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Suffolk Coastal Liberal Democrats

List of articles added to this site

Articles are posted to this website in the relevant subject area (for example, "News and views" under "Europe", or "A liberal miscellany" under "Liberal Democrat Thinking"). The following list shows the latest articles from all categories:

  • Budget Cuts
    Article: Nov 22, 2017

    It's that time of year again, when Suffolk County Council opens its consultation on budget priorities for the upcoming year (2018-2019, in this case). This year, they are considering increasing council tax by 1.99 % on top of the additional 3% that will be added to support Adult Care Services, so households may face a possible increase of 4.99% in their payments. And even if the extra 1.99% is approved, they say that further savings of £26.9 million will be required over the coming year, so budget cuts will need to be made in some areas.

  • Neighbourhood Plan
    Article: Nov 19, 2017

    On 7th December 2017, residents of the parish of Melton will be invited to vote on their Neighbourhood Plan, being asked the question:

    "Do you want Suffolk Coastal District Council to use

    the neighbourhood plan for Melton

    to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?"

    If you live in the parish, make sure that you vote -- either by post (if you have a postal vote) or in person at the Burness Parish Rooms. Why is it important to take part in this exercise of local democracy? Because the neighbourhood plan really matters.

  • Liberal History Journal
    Article: Nov 15, 2017

    The Liberal Democrats have many special-interest groups, one of which is the Liberal Democrat History Group, which organises events and discussion meetings and publishes material of interest in this area. They produce a quarterly journal, the Journal of Liberal History, of which the current edition is the 96th issue. The Autumn 2017 issue contains (amongst other things) articles on:

  • EU Remainer's Diary
    Article: Nov 11, 2017

    East of England Lib Dem activist Jo Hayes writes a diary post every day about the EU and her anti-Brexit campaign.

    Read it here:

    Diary Day 413: a concession is quietly made.


    [This article was originally published by the Liberal Democrat European Group. You can access the home page of Jo's "Remainer's Diary" blog here.]

  • Pharmacy Logo
    Article: Nov 10, 2017

    Earlier this year, Suffolk County Council invited feedback on how Suffolk residents use pharmacy services. As a result of that feedback from the public, they "do not believe there are any gaps in provision of necessary pharmaceutical services in Suffolk".*

    They have prepared a draft "Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment" (as they are obliged to do every three years), and are now seeking comments on that draft, which you can download here. It's an enormous document, coming to 256 pages in PDF form, and chock-a-block with maps, tables and graphs. But it contains some surprisingly interesting details, such as health statistics, and projected population growth in particular areas, as well as detailed information on pharmacy provision.

  • Suffolk Coastal and Waveney District Councils proposed merger
    Article: Nov 8, 2017

    Yesterday (7th November), the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid, made a statement in the House of Commons announcing that he is "minded to" implement the proposal to merge Suffolk Coastal and Waveney district councils into a single new district council -- the so-called "super district council", which would be (reportedly) the biggest district council in the country. His statement went as follows:

  • Suffolk EU Alliance - Café Continental
    Article: Nov 5, 2017

    You can find a report of the Suffolk EU Alliance's second Café Continental (addressed by Lib Dem MP Tom Brake, amongst others, and held in Halesworth on Saturday 4th November) in the East Anglian Daily Times article here:

  • Suffolk EU Alliance - Café Continental
    Article: Oct 31, 2017

    Make a date in your diary for Suffolk EU Alliance's second Café Continental event, in Halesworth on Saturday 4th November, from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Speakers have been announced, and include:

    • Tom Brake MP, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for international trade and European affairs.
    • Rob Davidson, from Scientists for Europe
    • John Gummer, Lord Deben, former Government Minister.
  • AGM
    Article: Oct 29, 2017

    If you are a Liberal Democrat member in Suffolk Coastal, you should already have received the calling papers for our Annual General Meeting, to be held in Woodbridge on the evening of Thursday 2nd November. This is a particularly important meeting, where we will be discussing a major proposal concerning the future of the local party. Details are in the calling papers, so please check your email for further information, and let the Secretary know as soon as possible if you plan to attend (to help with planning the catering arrangements). We hope to see you there.

  • Nick Clegg - How to Stop Brexit
    Article: Oct 28, 2017

    Suffolk Coastal Liberal Democrats Book Group will be holding their second get-together on Saturday 4th November, when we will be discussing the ambitiously titled How To Stop Brexit (And Make Britain Great Again) by Nick Clegg. From the blurb on the inside cover:

    "Keep calm - but do not carry on.

    "There is nothing remotely inevitable about Brexit - except that it will be deeply damaging if it happens. Extricating Britain from Europe will be the greatest challenge this country has faced since the Second World War. And as negotiations with the EU expose the promises of the Brexit campaign to have been hollow, even some Brexit voters now wish to exercise their democratic right to change their mind, seeing that the most pragmatic option is to ... stop. It would certainly be the best thing for Britain.

  • Windfarm
    Article: Oct 27, 2017

    ScottishPower Renewables (SPR) is currently building an offshore windfarm off the Suffolk coast, with 102 turbines. They have already received development consent for a second windfarm nearby, which will add a further 172 turbines. As a guide to the physical scale of these projects, the 172 turbines in that second development alone will cover an area of 305 square kilometres (or 118 square miles).

  • Annual voter registration reminder
    Article: Oct 25, 2017

    Have you returned your annual voter registration form, to ensure that you are entitled to vote in future elections? Or do you live in one of the 7,000 households in Suffolk Coastal who have yet to do so? If you haven't yet confirmed your details, you can do this online via, by phone/text, or by post.

  • Bypass
    Article: Oct 23, 2017

    The deadline is fast approaching for Suffolk County Council's consultation on options for an A12 bypass route between Wickham Market and Saxmundham, as part of Suffolk's Energy Gateway (SEGWay). The A12 is a critical artery in our region, and decisions or policy positions formed now will have long-lasting and far-reaching effects. The aim of the current consultation is to develop a business case to be submitted to the government by the end of 2017.

  • ALDE Party logo
    Article: Oct 22, 2017

    The Alliance of Liberals & Democrats for Europe Party (ALDE Party), "the party for liberal democrat values in Europe", is a major force in European politics. ALDE Party's member parties include those of seven prime ministers of EU countries--Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Slovenia--and the Liberal Democrats. It is led by Guy Verhofstadt (MEP, and the European Parliament's representative in the Brexit negotiations).

  • Brexit Podcasts
    Article: Oct 21, 2017

    Keeping up with Brexit news can be a multi-media experience! If you're tired of reading the newspaper and staring at the computer screen, or if you want to keep up with Brexit developments while lazing in the bath or catching up with the myriad other things that fill your weekend, then perhaps a podcast is for you. There are plenty to choose from.

  • Suffolk EU Alliance - Café Continental
    Article: Oct 19, 2017

    Suffolk EU Alliance have announced their second Café Continental event, this time to be held in Halesworth on Saturday 4th November, from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. National and local speakers will discuss how the future of the UK will look outside the EU, whether there is any alternative to leaving, and how individuals can get involved in the debate.

  • Vince Cable
    Article: Oct 17, 2017

    The latest updates from the Twitter feed of our party leader, Vince Cable (@vincecable), which you can also access from the link in the "National Politics" section of the menu on the left-hand side of this website display. Unless you have a web privacy blocker enabled in your browser, you should see Vince's most recent five tweets below; otherwise you will see a link to Vince's Twitter page.

  • The government's
    Article: Oct 16, 2017

    The European Movement is calling on the Government to release their studies of the impact that Brexit will have in fifty aspects of the UK economy. You can sign their petition here. As Catherine Bearder, MEP and Liberal Democrat, says on their website:

    "These are studies paid for from the public purse, they should be shared with the people who paid for them - the public, right now. Mrs May, David Davis and the Tory party must not be allowed to damage this country irrevocably by pursuing a damaging Brexit. Those of us who are fighting for our future relationship with the EU need to have these impartial facts and the government must release these reports."

  • Exit from Brexit
    Article: Oct 15, 2017

    Do you want an Exit from Brexit? Back the Liberal Democrats' campaign, and sign the petition here:

  • Suffolk PCC logo
    Article: Oct 12, 2017

    It seems a long time ago now, after all the fuss of the EU Referendum and a General Election in between, but back in May 2016, the election for the Police and Crime Commissioner for Suffolk resulted in the position going to Tim Passmore (Conservative) for a second term. Is he doing doing a good job on our behalf? Are you happy with policing in your area? Are your local priorities being taken into account?

  • EU and UK Farming
    Article: Oct 10, 2017

    In an article headed "UK farmers risk seeing incomes halve after Brexit", the Financial Times writes today that UK farmers benefit from EU common agricultural policy payouts to the tune of €3.1bn each year, mostly through farm income support, and that Defra reports the average British farmer to have depended on such subsidies for 86% of their income in 2016.

  • Civil Parking Enforcement
    Article: Oct 8, 2017

    Car parking problems rank high amongst issues reported to parish and town councils across Suffolk Coastal, as well as to the police (who currently deal with parking offences in this area, albeit on a low-priority basis). April 2019 will see a switch to Civil Parking Enforcement, in which the local authority will take on responsibility for enforcing on-street parking controls, instead of the police. In preparation, Suffolk Coastal District Council are working on Local Parking Plans to be put in place by April 2018.

  • Educational attainment levels in Suffolk
    Article: Oct 6, 2017

    "The percentage of schools in Suffolk judged Good or Outstanding by Ofsted has recently levelled and is now at 86%, 3% lower than the national figure."

    "Age 11: Provisional key stage 2 results in Reading/Writing/Maths are slightly below national figures. LA maintained schools' results are at or near national level, academies are lower."

  • Conference
    Article: Oct 4, 2017

    There's still plenty of time to book for the East of England Liberal Democrats Regional Conference, which is being held near Bury St Edmunds on Saturday 14th October. You can download the preliminary agenda here.

    As well as a keynote speaker and an emergency motion yet to be announced, the packed agenda includes:

  • Suffolk Coastal Liberal Democrats Book Group
    Article: Sep 30, 2017

    At our first Suffolk Coastal Liberal Democrats Book Group meeting on Saturday 7th October, we will be discussing "On Tyranny" by American historian Timothy Snyder. From the blurb on the inside cover:

    "History does not repeat, but it does instruct.

    "In the twentieth century, European democracies collapsed into fascism, Nazism and communism. These were movements in which a leader or party claimed to give voice to the people, promised to protect them from global existential threats, and rejected reason in favour of myth. European history shows us that societies can break, democracies can fall, ethics can collapse, and ordinary people can find themselves in extraordinary circumstances.

  • Sizewell C consultation
    Article: Sep 20, 2017

    The East Anglian Daily Times reports that EDF are still analysing the feedback from the Stage Two consultation on Sizewell C, and that the Stage Three final consultation is now not expected until 2018. EDF are reported to have received over a thousand responses to the Stage Two consultation earlier this year, from "county, district, town and parish councils, campaign groups, a wide range of statutory consultees and interested organisations, as well as individuals" -- Suffolk Coastal Liberal Democrats are among these respondents, having submitted the outcome of our local party discussion. You can download a copy of our submission here.

  • Bypass
    Article: Sep 14, 2017

    The A12 is critical to many facets of life in Suffolk Coastal, and there have been many calls to improve the single-carriageway section through Farnham, Stratford St Andrew, Little Glemham and Marlesford, particularly in light of the increased traffic that is expected if the Sizewell C development goes ahead. Suffolk County Council has been working on proposals to by-pass these four villages, with the stated aim to "support and deliver economic growth in East Suffolk and enhance the quality of life for residents", and they are now presenting two potential routes for public consultation.

  • Suffolk County Council logo
    Article: Sep 8, 2017

    After the flurry of a County Council election, what exactly do your elected councillors do on Suffolk County Council? The Liberal Democrat county councillors share a website (for which you can find a live feed in the "Local & Regional" section of sidebar to the left-hand side of this page, headed "News from Suffolk County Council's Lib Dem councillors"), where they report their "views and news". And Caroline Page, Lib Dem county councillor for Woodbridge, has her own blog to which we also include a live feed on the left (headed "News from Lib Dem County Councillor for Woodbridge").

  • Conference
    Article: Sep 1, 2017

    The East of England Liberal Democrats' Regional Conference will be held in Suffolk this year, at the Red Lodge Millennium Centre near Newmarket and Bury St Edmunds, on Saturday 14 October from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    Make a date in your diary for what the organisers describe as a "one-day event [to] include "policy debates, fringe meetings, training, reports, and more". There is an early-bird booking rate available for bookings made before 18th September.

  • Suffolk Coastal Liberal Democrats Book Group
    Article: Aug 19, 2017

    Suffolk Coastal Liberal Democrats are to trial an informal monthly book group for members of the local party, to read and discuss topics that we think will be of interest to Liberal Democrats, small-'l' liberals, small-'d' democrats, Remainers and anti-Brexiters. We hope that our book choices will prompt discussion about liberalism globally, and about the specific problems that we face in the UK as a result of last year's EU Referendum result.

  • Conference
    Article: Aug 16, 2017

    Although there are other Brexit- and EU-related items on the Liberal Democrats' Autumn Conference agenda, some of our local members were disappointed to see a consultation on Europe rather than a full debate on our party's position. A conference addendum has now been published, which will allow members attending the conference to vote on whether to proceed with the planned consultative session, or whether (instead) to hold a debate on "Opposing Brexit". You can find the addendum, including the text of the potential policy motion, on the party's website in the section for conference papers.

  • Suffolk Coastal Lib Dems - Pub & Policy events
    Article: Aug 15, 2017

    Suffolk Coastal Liberal Democrats are more than half-way through their whistle-stop tour of the policy motions coming up for debate in September's party conference.

    So far, we have visited Saxmundham, Martlesham, Butley, Aldeburgh and Felixstowe, and further discussion events are lined up in Woodbridge, Grundisburgh and Earl Soham.

  • Brexit news coverage
    Article: Aug 10, 2017

    Trying to keep up with Brexit developments? Looking for a range of different viewpoints? Some of our key news providers offer a specific "Brexit" category to help you get straight to the nitty-gritty.

    The New European's focus is entirely on Brexit and on the battle to remain in the European Union:

  • Vince Cable
    Article: Aug 9, 2017

    In this video from Lib Dem HQ, new party leader Vince Cable talks about the Liberal Democrats' view on Europe and Brexit. As the "Remain party", ours is the only party campaigning to offer the public the chance to choose "an Exit from Brexit".

  • Vince Cable Packed Hall
    Article: Aug 7, 2017

    Report from fellow East of England Liberal Democrats in Tring & Berkhamsted

    At a packed hall in the University of Cambridge Faculty of Law, West Road, Cambridge, last week the new Liberal Democrat Leader, Vince Cable addressed party members as part of a nationwide speaking tour which has taken him from West Country to Scotland in two crowded and strenuous weeks.

    Vince Cable, remarking on the massive polarisation of British politics today, told members he was optimistic for the future of the Liberal Democratic Party, especially when looking at the extreme positions being adopted by both the Conservatives and the Labour Party. Theresa May was now in a loose coalition with the hard right DUP and the Labour Party was now in the tight grip of Momentum, with the moderate Labour MPs intimidated by bullying and scared of deselection.

  • Conference
    Article: Aug 3, 2017

    The party's Autumn Conference is taking place in Bournemouth in September. An important feature of any Liberal Democrat Conference is that members have a say in the party's policies, being given the opportunity to take part in the debate and to vote on whether or not each policy is accepted. There are also consultative sessions on topics related to the party itself.

  • Sizewell C consultation
    Article: Jul 26, 2017

    Suffolk County Council has commissioned consultants to produce a report on possible alternatives to EDF Energy's proposals for campus accommodation for Sizewell C. The report has been prepared by Boyer with Cannon Engineering, and is intended to identify whether there are possible alternative sites that meet EDF's criteria, but that are more acceptable in broader planning terms. As a result of the report, the County Council asks EDF to make a wider appraisal of options, considering wider issues affecting communities and the environment.

  • Women's issues and gender equality
    Article: Jul 25, 2017

    Last week's release of information on how top earners are rewarded in the BBC highlights a stark divide between the salaries paid to men and the much lower salaries paid to women. We are far from living in an equal society.

    In Suffolk County Council, the "SCC LibDem, Green and Independent Group" comprises the Liberal Democrat, Green and Independent councillors on the county council, who have joined forces for the 2017-2021 electoral term. While retaining their individual party identities, the formation of the group gives these councillors better representation on committees and allows them the support of a group researcher. The group has appointed a Spokesperson for Women -- Caroline Page, Liberal Democrat County Councillor for Woodbridge. No other party or grouping on the council has taken an equivalent step.

  • Daisy Cooper, at Martlesham Heath (Suffolk) on 22nd July 2017
    Article: Jul 23, 2017

    On Saturday 22nd July, Suffolk Coastal Liberal Democrats hosted a very well attended "party information afternoon" at Martlesham Heath Pavilion, followed by "thank you drinks" for our parliamentary candidate, James Sandbach. Suffolk Coastal members were pleased to be joined by members from Ipswich, Mid-Suffolk, West Suffolk and Waveney -- and especially delighted to welcome members who are new to the party.

  • Vince Cable
    Article: Jul 20, 2017

    Vince Cable is the new leader of the Liberal Democrats, unopposed at the close of nominations. Read his manifesto here.

  • Gladstone's Library, Hawarden, Flintshire
    Article: Jul 13, 2017

    Are you looking for a short break with a difference? For peace and quiet, and an opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle of modern life? For a chance to hold and read the books that were owned and even annotated by a great Liberal leader of yesteryear?

    Look no further than Gladstone's Library, in Hawarden (Flintshire), which is described on their website as "Britain's finest residential library, and its only Prime Ministerial library. It was founded by the great Victorian statesman himself and, following his death in 1898, became the national memorial to his life and work as well as one of the few Grade I-listed buildings in North Wales".

  • Police car (By Oxyman (Own work) [GFDL (, CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or CC BY 2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons)
    Article: Jul 1, 2017

    The Safer Neighbourhood Teams of Suffolk Police continue to provide monthly newsletters, giving a breakdown of crimes reported each month, and of police priorities and activities in individual areas. Their website offers landing pages giving access to the individual areas:

  • EU flag with question mark
    Article: Jun 30, 2017

    The House of Commons Library (an independent and impartial research service) publishes briefings on legislation and policy, from an impartial standpoint. They have produced "Brexit: an overview" to summarise where the UK is now in the Brexit process, stating that "[a]lthough there are a number of unknowns (such as whether notice to withdraw can be revoked) there is more clarity about the process of leaving the EU, the initial negotiating positions, and what 'no deal' would mean for the UK". The article covers (briefly):

  • Suffolk conversation topics
    Article: Jun 28, 2017

    Suffolk County Council is proposing to make changes to services for people with learning disabilities, based on feedback received from the community. These changes cover areas such as:

    • planned supported breaks
    • urgent respite
    • day, evening and weekend activities
    • short-term enablement and drop-in support service
    • the Suffolk Befriending Scheme grant
  • Suffolk Coastal Focus May 2017, p.1
    Article: Jun 1, 2017

    Hard Brexit, with the probability of massive trade tariffs, threatens throughput at our local port of Felixstowe, jobs, living standards and the economic growth we need to support the NHS, schools, and public services. Local business leaders say that proposed restrictions on migrant workers will mean losing labour for key sectors like agriculture and hospitality.

  • James Sandbach - best choice for Suffolk Coastal
    Article: Jun 1, 2017

    James Sandbach says:

    "I live in Saxmundham in the heart of Suffolk Coastal Constituency with my wife Julia, and I am a Town Councillor here so am familiar with local issues and concerns.

    "I'm particularly concerned about the threat to our schools from Conservative funding cuts and the ending of free meals, which help children's educational performance.

    "I work in the charity sector and want to bring my experience from this and voluntary work to support Suffolk Coastal by campaigning in Parliament for better broadband in rural areas, improved transport links and to confront our pressing environmental challenges. Having worked with disability, mental health, homelesness and legal advice charities, I am keenly aware of housing issues, the hidden problems of rural poverty, and the lack of advice and legal support when things go wrong in peoples' lives.

    "The Liberal Democrats will put an end to rough sleeping and set up a government commissioning programme to build new homes. We will make mental health a priority for the NHS.

    "I want the next generation to have the opportunities I had and be able to live, travel, work and study without hindrance across the EU. I will challenge hard brexit at every opportunity. I want a country that is Open, Tolerant and United."

  • Suffolk Coastal parliamentary campaign leaflet
    Article: Jun 1, 2017

    Only a Lib Dem vote can stop more Tory cuts.

    Lib Dems in Suffolk Coastal have been opposing Tory cuts at all levels and work to improve our community infrastructure.

    With Suffolk schools facing cuts of up to £30 million, and the Tories taking Britain out of the single market whatever the cost, putting the economy and public services at risk, only the Lib Dems offer change.

  • Meeting with Aidan Van de Weyer, Lib Dem candidate for Central Suffolk & North Ipswich
    Article: May 25, 2017
  • EU flag & bird of liberty
    Article: May 21, 2017

    Liberal Democrats recognise the result of the 2016 referendum on the European Union, which gave the government a mandate to start negotiations to leave. But the referendum didn't ask for people's views on the shape of our future relationship with the EU on issues such as trade, travel or security.

    We believe that leaving the single market, ending freedom of movement and abandoning the customs union will make the UK poorer, and that this hard Brexit is not the outcome that many leave voters wanted. Already, the value of the pound has fallen, inflation has risen, growth in the economy has slowed, and the government has increased borrowing to fill the gap in lost tax revenue. A hard Brexit is the wrong choice for the country, and Liberal Democrats will fight to prevent it.

  • Front Cover Manifesto
    Article: May 20, 2017

    In the introduction to the Liberal Democrat Manifesto 2017, Tim Farron stresses that Theresa May's Conservative Party is likely to win the General Election on 8th June, while the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn offers only a continuation of the weak and ineffectual opposition that we have seen in the current parliament. Yet governments without strong opposition are bad governments.