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    • houses
      Article: Jul 12, 2020

      Bedford Borough Council is consulting on its draft Housing Strategy 2021- 26 and wants to know your views.

      Having a good place to live is key to an individual's health and wellbeing and this Strategy sets out the Council's four key objectives for local housing over the five year time period.

      These objectives include Understanding Housing Need; ensuring the Council has up-to-date information on what housing is needed, and Delivering the Homes Required.

    • SNLD Campaign Lottery Club
      Article: Jul 12, 2020

      Prize draw - exclusive to Lib Dem Party members and Registered Supporters - to enter

      Click Here

    • Mayor Dave Hodgson
      Article: Jul 12, 2020

      The interim report into the 'deep dive' into Bedford Borough's high Coronavirus infection rate has now been published.

      The new local data from Public Health England and the Joint Biosecurity Centre shows that while Coronavirus infections are still high in the Borough, they are starting to decline.

      The interim findings of the deep dive, which were issued on Monday, outlines that, as elsewhere in the country, the greatest number of positive tests for COVID-19 are for women aged between 30-59. While there were no 'hot spots' in the general population the interim findings identified the highest number of cases in areas around the town centre. These are areas where the average age is higher due to number of care homes, retirement homes and supported living settings.

    • Clayton Hybrid Shunter (Clayton Equipment Ltd)
      Article: Jul 11, 2020

      Shunting locomotives are the less-than-glamorous diesel-powered machines that carry out the hum-drum work of moving rail wagons around to make up trains or for shifting heavy loads around extensive heavy industrial sites. Most people have probably seen the squat 6-wheel shunting engines which have served marshalling yards, docks and factories across Britain since 1952.

      Most are now over 50 years old, expensive to maintain and spare parts are now becoming difficult to source. In addition they are noisy for machines that often operate out of doors and at night. They do not comply with modern emission standards and large diesel engines cannot easily be switched on and off so they run idle in between movements, wasting fuel and adding to pollution and noise.

      Electric power means simple traction motors and, with battery storage, a hybrid locomotive can be operated with a small, quiet, cleaner diesel engine delivering continuous recharge power and compliant with the latest EU Stage V emission and efficiency standards. So batteries are now getting everywhere as companies move to cut costs and economies get slowly greener.

      Clayton Equipment Ltd (CEL), based in Burton-on-Trent, is now establishing itself in the niche market of hybrid shunters. CEL first came into existence in 1920 as Clayton Wagons Ltd, a subsidiary of Clayton & Shuttleworth (founded 1842) but emerged under its present name in 1931 as a private company with one employee and two directors - the employee and his wife! They successfully built up a business trading in goods and spare parts for Clayton Wagon's former customers in agriculture and manufacturing. After WWII they acted as agents for International Combustion Ltd who eventually took them over and and both companies ended up as past of Rolls Royce Group. They were floated off by RRG in March 2005 have now become a successful independent company specialising in the conversion of old diesel-powered locomotives and in manufacturing new diesel-battery electric hybrid locomotives for a variety of applications.

      They are currently working on contracts for five 90 tonne, battery hybrid shunters with 56kW diesel rechargers for Tata Steel, Port Talbot. These will be the largest locomotives built in the UK since 2003. Power is delivered by the traction battery and 416 kW maintenance-free, high torque electric motors. The need to deliver 2,500 tonne loads of molten iron safely across the Port Talbot steelworks, operating on gradients of up to 1 in 60 requires high torque and high track adhesion. In these conditions the weight of the locomotive needs to be high and this led to a design based on standard lead-acid accumulators which provide the necessary weight, are cheaper than Li-ion batteries and are easier to replace and recycle.

      Two similar 80 tonne shunters from CEL have been also been ordered for Sellafield Ltd for their nuclear site in Cumbria.

      Pic from Clayton Equipment Ltd

    • Remembering Srebrenica
      Article: Jul 11, 2020

      Today is the UK's National Srebrenica Day when we remember the genocide committed against over 8,000 Muslim men and boys in the space of just a few days in Srebrenica 25 years ago in July 1995.

      This evening, at 7pm, there will be a national ceremony on Saturday broadcast on Remembering Srebrenica's facebook page here.

    • Article: Jul 10, 2020

      Welcome to the Weekly Whip. Your one-stop shop for Lib Dem Parliamentary updates, covering the week that was and the week to come.

      For up to date information from the Lib Dem Whips Office, follow us on Twitter:  @LibDemWhips

      Weekly Whip w/c 6th July

      Monday 6th July

      There are some two million victims of domestic abuse a year. More than one in ten of all offences recorded by the police are domestic abuse related. In 2017, the Conservative government committed to introduce a bill to transform the approach of the justice system and wider statutory agencies. It has now been 3 ½ years since this commitment, but the Domestic Abuse Bill finally passed through the House of Commons on Monday night with cross-party support.

    • Flood protection
      Article: Jul 10, 2020

      Increases in flooded homes, heat-related deaths and water shortages. This is what Essex can expect if we don't act on climate change now, according to this week's meeting of the Essex Climate Action Commission.

      Members heard about the devastating impact of not taking decisive action on the climate challenge - and the importance of a twin-track approach to reduce emissions and build resilience.

    • Article: Jul 10, 2020

      On Thursday 16th July, the two candidates for leader of the Liberal Democrats, Ed Davey and Layla Moran will be answering questions from a panel of experts in a new hustings format.

      So you want to be leader? Is styled like a job interview. Candidates will get to make their pitch to the panel on why they should be leader and that'll be followed up by questions from the panel on the skills they'll need to make being leader a success.

    • Article: Jul 10, 2020
      By Tim Lockington

      St Margarets and Westgate Councillor Inga Lockington and her fellow LibDem and Green county councillors spoke up at the County Council Meeting (8th June) and voted to halt Sizewell C construction, and its long-term toxic, unnecessary, and destructive impact on the Suffolk Coast.

      County Councillor, Caroline Page notes, "This motion was voted down 50 to 12, with 4 abstentions. What a shame that both Suffolk Conservatives and Suffolk Labour found spurious reasons to join together and vote this motion down. 'Mitigation' is not a concept you can realistically propose when looking at the deliberate destruction of our age-old countryside and all the businesses it supports."

    • Article: Jul 10, 2020
      By Cllr Barry Aspinell
      Yesterday (July 9th) in the House of Commons David Amess, MP for Southend West, supported by Mark Francois MP for Rayleigh and Wickford, spoke with great passion against the proposals to merge Essex Borough Councils.
      Amess said the proposal was "cooked up in secret by six council leaders and Chief executives without the knowledge of Essex MPs. He and Mark Francois certainly hadn't been informed nor had David Finch, Leader of Essex County Council.