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.

  • Sally with Health Fair
    Article: Nov 14, 2019

    At the Tring Climate Event on the 26th October, Sally Symington, Liberal Democrat Candidate for the Southwest Hertfordshire Constituency, met with members of the Transitition Town Movement as her Parliamentary Campaign got into gear. The purpose of the Climate Event, which was organised by Lib Dem Controlled Tring Town Council, was to explain how small towns can make big contributions in reducing carbon dioxide emissions and helping to mitigate Global Heating.

  • Demand Better Education
    Article: Nov 12, 2019
    Responding to the publication last month (23/10/19) of the Education Select Committee's report on children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for South West Herts, Sally Symington, said:
    "Children with SEND have borne the brunt of the schools funding crisis. Teaching assistants and other support staff have been sacked. Meanwhile, parents struggle to get the support their child needs as schools, healthcare providers and local councils squabble over who should pay.
  • Class230 waits at Bletchley
    Article: Oct 11, 2019

    Re-use is near the top of the Recycling Hierarchy and Vivarail has as its main objective the reuse of obsolete electric train units that used to run on London's District Line. The company was founded in 2012 with the aim of heavily overhauling London Underground D78 Stock and upcycling them into new BR Class 230 diesel-electric multiple units (DEMUs), and was the brainchild of Adrian Shooter, the now retired former chairman of DB Regio UK Ltd (better known in the UK as Chiltern Railways). Vivarail acquired over 200 units for this purpose.

    The first customer for Class 230 units was West Midlands Trains, which ordered three 2-car DEMUs in October 2017. Subsequently, Transport for Wales Rail ordered a total of five 3-car sets, to be built as bi-modal multiple units (BMMU)s, in June 2018.

    After extensive development and testing West Midlands accepted their first 2-car train in April 2019 for service on the 24-mile Marston Vale Line between Bletchley and Bedford. A further two trains were delivered in June 2019. One train will be in reserve with two providing an hourly service Monday to Saturday. There is no Sunday service as yet.

    Nick Hollinghurst, Hertfordshire County Councillor for Tring, who has an interest in low CO2-emission transport, took a ride to see for himself. He reported that the "new" trains were smart, clean and spacious and travelled very quietly. There is an automatic engine cut-out at stations to save fuel and reduce pollution. Passengers appeared to be very pleased with the new service.

    Cllr Hollinghurst said afterwards, "I wonder if these could be successfully deployed on the Abbey Line from Watford to St Albans. Perhaps the reduction in running costs could help pay for that passing loop we need at Bricket Wood?"

    The pictures show a train waiting at Bletchley and also the spacious interior.

  • Sally Symington Old Town
    Article: Oct 1, 2019

    A Local Councillor, Sally Symington, has been selected as the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for South West Hertfordshire

    With the sudden prospect of an imminent election the party has recently had to move fast to ensure that, right across Great Britain, a full slate of candidates is in place to fight a General Election should one arise over the coming months.

    James Davies, the Chair of the Executive Committee of West Hertfordshire Liberal Democrats Local Party, which includes the two parliamentary constituencies of South West Hertfordshire and Hemel Hempstead, said, "I am pleased to announce that Sally Symington has been selected as the Parliamentary Candidate for South West Hertfordshire".

  • Primary School
    Article: Aug 29, 2019

    While Local Planning Authorities - usually District or Borough Councils - up and down the UK are being required to plan for drastically increased housing numbers to 2036, Hertfordshire education planners, who work on tighter timeframes and use birth numbers as reported by the NHS, do not foresee any drastic changes in primary school numbers in the immediate future.

    The Published Admission Numbers (PANs) for primary schools for 2020/21, which were recently consulted on, show hardly any changes. Only 5 changes were originally proposed. One was an increase at Edwinstree (Voluntary Controlled) Middle School near Buntingford. The other four were all reductions at (a) Margaret Wix Primary, St Albans (from 60 to 30); (b) Holywell JMI, Watford (from 90 to 60); (c) Shepherd JMI and Nursery, Rickmansworth (from 60 to 30) and (d) Jenyns First School, Braughing (from 21 to 15)

    However the situation is complicated by a high proportion of schools (including primary schools) being either Academies or controlled by Multi-Academy Trusts or Free Schools. Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) was a Local Education Authority until 2010 when these were abolished. With regard to education HCC then became a "Local Authority with Educational Responsibilities" since it is still resposible for community schools (i.e. not "academies" or "free"), for the provision of Special Educational Needs (which is grossly under-resourced everywhere) and it remains the "educator of last resource" with a legal responsibility to ensure every child in the county does actually receive an education.

    Some primary schools of local significance, with their current PANs and the PANs for 2020/21 are:

    Abbots Langley, Abbotts Langley; 2019 PAN 60, 2020 PAN 60
    Tanners Wood JMI, Abbotts Langley; 2019 PAN 60, 2020 PAN 60
    Aldbury CoE Primary, Aldbury; 2019 PAN 15, 2020 PAN 15
    Bridgewater Primary, Berkhamsted; 2019 PAN 60, 2020 PAN 60
    Greenway Primary, Berkhamsted; 2019 PAN 30, 2020 PAN 30
    Swing Gate Lane Infants & Nursery; Berkhamsted; 2019 PAN 60, 2020 PAN 60
    Westfield Primary & Nursery, Berkhamsted; 2019 PAN 30, 2020 PAN 30
    Boxmoor Primary, Hemel Hempstead; 2019 PAN 30, 2020 PAN 30
    Chorleywood Primary, Chorleywood; 2019 PAN 30, 2020 PAN 30
    The Russell, Chorleywood; 2019 PAN 30, 2020 PAN 30
    Harvey Road Primary, Croxley; 2019 PAN 30, 2020 PAN 30
    Little Green Junior, Croxley; 2019 PAN 90, 2020 PAN 90
    Malvern Way Infant & Nursery, Croxley; 2019 PAN 90, 2020 PAN 90
    York Mead Primary, Croxley; 2019 PAN 60, 2020 PAN 60
    Gaddesden Row JMI, Hemel Hempstead; 2019 PAN 8, 2020 PAN 8
    Aycliffe Drive Primary, Hemel Hempstead; 2019 PAN 45, 2020 PAN 45
    Belswains Primary, Hemel Hempstead; 2019 PAN 30, 2020 PAN 30
    Brockswood Primary, Hemel Hempstead; 2019 PAN 30, 2020 PAN 30
    Chaulden Infant & Nursery, Hemel Hempstead; 2019 PAN 50, 2020 PAN 50
    Gade Valley JMI & Nursery, Hemel Hempstead; 2019 PAN 30, 2020 PAN 30
    Galley Hill Primary & Nursery, Hemel Hempstead; 2019 PAN 60, 2020 PAN 60
    George Street Primary, Hemel Hempstead; 2019 PAN 30, 2020 PAN 30
    Hobbs Hill Wood Primary, Hemel Hempstead; 2019 PAN 60, 2020 PAN 60
    Hobletts Manor Junior, Hemel Hempstead; 2019 PAN 60, 2020 PAN 60
    Hobletts Manor Infant & Nursery, Hemel Hempstead; 2019 PAN 60, 2020 PAN 60
    Holtsmere End Infant & Nursery, Hemel Hempstead; 2019 PAN 60, 2020 PAN 60
    Holtsmere End Junior, Hemel Hempstead; 2019 PAN 60, 2020 PAN 60
    Maple Grove Primary, Hemel Hempstead; 2019 PAN 30, 2020 PAN 30
    Micklem Primary, Hemel Hempstead; 2019 PAN 30, 2020 PAN 30
    Pixies Hill JMI, Hemel Hempstead; 2019 PAN 30, 2020 PAN 30
    The Reddings Primary, Hemel Hempstead; 2019 PAN 30, 2020 PAN 30
    South Hill Primary, Hemel Hempstead; 2019 PAN 60, 2020 PAN 60
    Tudor JMI, Hemel Hempstead; 2019 PAN 60, 2020 PAN 60
    Two Waters Primary, Hemel Hempstead; 2019 PAN 30, 2020 PAN 30
    Yew Tree Primary, Hemel Hempstead; 2019 PAN 60, 2020 PAN 60
    Kings Langley Primary, Kings Langley; 2019 PAN 60, 2020 PAN 60
    Shepherd JMI & Nursery, Rickmansworth; 2019 PAN 60, 2020 PAN 30
    Arnett Hills JMI, Rickmansworth; 2019 PAN 30, 2020 PAN 30
    Maple Cross JMI, Rickmansworth; 2019 PAN 30, 2020 PAN 30
    Rickmansworth Park JMI, Rickmansworth; 2019 PAN 30, 2020 PAN 30
    Sarratt CoE Voluntary Controlled, Sarratt; 2019 PAN 26, 2020 PAN 26
    Margaret Wix Primary, St Albans; 2019 PAN 60, 2020 PAN 30
    Dundale Primary & Nursery, Tring; 2019 PAN 30, 2020 PAN 30
    Goldfield Infant & Nursery, Tring; 2019 PAN 60, 2020 PAN 60
    Holywell JMI, Watford; 2019 PAN 90, 2020 PAN 60

  • Floella Benjamin at the Early Years report launch
    Article: Aug 26, 2019

    At the Hertfordshire County Council Meeting of 27th November 2018, Liberal Democrat Member Nigel Qinton, County Councillor for Handside & Peartree proposed the following motion, which was duly seconded by the the Conservative Member, Terry Douris, the County Councillor for Bridgewater and the HCC Executive Member for Education, Libraries and Localism:

    "This Council notes that £1.8 million per year of funding for maintained nursery schools, of which there are 14 in Hertfordshire, currently has no guarantee from HM Government after March 2020. These schools provide an essential bedrock of under-fives education across the County. Without this funding they might not survive in their current form.

    This Council asks that the Leader of the Council and the Executive Member for Education, Libraries and Localism write to the Secretary of State for Education and the Minister for Early Years Education to request that a commitment is given as soon as possible to the continuation of the £1.8M funding beyond 2020, rather than await next year's spending review.

    This Council also asks all Hertfordshire MPs to join the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) Nursery Schools, who are lobbying for this commitment."

  • EU citizens deserve indefinite leave to remain graphic
    Article: Aug 25, 2019

    At the Hertfordshire County Council Meeting on 27th November 2018, the following motion was proposed by Chris White the County Councillor for St Albans Central and (since May 2019) Leader of St Albans & City Council and Councillor for Clarence Ward and duly seconded by Barbara Gibson, the County Councillor for Haldens and (since May 2019) one of the seven East of England MEPs.

    "This Council welcomes the recent Government clarification that in next May's local elections outside London EU citizens will retain their right to both stand and vote for next May's local elections and any EU citizens elected in May will be able to retain their seats for the duration of their term of office.

    However this Council is concerned that following next spring, like everything else to do with Brexit, their rights are completely unclear. Therefore Council calls on Her Majesty's Government to issue urgent clarification as to the long term future of EU Citizens who have been resident here prior to 29th March 2019.

    This Council believes that EU citizens who demonstrate their commitment to the UK by representing residents on local Councils deserve better than this and that the Government must make it clear that, with or without a deal EU citizens who are long-term resident in the UK and Hertfordshire will always be allowed to stand in Council elections."

    The motion was CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.

    However the situation regarding non-UK EU citizens resident in the UK is still, after 3 years and 3 months, not clear.

  • Peoples Vote March, London, March 23rd 2019
    Article: Aug 25, 2019

    As far back as November 2018, the Liberal Democrats on Hertfordshire County Council raised the economic danger of any form of Brexit for people and businesses in our county.

    Referring to a paper from the Hertfodshire Local Enterprise Partnership, Steven Jarvis, the County Councillor for Royston West & Rural and North Herts District Councillor for Weston and Sandon proposed and Chris White, the County Councillor for St Albans Central and (since May 2019) Leader of St Albans & City Council and Councillor for Clarence Ward seconded the following motion:

    "This Council notes the recent research document from the Local Enterprise Partnership regarding the potential effect of Brexit on Hertfordshire which states that 50,000-75,000 jobs in Hertfordshire could be at risk from Brexit. It also notes that has been a drop in the numbers of National Insurance Registrations being made by EU citizens in Herts (from 10,400 in March 2016 to 7,469 in March 2018).

    Furthermore Council notes that every district of Hertfordshire will be hit by a either a hard or soft Brexit with reduced growth (Gross Value Added) of between -3.4 % and -2.4% with Watford and East Herts most affected by a hard Brexit.

    Given these findings this Council resolves to request HM Government to agree to a "People's Vote" on the any final deal with an option to remain in the EU and so agrees to write to all of Hertfordshire MPs to that effect."

    The motion was lost with 15 Liberal Democrats councillors voting in favour, 43 Conservatives voting against and 9 Labour abstaining.

  • EU Funded Electric Charging
    Article: Aug 22, 2019

    At the Hertfordhire County Council Meeting on the 16th July, 2019, Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst, who represents Central Watford & Oxhey and is the Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on Herts County Council submitted the following written question to Cllr Bibby, the Executive Member for Highways and the Environment:

    "Given the expected and continued high growth of EV (electric vehicles) there is recognition that highway authorities should facilitate the infrastructure and charging platforms required for these. The Mayor of London has an EV infrastructure delivery plan. Given the above will the Executive Member now consider and bring forward to a future panel meeting a report on how the county, as the Highway Authority, can assist and enable, especially in new developments, on-road highways charging points and plan a futureproofed sustainable environment in conjunction with the districts and boroughs?"

    Cllr Bibby replied:

    "A strategy to help guide the County Council and the District and Boroughs is in development and has been supported by several round table officer discussions with the Districts and Boroughs to help shape the work. I will bring a report to a future Panel advising how we will support a sustainable collaborative approach to on-road EV charging.
    The work is seeking to:

    1. Review the trends and a range of forecast for uptake, vehicle sales, new models coming onto the market by vehicle type
    2. Review of where the market is heading in the short, medium and long term - future charge point technologies (types, charging rates, layouts/formats etc), charging locations (identify if there is a push by the large providers to develop dedicated charging stations) and availability/accessibility of charge facilities for residents - Hertfordshire and adjacent area specific - national overview
    3. Review how local authorities can manage risk associated with installation, operation and maintenance of on-street and off-street charging equipment. How can local authorities protect themselves against rapidly evolving EV charging technology and not be left with responsibility to remove/uninstall outdated technology.
    4. Identify (based on readily available data) an approximate proportion of residents reliant on on-street parking in Hertfordshire (as granular as possible)
    5. Develop local uptake forecast rates by vehicle type/locations, including existing requests
    6. Recommendations on how to promote/facilitate EV uptake amongst those reliant on on-street parking
    7. Review how a model based on centralised rapid charging hubs including destination charging, similar to the current 'filling station' model, might meet the long-term charging needs of Hertfordshire.

    This will need to consider the impact of any new charging infrastructure on the capacity of electricity network.

    Outcome - from this work/evidence we want to present options and a preferred scenarios to define our position for on-street charging infrastructure and form the basis to identify our role to overcome the barriers to EV adoption in the county. There is an option to take it to a Member Advisory Group in advance of Panel after the commissioned work is complete and provides an evidence base."

  • Urban Road
    Article: Aug 22, 2019

    At the Hertfordshire County Council Meeting on 16th July 2019, County Councillor Stephen Giles-Medhurst, who represents Central Watford & Oxhey and is the Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on Herts County Council proposed a motion calling on HCC to review its use of surface dressing as highway maintenance for urban roads.