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    • Article: Nov 9, 2019
      The Liberal Democrats will introduce free childcare from 9 months, transforming the lives of parents and children across the UK.

      Today's high cost of childcare means that too many parents are unable to return to work without risking real financial hardship. With the average cost of 25 hours nursery care for a child under two running to more than £6500 per year, many parents are effectively excluded from work due to the burden of childcare costs.

      A Liberal Democrat government will build a fairer economy by providing free, high-quality childcare for every child aged two to four, for 35 hours a week, 48 weeks a year. The offer is extended to children aged between 9 and 24 months where their parents are in work.

      "The choice for parents now is simply not good enough. That is why Liberal Democrats are proposing a transformational change to our economy, by providing working parents with free childcare from when their child is 9 months old."

      The Liberal Democrats will make sure that childcare providers are adequately funded, increasing the rates paid by government to match the actual cost of nursery provision. This will be funded by fair tax changes, ensuring that big businesses pay their share, and aligning the tax treatment of income from wealth with income from work.

      We recognise that laws need to change so that parents have the chance to work with greater flexibility. As part of these proposals, employers will be required to advertise jobs flexibly, unless there are clear business reasons why they cannot.

      The Liberal Democrat plans to transform the provision of early years support are at the heart of the our commitment to build a brighter future for the next generation.

      Learn more about our Plan for the Future here.

    • Mayor Dave Hodgson and Darrell Cannon at Ready Steady Roll
      Article: Nov 9, 2019

      Mayor Dave Hodgson, today, visited Ready Steady Roll Board Game Café in Sharnbrook, as part of the Small Business Saturday Small Biz 100.

      Ready Steady Roll have over 350 games to choose from, their Games Gurus can recommend and teach you how to play so you can get straight to the fun. Darrell Cannon, the owner, prides himself on being able to find a game to suit anyone, and says. "Even if someone's pretty sceptical at first, we always win them over!" They aim to help families and friends spend quality time together away from technology while enjoying some homemade cake."

    • Mayor Dave Hodgson and Darrell Cannon at Ready Steady Roll
      Article: Nov 9, 2019

      Mayor Dave Hodgson, today, visited Ready Steady Roll Board Game Café in Sharnbrook, as part of the Small Business Saturday Small Biz 100.

      Ready Steady Roll have over 350 games to choose from, their Games Gurus can recommend and teach you how to play so you can get straight to the fun. Darrell Cannon, the owner, prides himself on being able to find a game to suit anyone, and says. "Even if someone's pretty sceptical at first, we always win them over!" They aim to help families and friends spend quality time together away from technology while enjoying some homemade cake."

    • Save the Children 100 (Save the Children)
      Article: Nov 9, 2019

      Parliamentary Candidate David Kendall said: I'm proud to #StandForChildren at this election, and support @savechildrenuk's manifesto for the next government to fight for children in the UK and around the world: bit.ly/2NRWaIj.

      Save the Children was founded 100 years ago to fight for children trapped behind the blockade in post-war Europe. Today, we work in 120 countries including the UK, to ensure that all children have the chance to thrive. We provide life-saving support when disaster strikes, and work with governments and other partners to help ensure that children in the world's poorest countries have the support they need to survive, learn and be protected. In the UK our focus is on ensuring that children growing up in poverty get the best possible start in life. We are lucky to have the support of 13,000 volunteers and a network of 127 shops all over the UK, as well as to work in partnership with organisations like Arsenal FC, IKEA and Pearson to amplify our impact for children.

    • John on a mini roundabout
      Article: Nov 9, 2019

      John Howson, the new Lib Dem Parliamentary Candidate for Castle Point, swept into the borough on 20th October and joined many local Lib Dem campaigners on a tour of the constituency.

      He starting with a visit to our least known innovation, the mini roundabout, between the Anchor pub and and St Mary's church in Benfleet, the first mini roundabout in the world. John commented "We need to look at new ways in which we can innovate to cope with our traffic problems".

      After a brief visit to Canvey's famous 'Dutch Cottage' that John remembers from childhood holidays on the island, he visited the 'road to nowhere', the Northwick Road, that could be part of a new vital way on and off the island, avoiding the A130 roundabout that links all current road links. John commented that an access road along Northwick Road to Pitsea, Basildon and the west could make the island safer and more accessible.

      John Howson and the Lib Dems visited the sea wall wonderfully decorated by the local community. Many discussions were had about the Canvey seafront and the risks of global climate change might make to the low-lieing island. The team also witnessed the significant housing developments on the island and heard about new buiding pressures in the pipeline.

      A pleasant lunch break was taken at the Hoy and Helmet Pub in old Benfleet, the ancient pub being visited by many politicians including one Nigel Farage (whatever happened to him?).

      John met Henry Prankerd a keen cyclist and discussed the innovations needed for cycling in the Borough, the home of Olympic off road cycling.

      John and the team visited Tarpots and saw how heavy traffic can be be tamed to allow pedestrians to get around and shop safely. They visited the Aldi store, so popular 7 days a week.

      The Lib Dem team visited Hadleigh's cycling memorial close to Morrissons. They also saw the dilapidated town centre with its Library clinging on by its fingertips despite Tory County austerity measures that tried to shut it down recently. John Howson said "I am in despair that so many town centres, like Hadleigh's are still suffering under Tory cuts, so much promise but local people are let down".

      John and the team moved to more positive aspects of Hadleigh Castle with its estuary views.

      John Howson visited King John School in Hadleigh which recently got a clean bill of health from Offsted.

      And finally back to Benfleet and the station and on to Oxford

      John Howson offers Lib Dem voters in Castle Point, a real chance for a change, we must grasp the opportunity and vote for John Howson Liberal Democrat at the next election!

      See you again soon!

      John Howson offers Lib Dem voters in Castle Point, a real chance for a change, we must grasp the opportunity and vote for John Howson Liberal Democrat at the next election!

    • Article: Nov 9, 2019
      In www.essexlive.news

      Labour's vote share fell by almost half

      Click here to read all about it in EssexLive

    • Article: Nov 9, 2019

      We are in the middle of a climate emergency and the world needs urgent action.

      Only the Liberal Democrats have a bold and credible plan to tackle the climate emergency.

      It's front and centre of our plan, because we can't build a brighter future unless we save our planet.

      That's why a Liberal Democrat government will:

    • Poppies on the Mill Meadows Bandstand
      Article: Nov 9, 2019

      On Sunday 10th November the traditional Remembrance Day Wreath Laying Ceremony will take place at the War Memorial, on Bedford Embankment. The Parade starts at the 'Radhuni' restaurant on The Embankment at about 10.40am and makes its way down towards the War Memorial. A service is held at the War Memorial at 11.00am and includes the laying of wreaths. The service will lasts about an hour after which the Parade makes its way down towards Harpur Square via St Pauls Square.

    • Register to vote
      Article: Nov 9, 2019

      In order to vote in the General Election on Thursday 12 December 2019, you must be on the electoral register. If you are not already registered to vote, make sure you do it by Tuesday 26 November 2019.

      The importance of registering to vote and having your say is the topic of Mayor Dave Hodgson's latest column for the Bedford Independent, in which he writes:

    • UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_b29.jpg
      Article: Nov 8, 2019

      2019 GE LDs Slogan (libdems.org)

      CAMPAIGN 2019 - 34 DAYS TO POLLING DAY

      Lib Dems set out bold green plan to build a brighter future

      Environment now the second biggest concern for under 24 year olds after Brexit*.

      The Liberal Democrats have set out ambitious plans to tackle the climate emergency by generating 80% of electricity from renewables by 2030 and insulating all low-income homes by 2025.

      As one of the party's key priorities in their 'Plan for a Brighter Future', the Liberal Democrats have committed to raising the energy efficiency standards for new homes alongside investing £15 billion over the next Parliament to retrofit 26 million homes. This would save the average household £550 a year on energy bills.

      The party has also announced a Liberal Democrat government would prioritise accelerating the deployment of renewable power generation, including a new target of doubling solar and wind power by 2030.