Monday, 31 May 2010

ID cards to be scrapped within 100 days

The Liberal Democrat- Conservative Coalition announced this week that ID cards are to be scrapped for all British Citizens within the next 100 days and which will make this intrusive system "a thing of the past", says local Lib Dem Councillor Sue McGuire.

Commenting on the announcement, Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:

"The wasteful, bureaucratic and intrusive ID card scheme represents everything that has been wrong with government in recent years.... Cancelling the scheme and abolishing the National Identity Register is a major step in dismantling the surveillance state - but ID cards are just the tip of the iceberg. Today marks the start of a series of radical reforms to restore hard-won British freedoms."

Your Local Lib Dem team have been opposed to ID cards and the 'database state' since it's inception under the previous Labour Government. Cllr McGuire says, "this is a victory for all those who voted Liberal Democrat, we are finally getting rid of these dangerous systems- a win for anybody who believes in civil liberties. Scrapping ID cards will also save the British economy almost £900million, money that can be put to much better use by the Liberal Democrat and Conservative Ministers in Government"

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Opinion: Where do you find the heart and soul of the Liberal Democrats? Liberal Youth

Why did we join the Liberal Democrats? Because our party is a party of the future. Because our party truly is a promise of more.

Liberal Youth exists to give young people a voice within the party. It gives them training, inspiration and a forum to express their opinions. We need Liberal Youth- we wouldn’t have the national recognition we do without them. Liberal Youth has produced some of the voices that now lead or have led our party and they would not be in the positions they are now without Liberal Youth. It’s no surprise and it’s not hidden that Liberal Youth has policies that are predominantly focused on the issues affecting young people- the Green Liberal Democrats and DELGA both do the same- but It has been said that Liberal Youth “have little to say on policy outside of the tuition fee debate” and to that end, I couldn’t disagree more.

Take the recent spring conference-the most successful in recent times- motions were debated on, amongst others, repealing the abolition of cheques, legalising voluntary euthanasia and a British Space authority. ContactPoint is another Liberal Youth success. At a time when the party nationally didn’t have a policy on this dangerous database, Liberal Youth passed an emergency motion through their spring conference calling for its abolition. Less than four months later, not only did scrapping ContactPoint appear in the party’s General Election Manifesto but also in the coalition agreements.

Liberal Youth is a SAO of the party nationally, and we take that responsibility seriously. We campaign on the issues that matter to us, and if I may say so, do it rather successfully. Yes, we maintain our position on scrapping tuition fees but on so much more as well. We are unafraid of debate and stand up for liberal principles in a way only young people can. We may have made mistakes in the past, our leadership may not have been perfect but we have learnt from every incident, and are moving forward together under the new executive we will elect in the weeks to come.

We remain unparalleled by political youth organisations for our success and unrivalled in our ability to keep working, and fighting in our constituencies and for our campaigns.

Liberal Youth are Liberal Democrats first, and Liberal Youth second. The party will needs us now, and will need us in the future, and through Liberal Youth we improve our ability to work well for the party and take it forward as we enter the uncharted waters of coalition.

Where would Elwyn Watkins be now if a Liberal Youth member hadn’t reported a Labour leaflet to the Straightchoice? Could John Leach have successfully defended his seat if it wasn’t for the tireless work of Liberal Youth Manchester and have you ever seen such a energetic campaign as in Liverpool Wavertree? Who was there? Liberal Youth.

Don’t tell me Liberal Youth has “disappointed” you. Liberal Youth ensures the party campaigns from the grassroots up on issues that put our very liberalism at stake. ContactPoint and ID card are illiberal, extortionate tuition fees and student debt are illiberal and giving backhanders to the nuclear industry is illiberal. We stand in opposition to the loss of liberalism. Liberal Democrats need Liberal Youth because we are the promise that we will remain the party of civil liberties, of fairness and of a greener tomorrow. Liberal Youth has been, and will continue to be a strong and supportive organisation and I have no doubt that we can improve and that we will. Liberal Youth are the future. Liberal Youth are here to stay.

Sarah Harding is 18 and a student. She has been involved with General and Local election campaigns in Southport and Liverpool Wavertree constituencies and is a candidate for Liberal Youth General Executive Member and for Liberal Youth Policy Committee.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Southport MP defends human rights debate

Southport Liberal Democrat MP, John Pugh, wrote yesterday on the importance of having a debate on Human Rights and, avoiding "assuming these matters are all self-evident and simple".

The Liberal Democrat Manifesto 2010, said that we would "Ensure that everyone has the same protections under the law by protecting the Human Rights Act" and that "the battle for human rights remains to be fought in many countries".

From battling ContactPoint, to scrapping ID cards and second generation biometric passports, the Liberal Democrats are the only party who believe in freedom, justice, prosperity and human rights for all and we will do all we can to work towards a world where these hopes become reality.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

A message from the Home Watch Team

Your Lib Dem Team have received the following message from the Sefton Crime Prevention Office and Home Watch which we thought we would pass on.


Between 10th - 18th May there have been six incidents reported where purses, handbags and credit cards have been taken.

A few extra precautions could avoid members of the public becoming a victim of this type of crime:

* Ensure you take your card out of  a cash point after completing a transaction.
* Keep handbags with you at all times
* Do not leave your handbags on trolleys at supermarkets
* Avoid placing handbags on the floor when at cafes, restaurants,pubs or nightclubs    
* Check on the underside of tables particularly at outdoor cafes for a clip. It is there for you to use  to keep your handbag safe.
* At check outs keep your handbag with you. Do not leave it unattended on the conveyor or the counter.
* When walking, particularly in a crowded place, keep the clasp of your bag towards your body to avoid your purse
being taken.


A date for your diary.The AGM will be held on Tuesday JUNE 8th at The Family Life Centre on Ash Street. The doors will be open at 6.30 p.m. the meeting will start at 7 p.m.

The guest speaker will be the new Chief Constable Mr Jon Murphy. Your Neighbourhood Inspectors, the Crime Prevention Officers and Trading Standards Officers will also be present to answer your questions.

The meeting is open to the general public as well as members. We would like a good attendance at this important meeting so please come along with your friends and neighbours.

For more details please contact the 

Crime Reduction Officers on :- 0151 777 3458 or email.....
Home Watch Margaret Jepson 0151 777 3419 or email....

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Local Campaigner meets Secretary of State for Scotland

Local Cambridge Ward Campaigner, Sarah Harding met and spoke at length with Danny Alexander MP, the Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Scotland at the recent special conference in Birmingham.
Sarah explained "It was great to speak to a member of the government who is also a Liberal Democrat. Danny explained how he wants to work with the Scottish Assembly.
Danny, who was part of the Lib Dem negotiating team encouraged Sarah in her moves to be elected to the General Executive of the Liberal Youth movement.

Standing Ovation for Nick

A standing ovation welcomed Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg as he came to the stage at the end of the special conference in Birmingham on Sunday.

Nick said "It is five days since I accepted the position of Deputy Prime Minister. Just five days, and we now know there will be no ID cards, no third runway at Heathrow, no more fingerprinting in schools without parents’ consent, no more child detention.

“Changes Liberal Democrats have spent months, years, campaigning for, are happening. “Promises we were making to people on their doorsteps just a few weeks ago are becoming realities.

“Fair taxes. The income tax threshold is now going to rise to £10,000. That is this Government’s priority, not tax cuts for millionaires.

“The best start at school for every child. Extra money is now going to be targeted to pupils who need it most. That is a huge leap in creating a truly mobile society.

“A new, sustainable economy. The banks are going to be taxed, the bonus culture is going to be cracked.

“And instead of pinning all our hopes on financial wizardry in the City of London we’ll build a new economy where we rediscover our talents for building and making things again, with green industry given new prominence as we head towards a zero-carbon future.

“New politics.

“Fixed term parliaments – happening.

“The power of recall to get rid of corrupt MPs – happening.

“A clean up of party funding, a clamp down on lobbying in Parliament, an elected House of Lords – all happening.

“Our Freedom Bill is going to come off our leaflets and go onto the statute book, ending gross state intrusion into people’s every day lives.

“Patients, parents, communities are all going to have a much greater say over the decisions that affect them.

“And voting reform is going to be put to the British people, in a referendum in which Liberal Democrats will fight to deliver real change.

“I know the stakes are high – for me personally, as well as the party. “But I came into politics to change things, and that means taking risks. “Real, big change never comes easy.

“So it would simply be wrong for us to let this chance of real change pass us by. “The chance to transform politics, the chance to hardwire fairness into our society, the chance to change Britain for good.”

I agree with Nick !

Back from Birmingham

Its been a pretty frantic fortnight and to tell you the truth I'm only just getting my head around the idea of the Liberal Democrats being in coalition government with the Conservatives.  I've had a number of conversations with senior party officials and from what I can gather it was the only option open to us as a party.  Labour, I am told by our negotiators, had no intention of working with us to form a government and to be honest we had said that we would work with the party that had the largest mandate and although not overwhelming that was clearly the Conservatives.

I do have some concerns regarding the spending cuts and the impact these may have on residents in Southport but with Vince Cable MP and David Laws MP batting for the Lib Dems, I hope that any action taken will not be a knee jerk reaction.

Anyway with that in mind I went to Birmingham on Sunday to the "Special Conference" and am pictured with other representatives from Southport including local party chair Nigel Ashton.

The feeling at the NEC was electric and despite concerns of splits in the party and hostility to the leadership this just did't happen.  Andrew Stunell MP, Vince Cable MP and Nick Clegg all received standing ovations from the gathered party members.

Thanks and Thanks again

Its been a while since I last posted and for that I am sorry but I'm back in the saddle again (as it were) and am keen to keep you all up to date with actions/stories and perhaps a little gossip!

I would like to send my sincere congratulations to John Pugh for winning in Southport again.  Whilst campaigning over the last 6 months, a large number of people have been keen to tell me and the team what a good MP John has been for Southport, working hard both here and in Westminster for everyone in Southport.  I think this commitment to the town has been repaid by the resident who voted for him in with an increased majority.

I have also been returned as your Councillor and I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who voted for me.  I really appreciate your support and hope that I can continue to work for everybody over the next 4 years.  I have some ideas and plans for things I want to do so watch this space.