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Welcome to the East Midlands Liberal Democrats Website

The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no-one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity.

The East Midlands covers the six counties of Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire and Rutland.

Pension

What Liberal Democrats have done in East Midlands

And what the hell else have the Liberal Democrats Done?

Recent Updates

  • Article: Oct 19, 2014
    By Caron Lindsay in Liberal Democrat Voice

    We all heard David Cameron and George Osborne take credit as often as they can for the raising of the tax threshold during this Parliament but a poll from IPSOS-MORI with fieldwork done after our Conference shows that the public just aren't buying the Tory claims. 41% give the Liberal Democrats the credit for the policy compared to just 26% for the Conservatives as this graphic shows.

  • Lucy Care
    Article: Oct 19, 2014
    In Liberal Democrat Voice

    The National Union of Students is questioning candidates across the country via the medium of Twitter as part of its build up to next year's General Election.

    The idea is that they will take one marginal seat at a time and ask each of its candidates a series of ten questions. The candidates will then tweet their replies. The first such event took place last Wednesday involving the candidates from Derby North, including our own Lucy Care. Tackling the subject of tuition fees in 140 characters and doing it justice was quite a challenge but Lucy managed it.

  • Article: Oct 19, 2014

    This week, I read the story of two brothers with Down's syndrome being excluded from a bowling club. They wanted to play, but they got turned away because they made other bowlers feel "uncomfortable".

    I'm so sorry that in this day and age two brothers who just wanted to get involved in their community and have some fun weren't allowed to. I have a learning disability and I am fortunate enough to take part in lots of leisure activities where I feel welcome and supported, and it allows me to make new friends and learn new skills.

    If people are excluded from their community then they are left to stay at home with nothing to do and can become very unhappy. I'm glad people have spoken out against this bowling club, it shows there is real support to give people with a learning disability the opportunity to take part in and enjoy the same fun activities as anyone else.

    No one should ever be told they can't have fun because of their disability. I like watching TV and sometimes go to football matches. I also go to a Mencap Gateway club.

    I recently I went to a drumming jam session at Morden Assembly Hall in Surrey with the Who frontman Roger Daltrey. He was a nice guy - what a perfect gentleman!

    If I were excluded from any of these activities because of my disability, I would feel rotten.

    I feel inclusion is so important, because I get to go everywhere with all of my friends from Mencap. It's very important because if I was excluded from my community, I'd be miserable, not going anywhere, just sat at home, being bored and lonely. I'd feel very upset.

    Luckily I have lots of jobs and keep very busy and have the support to be included in my community. I help fundraise and volunteer for Mencap, I send publications out to people when they want them. I help run a group called 'Our health our hospital' at Saint George's Hospital in Tooting. I read at the Mencap's Carols by Candlelight service, and do many other things.

    There have been lots of leisure clubs responding to this story to welcome the brothers to their clubs instead. I feel that these other leisure centres show real progress and I say to them, power to their elbow!

  • Ann Reid
    Article: Oct 18, 2014

    Responding to the news that fewer than 10% of motorists fined for crossing Lendal Bridge have applied for a refund, Cllr Ann Reid (Liberal Democrat Transport Spokesperson in York) commented:

    "The Liberal Democrat Group has said all along that the council should be contacting everyone caught out by Labour's botched Lendal Bridge trial and offering them a full refund. With the majority of fines going to people living outside York and a significant minority being foreign visitors, it is inevitable that many people will not have heard about their right to a refund.

  • Michael Mullaney at Autumn Conference 2014
    Article: Oct 18, 2014
    By Andrew Page in A Scottish Liberal

    It seems rather absurd that I should have to make this obvious statement.

    However, there appear to be those who take a different line.

    Conservative health committee member David Tredinnick MP has this week suggested that the NHS should treat patients with herbal remedies, astrology and homeopathy in a quest to drive down costs.

    He explained to Channel 4 News that "in some cultures astrology is part of healthcare because they need to have a voice and I've got up and said that...but I also think we can reduce the bill by using a whole range of alternative medicine including herbal medicine, acupuncture, homeopathy."
    Tredinnick has estimated that five per cent of the NHS budget could be saved in this way, although what precise calculations he has used were not disclosed. He has previously expressed interest in allowing astrology to replace more "conventional" NHS treatments, telling the House of Commons in July that "I am absolutely convinced that those who look at the map of the sky for the day that they were born and receive some professional guidance will find out a lot about themselves and it will make their lives easier."

    The MP is known to be a long-term advocate of alternative medicine, although oddly enough is also a member of the all-party Science and Technology Committee. Fortunately Tredinnick's rather eccentric beliefs say more about himself than they do the Conservative Party, but it does raise questions as to why someone with such anti-scientific views is sitting on scientific committees.

    I don't doubt Tredinnick's sincerity when he insists that "in future we [should] stop looking just at increasing the supply of drugs and consider the way that complementary and alternative medicine can reduce the demand for drugs, reduce pressures on the health service, increase patient satisfaction, and make everyone in this country happier." He clearly believes this. The difficulty I have is that when a serving member of Commons committees on health and science makes such statements, it is more than embarrassing for parliament and for the cause of evidence-led treatment. And, in this case, he's simply wrong.
    I spent most of my adult life working in the NHS, including mental health services. I will not deny that there is a need for delivering holistic approaches towards patient care that take into account their personal and spiritual beliefs. There is also a need to facilitate better availability of treatments other than medication, especially in the field of mental health. The answer is not always to dispense more drugs. However, this is not based on some oddball plan to deliver costs reductions, but to create an NHS that is more responsive to patient need. Moreover, it is evidence-based and follows the lead of academic research looking at providing more preventative, rather than reactive, treatments.

    The scientific basis for homeopathy is virtually non-existent and for Tredinnick's projected savings to be realised it would require "alternative medicine" not only to be effective but in demand by patients. I suspect that David Tredinnick has not spent 17 years of his life working within the NHS, so I hope he will trust my experience when I suggest that patients would be far "happier" if they were treated more quickly - and with greater dignity and respect - than they would if they were to be given an appointment with an astrological therapist.
    NHS treatments should naturally continue to evolve and adapt, following scientific advances, to deliver the best possible care for patients. It is not so much Tredinnick's ridiculous call for herbs, homeopathy and horoscopes that I find offensive, but the fact that someone who is a member of both the Commons Health Committee and the Science and Technology Committee sees fit to make pronouncements that undermine scientific rigour and evidence-based approaches in favour of a personally held dogmatic stance.
    It is true that Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt also has an unscientific belief in the powers of homeopathy, but his championing of alternative medicine stops there. Tredinnick's continuing missions to regulate Chinese herbalists (and in doing so give them professional recognition) and his often-quoted reference to the alleged fact that he knew of "a psychiatric hospital that doubled its staff at full-moon" (it is, of course, entirely untrue) suggest that perhaps it's time he was reigned in. Speeches in parliament referring to the "fact" that blood does not clot under a full moon hardly give him much credibility with which to speak on health issues.
    As far as I know, Tredinnick has not yet given evidence of the role of werewolves in hypogycaemia or the connections between fairies and cerebro-vascular accidents, but there is as much evidence for these as there are his plethora of other health claims.
    Rather odd and eccentric people are all good and well, and there is a place for them in public life, but for the Conservative Party to appoint someone with these views to committees of such responsibility seems either absurd or some kind of unfunny joke. Health and science are not laughing matters, and the aims of the respective committees should not be undermined by those sitting on them. It's like having the leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints sitting on a committee promoting atheistic humanism.
    This naturally raises questions about how MPs are selected to serve on committees. As someone who is naturally pro-science and supportive of evidence-based approaches - especially on health issues - I find it an affront to democracy that while MPs are accountable to the public, committees are less directly accountable. Some serious rethinking of the relationship between committees, parliament and the civil service - and the way in which appointments are made - is overdue and patently necessary.
    If the Conservatives are serious about keeping Bosworth, they perhaps should consider having a word with Tredinnick about his tendency to undermine scientific approaches from within the Science and Technology Committee. His contributions are becoming more unpredictable and unreasonable, and his appointment to these committees has seen an increase in such proclamations. Tredinnick has been the Conservative MP for Bosworth since 1987, but faced a tough challenge from Liberal Democrat Michael Mullaney in 2010 and his growing reputation as a pro-quackery eccentric is unlikely to help him.
    Mullaney, who will again be contesting the seat in 2015, is understandably focused on his own constituency. "People in Hinckley and Bosworth want an MP who will stand up for them on the important issues of jobs and services. Our current MP spends his time telling doctors not to operate on full moons, advising GPs to consult people's astrology charts when they come for treatments and suggests that scientists objecting to widespread use of Chinese Herbal medicines to cure serious illnesses are racially motivated."

    Mullaney added: "At a time when the pressures facing the NHS are again under the spotlight, his answer to the strains on the NHS budget is to treat serious illness with herbal medicines and other ineffective and unproven methods. It's illogical.
    "He has been MP for Bosworth for 27 years - this is far too long and it's about time he was thrown out by the voters next May!"
  • Cllr Mathew Hulbert speaking at the conference
    Article: Oct 18, 2014

    A HINCKLEY and Bosworth Borough Councillor has successfully changed his Party's policy in his debut speech at their national Autumn Conference.

    Councillor Mathew Hulbert, who represents Barwell, moved an amendment to a motion on Reducing Poverty and Discrimination at the Liberal Democrat Autumn Conference held in Glasgow.

  • Article: Oct 18, 2014
    By Toby Keynes

    The Liberal Democrats have called for an end to the existing obligation for all state schools to hold acts of collective worship, and for non-religious schools to hold acts of worship of a broadly Christian character.

    The party has also reaffirmed its existing policy to ban state faith schools from discriminating on religious grounds in the employment of any school staff, except for staff who are responsible for religious instruction.

  • Article: Oct 18, 2014

    The Liberal Democrats have adopted a new policy, calling for the role of Minister for Faith and Communities to be redefined as "Minister for Faith, Belief and Communities".

    The changed job title and description would extend the existing role to cover non-religious beliefs, such as humanism, as well as faith-based beliefs.

  • Article: Oct 18, 2014
    In Liberal Democrat Voice

    There was some really good news from York after Thursday's by-election, former Liberal Democrat Group Leader, who lost his seat in the City's Westfield ward in 2011, regained it in spectacular style, with a 24.8% swing from Labour.

    The result in full is:

    Andrew Waller - Lib Dem 1804
    Labour 588
    UKIP 398
    Con 113
    Green 87

  • Article: Oct 18, 2014

    All employment and support allowance (ESA) claimants will be hit by a planned freeze on working age benefits if the Conservatives win power in 2015, not just those in the work-related activity group.

    As we reported last month, George Osborne told the party conference that he planned to freeze most working age benefits, including:

  • Bill Newton Dunn MEP
    Event: October 22, 2014
    Old White Hart, 51 Main St, Lyddington, Oakham, Lyddington, Leicestershire LE15 9LR

    Bill Newton Dunn who has served the East Midlands and the Liberal Democrats so well as MEP over many years has kindly agreed to reflect on his time in the European Parliament over supper at the Old White Hart, Lyddington (Rutland) on Wednesday 22 October 2014.

    Everyone is welcome but please let us know as soon as possible if you would like to attend so we can send you a menu choice.

  • Article: Oct 17, 2014

    Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has today announced the winners of the inaugural Dadabhai Naoroji Awards, bestowed by the British Government for services to UK-India relations.

    The Awards were judged by ministers following nominations from the public and attended by Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

  • Phil Knowles at Hospital
    Article: Oct 17, 2014

    Phil Knowles has called on the EU to increase yet again its efforts both to mobilise medical expertise from across the world and encourage financial contributions to the fighting fund. Financial input from both within and outside of the EU.

    'The world is a much 'smaller place' now. It can be argued that Air travel has seen to that. With the greater accessibility to travel comes the potential for illness such as Ebola to quickly cross boarders and continents. In the EU we have some of the world's leading experts in medical matters. They must be focused quickly and in a well organised way on to the prevention of the spreading of the disease and seeking ways of caring for the victims. They are then well placed to assist in coordinating world resources.

  • Document: Oct 17, 2014
    459.36 KiB drawing or desktop publishing document
  • Article: Oct 17, 2014

    In an interview with the Guardian in Stockport on Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Liberal Democrats Nick Clegg explained why Greater Manchester and other strong city regions should not be forced to have their own Boris Johnson-style mayor in return for more powers.

    After the Scottish referendum, Nick explained the urgency needed to free Greater Manchester and other Northern cities from the 'stifling grip of Whitehall and Westminster', saying that introducing Boris Johnsons was not the answer.

  • Michael Mullaney speaking on Welfare Reform
    Article: Oct 17, 2014

    Hinckley Liberal Democrat Councillor and parliamentary candidate for Bosworth Michael Mullaney secured a change in national party policy to help people get back to work.

    You can view Michael's speech on Welfare reform here

    In the Welfare Reform debate at the Liberal Democrat conference Michael Mullaney put forward an amendment which would give more support to job seekers to arrange their own work experience placements, to help them find the right placement in their area of interest, and to ensure that there is A Fairness Principle so that anyone who does work for their benefits receives the equivalent of minimum wage for their work.

  • Nigel Farage
    Article: Oct 17, 2014

    UKIP's group in the European Parliament, the EFDD, has collapsed following the departure of a Latvian MEP Iveta Grigule.

    Parliamentary groups must have over 25 MEPs from at least seven different countries, and Ms Grigule's departure means the EFDD now only represent six countries. The loss of group status will mean less funding and less speaking time for UKIP MEPs, especially for former group leader Nigel Farage.

  • Article: Oct 17, 2014

    Liberal Democrats put people with disabilities in the picture

    Natasha Kennedy04 October 2014A woman using a spinning wheel.

    We're excited to see that on 4 October, the Liberal Democrats became the first UK political party to explicitly include people with disabilities in its 2015 general election party manifesto!

    The party passed a policy motion that included a commitment to "focus on reducing discrimination against the poorest and most disadvantaged members of society; particularly on the grounds of gender, sexual orientation, disability or ethnicity."

  • Article: Oct 17, 2014

    Sam Asplin, 21, fought a great campaign with his agent John Hughes to win the Whissendine by-election by 13 votes and bring our number on the Rutland County Council back up to 2.

    Thanks also to our candidate in Oakham, Richard Swift, and to all the helpers.

    Good news for the Lib Dems!

  • Sam Asplin
    Article: Oct 17, 2014

    Sam Asplin, 21, wins in Whissendine by-election for Rutland County Council

    Sam Asplin Liberal Democrat 192
    Jonny Baker Conservative 179
    Turnout was 34.6%
    The conservatives won in Oakham South West

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