secretary@essexlibdems.org.uk
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  • Article: Feb 12, 2020
    By Andrew Elison in The Times

    Andrew Elison, Consumer Affairs Correspondent for The Times, has revealed a remarkable statistic ...

    Which property do you think pays the most council tax?

    A 3-bed semi in Hartlepool on sale for £107k

    Or

    A 10-bed townhouse on Berkeley Sq, Westminster worth £82.5million

    Against all logic, the answer is the Hartlepool semi at £1,565.81 vs £1,507.70

  • Article: Feb 12, 2020
    By Fiona Harvey in The Guardian

    Wildlife, air quality and fish stocks are all at risk as ministers water down EU regulations.

    Article in the Guardian makes dismal reading. Click here.

  • Rose planting a tree (Chelmsford City Council)
    Article: Feb 7, 2020

    South Woodham Ferrers plants over 1,000 trees in a single day

    On Sunday 2 February, a hundred people got digging for climate victory in a mass tree planting at Creekview Road, South Woodham Ferrers.
    Local families and residents joined staff from the Lib Dem led Chelmsford City Council to plant over a thousand trees on a plot of land in the area's well-loved Compass Gardens park.

    Native species, including holly, oak and alder, were used to create the new woodland, which is approximately 700 metres square.

    Lib Dem Councillor Rose Moore, Deputy Cabinet Member for Recycling and Ecology, joined the tree-planting effort. She said, "Putting the 'wood' back into South Woodham Ferrers is a big step towards a greener Chelmsford. With the help of local residents, we have planted far more trees here than our regular staff would ever be able to do in a single day.

  • Article: Feb 7, 2020
    By Carole Mulroney in Leigh and West Leigh Focus

    A budget to make things better.

    It is clear to most that the ever-increasing needs of child and adult social care are putting excessive pressure on all local authorities.

    Southend is no different but we cannot shirk our responsibility to those most vulnerable in our society.

    So inevitably the budget contains the allowed increases for these services.

  • Article: Feb 7, 2020
    In Leigh and West Leigh Focus

    The planes may be soaring to new heights from Southend but down on the ground things are not so rosy.

    Your Lib Dem councillors have been at the forefront of dealing with residents' complaints about, in particular, noisy night flights.

    Coupled with the now self-evident world-wide need to accept that we must act fast on climate change, we have raised all of these grievances with the Council and the airport.

  • Beth Hooper ()
    Article: Feb 7, 2020
    By Beth Hooper in Leigh and West Leigh Focus

    At last May's local elections, Lib Dem candidate BETH HOOPER beat the odds to become a councillor for West Leigh.
    Here, she gives an insight into her first few months in the Council chamber.

    On the night of the election in May last year, I wasn't expecting to win.

    Apart from being elected to West Leigh Infant School governing board when my son was young, I had never been a candidate for anything.

  • forest in day pixabay.com
    Article: Feb 6, 2020

    Chelmsford now has a plan of action to address the climate and ecological emergency that it declared last summer. This was adopted at the City Council Cabinet meeting on Tuesday 28 January.

    In July 2019, the Liberal Democrats led Chelmsford City Council pledged to reduce its own carbon emissions to net-zero by 2030 and to lead in encouraging others to do the same. Over the past six months, Councillors and officers have been conducting research, investigating and reviewing the organisation's existing processes, equipment and premises to determine where improvements could be made.

  • Document: Feb 5, 2020
    18.98 KiB document

    Rules and Guidance for the Approval of Liberal Democrat candidates for Essex County Council (potential target divisions)

    Approved by the Essex County Co-ordinating Committee on 12 November 2019

    1. PURPOSE
    • The purpose of these rules is to ensure that anyone chosen to contest a county division that may be a target on behalf of the Liberal Democrats is a fit person and understands the nature of the roles of candidate and of county council member.
    • Approval as a candidate does not constitute selection for any particular division, which is a separate process laid down in the constitutions of local parties.
    • A simpler procedure will be used for candidates who will not contest a target division.
    1. REQUIREMENTS
    • Any person approved as a candidate must be a member of the party (or must promise to join, in which case approval shall not take effect until [s]he has joined);
    • and must be qualified to serve as a member of the county council. This does not prevent someone being approved, who currently is not old enough, but who will be by the time nominations are submitted.
    1. PROCESS
    • Anyone wishing to be a candidate must be approved by a panel which shall be convened by the local party in whose area the person resides (responsible for the division the person wishes to contest).
    • The panel shall consist of three Liberal Democrat members, of whom one shall be a member of the County Council and two shall be members of the local party, chosen by it. In the event that the division expected to be contested extends into the area of a second local party, the one responsible for the larger part of the division in terms of population shall take the lead and the panel shall include one representative from each local party.
    • The candidate shall have sight of these rules at least seven days before the interview and should submit a written application on the specified form at least two full days before the meeting.
    • The panel shall choose a Chair before interviewing the candidate.
    • The panel should decide who will ask which questions.
    • All questions specified in these rules and guidance must be asked.
    • Additional, unconnected questions shall not be asked, but supplementaries to a question asked may be put by any member of the panel. Questions may also be asked to clarify or expand on matters mentioned by the candidate in his/her written application.
    • Any notes taken by panel members must be collected by the Chair and retained for one year.
    • At the end of the interview, the candidate shall be given an opportunity to ask questions or make a final statement.
    • The panel shall then ask the candidate to leave and shall make its decision.
    1. THE DECISION
    • The following decisions may be made: that the applicant is approved unconditionally to be a candidate for the County Council:
    • That the applicant is approved with restrictions - for example, only in one part of the county or not in a target division;
    • That the applicant is approved subject to conditions being met - for example, that evidence is submitted of some assertion or that a certain type of training is undergone;
    • That the applicant is not approved. This will not prevent a further application being made at a later date.
    • The decision will be given promptly to the applicant.
    • In the event of 4.3 applying, the Chair of the Panel shall be responsible for checking if the conditions have been met and communicating the result to the applicant and the other members of the panel.
    1. THE QUESTIONS

    Questions should be scored out of ten by each member of the panel. Each panellist should be prepared to ask follow up questions that will form part of the mark for the overall question.

    Liberal Democrats

    1. What made you join the Liberal Democrats?
    2. Can you describe one Liberal Democrat policy that you particularly support and why? 2b: Is there any Liberal Democrat policy, UK-wide or local, you disagree with? Why?
    1. What do you know about the time required to be a councillor? How will you balance that with your other commitments? [Only for target seats.]
    1. Is there anything that political opponents might use against you personally? How would you plan to address this if it were to be in the media?

    Local issues [Councillor to ask]

    5-

    Can you outline two or three major attacks that may be raised against us in the campaign and how you will deal with these in your campaign?

    All

    What are the two or three major issues for Essex County Council Liberal Democrat group to pursue?

    6A: What interests do you have in the local community outside politics?

    Campaigning

    6A. For existing councillors

    How much data collection have you done since your last election and what evidence have you got of this? How much have you used Connect and miniVAN?

    6B. For new entrants

    Rules and Guidance for the Approval of Liberal Democrat candidates for Essex County Council (potential target divisions)

    Approved by the Essex County Co-ordinating Committee on 12 November 2019

    1. PURPOSE
    • The purpose of these rules is to ensure that anyone chosen to contest a county division that may be a target on behalf of the Liberal Democrats is a fit person and understands the nature of the roles of candidate and of county council member.
    • Approval as a candidate does not constitute selection for any particular division, which is a separate process laid down in the constitutions of local parties.
    • A simpler procedure will be used for candidates who will not contest a target division.
    1. REQUIREMENTS
    • Any person approved as a candidate must be a member of the party (or must promise to join, in which case approval shall not take effect until [s]he has joined);
    • and must be qualified to serve as a member of the county council. This does not prevent someone being approved, who currently is not old enough, but who will be by the time nominations are submitted.
    1. PROCESS
    • Anyone wishing to be a candidate must be approved by a panel which shall be convened by the local party in whose area the person resides (responsible for the division the person wishes to contest).
    • The panel shall consist of three Liberal Democrat members, of whom one shall be a member of the County Council and two shall be members of the local party, chosen by it. In the event that the division expected to be contested extends into the area of a second local party, the one responsible for the larger part of the division in terms of population shall take the lead and the panel shall include one representative from each local party.
    • The candidate shall have sight of these rules at least seven days before the interview and should submit a written application on the specified form at least two full days before the meeting.
    • The panel shall choose a Chair before interviewing the candidate.
    • The panel should decide who will ask which questions.
    • All questions specified in these rules and guidance must be asked.
    • Additional, unconnected questions shall not be asked, but supplementaries to a question asked may be put by any member of the panel. Questions may also be asked to clarify or expand on matters mentioned by the candidate in his/her written application.
    • Any notes taken by panel members must be collected by the Chair and retained for one year.
    • At the end of the interview, the candidate shall be given an opportunity to ask questions or make a final statement.
    • The panel shall then ask the candidate to leave and shall make its decision.
    1. THE DECISION
    • The following decisions may be made: that the applicant is approved unconditionally to be a candidate for the County Council:
    • That the applicant is approved with restrictions - for example, only in one part of the county or not in a target division;
    • That the applicant is approved subject to conditions being met - for example, that evidence is submitted of some assertion or that a certain type of training is undergone;
    • That the applicant is not approved. This will not prevent a further application being made at a later date.
    • The decision will be given promptly to the applicant.
    • In the event of 4.3 applying, the Chair of the Panel shall be responsible for checking if the conditions have been met and communicating the result to the applicant and the other members of the panel.
    1. THE QUESTIONS

    Questions should be scored out of ten by each member of the panel. Each panellist should be prepared to ask follow up questions that will form part of the mark for the overall question.

    Liberal Democrats

    1. What made you join the Liberal Democrats?
    2. Can you describe one Liberal Democrat policy that you particularly support and why? 2b: Is there any Liberal Democrat policy, UK-wide or local, you disagree with? Why?
    1. What do you know about the time required to be a councillor? How will you balance that with your other commitments? [Only for target seats.]
    1. Is there anything that political opponents might use against you personally? How would you plan to address this if it were to be in the media?

    Local issues [Councillor to ask]

    5-

    Can you outline two or three major attacks that may be raised against us in the campaign and how you will deal with these in your campaign?

    All

    What are the two or three major issues for Essex County Council Liberal Democrat group to pursue?

    6A: What interests do you have in the local community outside politics?

    Campaigning

    6A. For existing councillors

    How much data collection have you done since your last election and what evidence have you got of this? How much have you used Connect and miniVAN?

    6B. For new entrants

    Have you been involved in local party campaigning at all and what have you learned?

    1. (If not, what is your understanding of campaigning?)

    Social media and training

    1. What is your social media presence? If none, how will you overcome this?
    2. In what areas of campaigning do you feel you need to learn more? What training have you

    attended

    Teamwork [Councillor to ask]

    1. We are only going to win a large number of seats if we work as a team with a district-wide campaign plan. (South Cambridgeshire is the most recent example of that.) Will you help in wards other than your own?

    Will you follow the advice of the campaign team on strategy? In what way will you help the team as a whole? e.g. event organising, doorstep organising, data entry, writing content

    Paperwork [Chair to ask]

    1. Have you read and agreed to
    • the commitments and targets in the Candidate Agreement?
    • the Councillor's Charter?
    • Group Standing Orders?
    1. Finally, is there anything that you would like to ask us?



  • Martin Cuthbert
    Article: Jan 31, 2020

    Martin Cuthbert has been selected as our candidate for the Warley borough council seat in May 2020.

    He is a director for a local IT company and has lived in Warley for over 35 years. He lives with his partner and 4-year-old son on the Brackenwood estate.

    Martin said:

    "I am delighted to have been selected to stand in Warley. Having lived here most of my life, I know the area well. I have already been involved with a number of issues in Warley, including a consultation I undertook on local parking schemes.

  • Cllr Karen Chilvers welcomes the new signage (Brentwood Borough Council)
    Article: Jan 31, 2020

    Action by Lib Dem councillor Karen Chilvers has seen Brentwood Council offer a genuine warm welcome to assistance dogs and their handlers.

    Last year, Karen noticed that the signs were not compliant with the law and only offered a welcome to Guide Dogs. Over the last decade, however, the spectrum of asssistance dogs now encompasses everything from hearing dogs to emotional support dogs and all are allowed access.