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.

  • Offshore Hydrogen (BBC)
    Article: Nov 8, 2021

    Several European energy companies are currently exploring the feasibility of producing hydrogen out at sea. Although not particularly efficient, electroysis of water to produce hydrogen is a useful way to capture wind energy that might otherwise be in surplus. Batteries could of course be used shorterm energy storage and release, but future projections indicate hydrogen could handle greater quantities of energy over greater timescales and could also be an efficient way to transfer it to the mainland - with one hydrogen pipeline handling the same energy transmission as 5 DC interconnector cables.

    Germany has an advantage here with its own off-shore island of Helgoland, a one time WWII fortress in the North Sea but now a rather limited and lonely summer holiday destination and opportunity to buy tax free alcohol and cigarettes. The island could act as a collection base for platform-based hydrogen electrolysis and a distribution centre for hydrogen to be routed to neighbouring industrial centres in Germany, Holland and Scandinavia. Of course, this might well spell the end of both alcohol and smoking on the island!

    Die Presse reports that prominent among the companies is the Rheinisch-Westfälisches Elektrizitätswerk, better known as RWE, once the owner of Thames Water and 10 power stations in the UK. As the company remodels itself around the newer energy sources, Thames Water and 5 of the power stations (one of which was Didcot) have been closed and sold.

    Other companies involved are the Norwegian energie giant Equinor and the Dutch pipeline specialist Gasunie.

    At first an electrolysis capacity of 300 MW is planned by 2028, producing 20,000 tonnes of hydrogen a year. By 2035 this is expected to rise to 10 GW of electrolysis capacity for a variety of industrial uses and making it feasible to economically produce of 'green fertilisers', reducing the use of methane, and even 'green steel', replacing coking coal with hydrogen. UK Government please note!

    Meanwhile Reuters reports that, with other partners, RWE is investing in the Triton Knoll (near Grimsby) and the Sofia (Central Dogger) offshore wind farms, and is the preferred bidder for two other nearby sites on the Dogger Bank (thank you, Ed Davey!).

  • Moules Mariniére (BBC)
    Article: Oct 26, 2021
    "Raw Sewage discharge is the big problem and will ruin fisheries - it must be stopped," claims DBC Liberal Democrat Councillor for Tring West, Nick Hollinghurst.

    Of course driver shortages are a post-Brexit symptom everywhere in the UK, but the first couple of stages of sewage settlement and treatment use few if any chemicals - the first is physical settlement and the second is trickling through a filter bed. Can it really be true that the raw sewage discharge is due to the shortage of a readily available chemical? Or are longterm infrastructure quality and capacity issues due to blame?

  • Railway Freight Locomotives (Network Rail)
    Article: Oct 19, 2021

    The Railway Industry Association (RIA) is the main industry trade group for railway equipment manufacturers in the United Kingdom and is based in Smith Square, London. They are emphatic that the UK needs immediately to double the current rate of rail electrification.

    Electrification is the main measure that will enable the UK Government to meet its commitment decarbonise by the railway system by 2050. However to do this means that at least 450 km of track need to be electrified every year.

    However, figures published by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) show that only 179 km of track were electrified in the UK in 2020-21.

  • Flag at Half Mast Cropped
    Article: Oct 17, 2021

    West Hertfordshire Liberal Democrats send their deepest condolences to the family of Sir David Amess.

    Sir David was cruelly stabbed to death on Friday during a routine constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea.

    He had served as the Member of Parliament for Southend West since 1997.

    He was a well respected man who worked hard as a constituency MP to represent the people in his local community.

  • Sally serious
    Article: Oct 10, 2021
    Liberal Democrat Councillors on Hertfordshire County Council have expressed concern and disappointment in the £5.5m slippage of vital Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) capital spend from the current year.
    The delay in expenditure was revealed at a meeting of the Hertfordshire County Council Resources and Cabinet Panel on Friday 1 October, 2021.

  • No Planet B
    Article: Oct 1, 2021

    The climate crisis is an incoming storm. We must act now to undo the damage already done to our planet.

    By Liberal Democrats, Sep 18, 2021

    Soaring temperatures worldwide, flash flooding in central London and increasing numbers of wildfires. These are just a few ecological disasters we are seeing as a result of climate change. It is painfully obvious we must act.

  • Empty Basket
    Article: Sep 29, 2021

    Solving the Supply Chain Crisis

    It's time for Boris Johnson and co. to grow up and face the consequences of their actions.

    By Sarah Olney, Sep 20, 2021

    Boris Johnson's woeful government has done it again.

    Their needless belligerence towards our neighbours has devastated the national supply chain. Shelves are bare and prices will rise.

  • Grange trees
    Article: Sep 28, 2021

    Liberal Democrat Opposition Councillors have successfully persuaded the ruling Conservatives on Hertfordshire County Council commit to replacing thousands of trees that have been removed from highways.

    In a report, the Council's Highways and Transport Panel revealed that 4,494 trees had been removed from highways in the period 2018- 2021 but only 1,040 had been planted meaning a deficit of 3,455.

    Following pressure from the Liberal Democrats the Conservatives agreed to replace as many of the lost trees as possible, where the location is suitable.

    Lib Dem Cllr John Hale, who pressed for the need to replace highways' trees said,
    "A large number of trees have been removed and very few have been replaced. I am pleased that the council has now agreed that more should be done to replace trees along our roads. Trees serve an important environmental purpose, contribute to people's sense of wellbeing and should be replaced whenever possible."

    Liberal Democrat Group Leader, Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst said,
    "Urban street trees improve the street scene and contribute significantly towards reducing Co2 emissions in key pedestrian areas."

    "Global Heating is definitely going to get worse before our present efforts start to have an effect. Urban environments are significantly hotter because of absorbtion of solar radiation by buildings. Urban trees have a noticeable cooling effect as long as they are kept watered and of course their leaves and growth provide shade and a carbon dioxide sink," added Cllr Nick Hollinghurst from Tring.

  • Hertfordshire 20mph SGM
    Article: Sep 27, 2021

    Liberal Democrat Opposition Councillors have hit out at an "over complex" set of rules that the Conservative administration agreed at the Highways & Transport Cabinet Panel on 14th September, 2021. There will now be significant delays bringing in any new 20 mph speed zones.

    From now on, any areas that residents want considered for a 20mph speed limit will need to be assessed against a Speed Management Strategy, a Place & Movement Matrix, have on-site visits and maybe speed checks before the consultation stage can even begin.

    At the meeting, under questioning from Lib Dem Group Leader Stephen Giles-Medhurst, officers admitted that the process will mean that the earliest any new 20mph restrictions can now be implemented will likely be the end of 2022 or early 2023.

    The Liberal Democrats proposed an alternative approach, backed by Hertfordshire's 20's Plenty Campaign group, to adopt a default Speed Management Strategy of a 20 mph limit on side roads. They argued this would support the government's objective of sustainable travel by making roads safer for walkers and cyclists.

    Their proposal was voted down by the Conservatives.

    Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst said, "Only a very small percentage of Herts roads are 20 mph despite campaigns from residents for many more. With just 953 20mph roads in Herts, many schools still have 30mph roads outside them. We have one the lowest numbers of 20mph roads in the country with Kent CC having over 2,300.

  • Electric Stephen
    Article: Sep 26, 2021

    Opposition Liberal Democrat Councillors have hit out over Hertfordshire County Council's policies on providing electric vehicle charge points as "totally lacking vision and unambitious".

    Herts County Council is proposing to only allow for on road chargers in limited circumstances creating a two-tier system.