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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:

  • 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 (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/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.

  • Article: May 20, 2017
  • James Sandbach
    Article: May 17, 2017
    I'm a Liberal Democrat because we're a Party that puts "community politics" first. As a Town Councillor in Saxmundham, I've become very familiar with local issues that I'd like to take to Westminster, including:
    • addressing the problem of hidden rural poverty
    • improving rail and road transport links, broadband speeds and mobile networks coverage
    • getting a better deal for rural local government and public services
    • restraining Sizewell
  • Aidan Van de Weyer
    Article: May 11, 2017

    Liberal Democrat members and supporters met at Henley on Tuesday evening to adopt Aidan Van de Weyer as Central Suffolk & North Ipswich Coastal parliamentary candidate for the General Election on 8th June.

    Aidan is a leading campaigner on rural transport issues, especially bus services and active modes such as cycling. He helped retain the main regular bus route for his villages and has been instrumental in successfully building up a network of rural cycle routes. He has worked on putting in place protections for some of the most important green spaces in Cambridgeshire, including an historic nature reserve and one of the largest village greens in the country. Alongside an active role in local politics, he works as a business and IT consultant for small companies.

  • Europe Day in the EU - a celebration of peace & unity
    Article: May 9, 2017

    Today, the 9th of May, is Europe Day, celebrating peace and unity across Europe. The date marks the anniversary of the Schuman Declaration in 1950, when Robert Schuman proposed a new form of political cooperation in Europe, which would make the idea of war with other European nations unthinkable. His vision was a European institution for coal and steel production, but this sparked the beginning of the European Union as we know it now.

  • Suffolk Coastal parliamentary candidate James Sandbach with wife Julia McLean (left) and Baroness Ros Scott (centre)
    Article: May 8, 2017

    Liberal Democrat members and supporters met on Sunday in Kelsale to adopt James Sandbach as Suffolk Coastal parliamentary candidate for the General Election on 8 June. James has both a national profile as a social justice campaigner, and a local profile as a Saxmundham Town Councillor. He stood for the Liberal Democrats for Suffolk Coastal in 2015.

  • By-election celebration
    Article: May 6, 2017

    Suffolk Coastal Liberal Democrats are delighted that Caroline Page has been re-elected as County Councillor for Woodbridge electoral division. Caroline is an extremely hard-working and dedicated County Councillor, and it is a pleasure to see that the residents of Woodbridge recognise her commitment. Not only has Caroline been re-elected, but she actually increased her majority by a substantial margin, gaining more than half of all votes cast in the division. Good news for the Liberal Democrats -- and good news for the people of Woodbridge.

  • Kit Twinch, Lib Dem candidate for Wickham Electoral Division 2017
    Article: May 2, 2017

    Kit writes: "Many thanks to all of the people whom I have met during my campaign to become County Councillor for the Wickham electoral division, and especially to those of you who have helped and offered support. It has been great to meet so many local residents, and to share ideas on what we all want for Suffolk. You've been generous with your time and your opinions, and I really appreciate that. Of course, it has not all been smooth sailing, and not all faces on the doorstep have been as friendly as I would have liked. But the bumps in the road (or should I say potholes) have all been part of my learning journey - and we Liberal Democrats are experts at dealing with potholes! I have been very encouraged by the positive reaction we have received when out and about in Wickham division. It's not long to go now before election day. Please don't forget to vote (if you are not a postal voter who has efficiently cast your vote already). Thank you for your support."

  • Suffolk County Council Election 2017 - Vote Lib Dem
    Article: May 1, 2017

    Don't forget to vote on Thursday! County Council elections may not seem as exciting as a general election, but they are vital to our local democracy, and to the quality of everyday life in our communities. If you want to have some say in how Suffolk is run, and in the services and delivery that residents can expect, then make sure that you vote.

  • James Sandbach
    Article: Apr 26, 2017

    James Sandbach is an elected Town Councillor in Saxmundham and also stood for Parliament in Suffolk Coastal in 2015. James has lived in Saxmundham with his wife Julia since 2013 and has been active in the community with local village and town regeneration projects, wildlife and heritage, and has campaigned on issues relating to Sizewell C. He believes that without new infrastructure, including transport links and improvements schools, youth facilities, libraries and leisure, local communities will wither. He is a trustee of the local Citizens Advice and has fundraised for other local charities.

  • Julia McLean
    Article: Apr 26, 2017

    Julia McLean is a doctor who works in the north of Suffolk, and has a particular passion for local wildlife and bird-watching and is involved in local wildlife and heritage preservation groups. She also regularly competes in local triathlons and other sponsored events for local charities. She lives with her husband James Sandbach in the Saxmundham area and both are regulars in many of the activities of Aldeburgh, Snape and Leiston.

  • Proposed cuts to library funding in Suffolk
    Article: Apr 24, 2017

    Suffolk's libary services are run by an independent organisation called Suffolk Libraries, whose contract with the county council has been extended to run until 2022. The budget for library services has been reduced for the year to come, and is now 33% less it was in 2010.

    Suffolk Libraries are undertaking a customer survey to find out what is most important to the county's library users, so that the organisation can plan ahead, to make the best use of the ever-decreasing funding available for library services. You are invited to take part via https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/SuffolkLibraries2017 or by picking up a paper copy of the survey from a library.

  • Suffolk EU Alliance ~ Café Continental, Framlingham, 22 April 2017
    Article: Apr 23, 2017

    Congratulations (and thanks) to the Suffolk EU Alliance, on their very successful "Café Continental" event, held in Framlingham on Saturday 22 April. There was a splendid turnout and an excellent atmosphere, with friends old and new from across the political spectrum, from all parties and none. The audience was drawn together by a wide range of stimulating and engaging speeches which covered many aspects of Brexit, exploring our shared "Remain" stance in last year's Referendum, and looking ahead to the future. We hope that there will be more events like this.

  • Mark Gibbons
    Article: Apr 20, 2017

    Mark Gibbons was born in Ipswich and has resided in the Martlesham area for much of the past 25 years. Mark is an experienced Management Consultant who has had an extensive business career working in international business in the UK, Switzerland and across the European Union. Mark has lived and worked in several European countries and has also spent a short while in New York. In the early-nineties, Mark was one of four authors of Euromethod, a methodology designed to facilitate a standards based common market for IT Services across the European Union.

    Based upon his personal practical experience, Mark remains ardently pro-European and has developed a clear understanding of the many ways that EU membership has been of great benefit both for the United Kingdom, and Suffolk in particular.

    Outside of business, Mark is a keen sportsman and hill walker.

    A lifelong Liberal, Mark finally joined the Party two years ago following the last election. The next step was to make himself available for the Martlesham division and ensure Liberal Democrat voters in Martlesham could support the Party at this critical moment.

    Mark fully supports the Liberal Democrats manifesto's six priorities for local Suffolk people, and if elected will prioritise his personal efforts on securing investment in infrastructure to support new housing, roads, schools and doctor's surgeries.

  • Dr Andrew Marfleet
    Article: Apr 19, 2017

    Dr Andrew Marfleet has lived in Trimley St Martin since 1982 with his wife Debby. He has three children and six grandchildren. Andrew's career was in education, progressing from teaching to research and working at both UEA and Cambridge University before becoming an Ofsted inspector. He took early retirement in 2007.

  • Jan Candy
    Article: Apr 18, 2017

    Jan loves Felixstowe! Having lived in Suffolk since 1977 Jan believes that Felixstowe is the best place to live, work and be happy and now regards it as her challenge to put that enthusiasm to work on the behalf of our local residents.

    Jan has been the UK President of the Human Rights Organisation FIAN, a regional trainer for Amnesty International, a school governor and throughout her 40 years in Suffolk has enjoyed being creative and inspired by such a splendid county.

  • Seamus Bennett with his younger son, August 2016
    Article: Apr 17, 2017

    Seamus Bennett was born in Felixstowe in 1964. After a happy childhood in the town, he moved away, first to study and then to work in teaching and overseas development - while maintaining his strong Suffolk roots. In 2008, he moved back to Felixstowe to support his parents and to give his young family the same advantages of growing up in Suffolk. He worked in two local charities, the job centre and Felixstowe Academy. Then in 2016 he decided to follow his dream of making swimming his career as well as his hobby, gaining Swim Smooth certified status and setting up a successful swim coaching business.

  • Suffolk County Council Election 2017 - Vote Lib Dem
    Article: Apr 16, 2017

    On Thursday 4 May you can cast two votes to elect two hard-working Lib Dem county councillors for Felixstowe Coastal.

    Seamus Bennett was born and raised in Felixstowe and after a career in international development moved back in 2008 with his family. Locally, he has worked in the charity sector, jobcentre and for several years in teaching and learning support at Felixstowe Academy. He now teaches at Felixstowe Leisure Centre and runs his own swim coaching business. Seamus is active in the community: he's been a school governor and charity trustee. In 2012 he set up a popular sea- swimming group, now a lively year- round feature of our beachfront. Seamus, whose father was a Felixstowe GP for 35 years, has stood for local office three times. He says: "I love Felixstowe and believe I have the energy and ideas to make it an even better place for all its residents."

  • Suffolk County Council Election 2017 - Vote Lib Dem
    Article: Apr 15, 2017

    Local campaigner and Saxmundham Town Councillor James Sandbach is the best choice to represent Blything on the County Council.

    James has loads of experience and energy. He stood for Suffolk Coastal in the last general election and has been an active Town Councillor over the last two years working to improve local youth facilities and preserve precious heritage and environment. James has worked for a range of campaigning and advocacy organisations and knows how to get things done.

  • Suffolk County Council Election 2017 - Vote Lib Dem
    Article: Apr 14, 2017

    Kit Twinch is the Liberal Democrat candidate for the County Council election in Wickham electoral division.

    Born in Suffolk, Kit was brought up in Norfolk before his family returned to farm in the Framlingham / Saxmundham area. Kit is descended from several generations of Suffolk farmers. In the late 1990s he switched from agriculture to arboriculture. He and his wife spent time in New Zealand, where Kit worked as an arborist before they and their two young children came home to Suffolk.

    Kit says: "For me, it's all about allowing people to have their say. It's important that councillors get feedback from the people they represent. If elected, I will hold regular surgeries in the larger villages in Wickham electoral division, so that residents can share their views. I also plan to use household surveys to clarify important issues."

    Transport

    Wickham electoral division is relatively poorly served by public transport. Melton and Campsea Ash have railway stations, but there are just two bus routes through our area, and buses are infrequent. Lack of public transport marginalises the young and the old. Public transport needs to be more accessible, and timed to suit its users. We shouldn't have to go online to find out when the bus might arrive, or when we will be able to get home. And we shouldn't be charging young people for their transport to school or college, before they become economically active.

    Housing

    Kit spent more than six years working in town planning. He knows how hard it is to provide enough housing in the right place at the right price. There are no easy solutions, but Kit says it is important to involve the local community and businesses in planning decisions, as well as working with the district council (now based at East Suffolk House, Melton).

    Mobile and broadband

    Even in our larger villages, mobile coverage and broadband provision can be shockingly poor. We need a good mobile signal and decent broadband. Improving these services is vital for the rural economy, as well as for the ability of individuals to take part in modern life.

    Children and young people

    Education is important to Lib Dems. Kit Twinch is campaigning to put enough money into the system to fund the needs of every child, as well as to invest in teachers and other professionals offering support. With family experience of autism, Kit knows that education is not "one size fits all". Support should be available according to the needs of each individual child. And it should be accessible everywhere in the county.

    Fix our roads

    Potholes! It's not just the risk to our suspension that is a problem. When trying to avoid defects, our attention is distracted from other road users and pedestrians. Our highways urgently need investment. We need to draw on the council's extensive reserves to tackle road safety issues.

     

    Source:

    Reproduced from Wickham Focus, April 2017

  • Suffolk County Council Election 2017 - Vote Lib Dem
    Article: Apr 13, 2017

    Caroline Page, the County Councillor for Woodbridge, promises to continue offering the same strong safe pair of hands that she has provided for Woodbridge since 2008.

    Caroline has fought hard for things that you have told her matter to you: for libraries, local bus services, youth travel, traffic calming, benches and protection from scammers. An outspoken critic of Suffolk's Conservative county council's 'outsourcing' of road repairs, she started the Woodbridge pavement gritting scheme. Caroline helped restart the New Horizons club last year and is now involved in trying to rebuild the Woodbridge Youth centre.

  • EU funding
    Article: Apr 10, 2017

    News coverage of the government's position on Brexit tends to focus more on the national impact, but it is important to keep an eye on the local and regional effects, too. Our area (both narrowly in Suffolk Coastal, and more broadly in the East of England) has benefitted from the UK's membership of the EU in a wide range of ways, and we don't want to lose sight of these:

  • RegisterToVote
    Article: Apr 9, 2017

    In order to vote in May's local election, you need to have registered. The deadline for doing this is midnight on Thursday 13th April, so you still have a few days in which to do so. If you haven't registered yet, or if you want to change some aspect of your registration, you can do this at https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.

  • Suffolk County Council logo
    Article: Apr 8, 2017

    With the County Council elections coming up in May, you may be wondering exactly what a County Councillor actually does. Suffolk County Council has issued a "Profile of a Suffolk County Councillor" describing the role. In essence, the council identifies two main strands of work -- "Local Community Leadership" (in which the councillor engages with, and represents, the community and the constituents of their electoral division) and "Representation" (in which the councillor takes part in debate, policy-making, budgetting and governance, in the council as a body).

    Unlike parish or town councillors (who work on a purely voluntary basis), it is assumed that half of the work of a County Councillor will be voluntary, and the other half is eligible for a "basic allowance" of £10,273.74 per annum (subject to tax and National Insurance deductions). Additional allowances apply to roles with specific responsibility in the council, and there is a travel and subsistence allowance and a carer's allowance, subject to meeting certain criteria.

    Your elected County Councillor can recommend that the Council provide grants of up to £8,000 in a particular year to contribute to local projects in your electoral division, with a similar amount that can be recommended for local highways work.

    Suffolk County Council advises that the time commitment required of the role can vary from a few hours per week to a few hours per day. But it is worth noting that some councillors are much more active on behalf of their constituents than others -- for example, Caroline Page (the County Councillor for Woodbridge, and a Liberal Democrat) spends considerably more time working on behalf of her constituents than the guidance issued by Suffolk County Council.

    To get a flavour of the varied workload, interest areas and responsibilities of an active County Councillor, take a look at Caroline Page's blog, where she summarises some of the work that she has done in this role in 2016-2017.

  • Suffolk County Council logo
    Article: Apr 7, 2017

    Several people have asked us how they can find out which electoral division they live in. You will be given this information on your polling card or postal-vote confirmation card, of course. But you may also be interested to see how Suffolk Coastal is divided up into the areas that are represented by individuals elected to the County Council.

  • Suffolk Coastal Liberal Democrats
    Article: Apr 6, 2017

    The Liberal Democrats are pleased to confirm that we are fielding candidates in every county electoral division in Suffolk Coastal, at the upcoming County Elections on May 4th. Last week's articles on this website summarised the key priorities of Suffolk's Liberal Democrat candidates within the remit of the county council, and we are promoting a positive message under the theme of:

    an open, tolerant, happy place to live, learn and work

    Suffolk Liberal Democrats Chair, Jon James, said: "The Liberal Democrats have had some difficult years, but it certainly feels like a corner has been turned locally and nationally. Party membership has soared, reaching over 87,000 nationally -- over double our membership since 2015 -- and the Party has clocked up over 30 net gains in local by-elections over the past six months. We want to build on this success with some strong election results in Suffolk this year."

    So who are our candidates in each electoral division in Suffolk Coastal?

    • Aldeburgh & Leiston ~ Julia McLean
    • Blything ~ James Sandbach
    • Carlford ~ Kay Yule
    • Felixstowe Coastal (two seats) ~ Seamus Bennett, and Jan Candy
    • Felixstowe North & Trimley ~ Andrew Marfleet
    • Framlingham ~ Andrew Turner
    • Kesgrave & Rushmere St Andrew (two seats) ~ Jon Neal, and Sally Neal
    • Martlesham ~ Mark Gibbons
    • Wickham ~ Kit Twinch
    • Wilford ~ Nigel Brown
    • Woodbridge ~ Caroline Page (the current County Councillor in Woodbridge)
     

    Source:

    https://www.suffolk.gov.uk/assets/council-and-democracy/consultations-petitions-and-elections/Elections-2017/2017-04-05-Statement-as-to-Persons-Nominated-Suffolk-Coastal.pdf [accessed 05 April 2017]

  • Guy Verhofstadt, leader of ALDE, and a European Parliament negotiator on the UK's membership of the EU (image©ALDEgroup2016)
    Article: Apr 5, 2017

    The European Parliament's Brexit negotiator, Guy Verhofstadt, has addressed a plenary session of the European Parliament, with a message that is sure to resonate with Liberal Democrats:

    "I am sure that one day there will be a young man or woman who will try again, who will lead Britain into the European family once again. A young generation that will see Brexit for what it really is: a catfight in the Conservative party that got out of hand, a loss of time, a waste of energy, a stupidity.

  • Suffolk 2017 County Council Election Manifesto
    Article: Mar 31, 2017

    Over the last four years the Conservatives on the Council have stockpiled £40 million of taxpayers' money and squirrelled it away into reserves. While the Liberal Democrats accept that a certain level of reserves is necessary for us to save in case of an emergency or disaster, the Tories have taken this too far.

    Liberal Democrats will invest from reserves, allowing us to both keep council tax rises to a minimum, and also to make the following spending commitments:

    • £5m to protect vital social care services from government cuts
    • £1m to attract further funding to invest in infrastructure that encourages more housing to be built
    • £1m allocated to a countywide mental health and wellbeing investment in schools
    • £2m into a "Pot Hole Pot" to fix our crumbling highways and pavements
    • £600,000 to subsidise bus services including park and ride services to make them more frequent
    • £400,000 to protect our libraries and help them provide more for local people
  • Suffolk 2017 County Council Election Manifesto
    Article: Mar 30, 2017

    Years of under-investment and a complex planning system have led to a national housing shortage. The country has built very little social housing and too few private rented or owned houses. The shortage is made worse by a growing population and social change. People are living longer and often live in one-parent families. We must attract new people to staff our vital industries.

    There is an urgent need for more homes for local people, and young people must be able to obtain their first home at a price they can afford.

    There is a need for private and social rented housing for those who don't wish to purchase.

    Liberal Democrats will:

    • Use the planning system, working with district councils, to encourage development that meets local needs especially for those having difficulty finding a suitable place to live, but also recognising the need to keep Suffolk a special place to live and work.
    • Establish a Suffolk Housing Task Force to identify the critical infrastructure needs, like schools, roads and utilities, to unlock the housing potential of the county.
    • Set up an investment fund, from the Tory reserves stockpile, to ensure that housing developments include plans for school places, roads, parking, green spaces, cycle routes, employment and protect the environment.
  • Article 50 triggered
    Article: Mar 29, 2017

    So, Article 50 has been triggered. Mayday. But the Liberal Democrats' fight goes on. Read what the party thinks will happen next, from Nick Clegg, our European Union Spokesperson, at http://www.libdems.org.uk/deal-or-no-deal.

  • Suffolk 2017 County Council Election Manifesto
    Article: Mar 29, 2017

    The Conservative County Council has cut bus services, including Park and Ride, with little regard to the effect that this has on people's lives. Older people now find that their leisure activities are curtailed; those visiting friends or relations in hospital find that this is much more difficult or impossible. Young people in work find their travel times extended or unreliable and those in education find their choices severely curtailed. Everyone suffers from congestion and the environment is damaged if roads are crammed with cars.

    On the matter of Community Transport and Concessionary Fares, Liberal Democrats will:

    • Ensure community transport provides the journeys people need in areas with little if any scheduled public transport. We will make sure that concessionary bus passes can be used on these services.
    • Allow people with concessionary passes to get on a bus at any time, using all the concessionary fares grant from government.
    • Extend free transport for 16 to 19 years old to allow them to get to colleges, apprenticeships and their first place of work.

    For Park and Ride services, Liberal Democrats will:

    • Maintain an effective Ipswich Park and Ride system, reducing congestion and pollution, and benefiting town centre shops and businesses.
    • Protect the through ticket to the hospital and rail station.
    • Subsidise the existing service to make it more frequent during peak hours and re-examine the Bury Road Park and Ride closure.
  • Suffolk 2017 County Council Election Manifesto
    Article: Mar 28, 2017

    The Conservative County Council has recently renewed the private contract that has handed over control of our highways to a private company that has reduced spending but failed to deliver. The contract has proved to be intensely bureaucratic.

    Liberal Democrats will:

    • Take back control of the Highways contract unless it delivers an effective road maintenance programme.
    • Use £2million from the Tory reserves stockpile to improve our roads. We will fix potholes, maintain pavements and cut the grass verges more quickly.
    • Lobby the government for further improvements to the Copdock interchange to eliminate queuing delays and the drag on Suffolk's economy.
    • Support the building of the third crossing in Lowestoft and the new wet dock link in Ipswich.
  • Suffolk 2017 County Council Election Manifesto
    Article: Mar 27, 2017

    The people on whom our nation's future depends need social skills, education and training that will help them be emotionally secure and prosperous. School performance in Suffolk remains poor but is gradually improving. The move to academies and the removal of responsibilities from the County will create many challenges in the future.

    Liberal Democrats will:

    • Invest in early years' education, children's centres, schools and colleges to deliver opportunity for all and the quality of education that Suffolk people deserve.
    • Resist attempts by the current government to reintroduce selection at the age of 11.
    • Work in partnership with the NHS and voluntary sector and fund a county-wide programme of education in emotional health and mental wellbeing in all schools, including primary schools.
  • Suffolk 2017 County Council Election Manifesto
    Article: Mar 26, 2017

    In Suffolk, we have an ageing population and a growing number of people with complex needs who have survived trauma or inherited disabilities. They all deserve equality of opportunity and a good quality of life.

    The many who are disadvantaged by the lack of education, skills and opportunities that lead to jobs, housing and a reasonable quality of life, deserve help to learn, to become an asset to society and to have a good life.

    Obesity, through lack of activity and the cost of a healthy diet, is a massive and growing issue. Improved, targeted help for individuals and communities is vital to lead to better, longer lives, with fewer challenges at a lower cost to society.

    Far too many people remain in hospital ready to return home but waiting for social services to provide for their needs. These occupied beds are needed for others impact on waiting times and are costly to the NHS.

    Liberal Democrats will:

    • Ensure actions to encourage lifestyles that promote physical and mental health are effective and are adequately funded.
    • Develop effective partnership teams, to deliver better multi-disciplinary services. Instead of paying lip service to co-operation, work with the NHS, schools, and providers of care for children and people with disabilities.
    • Ensure proper investment in preventative mental health services, while working with the NHS and local charities to promote mental wellbeing.
    • Campaign for adequate funding, from government, for social care for the elderly and people with disabilities.
    • Ensure providers of residential and home-based care are able to provide a good quality of care to the people who use their services.
    • Invest money from reserves in Suffolk Libraries, helping them to provide a wider range of services for local people e.g. mobile children's centres.
  • Suffolk 2017 County Council Election Manifesto
    Article: Mar 25, 2017

    To improve the quality of life of people in Suffolk and ensure we have the resources we need to run better schools, fair social services and improved highways, we need a thriving economy supporting successful, innovative, efficient and profitable businesses. This is crucial to attract highly skilled workers earning good salaries.

    Liberal Democrats will:

    • Work together with our communities to give back power and resources to allow them to help solve their problems.
    • Encourage expansion of home based businesses through small capital grants to fund new initiatives.
    • Work with providers to roll out excellent fibre based broadband connections across Suffolk and help mobile phone companies install a countywide 4G superfast mobile data network.
    • Keep tax rises down by using money from government grants and reserves, investing in infrastructure that boosts business and services that help local people. We will not continue to stockpile reserves "for a rainy day".
    • Set up a "Service Gaps Task Force" with the district councils, the police, the NHS and the voluntary sector to identify where services are falling short and spend taxpayers' money efficiently to fill the gaps.
  • Suffolk 2017 County Council Election Manifesto
    Article: Mar 24, 2017

    In the County Council elections in May, your vote can help to make Suffolk a better place to live, learn and work. Suffolk Liberal Democrats have six priorities for local people:

    1. Provide a £5m boost to adult social care.

    2. Invest in the infrastructure to support new housing - roads, schools and doctor's surgeries.

  • Liberal Democrat Policy
    Article: Mar 15, 2017

    An important feature of Liberal Democrat conferences is the opportunity not just to debate and decide on party policy, but actually to shape it. Each conference schedules a number of sessions for consultation of policies that are still at an early stage of development, with the aim of stimulating discussion. One such policy area featuring at this weekend's conference in York is "Rural Communities" -- a subject that is very relevant to us here in Suffolk Coastal.

  • Suffolk Coastal and Waveney District Councils proposed merger
    Article: Mar 10, 2017

    If you responded to the "New single Council for East Suffolk" consultation before Christmas, you may have received a personal response, or you may not. Some respondents received detailed email replies to the points that they raised, while others had to make do with the initial acknowledgment sent by the council's email auto-responder saying that "If your message contained a question about the merger proposal we will respond as soon as possible".

  • Suffolk County Council 2017 Campaign - Manifesto Launch
    Article: Mar 9, 2017

    On Saturday, Party President Baroness Sal Brinton joined Suffolk Liberal Democrats at Henley Community Centre, to help launch our Manifesto for the County Council Elections (to be held in May). The Manifesto embodies our aim for Suffolk to be:

    an open, tolerant, happy place to live, learn and work

  • Pharmacy Logo
    Article: Mar 3, 2017

    Suffolk County Council is conducting a consultation about pharmacy services in Suffolk. How do you use your pharmacy? Is there something that you wish your pharmacy could provide in addition to their existing services? Take part in the consultation at the http://www.healthysuffolk.org.uk site, or go directly to the survey here and send your responses by the closing date of 31st March.