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  Liberal Party NEC Statement - Restoration of UK Police Officer Numbers
Posted by: ReadingLib - 08-03-2019, 05:14 PM - Forum: NEC Press Releases - No Replies

The Liberal Party notes the government's announcement to restore the 20000 police position's lost since 2007.
 
The party welcome's this move as long overdue but cautions that this process will take many months to come to fruition with the necessities of interviewing, checking references, training and deployment.
 
It will also take considerable time and effort to restore the community contacts and local police intelligence lost over the last 9 years in the name of austerity.
 
There will also need to be the provision of adequate accommodation and office space, and a restoration of the network of magistrate's court, 162 of which have been closed, which represents 50% of the pre 2010 total.

This national network should act as the first opportunity within the criminal justice system to focus on keeping people out of jail and out of crime.
 
Police numbers in the UK have not kept pace with the rise in the countries overall population since the 1970's and coupled with a high turnover of offices, means that some commentators caution that the number of offices needed may be in excess of double the governments estimates.

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  Letter to Reading chroncile - Reading Councillors Allowances
Posted by: ReadingLib - 07-27-2019, 11:44 AM - Forum: Local Association Press Releases - No Replies

I read with interest Council leader Jason Brock’s(Labour) comments on the Reading Chronicle website(30th June) concerning the increase in councillors allowances.
 
Councillors may be toiling late into the night for limited financial gain, but this is part and parcel of being an elected councillor.
 
Although there is a compelling argument to pay lead councillors a fulltime wage when they are managing a budget of almost 140 million pounds of taxpayer’s money, I imagine there is little public support for this.
 
A generous increase in allowances should come hand in hand with better management and scrutiny of councillor’s decisions and judgment such as building up a 70-million-pound commercial property liability under the guise of generating additional revenue from rentals.
 
The incumbent council has yet to publish the accounts for 2016/17 or 2017/18 and has given no indication if the 2018/19 will be delivered by the October deadline. This is despite spending up to half a million pounds on revisions and reworking.

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  Liberal Party NEC Statement - Drugs Policy should be changed from a punitive approach
Posted by: ReadingLib - 06-25-2019, 07:33 PM - Forum: NEC Press Releases - No Replies

The Liberal Party notes that a majority of Conservative party leadership contestants have admitted to historic casual drugs use, and as such we welcome their honesty and hope that this gives rise to public debate.
 
The party advocates replacing the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and ancillary legislation with a replacement which provides for an effective strategy of legalisation, regulation and control.
 
We call for the establishment of an independent multi-agency co-ordinating body to oversee policy development and implementation in relation to the supply and control of drugs.
 
We support the taxation of drugs and redirection of criminal justice expenditure to education and treatment services and the dissemination of accurate and truthful information to minimise substance-related harm to individuals and communities.
 
Criminalisation of those afflicted with drugs dependency can have a detrimental impact, alienating people from contributing to society.
 
We believe that these measures will eliminate the criminal marketplace and cause a reduction in drugs related crime and violence whilst aiding those most in need of rehabilitation.

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  iberal Party NEC Statement - Review of the High Speed 2(HS2) project
Posted by: ReadingLib - 06-12-2019, 06:16 PM - Forum: NEC Press Releases - Replies (2)

The Liberal Party believes that Britain needs a modern transport system that is as environmentally friendly as possible. We need to encourage people and freight away from our roads and planes.
 
We also recognise that our rail system still has bottle necks at key centres on what is still a network designed and built in the Victorian era.  
 
Therefore, we believe that a new properly designed rail network will in the long term prove to be economically and environmentally cost effective.
 
While we recognise that high speed lines built in other countries have proved popular and effective, we do have concerns that building what has become known as HS2 in its current guise may not justified by an analysis of the costs and benefits of the scheme.
 
Even the government’s own figures suggest that HS2 represents poor value for money compared with alternative investments in transport infrastructure.
 
Any new lines or complete network needs to have easy interchange with and be part of the national network not a separate entity.
 
Local authorities, transport bureaucracies and business groups are already lobbying central government to fund new infrastructure along the route, with several schemes already identified.
 
Designed correctly new infrastructure including new rail lines has the potential to boost the economy. Done badly it has the real possibility of triggering billions of pounds of additional expenditure on commercially loss-making, taxpayer-funded projects.
 
Along with design changes to ‘buy off’ wealthy opposition and subsidised regeneration projects, these proposals threaten to push total spending far beyond the basic budget.
 
The Liberal Party therefore believes that what has become known as HS2 network, should have an overall rethink.
 
The design process should consider good connections at key centres and that the overall timescale should ensure that where new lines are needed, they are not built as a rush job, but as a well thought out and viable addition to our transport system.
 
As such they would alleviate pinch points and bottle necks in our aging infrastructure and meet the needs of a modern environmentally aware Britain.

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  Liberal Party NEC Statement - UK Measles Vaccination
Posted by: ReadingLib - 05-03-2019, 07:12 PM - Forum: NEC Press Releases - No Replies

The Liberal Party notes with grave concern media reports on the spread of the measles virus in the UK, and the decline in public vaccination.
 
A recent Unicef report heighted the sad fact that over half a million children in the UK failed to receive the MMR vaccination between 2010 and 2017. The UK vaccination rate is now believed to be in the region of 87%, short of the 90-95% range needed to contain the disease.
 
In matters of public health, the Liberal Party believes that to safe guard decades of improvement in health and wellbeing, greater efforts need to be made to inform the public of the benefits of vaccination and dispel parents’ concerns.
 
The party believes that better education on the risks of infection, the availability of alternative vaccination regimens and increased availability of vaccination at college and university all play a part in containing contagious diseases.

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  Liberal Party NEC Statement - UK National debt
Posted by: ReadingLib - 04-27-2019, 05:48 PM - Forum: NEC Press Releases - No Replies

The Liberal Party notes with concern that the value of national debt in this country has now exceeded 2 trillion pounds, a milestone which has gone almost entirely un-reported by the media.

Even after 9 years of austerity, with harsh cuts to public services and reductions to our police and armed forces, the budget deficit for 2018/19 was still 27.4 billion pounds.

Although the national debt only amounts to 84% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), it is only manageable largely due to low interest rates.

The Liberal Party believes this country can both afford decent public services and a modest reduction in national debt through a combination of investment in education and infrastructure, and a modest redistribution of wealth.

Even a modest redistribution of wealth would assist alleviate poverty and stimulate growth as people on low incomes having additional disposable income would spend a greater proportion of that additional income than those who are wealthier

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  Liberal Party NEC Statement - European Elections May 2019
Posted by: ReadingLib - 04-13-2019, 11:27 AM - Forum: NEC Press Releases - No Replies

The Liberal Party notes the opening of the nomination window for the European elections which will be held on the 23rd May.
 
The Liberal Party realises that the election campaign will be polarised into Leave and Remain camps. As we would not wish to dilute the votes of parties supporting the democratic result of the 2016 EU referendum, the party has declined to stand candidates.

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  Letter to Reading Chronicle - Thames Water media adverts
Posted by: ReadingLib - 04-06-2019, 05:14 PM - Forum: Local Association Press Releases - No Replies

I noticed recently the series of national media adverts by Thames Water imploring us all to save water and outlining the damage to the environment through over extract of ground water.

Unfortunately, Thames Water have omitted to mention the volumes of water lost every day through the nations leaking distribution network, nor the accumulated damage to depleted aquafers and streams.

The company itself has been a serial offender with a tardy lack of progress towards meeting targets for reducing waste through leakage and the inevitable fines from the industry regulator Ofwat.

The Chief Executive of the Environment Agency told a London conference at the beginning of March that the UK could be seeing extreme water shortages within 20 years, a combination of climate change and increased domestic demand.

The time to safeguard our nations water supply is now, when investment in pipes and leak reduction will have long-term benefits, not once the brooks and stream have started to run dry.

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  Liberal Party local election candidates 2019
Posted by: ReadingLib - 04-05-2019, 07:10 PM - Forum: NEC Press Releases - No Replies

The Liberal Party is fielding 33 district and 1 parish candidates at May's local elections.
 
Party President Steve Radford has 22 candidates in Liverpool.
 
There are 5 candidates in Ryedale including John Clarke and Joy Andrews.
 
There is a welcome return for Kathy King and Betty Gallon in Gateshead where there are now 2 candidates.
 
Lloyd Knight and Janet Rice are contesting seats in Mid Devon, with Lloyd doubling up on the Cullompton(SouthWard) town council seat.
 
Neil Taylor is contesting the Timperley seat in Trafford.
 
Stephen Graham will be contesting the Norcot seat in Reading, again the most contested seat in the district with 6 candidates from all parties.
 
Please reach out to local candidates to offer what assistance you can.

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  Liberal Party NEC Statement - NATO 70th anniversary
Posted by: ReadingLib - 04-01-2019, 06:48 PM - Forum: NEC Press Releases - No Replies

The Liberal Party wishes to acknowledge the imminent 70th anniversary of the creation of The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) with the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty in April 1949.
 
Although the organisation has endured and expanded the party believes that it ‘s mission should remain that of mutual defence within mainland Europe.
 
The participation in the Libyan crisis of 2011 even with UN backing, as with its involvement in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Indian Ocean off Somalia have taken NATO forces beyond the reasonable boundaries of its mandate.
 
We believe that the alliance would be better engaged in deepening regional contacts and offering additional avenues for co-operation and de-escalation in regional conflicts within its geographical sphere of influence.

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