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Below you'll find a range of local and national news about the Liberal Democrats

News from the local Liberal Democrats

  • Chiltern Food Bank
    Article: Apr 10, 2021
    By Frances Kneller, Liberal Democrat Unitary Candidate for Chesham and candidate for Chesham Town Council

    A year on from the start of the pandemic, there has been an unprecedented rise in the need for food bank help. The Government put in place schemes to support family finances in the wake of Covid-19, but too many households are falling through the gaps. Vast numbers of people are coming to food banks for the first time in their lives and children left unprotected from poverty and its lifelong effects.

  • Article: Apr 5, 2021

    Chesham & Amersham Liberal Democrats note the passing of our MP, Dame Cheryl Gillan, with great sadness. We send our condolences to her family and many friends.

    Clearly we had differences of political opinion, but all the Liberal Democrats who stood against her at parliamentary elections remember her courtesy and politeness. She was well regarded as 'a good constituency MP' and continued the work of Sir Ian Gilmour in making Chesham & Amersham one of the better-known constituencies.

  • Race report
    Article: Apr 4, 2021
    By Rachel Dineley, Diversity Officer, Chesham and Amersham Liberal Democrats

    Last week saw the publication of the report by the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities on race and ethnicity in the UK.

    It has been rightly criticised for finding that there is no evidence of institutional racism in the UK. The term is a label, and perhaps an unhelpful one at that. Institutions are made up of people and we all know they are a very mixed bag indeed.

  • Policing Bill
    Article: Mar 18, 2021
    By Toby Price

    Chalfont St Giles resident Toby Price has written to local MP Dame Cheryl Gillan to express his views about the Government's Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

    In his letter he wrote:

    "Dear Dame Cheryl.

    I am certain you do not wish this country to be aligned with countries such as Hong Kong and Myanmar in the way protests are handled.

    The Policing Bill is taking us in that direction and reinforces messages to the Police that led to the upsetting and unnecessary scenes in London on Saturday.

    Please, please scrutinise the bill and influence its passing with all your powers to make sure peaceful protest is not restricted.

    I know you don't agree with my views on Brexit, but I'm sure you will agree that the three large marches in London were amazingly peaceful and did nothing to damage the UK's reputation. If anything they showed how tolerant we can be, even when we don't agree. Even the XR protests were by and large very peaceful. I witnessed the one at Bank in London and the mood from everyone I met, including those inconvenienced, was positive. The police too reacted in a constrained way on that day.

    There does need to be governance over protests that may cause trouble and the old Public Order Act dealt with these through terms such as 'serious public order'. These gave the Police sufficient powers and only need to be modernised for our times, not fundamentally changed. The same is true for 'disorder, damage, disruption or intimidation' - all covered already.

    The terms in the new bill relating to 'noise' and 'annoyance' are much too vague and could cause chaos in the midst of a large, legally arranged protest, if the Police felt it should be quickly disbanded, potentially leading to violence on the fringes.Ten years in prison is also an untenable ceiling for crimes of this nature, rather akin to fining a student £10,000 for holding a party in my opinion.

    Demonstrators can be prosecuted if they 'ought to know' about a protest being disbanding. This will be almost impossible to police and will lead to very unfair court decisions.Banning Steve Bray from Parliament Square may ease an inconvenience during television interviews, but does it really warrant a change in the law?

    Finally, why does the Home Secretary need the ability to invoke Statutory Instruments in the Bill. This is perhaps the darkest part of the Bill and leads us in the direction of a Police State. "If I don't like something, and I think the law isn't good enough to implement a restriction, I can finesse the law without Parliamentary scrutiny". This is NOT the same as changing the type of speed camera that can be used (a typical usage) and is highly dangerous. The Bill should be expertly worded, so that the lazy approach with Statutory Instruments is not required.

    Demonstrations are to quote Ian Dunt, "the free speech of the unheard". Those who do not have a platform on GMB or in the lobbying areas of Parliament.

    Please don't allow this Bill to destroy our hard-earned freedoms. What would the Suffragettes or the Anti-Slavery Society have thought?

    Thanks in advance."

  • Satisfaction with Bucks Council Services
    Article: Mar 16, 2021
    By Selina Kerr, Liberal Democrats Unitary Candidate for Chalfont St Peter

    In a comprehensive on-line survey, we asked residents what mattered most to them and how satisfied they were with Buckinghamshire Council and the services it provides.

    We heard from residents across the constituency including people from the Chilterns, the Chalfonts and Missenden. What we learnt is that local people, regardless of location and political opinion expect far more from Buckinghamshire Council in terms of the services they provide.