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.

  • Tring Farmers Market Fruit and Veg 2
    Article: Mar 24, 2020

    Tring Farmers Market has been in need of a regular vegetable stall for some time - which is a pity since vegetables are an important attraction is any market. In the case of Tring Farmers Market would provide a good complement to goods offered at the other stalls.

    Caroline Hendry-Smith, one of the market organisers said,

    "We are very excited to announce that Dunsley Farm Shop will be joining us selling a wide variety of fruit and vegetables. Dunsley Farm Shop has recently been taken over by 'Fruity Tooty' who also run a vegetable shop in Aylesbury.
    Ashton Smith from 'Fruity Tooty' plans to bring as much local vegetables as possible when available."

  • Nick with Stewart in Northhampton
    Article: Mar 16, 2020

    Northamptonshire County Council was controlled by the Conservatives from 2005 to 2018.

    Their disastrous administration resulted in early 2018 in the council having to declare that it "was effectively insolvent".

    Commissioners had to be brought in by the government to run it.

    In March 2018 inspectors concluded that the problems at the council were so deep-rooted that it was impossible to rescue it in its current form.

    To do so, they said, would have been "a reward for failure".

  • Stevenage Platform 5 Testing (Steve White)
    Article: Mar 15, 2020

    Two rail replacement bus service has been operation Mondays - Fridays on the Hertford Loop while Network Rail complete a major upgrade to Stevenage Station.

    • Between Stevenage and Watton-at-Stone - served by a people carrier
    • Between Stevenage and Hertford North - served by a double decker bus

    This involves not only Stevenage Station but also the track that connects Stevenage with Watton-at-Stone and destinations further south on the Hertford Loop. A major element in the upgrade is the construction of a new fifth platform at Stevenage. However, extensive work to the track, signalling and other infrastructure is required to connect services to the Watton-at-Stone line.

  • Urbos Tram in Birmingham
    Article: Mar 3, 2020

    Despite the scaremongering and misunderstanding that's around, the situation is clear. Vehicles of all sorts will be powered less and less by the internal combustion engine as time goes on. Diesel engines will probably remain the power source of choice for the larger lorries, but any smaller vehicle could use electric power from batteries - and anything larger with more space to spread the weight, such as a train or a boat, could do the same thing using cheaper and simpler batteries.

    Now trams are the latest form of transport to start using batteries in a big way, and for the simple reason that in crowded city centres tram operators can save a lot of cost and maintenance by restricting those overhead wires to the more spacious outskirts and suburbs.

    CAF, a Spanish engineering company with over a century of experience since they made their first tram in Zaragoza in 1897, produced their first tram capable of running without wires in 2009. This was a modification of their flagship product, the Urbos tram. 21 Urbos trams were supplied to the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) in 2012 for use in Birmingham. In 2018 CAF were asked to fit these trams with batteries and the trams have successfully demonstrated their ability to be used on stretches of track where there are no wires.

    Now the company has won another contract from WMCA to supply a second tranch of 21 more Urbos trams - this time already fitted with battery electric storage - with an option for a further 29. They are to be used on the Midland Metro between Birmingham and Wolverhampton and including the new Centenary Square extension which was built from the start without overhead wires.

    Meanwhile, rather further afield, CAF's subsidiary company, Solaris, has won a contract in Venice, for 30 of its Urbino 12 electrically powered buses which will replace all of the diesel powered buses operating on the Lido and Pellestrina islands

  • Document: Mar 2, 2020
    591.43 KiB drawing or desktop publishing document

    General Election Thank You Democrat from Sally Symington and an Introduction to the Liberal Democrat Police and Crime Commissioner Candidate, Lara Pringle.

  • CLLr Adrian England at Dacorum Borough Council
    Article: Mar 1, 2020

    In a motion to Dacorum Borough Council at its Budget setting meeting on 25th February, 2020, the Liberal Democrat Borough Councillors, without opposing any of the Conservative proposals, sought to amend the budget for the coming financial year by the addition of 10 items, mainly aimed at strengthening existing measures to mitigate Climate Change.

    The motion was proposed by Group Leader, Cllr Ron Tindall and seconded by the Deputy Group Leader Cllr Adrian England.

    They took note of the council's Medium Term Financial Strategy and only proposed new services and initiatives that could be paid for out of existing resources and reserves. The amendment implied an increase in Council Tax of £5.00 but they considered that the need to amplify the council's response to Climate Change more than justified this trivial per annum increase.

  • Western Section East West Rail (East West Rail Co)
    Article: Feb 20, 2020

    The first direct rail link in more than 50 years between Oxford, Bedford, Milton Keynes and Aylesbury has been given the green light for further work.

    At the beginning of the month (4 February, 2020) the Secretary of State for Transport approved Network Rail's Transport & Works Act Order application. This means that permission has been granted for work to begin on Phase 2 of the Western Section of East West Rail.

  • First High Voltage DC Connector
    Article: Feb 19, 2020

    The Orkneys are one of the best places in the world for wind, wave and tidal power - and in fact several advanced technology innovations have been proved practical on and close by the islands.

    The islands now produce 20% more energy than they can use but can export this small surplus to the mainland through two old, low capacity cables laid in 1982 and 1988.

    However, there is potential there for 10 time the current generating capacity and the new developments are compromised by insufficient local use and the lack of a high capacity connector to Caithness to connect to the grid.

    The picture shows the first High Voltage DC connector which was installed between Sweden and Gotland - a distance of 96 km - and completed in 1954, nearly 70 years ago.

    Now, despite the project having been first proposed about 15 years ago, prevarication and lack of interest from successive UK governments, have meant that the Orkney-Caithness Connector Project has only just reached it first review stage.

    There would be 50 km of cable between Caithness and Orkney with another 20 km of various undersea cables connecting all the islands around Scapa Flow.

    The lack of this cable has really caused an embarrassing delay to further developments in the islands and is depriving Scotland in particular of a very important green energy resource.

    Perhaps this should have been a Scottish project - not a UK one.

  • East West Rail route through Cambourne (East West Rail)
    Article: Feb 18, 2020

    East-West Rail announced at the end of January 2020 that, following on from an extensive consultation, which included the views of Hertfordshire County Council, the company had decided on Option E as their Preferred Route. This is the route through Cambourne.

    Hertfordshire has road traffic that is 35% higher than the UK average and, in addition, suffers from a lack of East-West transport infrastructure.

    Although not passing through the county, East West Rail has the potential to reduce some traffic flows through Hertfordshire. In addition a restored rail route will be more sustainable and far less environmentally damaging than the proposed "Oxford-Cambridge Expressway" which will roughly follow the same general direction - again outside of Hertfordshire. However, whether the "Expressway" will ever get build is another matter.

    With regard to the East-West Rail project, local Lib Dem councillors are in favour of Option E as the Preferred Route for the Central Section to link Bedford with Cambridge.

    The route via Cambourne was the option South Cambridgeshire District Council said should be chosen when asked during a consultation.

  • Lara Pringle Candidate Herts PCC
    Article: Feb 16, 2020
    Hertfordshire Liberal Democrats announce Lara Pringle as their Police and Crime Commissioner candidate.

    Lara is an experienced criminal barrister and a Liberal Democrat Councillor in Dacorum. She has built up a reputation as a formidable campaigner and a champion of social justice.
    As a criminal barrister with over two decades of experience prosecuting, Lara understands what drives crime. She recognises the huge challenges faced in the criminal justice system and knows that strategic investment and a change of focus is required.