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NEC Statement - Leasehold reform

The Liberal Party annual Assembly, conducted in Bristol this year, debated the reform of leasehold property rights in this country.

The party notes the almost feudal nature of the scheme and recent revelations have called into question a long term residential leasing scheme almost unique to England and Wales.

Home dwellers with such leaseholds are seeing a periodic doubling of ground rates, punitive fees for basic home improvements and the transfer of leaseholds to offshore havens for tax purposes.

The party is weary of any government plan that falls short of anything other than complete abolition, and calls for compensation for leaseholders, the right to buy their lease and temporary provision for all leases ending before 2025 to revert to the leaseholders with fair compensation if appropriate.

Such reforms are in line In with the party constitution which calls for a society where every citizen shall possess liberty, property and security.

19 October 2017


NEC Statement - Residential tower block remedial funding

The Liberal Party note with concern media reports that a number of councils have alleged that central government has declined to release urgent funds for remedial work to residential tower blocks.

Any argument concerning whether such work is additional rather than essential is academic when many tower blocks have seen their external insulating cladding removed as a fire precaution.

The party accepts that the fitting of water sprinklers is a long-term aspiration subject to design and structural assessments, but as a minimum external cladding should be replaced as matter of urgency with the onset of winter.

The Grenfell tower tragedy has highlighted the disparity in living conditions of many of this countries most vulnerable and cost should not be a consideration when providing adequate and safe accommodation.

13 October 2017


Draft NEC Statement - Scottish fracking moratorium

The Liberal Party notes with agreement the decision of the Scottish government to extend its existing moratorium on fracking.

The Westminster government continues to push fracking aggressively despite there being sufficient evidence to show that the fracking process poses a real risk to public health, the environment, the climate and fair competition.

The party remains concerned that insufficient research exists into the long-term effects of pumping high pressure water and chemicals into subterranean strata and its effect on the public water supply.

As such it believes such a moratorium should be extended to all of England and Wales until adequate research into fracking has been conducted and reviewed, and the public are fully briefed on its effects.

6 October 2017


Tuebrook Reporter

Click here to download the PDF of the latest Tuebrook Reporter

29 September 2017


Tuebrook Reporter

Click here to download the PDF of the latest Tuebrook Reporter

24 August 2017


Liberal News

Click here to download the PDF of the Liberal News - Summer 2017

30 July 2017


Tuebrook Reporter

Click here to download the PDF of the latest Tuebrook Reporter

27 July 2017


Assembly Notice

The venue for the assembly will be the Novotel 'Bristol Centre' whose address is:
Victoria Street,
Bristol,
BS1 6HY.

The date is 14th October 2017

Danny is negotiating a reduced rate if members want to stay at the Novotel. Details will be circulated in due course.

Please submit any motions before noon on 25th August 2017.

They can be sent to me at liberalassembly@hotmail.co.uk or by post to:
Steve Radford,
26 Archers Green Road,
Kingswood,
Warrington,
WA5 7XS.

18 July 2017


Tuebrook Reporter

Click here to download the PDF of the latest Tuebrook Reporter

08 July 2017


NEC Statement - June 2017 General election

The Liberal Party NEC would like to extend a sincere thank you to its 4 candidates in the recent general election, and to its supports and the local activists who supported their campaigns.

The party’s President Steve Radford secured third place in Liverpool West Derby, whilst the party ran candidates in Altrincham and Sale West, Devon Central and Thirsk and Malton.

The results of a hastily called general election have now left the country with the prospects of a period of uncertainty on the eve of the commencement of negotiations on this countries exit from the EU.

The outcome of the election exposes the fact that the first past the post electoral system does not prevent minority governments but leads to minority governments being dependent on small minorities whilst not being representative of the whole country but which are highly concentrated in specific areas.

This election once again gives ample justification for introducing proportional representation and empowering all voters equally, irrespective of whether they live in a marginal or safe seat.

12 June 2017


Manchester Bombing

The Liberal Party responds with shock and great sadness at the recent terrorist atrocity in Manchester and offers its deepest sympathies to all those affected.

An attack which targeted children and parents as they left a music concert lacks any justification or purpose, other than wanton mayhem and destruction for its own evil ends.

The Liberal Party maintains that dialogue and early intervention remains our nation’s surest safeguard against the evolving domestic terrorist threat. Those most at risk of radicalisation need to be identified and brought back into the mainstream as a matter of priority.

Although the small scale deployment of troops on the streets of the UK may appear a prudent step, it should not distract from the more important work of the Police, security services and communities themselves to curtailing further such atrocities.

24 May 2017


Liberal Party, Steve Radford or Daily Politics

Daily Politics 16th May 2017 Steve Radford (Liberal) vs Nick Clegg (Lib Dem)

Well done to Steve Radford from The Liberal Party, sticking up for Liberal values, and watch and listen to Nick Clegg, who climbed in bed with the Conservatives, till he was thrown out of bed and divorced.

16 May 2017


On the campaign trail...

Lloyd Knight, Liberal Party Candidate for Devon Central, campaigning with Cllr Jenny Roach.

15 May 2017


General Election 2017

Click here to view the The Liberal Party Manifesto - Trusting the People.

11 May 2017


Extreme inequalities of unearned inherited wealth in the next generation

Dear Sir,

In the week after the publication of the Sunday Times Rich List, what are the political parties going to say and do about extreme inequalities of unearned inherited wealth in the next generation of our so-called Opportunity Society. Do they think it is right that some will inherit billions free of tax thanks to exemptions and reliefs for land and businesses while others inherit no capital at all?

All parties should determine to introduce and gradually increase over the years a UK Citizen’s Universal Inheritance for all 25 year old UK citizens with a UK citizen parent, at a politically appropriate level, financed and clawed back from the more fortunate by a progressive tax on cumulative lifetime receipt of capital gifts and inheritance. This would encourage the wider spread of giving, on which the rate of the so-called ‘Inheritance Tax’, retained for cross-referral, could be dropped from 40% to 10% for giving to UK tax payers, without the current absurdly unlimited exemptions and reliefs for land and businesses.

This is the policy of the continuing UK Liberal Party, whose traditional constitution calls for liberty, property and security for all.

Yours sincerely
Dane Clouston
Member, Liberal Party National Executive Committee
Director, Campaign for Universal Inheritance

9 May 2017


EU Citizens in the UK

The Liberal Party notes the recent comments of the European Council President Donald Tusk on the future status of EU citizens in the UK in relation to the commencement of talks on BREXIT.

The party fully supports the rights of EU citizens to continue living and working in this country and believes making such an undertaking does not prejudice future negotiations with the EU if made in good faith.

The party believes in a fair settlement with the European Union as part of our disengagement from Europe but remains’ concerned that any excessively large demand for financial compensation as part of the final settlement.

The EU should respect that the UK proportionally pays more for the defence of the Europe through NATO than the EU countries do themselves and this disparity should be off set in any negotiations.

There remains a real possibility that a punitive sum will push the UK towards an unfavourable exit which is not in the long-term interests of either the UK or mainland Europe.

2 May 2017


Syria

The Liberal Party deplores the rapid escalation of violence in Syria depicted by further use of chemical warfare agents in Northern Syria and the subsequent punitive military action on Syria by U.S. government forces.

The country's civil war has now dragged on for 6 years, interspersed with civilian atrocities and widespread destruction on the ground, displacing an estimated 3.8 million civilians and leading to approximately 100,000 deaths.

The increased direct involvement of the Russian government, and attempts by Western powers to back a disparate array of opposition groups has led to a chaotic situation where civilians are seemingly targeted at will. It has also added to regional instability and allowed Islamic militant groups to exploit the breakdown in order to further their own extremist agendas.

The Liberal Party urgently calls for:

  • the warring factions to resume direct talks immediately, under the auspices of the United Nations, to end the un-necessary suffering of the regions people who simply wish to live their lives free from violence and suffering.
  • the creation of safe zones so that innocent civilians can move away from the danger of the armed conflict which has on occasions led to genocide against the largely Sunni opposition population.

08 April 2017


Press Release

The Liberal Party in Devon has announced the names of the candidates that will be fighting seats in the May Devon County Council Elections.

From Left to right, Lloyd Knight, Lloyd is a Bradninch Town Councillor and active in his local community. He has an excellent record as a Town Councillor and is known for being a councillor who listens to his electorate and acts on their concerns.

Jenny Roach is a Mid Devon District Councillor who is well known for speaking up for and supporting people in her ward. Jenny is passionate about providing care services for vulnerable people and has initiated a project known as room 4 u to provide local services to bridge the gap that has been left by the austerity cuts.

Harry Tribble, standing as a candidate for the first time, Harry (a political student) hopes to assert the voice of the youth, prioritise the locality and establish community cohesion. Harry joined The Liberal Party after campaigning for vote leave in the 2016 referendum.

The Liberal Party has no connection with the Lib Dems, indeed their policy is against Brexit whilst the Liberal Party campaigned for a Leave vote.

For further information please contact Jenny on 01392861042 or email at jennyroach2@aol.com

04 April 2017


Tuebrook Reporter

Click here to download the PDF of the Tuebrook Reporter - March/April 2017

03 April 2017


Terror attack in London

The Liberal Party UK is deeply saddened by the loss of life in what is being treated as an act of terror in London. Our hearts go out to victims of the attack and to their families and loved ones.

Whilst it is too early to understand what motivated this attack, we condemn the recourse to violence and terror as a means to promote any cause.

The Liberal Party supports initiatives, both government and community based, that seeks to address social and political issue which draw otherwise law abiding citizens towards senseless acts of violence within our democratic society.

Engaging with those elements of British society who are likely to be led astray by extremist views requires a proactive and multi-agency approach. These should aim to bringing’s together community leaders, politicians, and the police and intelligence services to guide such individuals back into the mainstream political process.

23 March 2017


Liberal Party Internal Elections

The closing date of 10th February for nominations in our internal Party elections has now passed.

We have ten nominations for the National Executive and as this is fewer than the number of places on the NEC we do not need a ballot. All of those nominated below are duly elected as members of the National Executive of the Liberal Party for the next two years.

Only Cllr Steve Radford presented a nomination to be Party President, and is therefore duly elected without the need for a ballot, for the next two years.

Party President
Cllr Steve Radford

Members of the National Executive Committee
Dane Clousten
Daniel Wood
Stephen Graham
Chris Ash.
Paul Bradshaw
Anne Bradshaw
Colin France
John Hein
Bill Weights
Colin Hallmark

13 February 2017


Spring Special Assembly

Briar Rose Hotel, 25 Bennetts Hill, Birmingham, West Midlands, B2 5RE
Saturday 25th February 2017 - 12 noon to 4pm

Prison Reform Joint Motion for debate sponsored by Colin France
Click here to download the PDF of the Prison Reform Joint Motion.

NEC Statement - Thames Water Prosecution
The Liberal Party views with concern:

  1. The continuing failure of our privatised water companies to provide pure water for residents at a fair price.
  2. The continuing breach of regulations by our privatised water companies as evidenced, for example, by the repeated conviction of Thames Water for polluting the Thames and tributaries by the illegal discharge of sewage into the river to the detriment of river fish and other wildlife.
  3. The continuing decisions, as revealed by internal whistle-blowers, of Thames Water management "to pay the pollution fines rather than install new filtering systems".
  4. The repeated changes in ownership of our privatised water companies as new owners display more interest in asset stripping than the provision of pure water, or to a halt to the illegal discharge of sewage, or to a reduction in the high number of serious leaks.
  5. The recent decision by Thames Water to charge all its customers a special fee to help to pay for management failures, in particular water leaks which reached a peak of nearly 30% of water lost to leaks.
The Liberal Party recognise that pure water is essential to life and believes that everyone has a natural right to pure water. The Liberal Party also believes that it is morally wrong and environmentally damaging to allow our water supply to be under the control of profiteers and asset strippers. Accordingly, the Liberal Party calls for the restoration of our water supply to public ownership and public accountability.

13 February 2017


Tuebrook Reporter

Click here to download the PDF of the Tuebrook Reporter - January 2017.

6 February 2017


Increasing council tax to fund social care

The Conservative Government has recently proposed that local authorities in the UK will be able to increase local Council tax by up to 6% to fund social care.

At a time when the Government is talking about helping the Just Managing or Squeezed Middle, it is simultaneously talking about passing the burden of funding vital public services back onto these already struggling groups.

Yet the Conservatives, both in coalition, and now in power in their own right, have ruthlessly cut the transfer to local government year on year in the name of austerity and cutting the national debt.

The best estimate is that during the last parliament overall funding for public services fell by about 29%, whilst Social care funding has fallen by 9% in real terms over the past five years alone.

The Liberal Party opposes un-necessary and counterproductive austerity, which plainly doesn't mean we are all in it together as David Cameron oft claimed.

In a nation estimated in 2014 to be worth 8 trillion pounds, even with 5 trillion pound of this in property, surely we can afford adequately funded public service without adding to the burden on...

Funding needs to come from an adequate settlement from central government, which in turn needs to ensure all in our society pay their fair share of taxes and contribute to the provision of fully funded local services for the most dependent in our society.

13 January 2017


Investigatory Powers Act

The Liberal Party notes with concern that the Investigatory Powers Act has now received royal assent. It's not an exaggeration to say that it represents one of the most significant transfers of power from people to the state in our lifetime.

The bill will allow the surveillance of anyone (and potentially everyone) in the UK, without the need for suspicion of involvement in a crime or evidence of wrongdoing, without the need to target a person or premise and without ever notifying anyone that they have been spied on.

It would be hard to imagine a more uncomfortable situation for political movements than to know that every communication they made was being intercepted and stored by the government they may be challenging or competing with. It would potentially make a Watergate lawful.

The lack of Parliamentary and media opposition is truly alarming, with the opposition Labour and SNP MPs almost exclusively abstaining in the final vote on this legislation.

Privacy from State Intrusion and Democracy are pillars of a free society which risk being systematically undermined in the name of law enforcement and national security.

The Liberal Party believes these are principles which should take precedence and the party strives to promote these principles in all its actions.

18 December 2016


Motion for debate at February's Assembly - Penal Reform sponsored by Colin Francis Sheffield

The Liberal Party recognises !o address the increasing number of prison inmates, since 1993 the population has risen to 84 405 that is an extra 41000 inmates a 92 percent increase in England and Wales on the failing prison system. (The following day is from the bromley briefing for the prison reform trust july 2016.)

Prison has a poor record for reducing re-offending 46 percent of adults are re-convicted within 1 year of release, this has risen to 60 percent for those serving a less than 1 year sentence.

48 percent of women leave prison are re-convicted within 1 year of release, this goes to 77 percent for women who have had 11 consecutive short sentences.,68 percent of under 18s are re-convicted within 1 year of release.

Short prison sentences are less effective than community sentences at reducing re-offending....they are 7 percentage points higher of re-offending than an offender serving a community sentence and they commit more offences than those on community sentences.

Re-offending costs the taxpayer billions per year between 9.5 and 13 billion per annum of which 7to 10 billion are spent on short sentence prisoners.

The use of release on temporay licence in 2012 only 26 cases involved prisoners being arrested on suspicion of committing an offence, that is a 99.95 percent success rate. Lately sadly RoTL are 37percent down being used and soe employers say they have recieved no one on RoTL saying that though when used it still is 99.93 percent success rate.

The Liberal Party see the prison system to rehabilitation of offenders rather just a form of punishment! Prisons need to punish the offenders but they should also be given appropriate assistance to prevent the offender being caught in the prison vicious cycle of being in and out of custody throughout their lives.

The Liberal Party will look to address the causes why people offend, offenders to have a planned care plan to help with drug addiction debt and gambling addiction programmes to be run. Mental health treatments to help offenders cope and manage their conditions. The goal of these reforms is to prevent people entering a lifestyle of crime and.if they had to prepare the person when they have served their sentence.

Prisoners to be given the opportunity to undertake meaningful employment, day release to work at actual companies, training and educationsl studies so on their release they have qualifications for potential employers or if they wish to become self employed advice given to them.

The Liberal Party to look at removing certain victimless offences from acts of criminality such as prostitution, offenders being given community sentences that will enable offenders to keep their jobs if they are employed but it will also help to keep the family unit together.

New or young offenders to not be just put in the general prison population but away from seasoned and hardened criminals who may coach and mentor these green inmates and encourage them not to better themselves but turn to a life of crime.

Prison officers to have the appropriate training so they can become effective mentors and role models to the offenders they care for.

Prison officers to be given the recognition, rewards, protection and tools to continue the hardwork and vitual service they do for society.

The Liberal Party seeks to ensure those guilty of victimnless criems like prostitution are not sent to jail but more appropriate measures

18 December 2016


Liberal News

Click here to download the PDF of the Liberal News - Winter 2016

2 December 2016


Tuebrook Reporter

Click here to download the PDF of the Tuebrook Reporter - December 2016

2 December 2016


NEC statement

The Liberal Party NEC today expressed concern about the dangerously growing inequality of capital ownership in each new generation in the UK. It called for the abolition of unlimited exemptions and reliefs from Inheritance Tax for land and businesses and for taxation of inherited capital be progressive according to how much is received, in addition to a lowered rate flat tax on what is given or bequeathed.

In line with the party's traditional constitution calling for liberty, property and security for all, this would finance a gradually increasing UK Universal Inheritance capital endowment for all 25 year old UK citizens with at least one UK citizen parent. No longer will some UK citizens inherit billions or millions free of tax while others inherit no capital at all.

30 November 2016


NEC Elections

The NEC agreed the following extended schedule for nominations for the NEC and Party President to encourage maximum participation.

Anyone wishing to nomination or self nominate for the NEC should email cjlenton@gmail.com. Only 3 members are required to nominate anyone standing for the NEC.

For the position of Party President 40 nominations are required.

The closing date will be 10th February and information will also go out with the current Liberal News.

The next NEC will be on Saturday 25th February at 12.00 at the Briar Rose Hotel, Bennetts Hill, Birmingham.

27 November 2016


Special Assembly

There will be a special assembly at 12.30 on Saturday 25th Feb at 12.30 at the Briar Rose Hotel, Bennetts Hill Birmingham with a view to update Education and Penal Reform.

However members may wish to table any other items of interest for debate and should email them to Danny at the earliest opportunity at danielwood24@hotmail.com

27 November 2016


NEC Statement on falling wages

The Liberal Party notes with concern recent media reports that living standards in this country are likely to stagnate for the foreseeable future. These reports further suggest that some of the poorest households will see their income falling back to levels last seen in 2008.

In the immediate aftermath of the recent Autumn Statement the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has cautioned that real wages may be depressed for 10 years or more, with some groups seeing an effective cut to their income.

Continuous cuts in social benefits and tax credits, low wage growth, reduced hours of work, and increased inflation will further erode the standard of living for a whole swath of the most vulnerable households in this country.

The Liberal Party’s constitution clearly states that the party exists in part to ensure no member of our society is enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity. We remain robust in demanding that this government take clear steps to lift the low paid out of the spiral of fuel poverty and debt.

We believe in a fair society, work ethic and a simplified tax and benefits system which lifts’ people out of poverty rather than force them into the queues of food banks.

27 November 2016


Letter printed in the Oxford Times

Sir,

Put VAT on school fees

Trevor Stevens, in his letter to the Oxford Times this week, prominently headlined “Abolishing private schools might help”, writes that private schools are one of the ways, along with buying houses in good school catchment areas, by which the wealthy buy themselves the privilege of a better education. Indeed so, but abolition thereof is a rather startlingly illiberal suggestion!

However it would not be illiberal, and it would be good, to tax them by putting VAT on the substantial fees paid by those wealthy enough to afford them. Some parents would be influenced to send their children to state supported schools instead. The tax proceeds from others, including many from overseas, could be used to increase resources and raise standards in state supported schools, including the sporting facilities so sadly reduced by the Conservative Party in the past.

Such a policy, of VAT on private school fees, is for these reasons the party policy of the Liberal Party. It would be good if the Liberal Democrats and other political parties were to follow suit.

Dane Clouston
Oxfordshire Liberals
Member, Liberal Party National Executive Committee

25 November 2016


Liberals Call for Public Enquiry into Orgreave Clashes

The Liberal Party notes with disappointment the decision of the Home Secretary Amber Rudd to decline to convene a public enquiry into the events surrounding the policing of the Orgreave coking plant during the 1984 miners' strike.

In light of the inquest and findings of the Hillsborough enquiry in relation to the behaviour and culture of the police, the party finds merit in examining police records and the conduct of both officers and pickets at what is now commonly referred to as the Battle Of Orgreave.

There remains public disquiet at the events which unfolded and the subsequent collapse of a trial of 95 arrested pickets, 39 of who later received compensation payments from South Yorkshire Police.

A public enquiry would do much to restore public faith in the accountability of politicians and central government. It would also address deep seated concerns over the events and the way they reflect on the public perception of the impartiality of the police in the handling of events as they unfolded.

06 November 2016


Press release: Liverpool approves tower in World Heritage Site buffer zone, despite serious concern from UNESCO

Liverpool City Council has approved proposals for a 22-storey tower on Skelhorne Street in the buffer zone of the city’s World Heritage Site (WHS).

The decision on 11 October 2016 was approved by five votes to two, despite specific requests from UNESCO not to grant planning approval for this application, as well as objections from SAVE and the Victorian Society.

Reacting to the decision the UK National Committee of ICOMOS, the official advisor to UNESCO on cultural heritage sites, said: "ICOMOS-UK regrets that Liverpool City Council have pushed ahead with a decision on this planning application at this time. Such a move ignores the UNESCO World Heritage Committee's request not to approve the project until a Desired State of Conservation for the Liverpool - Maritime Mercantile City World Heritage Site as a whole is defined and adopted. It is the responsibility of all key stakeholders to work together to ensure that Liverpool's World Heritage status can be assured for the future."

SAVE wrote to each member of the planning committee ahead of the meeting to highlight our serious concerns and those of UNESCO, requesting that the decision be deferred until the Desired State of Conservation Report (DSOCR) is submitted in December. Our letter can be viewed here.

The DSOCR for a World Heritage property is a document outlining the state of conservation which needs to be achieved through corrective measures in order to remove it from the Danger List. Once the Desired State of Conservation is achieved, the World Heritage Committee will remove the property from the Danger List.

The Council’s decision to ignore UNESCO’s request and approve the scheme is needlessly hasty. The draft DSOCR is due to be submitted on 1 December, and a period of two months wait before making a more informed decision, based on the DSOCR report, is reasonable.

The proposal is for a 22 storey student accommodation tower, within the WHS buffer zone and opposite the Grade II listed Lime Street Station, the Grade II listed Crown public house, and within clear viewing distance of the Grade I listed St George’s Hall.

SAVE considers that the proposal will cause great harm to the setting of the WHS and surrounding listed buildings, and as a result of its height its impact will be far reaching; Cllr Steve Radford, one of the members of the planning committee who opposed the decision, described the proposal as ‘excessive’.

At the 40th session of the World Heritage Committee in July 2016, UNESCO took the decision to retain the Liverpool WHS on the at risk list for a fifth consecutive year, and also singled out two projects – towers at Skelhorne Street and Princes Reach - advising against the granting of planning permission. The decision stated that:

'[The World Heritage Committee] Notes furthermore the submission by the State Party on 8 July 2016 of new information about two projects: Princes Reach, Princes Dock, Liverpool and Proposed Student Residences in Skelhorne Street, Liverpool and also requests the State Party to ensure that neither project receives project approval, until the DSOCR has been finalized and adopted;'

Both schemes referred to have now been approved – the 34 storey Princes Reach tower was approved in September – and the council’s decisions flagrantly ignores UNESCO’s request.

These approvals further increase the risk that the city will be stripped of its WHS Status, something being seriously considered by UNESCO.

Henrietta Billings, Director of SAVE said: “This planning permission for a 22 storey tower deliberately flies in the face of serious international heritage concerns. Liverpool's World Heritage Status is a badge of honour which is slipping through its fingers because of short sighted planning decisions.”

Note to editors:

1. For more information please contact the SAVE office on 0207 253 3500 or mailto:office@savebritainsheritage.org

11 October 2016


Liberal Party Annual Assembly - 15th October 2016

Please download our Registration Form to get all the information about the Liberal Party Assembly 2016.

14 September 2016


Draft NEC Statement - Grammar schools - 3rd draft

The Liberal Party is fundamentally and robustly opposed to a revival of the Grammar school system whereby young people are segregated at an early age into schools for achievement and schools for the underclass.

We note that early segregation advantages those young people born into families with educational professional backgrounds and acts as a barrier to young children of all backgrounds who may be late developers.

Like previous intensions to expand Academy schools, this move was not part of the government’s electoral manifesto, and is being couched in such language as to avoid legislation prohibiting such institutions.

The Liberal Party affirms its believe that educational opportunity is vital to a vibrant society and growing economy and should be open to all irrespective of social background.

As such the party opposes such proposals, as it does private education, as it distracts from a level playing field in education and does not provide opportunity for all or social mobility.

The Liberal Party would therefore look to work with all likeminded progressive opinion whilst promoting an inclusive and properly funded state education system fit for all.

11 September 2016


The effects of negative interest rates on businesses

The Liberal Party views with much concern media reports that both the RBS and Natwest bank are warning business and commercial customers of the possibility of them being charged negative interest rates.

This would in effect charge these businesses, reported to between 1 and 1.3 million, for holding money in their accounts, as well as an undisclosed number of charities and community groups.

This move is being prompted by the potential cut of domestic interest rates to zero, leaving banks to fund the cost of borrowing and their own businesses, whilst receiving no interest on loans.

The Liberal Party understands the economic reasoning behind this move, but this simply adds further pressure to businesses struggling to survive in uncertain economic times, and re-enforces the common perception that banks are not there to help businesses thrive.

Although this move would not affect personal customers with savings or current accounts, it encourages the move towards fee based accounts, which discriminate against the poorest in our society.

The RBS and Natwest via its parent Lloyds bank are both still partly state owned, and should be challenged by the government and the general public on this counter-productive and damaging development.

03 August 2016


We need stronger conventional forces not Trident

The Liberal Party notes with considerable disappointment the recent vote on the future of Britain’s Trident nuclear deterrent.

At a time when one would have imagined national politicians would have been digesting the ramifications of the recent EU referendum, they have instead allowed themselves to be distracted by a polarising and highly contentious domestic issue.

It is even arguable that the Conservative government have seen this as an opportune moment to promote the renewal process, with the opposition Labour party lukewarm in its opposition to Trident and consumed with a potential leadership contest.

The replacement of Trident is expected to cost in excess of 31 billion pounds, at a time when further austerity and cuts to public services now seen inevitable.

It is a commitment to an unaffordable military asset over the next 20 years, when conventional forces are already stretched and the Chilcot inquiry report highlighted poor levels of equipment.

The recent Bastille Day tragedy in France should remind us that conventional and not nuclear deterrents are the most pressing consideration in this age. Not the renewal of a questionable military asset, with little relevance to modern geopolitics or domestic security.

20 July 2016


Letter in the weekly Oxford Times today - Tackle the Wealth Gap

Sir – Now the UK is to be fully independent, we must tackle the wealth gap between the rich and the poor which was partly responsible for the Brexit decision. All political parties, whether left, right or centre, should address the question, which they have ignored for too long, of the quasi-feudal inequality of inheritance of capital wealth.

The EU will no longer be able to object on grounds of discrimination if all 25-year-old UK-born, rather than EU-born, UK citizens, in London, Glasgow or anywhere else, receive, as they should, a basic minimum UK Universal Inheritance, financed out of taxation on the giving and receiving of capital gifts, bequests and inheritance from the previous generation of UK tax payers.

This real, continuation, traditional UK Liberal Party policy must now be introduced as soon as possible, because in order to be fair to adjacent year groups of 25-year-old UK-born UK citizens, it can only be introduced gradually.

The Liberal Party proposal is that UK Universal Inheritance should start at a mere £1,000 and be increased annually by that amount for ten years or more up to about 10% of average wealth in the UK.

Inheritance Tax on giving and bequeathing would be reduced and renamed Capital Donor Tax, with significantly reduced exemptions and reliefs.

UK Universal Inheritance would then be financed, and clawed back from the more fortunate, by a new cross-referred progressive tax on cumulative lifetime receipt of unearned capital gifts and bequests, including the UK Universal Inheritance itself.

As things are, some inherit unearned billions, free of tax, during their lifetime, while all too many others never inherit any capital at all. Other political parties should stop inveighing against inequality or demanding greater equality of opportunity for all without even mentioning the positive redistribution in each new generation of vastly unequal unearned inherited wealth.

Dane Clouston
Oxfordshire Liberal Party
Member, Liberal Party National Executive Committee
Stadhampton

7 July 2016


Draft NEC Statement on response to George Osbornes vision of public finances - Second draft

The Liberal Party notes with considerable disappointment the comments attributed to the Chancellor George Osborne in the aftermath of the recent EU Referendum vote as he maps out the financial future of this country.

After 6 years of austerity, the chancellor’s only vision is one in which further cuts to public services and increases in tax feature prominently, whilst damaging austerity is conveniently dispensed with as politically redundant.

Although cuts in corporation tax are known to have a stimulating effect, such a phenomenon is not in itself a panacea for these nations’ long-term economic future and prosperity. As the Irish Republic discovered, low corporate taxes are not on their own a solid base on which to build a sustainable economy.

As a nation with a total net worth in excess of 7 trillion pounds, we should on the face it be able to afford to fund adequate public services, along with a properly funded NHS and education systems.

The Liberal Party calls for a more open and radical debate on our nation’s future economic journey in light of our eventual disengagement from the European Union, and the role of domestic and as well as business taxation in funding sustainable public services.

7 July 2016


Letter from the Archbishop of Canterbury

Sir,

The Archbishop of Canterbury's declaration that he supports a 'remain' vote on the basis that Britain 'belongs in the world' appears somewhat confused and to a degree perverse.

It is precisely because the UK needs to get back into the world, rather than being locked into a declining and economically precarious European Union that the Liberal Party is campaigning for a 'leave' vote.

The stereotype that those who wish to leave the EU are insular 'little Englanders' could not be further from the truth, rather we are worried that we will end up 'little Europeans'.

Given that the Archbishop of Canterbury is an Eton and Cambridge educated former oil executive it's perhaps unsurprising he has lept to the defence of the metropolitan elite from which he, like Cameron and Osborne, has sprung.

Yours faithfully,

Daniel Wood
Acting Chair of the NEC
The Liberal Party
Principle Spokesperson - Liberals GO Global

12 June 2016


NEC statement on North Yorkshire fracking decision

The NEC notes with considerable disappointment the majority decision of the Conservative controlled North Yorkshire County Councils planning committee to approve an application for fracking at a site near Kirby Misperton in Ryedale.

The Liberal party, which has two serving councillors in the district, has debated fracking twice at its annual Assembly, and finds no merit in its continued promotion.

The entire process of high-pressure pumping of water and sand into the ground to collect the gas risks untold environmental and well as geological damage and only prolongs our society’s addition to unsustainable sources of energy.

The fact that the application attracted over 4000 objections, should be a clear indication of the public opposition to such schemes, which should form no part of this nation’s energy policy.

27 May 2016