Welcome to the official website of the Tring and Berkhamsted Liberal Democrats

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.

  • Northchurch Bye Election 2018 Results
    Article: May 17, 2018

    The By-Election had been called after the sad death of Alan Fantham, the long-serving local councillor on both DBC and on Northchurch Parish Council. Alan was born and bred in Northchurch and had been a local cricket star.

    Alan had served on DBC as a Conservative, but the party could not find anyone locally willing to stand for them. They had to ask an Aldbury resident to be their candidate instead.

  • Document: May 5, 2018
    322.2 KiB drawing or desktop publishing document

    Thank you to the people of Northchurch for their strong support for Lara Pringle - now elected as their Dacorum Borough Councillor - plus news of recent developments.

  • money
    Article: Apr 26, 2018

    The Banking Crash of 2008/9 could have been an utter disaster personally for millions of families. While we can criticize Brown's Labour Government for its "light touch" banking regulation - which contributed to that crash - we must also be immensely grateful that they they acted so promptly and decisively when disaster struck. Huge sums of money were pumped into the banks to keep them going and many were effectively nationalised. However this was very expensive indeed because most of that had to be borrowed - at high interest rates. Then for several years the high interest rates meant the debt continued to rise slowly.

    The following Conservative government's response was, reasonably enough, to reduce government spending, but they also - unreasonably - refrained from putting up taxes and in fact reduced a few. Worse than that, because they imagine you can operate the UK economy like a 1950s housewife controlled the family budget. And they think that there's a simple relationship between government spending cuts and deficit reduction. There is not. The relationship is complex and involves several negative feed-back loops. So they were disappointed in the results time after time and piled cut upon cut.

    They froze public sector pay, cut benefits, starved the NHS of cash to help cope with the ageing population, cancelled infrastructure projects and withdrawn the Rate Support grant from local councils - leaving them barely able to cope. They have softened Inheritance Tax, maintained pensions and resolutely shunned any income tax rises.

    In other words the Tories have punished the poor, the disadvantaged and the sick and rewarded the prosperous, elderly middle-classes - plus of course that large group of the elderly middle-classes that think they're prosperous or have illusions that their children might be one day. Good politics if you have a Tory mind-set, but socially unjust and perhaps not sustainable for very long.

    And the feed-back loops? Well, government spending actually ends up in private pockets. Pensioners and benefit claimants have more money - and more money to spend. More doctors, nurses, teachers mean more people with wages or larger wages - and more money to spend. Companies doing work for the government get paid - and that means more money for a bigger or more hard working labour force. Again, more money to spend. In this way a £1 increase in government spending can produce an increase of between 50p and £1.70 in national income. The exact figure depends on how willing the population is to spend, rather than to save. However in the UK we are very good at spending and very poor in saving. The so-called "multiplier" can in practice be well in excess of 1.0. The point is that this works in the other direction too. So a cut in government spending of £1 can result in a reduction of 50p to £1.70 in national income.

    So what is it in the UK in the recent past? Well, right-wing people and right-wing institutions - like the International Monetary Fund - believe the multiplier is less than 1.0 and so they would say the UK government has done the right thing. On the other hand many econommists say that the consistent errors in UK Treasury and IMF forecasts of future growth in the UK economy show that the Treasury and the IMF are using a multiplier which, for the UK at least, is far too low and must be greater than 1.0. This seems to be the case for the USA as well. Possibly 0.5 might be the right figure for the German economy, where people save a lot more of their income than we do.

    Here in the UK we have the OBR - the Office of Budgetary Responsibility - a government department suppopsedly independent of the Treasury. However the OBR has used the Treasury figure of 0.5 for the multiplier to make forecasts - so it's not a surprise really that successive chancellors, Osborne and Hammond, have had to keep revising their economic forecasts downwards. The figure they used implies they're doing the right thing (of course) and that their austerity has not been doing our economy much harm. However, now even the IMF has moved it's estimate of the multiplier for the UK up to a range of 0.9 - to 1.7. In 2017, the TUC has calculated that if you use the IMF mid-range value of 1.3 - more realistic and consistent with the USA - then you can see that the Tory austerity has damaged our economy to the tune of £76 billion, just for the 5 years from 2010 - 2015.

    The damage of Tory austerity has been at least 1% less for our GDP each year - in addition to the stress and hardship for the low paid, the disadvantaged and the sick.

    Now we're asked to rejoice at a small reduction in borrowing. But slower and steadier might well have achieved a better result with less human cost - and how will we fare if interest rate rises suddenly make servicing the debt more expensive and start pushing the deficit back up again? This Tory government seems to have only one strategy for the economy - based on a biased assumption and consequently doing more harm than good. It's like taking some toxic Victorian potion in an attempt to regain good health!

  • Council results 0418
    Article: Apr 23, 2018

    Principal Council by-election results from 2017 to now.

    The Liberal Democrats winning seat across the country.

  • Libraries play a key part in the community
    Article: Apr 22, 2018
    By Mark Watkin

    At a meeting of the Education, Libraries and Localism Cabinet Panel on 18th of April 2018, the Liberal Democrat team voted against the County's plans to outsource their much loved and highly popular Library Service.

    The Labour Group Leader abstained.

    However, in spite of Liberal Democrat protest, the Conservative led Panel agreed to the County developing a detailed business case before finally deciding whether to go ahead with the scheme.

  • supperclubsofa
    Event: Jun 19, 2018 7:30 PM
    32 Trevelyan Way, Berkhamsted HP4 1JH

    On the third Tuesday of each month we have our Supper Club here in Berkhamsted.

    We discuss politics and anything else we choose to talk about.

    It gives us the chance to get to know each other and to put the world to rights.

    We welcome all Lib Dem members - and anyone of a similar mindset - who would like to join us.

  • Ballot Box
    Article: Apr 20, 2018

    In a satisfactory week's by-election results the Liberal Democrats have continued their winning streak by gaining another 2 council by-election seats from the Conservatives. One was in Berkshire and the second in Cheshire.

    Thatcham West Ward, West Berkshire UA, April 19, 2018

    Liberal Democrat Jeff Brooks 820 [48.4%; +9.7%]
    Conservatives 523 [30.9%; -16.9%]
    Labour 130 [7.7%; -5.9%]
    Green 130 [7.7%; +7.7%]
    UKIP 91 [5.4%; +5.4%]

    Lib Dem gain from Conservative
    Percentage changes from 2015

    Lymm South Ward in Warrington Borough, April 19th

    Liberal Democrats Anna Fradgely: 769; 42.8% (+10.4)
    Conservatives: 649: 36.2% (-2.3)
    Labour: 328; 18.3% (-1.1)
    UKIP: 25: 1.4% (-8.3)
    Green: 24; 1.3% (+1.3)

    LDem GAIN from Con.

  • Herts Chamber Orchestra Tring 0418
    Article: Apr 18, 2018

    The Hertfordshire Chamber Orchestra is celebrating its 50th Anniversary Year and recently welcomed back Paul Barritt as their Director.

    Paul conducted and played as a soloist at a delightful concert in support of Rennie Grove Hospice Care last Saturday 14th April, 2018 at the Church of St Peter and St Paul in Tring.

    The first item was the little-known Suite in D Op. 49 by Saint-Saëns. Paul who makes a point of explaining and commenting on each piece before it is played playfully emphasised its lack of fame, "Yes, it really is little known," he remarked. "In fact we don't know it either. Tonight will be the first time that any of us have ever played it!". Of course this quip rather belied the orchestra's preparation and rehearsal and it was, as usual, played faultlessly. A piece at times lyrical, and at others, romantic, constructed around dance rythms and yet containing delicate passages it is a happy and enjoyable piece and it is surprising that it is not played more often.

    And then for something completely different as Paul Barrit played as the soloist in that old favourite, The Lark Ascending by Vaughan Williams. "Not that," quoth Paul - who is quite knowlegeable about birdsong - "it really resembles the lark's song at all." But the melodies are indeed evocative of a bird singing and ascending. It's no accident that, among English audiences especially, it should be popular with its suggestion and feel of birdsong in a summer meadow. It was a seamless partnership between orchestra and soloist and Paul's playing could only be described as "exquisite".

    Also unfamiliar but very lively and great fun was a short piece by Bottesini (who he?) entitled Gran Duo Concertante. This was originally written for 2 double basses but we were treated to a sort of "sports model" version with just one double base soloist, the exuberant and flamboyant guest soloist Roberto Carrillo-Garcia. With its hints of Spanish or Latin Amercan cafés and dancefloors it was a rumbustious and rollicking piece and played with bravura.

    The final and longest piece was Beethoven's Symphony No. 1 and despite it's familiarity was as enjoyable as ever, and of course the brilliance and mastery of the composer never ceases to amaze.

    The next concert to look out for will be by Tring Chamber Music and will be on Sunday 27th May at 7.30 p.m. in Hastoe Village Hall, beautifully restored 6 years ago. Roberto Carrillo-Garcia will be back with his double bass.

  • Rossway RDA (Rossway RDA)
    Article: Apr 18, 2018

    ROSSWAY RDA invites you to join their 50th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION on Thursday afternoon 28th JUNE 2018.

    Whether you have been a part of their story over the last 50 years - or got to know them more recently - they hope you will be able to join them in their new surroundings at Shardeloes Equestrian Centre, Cherry Lane, Amersham, HP7 0QF

  • road works sign
    Article: Apr 18, 2018

    The Herts County Council Integrated Works Plan is showing the following sites for highway repair work during the current financial year i.e. 2018/19 (year just started).

    1. Slip Road off A41 up to the Upper Icknield Way - south of the roundabout.
    Replacement of failed anti-skid surface with local resurfacing.