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 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.

  • Sally Symington Tring
    Article: Sep 25, 2021

    Hertfordshire County Council has failed to deliver improvements of over £250m to residents over the last 4 years

    At the Resources and Performance Cabinet Panel meeting on 5 July 2021, it was revealed that Hertfordshire County Council failed to deliver £102m of budgeted improvements to residents during the last financial year 2020/2021.

    Hardest hit were children and young people, with £27.8m of the schools' expansion program and a further £12.5m of schools' repairs and maintenance being reprogrammed.

    Capital projects valued at nearly £2m (£1.7m) for Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) children and young people were reprogrammed, despite investment in this area being widely acknowledged as essential.

  • Electric Fire Engine (e1Group, Cumnock, Scotland)
    Article: Sep 24, 2021
    Tory-run Hertfordshire County Council has missed the opportunity of a significant cut to their carbon emissions. The authority has announced that although it is changing the fuel used by its fire engines and other fire service vehicles it is not to switching them to electric power.

    The change is only from diesel to "gas-to-liquid" (GTL) fuel, which the council says is cheaper than switching to electric vehicles. This will cut NOx emissions and PM2.5 particle emissions but there will only be a small reductionsof CO2 emissions, since GTL is derived from natural gas and still a fossil fuel.

  • Votes per Seat 2019 ERS (Electoral Reform Society)
    Article: Aug 15, 2021

    "They won't like it up 'em, Mr Mainwaring!" "What's that, Jones?" "Voting Reform, Sir. They won't like it one little bit!"

    While tidying up recently I came across a copy of moderngov an occasional publication published by HM Government. It was dated September 2011 and the three main party leaders had been given a couple of pages each.

    I thought David Cameron's contribution was very revealing. There he was, pleased and proud with what he felt was his "victory" in 2010 and with his position as UK PM.

    So what was he so proud of?

    Well, getting the deficit down (the "piggy bank" theory of economics) and getting more people into work.

    Yes, that latter is very important to Tories! As long as they can keep wages down, but maximise the number of people going to work, then everyone will be working flat out just to get by, and no-one will have the time to get involved in politics and make trouble.

    Then the usual things: Cutting corporation tax to help businessmen and freezing council tax so councillors have to focus on the bare minimum of services. Converting more schools to academies to bring them under direct government control and out of councillors' hands.

    Yes, there were some good things in there: Triple Lock on pensions (a Lib Dem idea and now scrapped), increasing foreign aid (now cut back again) and "helping families" - but all that happened there was that the Sure Start programme of Families Centres (Labour's flagship project from 1998) was "de-ring fenced" so the funding given to councils could be used for other things and a slow and steady decline set in, which still continues.

    Cameron summed it up in his own words as follows, "We've got to build a more sustainable economy, with new businesses, different industries taking roots, growth and jobs spread across the country."

    But that was all about business for his Tory chums, nothing about you and me.

    No word there about "families", "education", "health", "NHS", "environment", "mental health services", "climate change", "benefits", "public transport" or "communities" or "reducing inequalities".

    Actually, "society" was mentioned - apparently it was broken - and "an erosion of responsibility" and "a complete moral collapse". So there you have it. Perhaps you and me get mentioned after all - as the people who are responsible for all the bad things.

    It turns out, and this is very revealing, that what he mentioned first and what he felt was his greatest achievement was the Tory "victory in the AV campaign". They avoided the "real danger of a disastrous electoral system" and he rejoiced in having kicked electoral reform out of the public debate "for good".

    So it's not snakes, or rats or spiders - the Tories' biggest fear is Electoral Reform!

    So we must be doing the right thing to be pursuing it. We must continue pushing for electoral reform until we get it. But he was wrong too. It hasn't been kicked out - it's still in the public debate. And now we know that electoral reform must be the top priority for all people and parties that favour political progress and social change.

  • East West Rail Bridge at Launton ()
    Article: Aug 9, 2021

    The Climate Emergency is upon us. It'll get worse still before it gets better. The top priority for every individual & government is to work hard to slow it down & turn it around. If we don't start making some serious political and life-style changes then at best our great grandchildren will face horrible conditions - and at worst they mightn't be there at all.

    At a personal level, we have to try to limit our travel especially using fossil fuel powered vehicles. At a political level we need to limit air travel and accept that publicly supported road and rail transport must be appropriately provided.

    And we must do similarly dramatic things in every other field of activity that generates carbon dioxide, heating, manufacturing, food production, materials uses - as well as recycling elements, metals, compounds, chemicals.