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We are a band of dedicated individuals pledged to keep liberal, democratic values flourishing locally, nationally and internationally; to promote greater equality, environmentalism and to fight for the people of Dudley, Stourbridge and Halesowen. We care about community-based local politics, and we work hard to get individual Liberal Democrats elected to all levels of Government, with a focus on Dudley Council especially. Our aim is to keep in touch with the local communities through residents' surveys and by distributing our local "Focus" leaflets, not just at election time but all year round.

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  • Article: Apr 12, 2022
    By Jules Ewart

    When launching our training last week, a few eagle-eyed members asked for more details about our Green Liberal Democrat Summer Conference.

    The Turning Point in June 2022 will feature:

    • A panel discussion and keynote speech from our Vice President, Wera Hobhouse MP

    • Extensive campaign and governance training

    • Meetings of our Special Interest Groups

    • Sessions from partner organisations

    • And plenty of social opportunities!

    More details will follow, but save the date - the 11th June, at Nottingham Conferences, NG7 2RJ.

    You can add the event to your calendar here:

    Apple Google Office 365 Outlook Outlook.com Yahoo

    I look forward to seeing you there!

    Best wishes,

    Jules Ewart

    Vice Chair Organisation, 2022
    vice-chair.organisation@greenlibdems.org.uk

  • Article: Apr 11, 2022
    By Green Liberal Democrats

    The improvement in air quality that we saw during lockdowns brought the issue, an early target of environmentalism, to the fore of public attention. The moment provided us with insight into what might be possible for future air quality in our communities.

    Given the significant threat to health and well-being that poor air quality represents, raising awareness of the transformative impact that local initiatives can have is a vital campaign point.

    YouGov polling found that across six European countries, two thirds said they did not want to go back to pre-Covid pollution levels. Roughly the same proportion (68%) agreed that cities and towns must take effective measures to protect citizens from air pollution, even if it means preventing polluting cars from entering city centres to protect clean air, with as many as 63% of drivers themselves in support.

    Around three quarters (74%) of respondents believed that cities must take effective measures to protect citizens from air pollution, with just 10% opposed.

    We have an opportunity, as we look forward, to improve the health of people and the planet.

    The Problem:

    Air Pollution is the most significant environmental threat to health in the UK, responsible for 36,000 early deaths every year. It causes the development of heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease and lung cancer.

    Fine particulate matter (PM2.5) is the primary cause of damage, with nitrogen dioxide (NO2) also responsible.

    Children are at greater risk from air pollution, with those living in polluted areas more likely to have reduced lung growth. Maternal exposure to polluted air can result in premature and low birth-weight babies.

    A quarter of UK children attend schools with air pollution above the World Health Organisation limit, placing 3.4 million young people at increased risk of asthma, obesity, and cognitive impairments.

    Schools should be safe places. They should not threaten the health of our children.

    However, the United Kingdom's national limits for nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter are set at four times the level of the World Health Organisation guidelines, and the principal source of these are traffic emissions, with wood-burning stoves also being a major contributing factor in some areas.

    Following the tragic death of Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, air pollution was listed as a cause of death for the first time in December of 2020. In a report to prevent future deaths, the coroner recommended a reduction in national limits of particulate matter.

    The Solution:

    At Liberal Democrats 2022 Spring Conference, the Party passed motion F9: Action to Improve Air Quality, proposed by Cllr Hina Bokhari AM and Summated by Cllr Jon Ball.

    The Motion calls on local authorities to:

    1. Install more pollution sensors near major roads and at every urban school.

    2. Publicise local air quality issues including publishing live pollution levels from their pollution sensors stating specific levels of pollutants using globally recognised units of measurement.

    3. Work to improve air quality in their area.

    4. Take into account likely differential air pollution changes in different roads when designing traffic schemes.

    5. Consider implementing or extending Clean Air Zones, in consultation with residents and local businesses to ensure that such zones reduce net pollution and don't merely displace activity

    6. Promote schemes to allow the rapid and affordable replacement of petrol and diesel vehicles by lower polluting vehicles by local businesses in conjunction with the introduction of Clean Air zones.

    7. Establish No-Idling Zones outside schools.

    Conference also called for the Government to:

    1. Urgently bring forward statutory instruments under the Environment Act 2021 to introduce legally binding national limits for particulate matter and other pollutants at or below current WHO guidelines.

    2. Introduce a fully-funded obligation for all local authorities to install and maintain pollution sensors in their areas.

    3. Introduce a scrappage scheme targeted at the most polluting older vehicles, in particular old diesel vehicles, and at vehicles used by local businesses in proposed Clean Air Zones.

    4. Introduce targeted funding to provide financial support for the operators of buses, taxis and private hire vehicles to switch to less polluting technologies.

    5. Increase the Air Quality Grant Programme which provides funding to local authorities to tackle locally identified air pollution issues.

    6. Encourage local authorities to run public education style programmes and allow them to follow these with an increased maximum penalty that they can apply to drivers leaving their engines idling, with the local authorities retaining 100% of the money raised.

    7. Fund local authorities to introduce more electric charging points in Clean Air Zones, allowing supply to keep ahead of demand.

    Read the full motion here

    The Campaign:

    We've produced a pack of essential resources for campaigning on improving air quality:

    P.S: We don't have long now until Polling Day, but we are doing everything we can to support campaigners like you to deliver for your communities.

    Donate to support our efforts
  • Book Avoidable War by Kevin Rudd
    Article: Apr 9, 2022
    By Merlene Emerson in Libdem Voice

    As the title of the book suggests, the author believes meeting jaw to jaw would be far better than catastrophic conflict and war between the US and China. He also lays out in painstaking detail no less than 10 different scenarios, as a "cautionary guide" to policy makers navigating the dangerous waters in the decade ahead.

  • LDCRE logo (LDCRE)
    Article: Apr 6, 2022

    New faces - and how to get involved!


    Firstly, congratulations to the new members on the Executive - Jill Hope has joined us as Secretary and Cllr William Houngbo has joined us as an Exec Member.
    William is Lib Dem Councillor for London Bridge and West Bermondsey (where he is re-standing for election) and Deputy Opposition Leader. He is originally from the Benin Republic in West Africa and was raised in Paris.
  • Article: Apr 6, 2022
    By Liberal Democrats

    Life's been tough for lots of people over the past few years. And it's still tough. But with their trademark decency and strength, the British people are rising to the challenge. Raising families. Caring for others. And playing by the rules.

    Now more than ever, it's time for a fair deal.

    Yet with the rising cost of living, this Conservative Government is letting you down badly and taking you for granted.

  • Local Electricity Briefing
    Article: Apr 4, 2022
    By Green Liberal Democrats

    We've teamed up with Power for People to support local campaigners to advocate for the essential Local Electricity Bill.

    We must urgently decarbonise our power grid and reduce the influence of unstable overseas fossil fuel prices. Community-scale renewables are a great solution; providing green, clean energy that stimulates local economies.

    Spiking energy prices have highlighted our dependence on imported oil and gas, enabling petrostate autocrats to act with few consequences.

    Energy independence is essential and can only be achieved at the pace we require through a combination of large-scale infrastructure investment and local developments.

    But unfair regulations and disproportionate costs are stifling opportunity.

    The Problem:

    If you want to buy your electricity from local renewable sources such as the nearby school that has solar panels on its roof, you cannot. We all buy our electricity from a utility company that sources it from anything connected to the National Grid, be it a field of solar panels in Flintshire or a coal fired power station in Yorkshire.

    There is so much potential for energy to be generated, bought, and sold locally - but the supply costs and red tape involved make it almost impossible to do so.

    In 2014, a report from the Department of Energy and Climate Change whilst Ed Davey MP was Secretary of State found that community energy had the potential to produce over 3,000 megawatts (MW) of generating capacity by 2020.

    However, the Environmental Audit Committee reported in 2020 that only 278MW of capacity was being produced by the community energy sector, less than 10% of that projected.

    Imagine someone setting up a local bakery, planning to deliver their bread to local businesses, and then being told that they have to pay £1 million in road tax for their delivery van.

    This is the reality for local renewable energy production.

    The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) found that the financial, technical, and operational challenges involved in setting up a licensed energy supply company mean that initial costs exceed £1 million. The market structure is rigged against them.

    The Solution:

    As a result of its 2021 Technological Innovations and Climate Change inquiry, the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee recommended that a 'Right to Local Supply' be established.

    The Local Electricity Bill, written and advocated for by Power for People, would establish this Right to Local Supply and make the setup and running costs of selling renewable electricity to local customers affordable and proportionate to the size of the supply company.

    So far, the Bill has been supported by 300 cross-party MPs and the Liberal Democrats, but will not become law without sustained and organised campaigning.

    You can read the full bill here.

    The Campaign:

    We've produced three essential resources for campaigning on the Local Electricity Bill:

    P.S: We have plenty more briefings coming down the road for campaigners and candidates just like yourself! Be sure to share this with fellow activists and encourage them to join us for more of the same!

  • Bill and Gary in Somerset
    Article: Apr 2, 2022

    Cllr Gary Wong is standing for election in May 2022 with Bill Revans to be the Somerset Councillors for the North Petherton Division. Both are committed local councillors who live in the area and work hard to help people in our communities.

    Gary has been a Sedgemoor District Councillor for three years. He lives in Wilstock with his wife and daughter. He has been successful in challenging Sedgemoor's approach to funding infrastructure in new communities leading to substantial investment in local facilities.

  • Article: Apr 1, 2022
    By Green Liberal Democrats

    This year, we're donating bundles of 1,000 petitions to our Accredited Candidates across the length and breadth of the UK. These petitions allow us to present solutions to the issues that matter to so many - sewage, clean air, energy bills - and let them know that we hear their frustrations.

    Your generous membership dues and donations have allowed us to do so much already, but in 2022 we are campaigning at an unprecedented scale to support marginal and target wards.

    That is why we're launching the LEAF - the Local Environment Action Fund - designed to support campaigning Liberal Democrats who have committed to delivering greener, cleaner, healthier communities.

    We'd love if you could chip in to support our efforts:

    Our Accredited Candidates

    Our Candidates are selected by a Panel following a process in which they outline how they plan to improve their local environment by tackling climate change, biodiversity loss, and improving community spaces.

    Sanne Dijkstra-Downie is standing in Forth Ward for the City of Edinburgh Council.

    Sanne is the Scottish Liberal Democrats Net Zero Spokesperson. In her day job, she works as a fundraiser for climate research and teaching at the University of Edinburgh, where she helped to set up an Ocean Leadership programme.

    She is passionate about environmental issues and low-carbon travel, is an early adopter of the electric car and once travelled to Bordeaux and back in 30 charging stops!

    A Greener Forth Ward:

    Sanne pledges to work with local organisations and council officers to drive installation of electric vehicle charging points, allowing more residents to make the needed switch to zero emissions vehicles.

    A Cleaner Forth Ward:

    Sanne pledges to continue working with Wardie Bay Beachwatch, residents, and wild swimmer groups to call for water testing in Wardie Bay, to evidence water quality (and work towards improvements) for the benefit of people and marine wildlife.

    A Healthier Forth Ward:

    Sanne calls for better and safer active travel routes for all. Cycle routes throughout Edinburgh are limited and feel unsafe to many, especially after dark. These routes can be improved through better lighting, keeping vegetation in check, and dedicated infrastructure.

    To join Sanne and bid for 1,000 free leaflets courtesy of the LEAF, apply here

  • Article: Apr 1, 2022

    Yesterday was Trans Day of Visibility. It's a day for celebrating trans and non-binary people in all walks of life and making clear our commitment to delivering justice for all Trans people. As Mermaids said in one of their posts on the day: ally is a verb. We need to step up.

    Sadly, the day was brought to a close by something that likely won't come as a surprise to members of Plus: a Government betrayal over LGBT+ rights. After more than a thousand days of dither and delay on the conversion therapy ban, it emerged that the Government had planned to drop the ban later this year. Our equalities Parliamentary Spokesperson, Wera Hobhouse, condemned this as "not just another U-turn from the Tories, but giving the green light to a form of torture".

  • Amanda Jeyaretnam
    Article: Mar 31, 2022

    Last weekend The English Council of the Liberal Democrats met, giving us an opportunity to hear the report of the Federal Conference Committee. This spring was my fourth conference but my first experience of helping run a booth. In this case the virtual booth for the Chinese Liberal Democrats. I was surprised to hear at the ECC meeting that a lot of the booths and staffing areas such as the help desk, seem to have been under-utilised because I had an overwhelmingly positive experience in our booth.