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East Midlands Liberal Democrats

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Chesterfield PPC Julia Cambridge pulls in applause for a passionate defense of EU

October 29, 2013 10:54 AM

Julia Cambridge at Question time 1The University of Nottingham held a "Question Time" style event last week . President of the University Liberal Democrat Group Tom Polak called the evening a great success and thanked Julia Cambridge for her involvement on the panel.

Alongside Chesterfield's Lib Dem PPC was Nottingham MP and Shadow Treasury Minister, Chris Leslie, Katharine Boettge, a Green Party Spokesperson and Euro Candidate, and Tory "big hitter" Ken Clarke.

The event was streamed live, and there was no shortage of questions from the students who had packed the auditorium. Questioners quizzed the panel about the latest announcement by David Cameron that he was going to order a review into "green charges" attached to domestic bills in the wake of the Big Six energy companies' massive price hikes.

Julia Cambridge: "The energy companies have been allowed to sting energy customers hard and are continuing to behave irresponsibly on pricing. I am glad Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats are taking them to task over their massively increased charges.

"Since when has a 'fixed tariff' meant a fixed period not a fixed price? Obviously when you are one of a select group of six able to control the market. When in office Labour had effectively overseen a decline from 16 to 6 in this market and now they are able to have even more combined clout. The price hikes, and their effect on struggling families, need to be looked at; however 'doing away' with the Green Charges is not the way forward.

"Green Deal, ECO (Energy Company Obligation) and all that come under the green levies mean that not only are we working to fulfill our carbon omission targets, but we are legislating so that the energy companies play their part in making homes in the UK more energy efficient. For me the most important part of the green levy commitment is to provide money saving improvements, like insulation and heating systems, to low-income households who struggle year after year to find enough money to heat their homes."

A mix of questions followed on education and concerns over the widening gap between rich and poor prompting one student to suggest, "it's not what you know, it's who you know."

The final question was on the economy - an audience member asked the panel how, in the light of the day's new GDP figures, we were going to keep the economy on track. Julia Cambridge, on behalf of the Liberal Democrats, welcomed the 0.8% increase on the last quarter July to September and said that without the Liberal Democrats in government our key targets, now delivered, on a million jobs would not have been realised. Luckily, she said, we were now in the process of creating a million more private sector jobs.

EU Flag

By far the biggest cheers were for the final word when Julia Cambridge made a passionate plea for remaining in Europe to protect jobs, bring in investment and make sure the UK was at the centre of trade deals, in the new global markets, along with the 27 other Member States.

Speaking afterwards she said: "You just have to look at the recent breakthrough trade agreement with Canada. The EU - Canada pact is worth billions and will crucially bring the prize of a similar free trading agreement with America closer. Soon, companies providing everything from cars to specialty cheeses will be able to trade freely within the massive Canadian marketplace. Domestically this will mean job security and job creation. Why anyone would want to throw away all this is beyond me. I think the euro-skeptics need to face up to the question of why they would turn this country into an economic graveyard."

East Midlands Euro MEP Bill Newton Dunn joined Chesterfield Liberal Democrats recently when he was shown around sites in Chesterfield that had benefitted from Euro funding.

Julia Cambridge: "All this would be lost if we were stupid enough to pull out of Europe. It is not something in my lifetime I ever want to see. We must fight hard from now till the 2014 Elections to return Bill and our other MEPs so they can strengthen our footing within the European Union."

Anyone interested in helping on one of the many Action Days which happen every month in Chesterfield please contact Josh Robinson on: 07506 122 238