valley North to South. The May elections will be based on the new wards

We are seeking new helpers and candidates for the wards. Please contact Steve on or

Sudbury Line

Steve Bolter, Hedingham candidate for the last Count election and prospective Stour Valley South candidate for this year's election is supporting the call for a pair of lifts at Marks Tay station, to enable wheelchair users to change between the Sudbury line and the Colchester to London main line.

The Conference Report to Braintree and Witham Constituencies Lib Dem AGM November 2014

was delivered live and is thus the detail is not available to put on the site.

In 2014 I attende the Spring Federal Confernce in York, the Green Lib Dem Conference in Peterborough, the Autumn Federal Confernce in Glasgow and the East of England Conference in Cambridge. Steve Bolter

Of special interest to our area was an attempt, at Glasgow, to water down our Aviation Policy by allowing new runways in the South East and East of England regions.East . It was thrown out by a 2/3 majorty.

We are seeking new helpers and candidates for the wards. Please contact Steve on

European Election 2014

Steve, our recent Hedingham County and District Council candidate, is a member of the Green Lib Dem Executive Policy Group.

He was a joint author of the April 2014 GLD statement on the Euro-Election, which can be read via the link below.

Conference Report to Braintree and Witham Constituencies Lib Dem AGM November 2013

Regrettably I cannot personally deliver this report. When the notice revealing the date arrived, I
found this AGM to be in the middle of an already booked three day family gathering in a Norfolk
Hotel, to celebrate my wife's and sister's birthdays. Steve Bolter
This year I have attended the March Federal Conference in Brighton, (the June Green Lib Dem
Conference in Bristol), the September Federal Conference in Glasgow and the October East of
England Conference in Cambridge. At all except the GLD Conference I was a Representative for
our Local Party.
I have decided to report on one Federal Conference and the EoE Conference. Please do not chastise
me for ducking writing a third report - there are three other Reps.

East of England Conference Saturday 19 October 2013

Gill was at Conference as Regional Hon Secretary, but, as far as I know, she and I were the only
B&W members there. We are entitled to 6 voting delegates and unlimited observers. With a fee of
only £20 including lunch, a venue only 20 miles from the northern end of Braintree and Witham
territory, with no overnight accommodation needed, this would have been easy for many members
to attend. Churchill College made a superb venue; with easy parking, superb auditorium acoustics,
comfortable well equipped meetings rooms and a generous lunch

This report attempts to give the flavour of the Conference. It is the Conference as seen by a
Brainless and Witless, environmentally active, pro-European, retired physics educator.
I could not be everywhere at once. For more detail of what it was all about, go to and download the PDF file using the link
"final Agenda here". There are Reports plus Training and Fringes detail, within the Agenda

As we have the Euro-elections next year, Europe was a major theme at the Conference. After a
welcome to Conference from Julian Huppert MP, came the motion "Celebrating EU citizenship".
It listed EU achievements and endeavours. It recognised that "The EU is the best hope of security
against Cross-border threats such as chemical pollution of the air, rivers and seas, loss of wildlife
species caused by destruction of habitats, use of harmful agricultural and industrial chemicals and
failure to deal responsibly with waste, exhaustion of fish stocks through a fishing free-for-all in
international waters, and energy insecurity thanks to dependence on imported oil and gas from
unstable regions".
In paragraph 2d), it expressed the belief that "the UK should welcome the current talks between the
EU and the USA as a historic opportunity to create a single market by dismantling barriers to trade
and thus promote prosperity among the 819 million citizens of the EU and the USA" that and we
should "Communicate these messages across the East of England"
I asked for this paragraph to be the subject of a separate vote, as I feared that the looser bound EU
would be a weaker partner in negotiations with the USA, and that "dismantling barriers to trade"
could mean the international corporations overriding European measures to protect the
environment, and ordinary citizens. There was a separate vote, but paragraph 2d) was retained and
the whole motion carried. (Since the Conference further information on the dangers of the EU- USA
TT IP, has emerged. I, for one, will not be prepared to campaign for 2d.)

Next came Party Business. Reports were presented:- by Andrew - MEP; by Julian, Norman, Bob &
Simon - MPs, by Tom on behalf of our Peers, - Sal B, Shirley, Ros, Raj, Qurban, Andrew &
himself; by retiring and incoming Chairs Sal J and Stephen; and by Treasurer Lloyd.
If you do not do not recognise these names then that is an added reason for going to and downloading the "final Agenda here".

The Keynote Speaker was the Rt Hon Ed Davey MP. Being a member of the Green Lib Exec, I
have heard Ed speak many times this year, but, as always, he had something new to say. He
continued the European theme. As Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change he is the UK
representative on the EU Council (of Ministers) when it is discussing these issues. During his
tenure, the UK has taken the lead, in the Council, on energy and climate change. He heads a group
of Ministers from nations which believe that working for sustainability is an essential policy, which
cannot be put on the back burner times of austerity.
An enthusiastic questioning from the floor made the session overrun, shortening the lunch time

I ran a Fringe on communicating our environmental policies. I spoke on the need to explain that our
decision to allow new build, and to delay the final closure of UK nuclear electricity generation, was not
an abandonment of environmental policy, but the result of an assessment that closing down fossil
fuel power generation to reduce greenhouse gas emission was environmentally more urgent.

Sal Brinton's motion, on provision of Support for those suffering School Bullying, was passed.

Bob Russell proposed a motion to "condemn the refusal of the Government of Israel to comply with
international law" and "request the European Union to cease favourable trading arrangements
between the EU and Israel". This was passed with little opposition.

The Emergency motion was on the A14 upgrade; not just about the tolls but also the routing. It
tended to be addressed as a Huntingdon and Peterborough issue, rather than one of strategic
importance. [I had to man the Green Lib Dem Stall during this debate so cannot give details.]
There were campaigning and fund raising activities in preparation for the 2014 elections. Gill can
give you more details on these.

Federal Conference at Glasgow Sat 14th to Wed 18th September 2103

Plenty went on at Conference - four and a half days of speeches, reports and debate 9:00 to 12:50
and 2:15 pm to 6 pm, in the main Auditorium, about 20 simultaneous Fringe meetings to choose
from 1 pm to 2 pm, 6:15 to 7:30 pm and 8 pm to 9:15 pm; and late evening events and breakfast
Fringes for insomniacs. There were 8 Policy Papers and a dozen reports, to read before arrival in
Glasgow, and an Exhibition to visit once there.

Glasgow is a pleasant city and local staff manning
security and catering etc. were always very friendly and helpful. Pity about the shortage of chairs.

It is impossible for a single Representative to do justice to all this, which is why we are allowed
four. Sadly I was the only Braintree and Witham Representative to attend. Although a
Representative, not a delegate, I would have welcomed some input from B & W members
Accommodation, fares, fees and food make National Conferences expensive. A Bursary to help
younger members attend would be a valuable investment for the future.

Tim Farron's Presidential speech got Conference off to a magnificent start. It was a speech to
appeal to real people, including those disillusioned with politics, and it got good media coverage.

It was an especially significant Conference for me, as I had been serving on the two National policy
working groups that produced:- the "Transition to a Zero Carbon Britain" Energy Policy Paper,
which somehow acquired the title "Green Growth and Jobs" for the associated motion; and the
"Education and Skills ..." Policy Paper, which begot the "Learning for Life motion".

The Evening before the Energy debate I organised a Fringe, for which I engaged Ed Davey, a
speakers from Friends of the Earth and a nuclear expert, to inform on the pros and cons of having
nuclear generated electricity as a small part of the energy mix, a topic on which there was to be a
separate vote. The following day the motion was passed with the option allowing limited new
nuclear generation.

I made 1 minute "Intervention" speeches in three debates, including one on the need to cut fossil
fuels first, even if we have to keep nuclear a few years longer, and one, the need to explain our
actions and policies to avoid misrepresentation.

There was a regrettable tendency for Policy Motions to be constructed to fit the Jobs and Growth
theme, identified as electorally popular, rather than to give a useful summary of policy for those
who are likely to research whether or not to vote Lib Dem.

The issue which most engaged the local population was the "Bedroom Tax". Labour introduced it
for private tenants; the majority Tories pushed the Coalition to extend it to social housing and, a bit
like tuition fees, somehow the minority Lib Dems got the blame. Conference passed an amended
motion on actions to address some of the problems consequent on the benefit reduction legislation,
and there was a promise of action by the Parliamentary Party.

The Agenda, the Directory (which includes the Fringe and Exhibition guides)¸ Conference Extra
(which updates the previous), All of the Policy Papers and Reports, Conference Daily (which
includes notices and results of previous day's results) and an important, but insignificant looking,
un-headed list which summarises the results of all the votes and gives links to motions as amended
and details of speeches, is available at which will
tell you far more than there would be time for at the B&W AGM.

End Note

I hope that you will elect me again as one of our four Representatives, and that you will also elect
three more to attend the Federal Conferences next year [at York from 7 - 9 March 2014 and back in
Glasgow from 4 - 8 October 2014 (again because our original September booking in Liverpool
booking would have clashed with Scottish independence vote, and Glasgow is only venue that
could accommodate the necessary change in date)] and that you will elect me as one of the 6
Representative to attend next year's EoE Conference. (Anyone want to suggest a venue?).
It is hard work, but great fun making and meeting friends from the EoE and across the UK.

Steve Bolter Gestingthorpe November 2013 s


Thanks to all those who voted for me and congratulations to the 9 Lib Dems that did get in, in other parts of Essex.

Mine was one of the largest Lib Dem votes in Braintree District, but still nowhere near enough to take me into the second I has held in the previous District and County Elections.

A least we have not ended up with a UKIPper from Basildon represrenting Hedingham.

Steve says look at the list of candidates' addresses displayed outside the polling station.

Would you want to be represented by a candidate from south Essex?

Would he or she know the Hedingham area's needs?!

About Steve

Steve and his wife Mary have lived in the Division, at Gestingthorpe, since 1983. He is a retired physics and maths FE lecturer. Their sons atended Hedingham School.

He was a Braintree District Councillor for the Hedingham and Maplestead Ward from 2004 to 2007, when he served on the Planning, Environment and Modernisation committees/task groups.

From 2007 to date he has been a member of Gestingthorpe Parish Council, on which he leads on planning. He represents the PC on the National Grid Bramford to Twinstead Community Forum and The Gestingthorpe Educational Foundation. He led on bringing Broadband to Gestingthorpe.

Steve is member of the national executive of the Green Liberal Democrats.

He sits on the Liberal Democrat national Policy Working Groups on "Skills and 16+ Education" and "Zero Carbon Britain 2050",

He is a member of the Colne Stour Countryside Association and the Thames Sailing Barge trust. He enjoys skiing, jazz and clasical music.

For Liberal Democrats priorities for the 2013 Essex County Council elections go to the searate Our Manifesto page.
For some of Steve's activities scroll down to the News section of this page.
This page will be updated during the election period. Last updated 20 April 2013.

Steve's Election Statement, 20th April 2013

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.

This election is to select the Councillors who will run Essex County Council and look after the interests of the residents and businesses in their Divisions. If it is used as a way to comment on unrelated issues, or to chastise National government, Essex is unlikely get the councillors it needs. Even though they have an effect on Essex, issues such as EU membership are matters for Westminster and are a distraction from local issues in the remit of councillors..

District and County Councillors have traditionally used Parish Councils to help them keep in touch with the needs of residents across this vast division, which stretches from the Bumpsteads to Bures Hamlet.

I note that the UKIP candidate for Hedingham lives in Basildon, the BNP candidate in Heybridge and the Green candidate in Witham. I wonder how many of the 35 parishes in our division they are familiar with, how many Parish Councils and Village Meetings any one of them would attend if elected and what the travel expenses would be if he or she did attend many! Do they really want to look after the specific needs of Hedingham, or are they using a County election to play national politics?

The Labour candidate is from nearby Halstead, but only the Liberal Democrat and Tory candidates live in the Division. My wife and I are in our 30th year of residence in Gestingthorpe, in the Hedingham Division.

The Westminster Coalition does not constrain Lib Dem Councillors. On the outgoing Council the 60 Conservatives were held to account by the 11 Lib Dems of the official opposition. Labour and Independents had 2 seats each. I hope the Lib Dems at least gain sufficient extra seats to enable the party to be an even stronger voice on the council, whether as part of a ruling group or as a stronger opposition. Opposition scrutiny of the County Cabinet is essential, but it needs to be undertaken in the interests of Essex and not be party political posturing. As I did when I was a District Councillor, if elected I would work for cross party cooperation to find the best solutions for our residents rather that for political point scoring.

For many of our residents, health and other key services come from towns or villages across the Suffolk border. Essex has to ensure that there is adequate cross border cooperation, for example between Essex social services and Suffolk Health Trusts.

Over the last 25 years Governments have reduced the degree of control counties have over local schools and colleges, but I believe that the Council must use all means it can to ensure that all colleges and schools contribute to providing first class educational opportunity across the county, especially in rural areas where choice is more restricted. This includes being very careful in the selection of governors it nominates.

There are few jobs locally and, with the exception those close to Bures, all transport has to be by road. Congestion black-spots need to be engineered out and public transport interchanges need to be improved. Essex needs a strategy to encourage a better balance between jobs and housing, and to ensure that people who live in rural areas can access good quality education and training. Public transport should be suitable for taking those without cars to work or college and Essex should also make it convenient enough to entice people to get out of their cars.

We welcome improvements to roads and the local services installed under them. However in recently parts of the Hedingham Division have suffered from frequent prolonged road closures requiring long diversions, with the closures often remaining at night and weekends when no work is in progress. I am endeavouring to ensure that closure applications are more rigorously assessed and that closures are restricted to the times that they are necessary. I am also requesting better information about closures and their effect on bus services.

For those in rural areas the use of Broadband can help compensate for the lack of nearby facilities. It can reduce the need for travel and facilitate home-working. I was responsible for bringing Broadband to Gestingthorpe and will back schemes to bring Broadband cover to the whole of the Division and to make sure that capacity in all areas keeps pace with demand. The Lib Dems want ECC meetings to be routinely webcast.

I will resist any pressure to revive plans for multiple runways at Stansted and work to ensure air traffic management has minimising disturbance of local residents as a priority. I will continue to work to ensure that major infrastructure projects, such as the new 400 000 volt line, cause the minimum possible impact on our communities and on the landscape.

Please vote for me to Join the Lib Dem team on the County Council, and please remember even if I do not win, every Lib Dem vote recorded contributes to the standing of those Lib Dems who are elected.

Steve Bolter


Printed (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
Hedingham page published and promoted by Braintree and Witham Liberal Democrats, 54 Grymes Dyke Way, Stanway, Colchester CO3 0QT
on behalf of Steve Bolter, Wickham House, Gestingthorpe, Halstead, CO9 3BH



Energy Bill and the Dash for Gas (March 2013)

Steve was editor of the Green Lib Dem commentary on the draft Energy Bill. It concluded that the propsed carbon emission limits for power stations were not strict enough. Tim Yeo, the Tory MP for Sudbury and chairman of the All Party Select Committee on Energy, has proposed an amendment to the Energy Bill (2013) which calls for an electricity generation carbon emissions target for 2020 to be set by this Parliament. This would temper the Dash for Gas resulting from the policy of George Osbourn.

[See for details.]

Steve Bolter has called for Lib Dem MPs and our local MP to support this ammendment.

New 400 000 volt line from Ipswich to Twinstead (February 2013)

The local Consultation group, of which Steve Bolter is a member, managed to convince National Grid that the new line should be undergrounded where it crosses the Stour. The undergounding will continue until it joins the existing line to south Braintree, meaning that there will be no new 400 kV overhead line in the Braintree District part of the route.

National Grid was further persuaded to turn the underground line south, so that three existing pylons on the line south to Braintree could be removed from the precious landscape around Loshes Meadow and Sparrows Hal in Twinstead: some of Steve's evidence was quoted in the decision.

To make room for the new overhead line on the Suffolk part of the route, the 132 kV line providing the backup supply for the Belchamp substation which serves Hedingham and Sudbury is being removed. A new 132 kV link to Belchamp will be needed - possibly via a large transformer station, fed from the 400 kV line somewhere between Twinstead and Castle Hedingham. If this, or the locally preferred option of a 132 kV underground line from Braintree, is adopted, Steve believes that the 132 kV overhead line line made redundant should be removed. (UK Power Networks want to keep it in case it, finds a use for it in the future.)

Emergency Motion Aviation in the East of England Conference October 2012

The East of England Conference notes that:-

  1. i. air transport contributes to global warming and produces noise and chemical pollution around airports;
  2. ii. for sustainability the world average intensity of use of air transport has to be well below the current level for the East of England.

The East of England Conference:-

1 supports the Lib Dem policy of rejection of new runways at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted, and of any plans for an airport in the Thames Estuary;

2 reaffirms its opposition to extra runways at Stansted;

3 deplores lobbying by senior Conservatives in favour of the construction of extra runways at Stansted as an option for the creation of a new hub;

4 calls for the retention of existing limits on passengers and movements at Stansted;

5 calls for ban on night flights at East of England Airports.*2

Draft for proposers speech

At September's Federal Conference the motion "A Sustainable Future for Aviation" was carried.The Federal motion had much good content, including the need to address the global and local environmental impacts of air transport; but it also had a difficult to reconcile thread running through it; which assumed airports to be important drivers of UK jobs and growth, and assumed having a major aviation hub in the UK to be essential for a healthy economy.

Aviation does create jobs, but many are overseas jobs, at the expense of British jobs:

The Federal motion was amended to acknowledge the Commission recently set up by Government "to identify options for maintaining this country's status as an international hub for aviation" and to task the Commission with basing its recommendations on Five Key Principals, the first 3 being

  • Accessibility from N and S (which ticks the box for much of our region )
  • Maximum hubbing potential
  • And Growth within Carbon Budgets (which to achieve Lib Dem budgets means aviation using up carbon savings generated elsewhere and transferring direct flights from other airports to the hub.

I doubt that increasing airport capacity would produce a significant net increase in jobs in the UK, or that, in the era of e-mail and video conferencing, international hub status is of significant benefit to the economy. I cannot see that this thread is part of a Sustainable Aviation policy.

Aviation's contribution to global warming is out of all proportion to the role it plays in people's lives. The ease and speed of air travel encourages frequent long journeys, producing large amounts of CO2. Aviation produces additional warming because water vapour and soot emitted at altitude seed a blanket of evening cloud to trap the heat of the day, and also produces high levels of noise, particulate and chemical pollution in the vicinity of busy airports.

The worst contribution to global pollution is at take-off and landing, making compound air journeys via hubs more polluting than point to point flights over the same distance.

Europe has more than its fair share of world aviation, the UK has more than its fair share of European aviation and the East of England Region has more than its fair share of the both the advantages and the disadvantages of aviation. If those in developing countries flew as much as we do, there would be runaway climate change.

For sustainability the world average rate of use of air transport has to be well below current usage in the East of England.

If there is any expansion in UK aviation, it should be the provision of more direct flights from regional surface transport hubs outside the London super-region.

A hub airport anywhere in England would have a large population within its noise footprint.

If large numbers of flights are concentrated in a single hub, the noise nuisance for its local population would be enormous. Aviation is better thinly spread.

Rather hub airport, we should be improving the connectivity of surface transport and make making rail more attractive [for example by reducing the 1¼ hours one has to allow for changing trains between Liverpool Street and Euston or St Pancras. ]

Why is this an East of England matter? The Tory right and the Aviation Lobby have been emboldened by the Lib Dem acceptance of the quest for a hub and seem pretty confident that Tory commitment to no new runways in the East of England will be a will be a one election wonder.

There has been intensive lobbying:-for more intensive use of existing runways; with the associated increase stacking and in emissions and for new runways, including the easy option for a hub, the revival of long abandoned plans for a four runway Stansted, even though it would not fit the other two Lib Dem Key Principles minimal impact to the local population and to environment.

The federal motion included a call for a night flight ban at Heathrow only. Night flights would be displaced to other airports near London.

Because of these pressures, I believe we should:-

  • reaffirm the Lib Dem policy of rejection of new runways at Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and Boris Island,
  • Emphasize our opposition to the lobbying for a multi-runway hub at Stansted
  • Call on Government not to raise current limits at Stansted ,
  • And call for an end to night flights in our Region.

Proposed by Steve Bolter

Liberal Democrats say no to new runways at Stansted

August 2012

The Liberal Democrats are pushing for a new strategy for aviation which balances the benefits the industry brings as a driver of jobs with the harm it causes to the environment.

The strategy, which will be put to members at the party's Autumn Conference in a policy motion, reinforces the Liberal Democrats' opposition to new runways at London's airports. Key proposals include no new runways at Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted and no airport capacity expansion which could allow for aircraft movements above the carbon emissions cap set by the independent Committee on Climate Change

The Liberal Democrats want UK aviation policy to be based on accessibility from north and south and minimal impact on the local population and minimal impact on the global environment and maximum 'hub airport' potential.

Julian Huppert, our Cambridge MP, who will proposing the Aviation motion said:-

"Aviation has the potential to become one of the greatest threats to the global environment. Unmitigated expansion of aviation would cause the UK to miss its carbon reduction targets."

"Enough is enough. The public deserve an airport policy which balances the benefits from aviation with the harms it can do to the environment globally and locally. That is exactly what we'll deliver."

Steve Bolter 6th February 2012

No to Any More Runways in the south east of England (East of England, SE and London Regions) (20 Jan 2012)

Local Lib Dems are pleased that senior Lib Dems, including Norman Baker (Transport) and Nick Clegg were swift to reafirm Lib Dem policy when Boris started promoting a scheme a new airport off the Isle of Grain. The Party is standing up to the Tories, who stated their opposition the expansion of aviation to boost their vote in the election, but who now show signs of caving in to the aviation lobby.

Recent Lib Dem pronouncements have referred to no new runways at Heathrow or anywhere in the south east. Norman Baker has confirmed that this refers to the geographical south east, including Stansted and the whole of the East of England Region, not just the South-East Region.

Aviation is a major contributor to Global Climate Change and cannot be allowed to expand without limit. The UK already has more than its fair share of flights, and the south-east has a more than fair share of UK flights. If there is any expansion of aviation capacity in England, it should be in the midlands, the north or the west.


Steve has replied to Caroline Lucas's call for Lib Dems to desert to the Green Party

Steve argued that this might make Caroline feel more powerful,but that it would not gain any votes for green issues in this Parliament.

Lib Dem members should be giving their MPs the backing they need to help them ensure that even more Lib Dem policies become Government policies.

Our members deserting them would weaken their power to kerb the Tory right and bring in more green policies.

For the full text click here


In the May 2011 District Council Election Steve Bolter contested one of the 3 Hedingham seats.

It was a quiet election with only the Tories and us putting out any information.

As the Lib Dems only had one candidate, we suggested our supporters gave their second vote to the Green candidate, which may account for their knocking Labour into 6th, 7th and 8th places.

Our vote of 661 was only 65 down on 2007, when we probably had some tactical voting from Labour supporters, but almost the same as that which gained us the seat in the 2004 by-election.

This time, with the Conservatives coming out in force to vote no to AV, their vote was generally up but one Torry suffered a loss of 70 votes.

We were fourth, following the three Tories. The Greens, came fifth, followed by the three Labour candidates, who gained an average of 96 votes each over 2007.

Steve Bolter notes that the highest vote went to the youngest candidate, and this was District Wide. We need more young members.

We would like to field more young candidates in the 2013 County Election and 2015 Braintree District Election.

Without the AV effect, and when national Tory policies start to bite, the Tory vote could drop back considerably, making Hedingham and Maplestead winnable again in 2015.

May 2011 District Council Election .

2004 to 2011 Results compared.

Links to publications

Spring Focus 2011 Election Focus 2011 Hedingham Herald September 2011 (local edition of County Newspaper)