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.

  • supperclubsofa
    Event: Mar 20, 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: Mar 13, 2018

    Including of course the Liberal Democrat's spectacular win in Dacorum's Northchurch Ward with a 36% swing, the Tories actually lost all of the six council seats they were defending that night. This is symptomatic of their steady decline as a viable political party.

    In Dacorum (Northchurch) they lost to the Liberal Democrats.
    In East Hampshire (Petersfield, Bell Hill) they lost to an independent.

    In Nottingham UA (Wollerton West) they lost to Labour
    In Rutland UA (Oakham SE) they lost to an independent
    In Westhoughton TC (White Horse Ward) they lost to the Liberal Democrats
    In Medway UA (Rochester West) they lost to the Liberal Democrats

    The Tories did manage to hold the West Ward on Peacehaven Town Council in their 7th defence of the night.

    Labour made one gain from the Tories (in Nottingham, as above) but in Bolton they lost the Farnley Ward to an independent.

    The Liberal Democrats suffered no losses, made three gains from the Tories (as above) and held Denton Ward on Newhaven Town Council. This means the Liberal Democrats clearly had the best of the night.

    Despite present appearances, the Tories appear to be in a serious decline, with fewer members than the Liberal Democrats they are finding it impossible to run any sort of meaningful campagn in a growing number of places across the UK.

  • Lara Pringle Wins
    Article: Mar 13, 2018

    Conservative complacency took another hit on Dacorum Borough Council (DBC) on Thursday night (8th March 2018) as Liberal Democrat Lara Pringle won a decisive victory in two local By-Elections. One was to fill the vacant Northchurch Ward on DBC and the second to fill a vacancy on Northchurch Parish Council. Both vacancies had resulted from the death in January of Cllr Alan Fantham who had held both seats.

  • Document: Mar 11, 2018
    800.46 KiB drawing or desktop publishing document

    The last leaflet of the successful Northchurch By-Election - just for completeness!

  • Document: Feb 23, 2018
    1.27 MiB drawing or desktop publishing document

    Introducing Lara Pringle, the Lib Dem candidate in the Northchurch DBC By Election

  • Lara's Campaign off to a Good Start!
    Article: Feb 18, 2018

    Lara Pringle lives in Northchurch and has done for over 15 years.

    She has two young sons who went to St Mary's Primary School.

    She has served as a parent governor and is well known in the village.

    Lara Pringle is the Liberal Democrat candidate for both the vacancy on the Parish Council and also for the vacancy on Dacorum Borough Council.

  • Ballot Box
    Article: Feb 17, 2018

    BY-ELECTION ROUND UP - 15th February was a busy night!

    There were three spectacular gains by the Liberal Democrats from the Conservatives on the same night.

    This achievement was only slightly tarnished by there being three other contests where Lib Dems did not stand.

    However in all cases except one the Lib Dem vote shares increased very impressively.

    York UA, Holgate: Lab hold; LD vote share +19.5%
    Teignbridge DC, Dawlish C & NE: LD gain from Con; LD vote share +47.5%
    West Oxon DC, Carterton S: Con hold; LD vote share +18.8%
    Tendring DC, St Pauls: Con gain from UKIP; LD vote share +8.3%
    Teignbridge DC, Chudleigh: LD gain from Con; LD vote share +28.3%
    N Norfolk DC, Worsted: LD gain from Con; LD vote share +39.4%
    NE Derbys DC, Grasmoor: Lab hold; LD vote share +11.8%
    Northants CC, Higham Ferrers: Con hold; LD vote share +2.3%
    Lancs CC, Morcambe N: Con hold; LD vote share +21.6%
    Halton UA, Halton Castle: Lab hold; LD did not stand
    Falkirk UA, Bonnybrig & Larbert: SNP hold; LD did not stand
    Epsom & Ewell BC, Ruxley: Res Assoc hold; LD vote share -2.5%
    E Northants DC, Higham Ferrers: Con hold; no vote share changes, last election uncontested
    Doncaster MB, Armthorpe: Lab hold; LD did not stand.

  • New Road Bridge
    Article: Feb 16, 2018

    Lockfield, off New Road, Northchurch is being considered for development after 2031, though this could be earlier. At the moment it is railway land and provides access to the track from a public road. As such it is infrequently used and generates very little traffic.

    In the left hand picture you can see Lara Pringle discussing the matter with her Lib Dem colleague, Tring County Councillor, Nick Hollinghurst. They both agreed that residential development would result in significantly more traffic to and from the site - and on a daily basis.

    Lara explained to Nick that there are huge traffic issues in Northchurch in general, with New Road now taking far more traffic than ever before. The narrow bridge acts as a chicane but does not always slow the traffic down. Sometimes traffic actually speeds up to cross the bridge before someone else.

    Lara feels that New Road and the High Street are both part of the same problem.

    She said,"I very much support the group campaigning for 20 mph speed restrictions.

    However, but I feel it should include New Road and start near the junction with Bridgewater Hill."

    She continued, "Personally I feel that the site is completely unsuitable for housing. I certainly wouldn't want to live so close to a high speed rail line. However the government has drastically reduced planning restrictions recently and so it is now much easier to get permission to build on Previously Used Land - which Lockfield clearly is.

    But if Dacorum Borough Council - which is our local Planning Authority - does ever grant permission, then I would look to the developer to make a significant contribution towards road safety in Northchurch - a mini roundabout at the site entrance, traffic calming on New Road and the High Street and speed tables at each of the crossing points."

    She concluded, "But whatever is decided we can't wait till 2031 for our 20 mph zone in Northchurch!"

  • Blocked Gulleys
    Article: Feb 15, 2018

    Local Authority Trading Companies - or LATCos in the jargon - are not new. They are authorised under the 2003 Local Government Act.

    Perhaps it's time to think about a LATCo to handle basic highway maintenance in our county?

    For a long time now, Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) has outsourced most of its highway maintenance and design work under long term contracts. The current contract with Ringway has been in place since 2012 and is worth £182 million.

    However, these contracts need more checking and management than HCC seems able to carry out. The public's view certainly is that the results for this contract - like the one before it - always fail to meet their expectations.

    Nevertheless, despite poor contract management HCC still clawed back £1.2 million for proven poor workmanship over the last 5 years - and further deductions are pending.

    You might think that they may have learned the lesson at the end of the first 5 years - but no! The Tory councillors decided to extend the contract for another 5 years.

    There appears to be have been no market testing. The Tories say that results are getting better.

    This could be true if fewer penalties really does mean performance is improving, but Lib Dems say, "This is not the experience of residents. It could just mean Ringway are getting better at gaming their targets - or even just that HCC is catching them out less! These contracts are working no better in other parts of the country. Completely new arrangements should be explored."

    "Southampton is said to be setting up a Local Authority Trading Company (LATCo) to run waste collection and other public services and savings could be reinvested into council services."

    "Some highway work is already directly contracted and this works much better. Why not a LATCo like Southampton, but for routine highway repair and maintenance? It could hardly be worse than what we have at the moment - and it could be a lot cheaper!"

  • Hero Vince
    Article: Feb 14, 2018

    New Leader, New Party, New Programme
    Vince says, "There is much to be patriotic about in Britain today.

    It is more tolerant and inclusive than when my late wife and I started an inter-racial family a generation ago. It has great resources of creativity and business talent, of learning and research. There is real generosity of spirit and a sense of community."

    "But there is also much that is wrong. There are disfiguring inequalities of wealth and opportunity."

    Reducing Inequality Matters

    In terms of people's sense of well being and satisfaction, reducing inequality matters far more than the general level of prosperity.

    High inequality destroys the sense of community, fosters resentment and leads to social tension and increases in crime.

    Income Inequality is growing

    Post-tax income inequality rose strongly in the 1980's, though it has slowed a little since.

    Among developed countries, UK is now one of the most unequal, well behind Scandinavia, Germany and France.

    We have become similar to the US, S Africa and post-Communist Russia.

    The top 1% are about half a million of mostly middle aged men. They tend to work in financial services, the law or medicine and earn just over £150,000 each.

    The super-rich (the top 0.1%) are roughly 50,000 people earning £1+ million per year.

    Wealth Inequality is growing

    The Resolution Foundation now estimates that the top 1% of adults - 488,000 people - own 14% of the UK's assets. That's about £3.16 million each.

    Meanwhile, at the other end of the scale, 15% of adults (7.3 million people) either have no assets at all or are in debt.

    Social Mobility in UK is worse than in US

    These inequalities make Social Mobility in the UK one of the worst in the world.

    Here, by and large, your prosperity and wealth depend on your father's.

    If he was poor, you'll be poor - if he was rich, you'll be rich.

    Not very fair, is it?

    Lib Dems will Work to Put This Right by:

    • improving equality of opportunity
    • integrating tax and National Insurance
    • taxing wealth fairly to finance education
    • putting a penny on tax to fund the NHS
    • direct measures like changes to the Minimum Wage