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  • Article: May 23, 2017

    Tim Farron, leader of the Liberal Democrats, has announced that the party has suspended all national campaigning until further notice. Tim was due to fly to Gibraltar today as part of the general election campaign but has cancelled the trip.

    Tim Farron said: "The country is united in grief after this devastating terror attack. Just as the country is focusing all its thoughts on the victims and their families, so politicians should come together in solidarity and respect for the innocent people caught up in this vile attack.

  • Article: May 23, 2017

    By now you will all have seen and heard about the terrible events of yesterday. Our thoughts are with everyone affected by the tragic attack in Manchester.

    We, along with all the other Liberal Democrat Local Parties, have agreed to suspend our campaigns until further notice. The other political parties in the General Election have agreed to suspend their campaigns too.

  • Article: May 23, 2017
    By Nick Hopkinson, Chair of the Lib Dem Europe Group in West Sussex Times

    Please find below a recent letter by Nick Hopkinson, the LDEG Chair, to the West Sussex Times

    Dear Sir,
    Your recent editorial praised the ruling Conservative Party for its record as the majority Party on West Sussex County Council (WSCC). Is this really merited? Education continues to be woefully underfunded. West Sussex road programmes and maintenance remains patchy, and social care and re-cycling facilities operate on reduced hours. The list of Conservative led failings at WSCC goes on.
  • Article: May 22, 2017

    Conservative manifesto plans will mean the average household in Hertfordshire could be forced to pay £284,381 (74%) of the value of their homes for social care after they die, it has been revealed.

    The manifesto plans, which would mean that people would be forced to hand over assets worth over £100,000 to pay for social care at home, would have a particularly damaging impact on sufferers of dementia, who have complicated long-term health needs.

    The Liberal Democrats have hit out at the plans and are calling for a cap of £72,000 to protect people from crippling care costs.

    Mark Argent, Liberal Democrat candidate for Hertford and Stortford said:

    "The Conservative Manifesto shows us that the nasty party is back. Theresa May is betraying the frail and elderly by snatching back their homes when they die.

    "Many elderly people currently face the cruel situation of having to sell their home when they die to fund residential care home costs. Now the frail and elderly receiving care in their own home will face a 'Personal Death Tax' charged against their home. And the more help you need, the more Theresa May will snatch away when you die.

    "It's clear that if the Conservatives get their way, as you get old and frail the costs are down to you and you alone.

    "The Liberal Democrats will stand up to Theresa May's cold, mean-spirited Britain, protecting those that need the most help and fighting for a cap on social care costs of £75,000 to protect people in their old age."

  • Outside school
    Article: May 22, 2017

    34,532 schoolchildren in Hertfordshire will lose out on free lunches, under plans announced in the Conservative manifesto.

    Free school lunches for pupils from reception to Year 2 were introduced by the Liberal Democrats in government, but Theresa May now plans to scrap them. The changes would cost families an average extra £480 a year for every child.

    The Liberal Democrats have called on Conservative candidate in Hertford and Stortford, Mark Prisk, to make it clear whether or not he would vote for the plans.

    The Conservatives are also proposing to make older people pay for social care costs from the value of their own homes when they die. This means on average, families in Hertfordshire would expect to see 74.7% of the value of their home spent on care costs.

    Liberal Democrat for Hertford and Stortford, Mark Argent, commented:

    "This Conservative manifesto shows the nasty party is back.

    "Margaret Thatcher was known as the milk snatcher, it seems Theresa May will go down as the lunch snatcher.

    "She is cynically snatching meals away from thousands/hundreds of children in (AREA), while the elderly receiving care in their own home will face a 'Personal Death Tax' charged against their home.

    "Mark Prisk must now come clean over whether he/she will vote to take away free lunches from the children of hard-pressed families.

    "The Liberal Democrats will offer a brighter future by extending free school meals to all primary schools.

    "We will stand up to Theresa May's cold, mean-spirited Britain, protecting those that need the most help and fighting for more funding for our schools and hospitals."

  • Article: May 22, 2017

    The Liberal Democrats have responded to proposals in the Conservative manifesto to abandon a cap on care costs and take away free school meals for infant children, saying this shows the "nasty party is back."

    Liberal Democrat Election Campaign Spokesperson Ed Davey commented:

    "It is clear the more you need, the more you pay with May. Theresa May is betraying working families by snatching school lunches from their children and their homes when they die. The nasty party is back - hitting families from cradle to grave.

    "The choices she's made in her manifesto will hurt over half a million frail elderly people and almost 2 million children.

    "The Liberal Democrats will stand up to Theresa May's cold, mean-spirited Britain, protecting those that need the most help and fighting for more funding for our schools and hospitals."

    Liberal Democrat Shadow Health Secretary Norman Lamb, who secured a commitment to a cap on care costs as Care Minister, commented:

    "Elderly people the length of Britain will shudder at these care cost proposals.

    "Many elderly people currently will face the cruel situation of having to sell their home when they die to fund residential care home costs.

    "Now the frail and elderly receiving care in their own home will face what is a 'Personal Death Tax' charged against their home. And the more help you need, the more Theresa May will snatch away when you die.

    'The cost of at home care currently met by the state will now be clawed back from estates after death, hitting over half a million vulnerable people. It's clear that if you get old and frail, the costs are down to you and you alone.'

    Nick Clegg commented:

    "By snatching those meals away and forcing families to pay hundreds of pounds per year for school lunches Theresa May will hit low-income working families the hardest.

    "So much for helping the 'just about managing.' MPs will need to vote in the next Parliament to undo the legislation we passed to provide infants with free meals under the Coalition.

    "Every Conservative candidate in every constituency must now come clean: will they troop through the lobbies to take away free lunches from the children of hard-pressed families? Or will they have the decency and courage to stop the Conservatives from becoming the party of lunch snatchers?"

  • Tim Farron manifesto launch2
    Article: May 22, 2017

    The Liberal Democrats' manifesto plans for a brighter future, with pledges to reverse Conservative cuts and increase funding for the NHS, schools and police.

    The Party's landmark policy would give the people the final say on the Brexit deal which would include the option to remain in the EU.

    The Liberal Democrats would put a penny on income tax for health and care would raise £40 Million a year for the NHS in East and North Herts, enough to fund 238 more nurses.

    An additional £56Million of funding for schools in Hertfordshire, paid for in part by reversing Conservative cuts to corporation tax, would be enough to pay for 307 more teachers.

    Meanwhile an additional £4.25M funding for Hertfordshire would pay for 85 more officers, helping to cut crime and ensure a stronger police presence in the area.

    Other key policies in the Liberal Democrat manifesto include plans for a £100bn infrastructure fund to build more homes, improve road and rail links and install fibre-optic broadband across the country.

    The Liberal Democrats will also give the people a chance to change Britain's future by holding a referendum on the final Brexit deal, with the option to remain.

    Liberal Democrat candidate Mark Argent said:

    "These plans would build a brighter future for people in Hertford and Stortford and reverse Conservative cuts to our schools, hospitals and police.

    "We want to build a fairer Britain, with good schools and hospitals, a clean environment and an innovative economy.

    "You don't have to accept Theresa May and Nigel Farage's cold, mean-spirited vision of Britain.

    "The Liberal Democrats will stand up to a bad Brexit deal that will cost jobs and put up prices and give you the final say.

    "As your Liberal Democrat MP, I will fight for a better deal on Europe, more money for the NHS and schools and a brighter future for Hertford and Stortford."

  • Vince Cable
    Article: May 21, 2017

    Real wages fell by 0.2% in the three months to March 2017, the first decrease in real regular pay since September 2014, figures published today by the Official for National Statistcs have revealed.

    The figures take into account soaring levels of inflation due to the falling pound since the EU referendum.

    Commenting, Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor Vince Cable said:

    "This squeeze on living standards is almost certainly caused by the falling pound since the Brexit vote.

    "If Theresa May is allowed to pursue her extreme Brexit agenda, we can expect further weakening of the economy and erosion of people's living standards.

    "People don't have to settle for a bad Brexit deal that will cost jobs and push up prices. A brighter future is possible.

    "The Liberal Democrats will give you the final say on the deal, with a chance to reject it and stay in the EU."

  • Outside school
    Article: May 21, 2017

    2439 children aged 3-4 years old in Hertfordshire would benefit from Liberal Democrat plans to triple funding for the early years pupil premium, with gives extra cash to nurseries, preschools and school receptions when they take on children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

    The cash would triple the funding to £1,000 per pupil per year -up from £302 in 2015-16.

    This will increase the allocation for local authorities in the Hertfordshire from around £702,546 to £2,107,638, and will pay for every disadvantaged child who benefits to receive 570 hours of state-funded early education.

    It forms part of a series of policies the Liberal Democrats are announcing ahead of launching their manifesto, with a focus on giving children and young people a brighter future.

    These include:

  • Tim Farron with manifesto
    Article: May 21, 2017

    Lib Dems launch manifesto with policies to give young people a brighter future

    The Liberal Democrats' manifesto Change Britain's Future is a plan for a fairer Britain where people are decent to each other, with good schools and hospitals, a clean environment and an innovative economy.