Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Euro Elections Ahead

I've just come back from canvassing with Simon Wright and the team in Norwich South. The day suggests to me that (a) committed Lib Dems are more committed than ever, and (b) there are 'pro-Europeans' out there who have never voted for us before but who may do this time. Europe clearly matters.

There's just over a month to go to polling day. I, Jo Hayes and the other candidates will be with Nick Clegg at the national launch of the European campaign this Thursday in Colchester. If you can join us, please register here: http://www.libdems.org.uk/launch_of_the_european_campaign

We have a lot of literature to come, as many of us will have discovered in the vast stuffing operations last weekend. And the quality and punch of that literature has never been better.

Fundraising is gathering momentum - with over £5,000 in donations raised in the last two weeks - but the more money we continue to raise the more letters we can send directly to our likely supporters. In short, there's all to play for. Don't be put off by national polls: it's what happens across the East of England, and especially in our target areas, that will make all the difference.

With best wishes,

Andrew Duff MEP

Leader of your Liberal Democrat Euro team in this Region

Friday, 21 March 2014

Central Beds Design Guide Will Help Developers Understand Modern Living Requirements


PRESS RELEASE 22 March 2014

Central Bedfordshire Council have come up with a new Design Guide, following public consultation last year. The guide aims to direct developers towards coming up with plans that are more acceptable to modern expectations.

Improved room sizes, more storage, bigger gardens, practical bin storage, and better planned parking are just some of the  elements that should be considered if developers are serious about building in our area, according to Central Bedfordshire Councillors.

The guide, which has been amended after feedback from residents during a consultation last year, was considered by a CBC committee this week.
Liberal Democrat Councillor, David Jones, Houghton Hall, said, "I  welcome  this  revised  design  guide.  It  has  been  amended  following  public  consultation  to  reflect  current  best  practice  and  to  incorporate  what  people  want.  Parking  standards  have  been  revised  on  a  more  logical  basis. "

Cllr Jones added, " I  am  most  pleased  about  the  modifications  to  the  spatial  standards  of  homes.  With  7,000  new  homes  due  to  be  built  to  the  north  and  the  east  of  the  Town  in  the  coming  years,  this  guide  should  prevent  the  "cramming"  which  we  have  seen  on  some  developments  in  the  recent  past  and  ensure  good  quality  accommodation  and  environment  for  our  new  residents."

Sustainable Communities member, Cllr Peter Williams, Tithe Farm, Houghton Regis added, "The guide is good. It sets out how we would like developers to proceed, to improve the living standards of new residents. We've set out guidelines for things like provision of space for wheelie bins, and indicated that garages should be bigger than we have had on the older estates, so that people actually use them to put vehicles in. "

Cllr Williams added, "One of my biggest concerns is that the Design Guide will only be advisory. But there are signs that some developers will definitely be on board with the intentions behind it. What I don't want to have happen around  Houghton Regis is badly planned housing estates where the roads are so narrow that vehicles are forced to park on footpaths, or that people find themselves crammed into too small a space."
Local CONTACTS can be found at http://www.votelibdem.com

Lib Dem Influence in Government is Clear in The Budget.

This week’s Budget saw a big Liberal Democrat victory, with the announcement that as of April 2015, the personal tax allowance will be raised to £10,500. Our MPs, Nick Clegg and Danny Alexander, have fought hard in the coalition to deliver our manifesto pledge to give workers a tax cut which will now be worth £800.

The Budget also includes a boost for apprentices, freezing fuel duty, and giving people greater control over the money they have saved in their pension pots, thanks to new measures pioneered by Steve Webb.

Millions of families are set to benefit from a new tax-free childcare scheme, which will help working parents with the cost of living and enable children to get the best possible start in life.

All this, and more, made possible by Liberal Democrats in Government.