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  Liberal Party Special Assembly and NEC Meeting – 6th December 2020 – Motions for Deba
Posted by: ReadingLib - 11-23-2020, 12:02 PM - Forum: NEC Press Releases - No Replies

The motions for debate are now accessible from the front page of the party website:

A Local response to the COVID Pandemic

School Meal Provision

Discouraging the D word

Environment Policy Motion - Climate Change

A Zoom meeting invite will be made availabe shortly for all those wishing to attend.

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  Liberal Party Assembly Motion - Grenfell Tower Cladding Replacement
Posted by: ReadingLib - 11-19-2020, 07:04 PM - Forum: NEC Press Releases - No Replies

Grenfell Tower Cladding Replacement

The Liberal Party notes with concern a media report (2nd Sept 2020) that the Mayor of London has written to 51 city
landlords requesting an urgent update on the removal off lammable cladding from high rise properties.

These private and social landlords received government funding to remove cladding on their buildings and are
amongst a reported 100 such building in the London area needing urgent remedial action.

This situation is replicated across the country where many private residents have been left in the intolerable
situation of facing substantial bills to fund the replacement process whilst living in potentially unsafe

The party believes that the removal of ACM (aluminium composite material) cladding is a national priority and
whilst we welcome the £1bn Building Safety Fund to deal with unsafe ACM cladding on buildings but believe c
entral funding should be provided for all such residential properties.

Motion passed at the Liberal Parrty annual Assembly 3rd October 2020

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  Liberal Party NEC Statement on the Current One Month COVID Lockdown
Posted by: ReadingLib - 11-06-2020, 07:07 PM - Forum: NEC Press Releases - No Replies

The Liberal Party observes the reinstatement of a national lockdown to contain the renewed spread of the Covid-19 virus.

Whilst the party understands the urgent need to protect the NHS from being overwhelmed and to flatten the curve such a move will greatly impact further on society and business which will only be partly mitigated by the renewal of the furlough scheme.

The current situation has come about partly through the policies of government but equally a significant minority of the population has lacked the maturity to adhere to basic social distancing rules and restrictions on the size of public gathering which have accelerated the spread of the disease to older age groups.

The Liberal Party calls upon the government to support a national shielding scheme for care homes and at risk individuals by organising for immediate family members to be tested and if free of infection, to be suitably trained and provided with PPE so they can visit safely and offer support.

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  Liberal Party NEC Statement - Covert Human Intelligence Sources (CHIS) Bill
Posted by: ReadingLib - 11-05-2020, 07:32 PM - Forum: NEC Press Releases - No Replies

The Covert Human Intelligence Sources (CHIS) Bill

The Bill has been passed in Parliament to amend the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 to permit the carrying out of certain criminal acts by authorities in the United Kingdom.

Amongst its provisions special agents can now be given licence to commit criminal acts under the CHIS Bill, which could potentially allow the public to become victims to 'legalised crime'.

The Liberal Party stand vehemently against the Bill and call for it's immediate repeal.

Any act that infringes upon the rights of another individual should be illegal.

This attempt to legislate for criminal activity carried out by those acting for the state, fails to provide oversight that is capable of ensuring that unlawful decisions are identified before they can cause harm. It also fails to ensure those affected by unlawful decision can make a robust and open challenge in a court of law. It puts the state beyond the law!

Many of the Key Facts/Figures made for justifying the CHIS Bill are testament to a system that broadly works, with adequate safeguards in law.

Further efforts should focus on methods of investigation into crime culture without the risk of inequalities in the law and/or risk to the public.

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  Liberal Party Policy Development - Individual and Group Rights
Posted by: ReadingLib - 10-27-2020, 08:45 PM - Forum: NEC Press Releases - No Replies

After extensive revision and review the Liberal Party Policy Development Committee is proud to present an updates version of our party’s Individual and Group Rights policies which have now been uploaded to the Policies section of the party website.
We would like to thank the members of the Policy development Committee for their time and effort in the lengthy discussion's culminating in its presentation at the last Special Assembly.
Please circulate this information to anybody you fell would be interested in viewing the topic area’s covered.
Our next project will be the updating and revision of the Environment, Energy and Resources policy section of our party website.
We would again like to ask for input from the membership and other interested in this area.

If ypu feel you can contribute please contact a member of the Liberal Party NEC.

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  Liberal Party Calls for APWG to Deal with Food Poverty
Posted by: ReadingLib - 10-27-2020, 07:11 PM - Forum: NEC Press Releases - No Replies

The Liberal Party notes with dismay the defeat of the Parliamentary motion to extend free school holiday meals for disadvantaged children.
We believe that such privation should be dealt with throughout the pandemic and therefore call on government to commit the public purse until after Christmas to provide holiday meals for the 2.2 million children who currently receive free school meals.
We feel a quarterly review would be appropriate to identify changing needs, for creating certainty and for managing budgets and we call on government to establish an all-party working group (APWG) to make recommendations for future actions.
According to data from The Food Foundation more than 1.4 million children experience food insecurity during the school holidays, such a shameful situation must be addressed as part of a broader review of social policy in this country.

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  Liberal Party Annual Assembly and NEC Meeting – Sunday 6th December 2020
Posted by: ReadingLib - 10-20-2020, 06:42 PM - Forum: NEC Press Releases - No Replies

Dear members,

With the ongoing restrictions on travel, meeting and social distancing due to the COVID-19 Pandemic the Liberal Party has decided to continue to make alternative arrangements for our next Speical Assembly and NEC Meeting.

These will again be conducted over Zoom, computer software which allows on-line video conferences to be conducted between multiple participants.

The meeting will commence at midday on Sunday the 6th December and anybody wishing to attend should contact myself to obtain a meeting invite.
Members of the Liberal Party as well as the general public are welcome to attend this meeting.

Motions for debat are availble to view from the front page of the party website in advance.

Stephen Graham
Liberal Party NEC Member

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  Liberal Party NEC statement - Postal Vote for the May 2021 Election's
Posted by: ReadingLib - 10-07-2020, 07:06 PM - Forum: NEC Press Releases - No Replies

The Liberal Party remains concerned at the prospects for the local, Mayoral and PCC elections now provisionally scheduled for May 2021.
The running of the election cycle at the height of the pandemic in May 2020 would have needlessly exposed polling staff, as well as the electorate to COVID-19 and the suspension of the polls was the right and sensible thing to do.
At the same time rolling over the election cycles for a second time as well as the accumulating by-elections will increase the complexity of the election process when it resumes with increased numbers of seats and candidates on the ballot.
We would therefore support an all postal ballot in May 2021 and would therefore encourage the electorate to ensure they have registered to do so via their local council electoral services. We believe a further postponement should be a last resort only.
Where necessary additional funding should be provided to local authorities to allow them to print, distribute, collect, and process postal ballots in a secure and timely fashion therefore guarantee the integrity of the election process.

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  Motions carried at the Liberal Party Assembly - 3rd October 2020
Posted by: ReadingLib - 10-07-2020, 07:05 PM - Forum: NEC Press Releases - No Replies

The motions passed at the annual Liberal Party Assembly are now available to view in the Liberal Library section of the party website.

We have also taken the opportunity to consolidate our collection discussion documents in a single area accessible from the Discussion Document link on the home page.

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  Policy Development - Public Sector Project Cost Control
Posted by: ReadingLib - 09-23-2020, 06:55 PM - Forum: Party Policy Draft Papers - Discussion - No Replies

Cost over-runs and delays to public infrastructure projects

The Liberal Party notes the ongoing delays to the completion of the HS2 project, which is now projected as of February 2020 to cost more than £106 billion pounds, almost twice the original budget not withstanding delays to its completion.

Cost overruns and delays to the completion of publicly funded projects are a frequent feature of media reports, with recent examples such as:

Crossrail, initial budget of £14.8bn, the total cost has risen to more than £18.25bn with final completion pushed back to 2022.

Hinkley C cost has risen from £20.3bn to £22.9bn as of Sept 2019.

Ely's bypass opened in Nov 2018 at a cost £49million pounds, £13 million over budget due to "tricky conditions".

Lowestoft 3rd crossing put back out to tender after reports cost could reach £100 million pounds but only one contractor was willing to bid. The latest cost estimate as of August 2020 is now 134 million pounds.

Upper Orwell Crossing, Ipswich abandoned Jan 2019 at a projected cost of £97m, but with an independent review saying it would be closer to £139m.

Reading third crossing – projected £150 million pounds.

In Scotland there have been similar controversies with the Aberdeen by-pass and the Edinburgh Trams project.

Infrastructure spending is vital for promoting economic activity and regional development, particularly in periods of recession when it boosts employment, but is dogged by a national inability to deliver on time and to budget.

These budget overruns represent the unexpected expenditure of taxpayer’s monies and should be critically scrutinised to ensure the electorate is getting value for money.

Explanations include each project being treated as unique, with no attempt to recycle designs or experience, the full scope and hence costs of projects are not properly understood prior to tendering and the costs of land purchases are not fully factored in.

Many bidders are seemingly unable or unwilling to quote a fixed cost, or potential bidding low to win the business knowing local or national govt will pick up the cost overruns. In some cases, this prospect is leading to the cancellation of important projects such as the Upper Orwell Crossing.

There also appears to be a lack of domestic companies with the size to take on such projects, with the choice likely to be further restricted post BREXIT as the country focuses on domestic bidders in preference to those from the near continent.

Central and local government and private business should be encouraged to work together to better manage the cost of projects and to promote best practise professionally across the construction industry.

The Audit Commission should report on major government funded infrastructure projects as well as public sector expenditure to identify areas of improvement and to provide early warning of projects in need of early intervention.

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