Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Council group

At a meeting of the Neath Port Talbot council Liberal Democrat group today, it was decided that Cllr Keith Davies should continue as group leader, and that Cllr Des Sparkes should be his deputy for the coming year.

The recently distributed letter to Liberal Democrat councillors from David Laws, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, was discussed and its message accepted. It was resolved to pay closer attention to proposed expenditure, both council and Welsh Assembly Government funded.

It was also agreed that council nominees to outside bodies were accountable to the appropriate scrutiny committees and that our members on them would seek and pass on information accordingly.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Consideration of McKinnon medical evidence welcome – Swinson

Commenting on the Home Secretary’s agreement to an adjournment in order to consider medical evidence relating to Gary McKinnon, Jo Swinson MP said:

“It is welcome that the medical condition of Gary McKinnon is at last being taken into account.

“Labour’s determination to press ahead with extradition without fully considering Gary McKinnon’s vulnerable state was shameful.

“Hopefully we will now see him tried in a British court, rather than being subjected to the ordeal of extradition and the threat of a maximum-security US prison.”

Monday, May 17, 2010

Liberal Democrat Conference approves Coalition agreement

Liberal Democrat Special Conference in Birmingham today overwhelmingly approved the party’s Coalition Agreement with the Conservative Party.

Speaking after the vote, Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg said:

“It is five days since I accepted the position of Deputy Prime Minister.

“Just five days, and we now know there will be no ID cards, no third runway at Heathrow, no more fingerprinting in schools without parents’ consent, no more child detention.

“Changes Liberal Democrats have spent months, years, campaigning for, are happening.

“Promises we were making to people on their doorsteps just a few weeks ago are becoming realities.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Lost Deposits

The General Election saw nearly £1 million in lost deposits from candidates achieving less than 5% of the vote. The biggest losers were the small parties, with UKIP losing 458 deposits, costing them £229,000.

The Green party was hit by a £164,000 loss, 265 lost deposits cost the BNP £132,500 and the English Democrats were out of pocket by £53,000.

In contrast, the Conservatives lost just two deposits, Labour five and the Liberal Democrats just one, by nine votes, in Glasgow East.

These figures show the uniform support for the Liberal Democrats right across the UK.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Conservative - Liberal Democrat coalition agreement

The contents are now available on Freedom Central.

Statement from Nick Clegg

"Tonight the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party and the Federal Executive of the Liberal Democrat party have overwhelmingly accepted my recommendation that we should now enter into a coalition government with the Conservative Party.

"Before I say anything more about that coalition government I would like to express my thanks and admiration for Gordon Brown. He has been a towering figure in British politics for well over a decade. And the manner in which he has acted over the last few days has demonstrated immense dignity, grace and a profound sense of his public duty.

"We are now going to form a new government More importantly than anything else, we are going to form a new kind of government; I hope this is the start of a new kind of politics I have always believed in. Diverse, plural, where politicians with different points of view find a way to work together to provide the good government for the sake of the whole country deserves.

"That was what we were asked to do by the people of Britain in the General Election last Thursday and that is what we will deliver.

"I want to thank David Cameron for the very open, constructive and workmanlike way in which we have come together to make this agreement on how we can come together in this coalition government. We are obviously politicians from different parties. I believe we are now united in seeking to meet the immense challenges that now face the country and to deliver a fairer, better Britain.

"Of course there will be problems along the way; of course there will be glitches. But I will always do my best to prove that new politics isn’t just possible – it is also better.

"I’d like to say something directly to the nearly seven million people who supported the Liberal Democrats in the General Election last week. I am now acutely aware that I carry your hopes and aspirations into this coalition agreement.
I am sure you have many questions, maybe many doubts. But I can assure you I would not have entered into this agreement unless I was genuinely convinced it was a unique opportunity to deliver the changes you and I believe in.

"Fair taxes. 

"A fair start in life for every child. 

"A new approach to our discredited banking system and the prospect of green and sustainable economic growth. 

"And new, open politics which you can trust once again.

"So I hope you will now keep faith with us let us prove to you that we can serve this country with humility, with fairness at the heart of everything we do. And with total dedication to the interests and livelihoods of everyone in this country."

We are expecting details of the coalition agreement between David Cameron and Nick Clegg to be distributed soon.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Nick Clegg on the way forward

This is Nick Clegg's statement of earlier today in full:

Last night was a disappointment for the Liberal Democrats. Even though more people voted for us than ever before, even though we had a higher proportion of the vote than ever before, it is of course a source of great regret to me that we have lost some really valued friends and colleagues and we have returned to Parliament with fewer MPs than before.

It's clear that many people were excited by the prospect of doing something different. But when it came to the vote, they decided to stay with what they knew. In a time of great economic uncertainty I can understand that.

But that's not going to stop me from redoubling my efforts and the Liberal Democrats efforts to show that real change is the best reassurance that things can get better for people and their families.

Now we are in a very fluid situation with no party holding an absolute majority. It's vital that all political parties and all political leaders act in the national interest and not for narrow political party advantage.

During the election campaign I said that whichever party gets most votes and the most seats, if not an absolutely majority, has the first right to seek to govern either on its own or by reaching out to other parties. And I stick to that view. It seems this morning that it is the Conservative Party that has more votes and more seats though not an absolute majority.

I think it is now for the Conservative Party to prove that it is capable of seeking to govern in the national interest. At the same time this election campaign has made it abundantly clear that our electoral system is broken, it simply doesn't reflect the hopes and aspirations of the British people.

So I repeat again my reassurance that whatever happens in the coming hours, days and weeks I will continue to argue not only for the greater fairness in British society not only the greater responsibility in economic policy making but also for the extensive real reforms we need to fix our broken political system.

Nick Clegg
Leader of the Liberal Democrats

General election results in Aberavon and Neath

Result in Neath:

Peter Hain



Alun Llewelyn

Plaid Cymru


Frank Little

Welsh Liberal Democrats


Emmeline Owens



Michael Green



James Bevan

UK Independence Party


Total votes cast: 37,207. Turnout (rounded) 65%

Result in Aberavon:

Dr Hywel Francis



Keith Davies

Welsh Liberal Democrat


Caroline Jones



Paul Nicholls-Jones

Plaid Cymru


Kevin Edwards



Andrew Tutton



Captain Beany

The Bean Party


Joe Callan



Total votes cast: 30988.  Turnout (rounded) 61%

Monday, May 03, 2010

Paddy Ashdown outlines plans for better pay and homes for troops

On a visit to Brecon and Radnorshire to meet serving and former service personnel, Lord (Paddy) Ashdown set out plans to improve family homes for the Armed Forces and make troops' pay fair.

Liberal Democrats would double the number of forces' family homes refurbished each year and ensure that no service man or woman goes into harm's way on less basic pay than a new recruit to the police force.

Action would also be taken to ensure the Armed Forces have enough of the right kit through a Strategic Security and Defence Review, to take place shortly after the election.

Paddy Ashdown, former leader of the Liberal Democrats and former Royal Marine said:
"It's completely unacceptable that this Labour government is not giving enough support to our armed services. The Liberal Democrats would change this.

"The Labour government expects these brave young men and women to fight on our behalf and they fail to provide them with proper armour to defend themselves. Gordon Brown has failed to give them a decent wage for the work they do and a decent home to raise their children in. That is no way to repay the commitment they make for defending our values.

"The Liberal Democrats would give a pay rise to the lower ranks so that their pay is brought into line with the salary of their emergency service counterparts. We would also bring forces family homes up to standard in half the time the Government plans.

"Not only do we need to make sure that our troops have the right kit to defend themselves, we also need the right strategy so that we leave Afghanistan in a stable situation and our troops can come home with their heads held high."

Tory Inheritance Tax cut costs £6bn – Cable

Liberal Democrat research has revealed why Tory leader David Cameron was so reluctant to discuss his party’s plans for Inheritance Tax in last week’s leaders’ debate.

Vince Cable said: “At a time when the gap between the richest and poorest is so great, it beggars belief that David Cameron wants to give the wealthiest estates a £6bn give away."

Conservatives in hock to the City of London – Clegg

David Cameron’s Conservatives have become nearly four times as dependent on the City of London since he took over as leader.

The Tories have raised more than £15m from companies and individuals connected to banking since he was put in charge.

One in 10 Tory candidates is a former banker or has connections to the banking industry.

Commenting, Nick Clegg said: “The Conservative Party will never reform the banks and rebuild our economy because they are completely in hock to the City of London."

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Newspapers abandon Labour in final week endorsements

Following their sister paper, the Guardian, the Observer today endorsed the Liberal Democrats. This follows the Times newspaper’s endorsement of the Conservatives.

“Awarding seats in parliament in proportion to votes cast would extend the franchise to millions of people who feel their voices have gone unheard,” the Observer leader says.

“The Lib Dems have in recent years developed a habit of getting things right. They were first of the big three to embrace environmentalism, first to kick back against the assault on civil liberties, alone in opposing the Iraq war.”

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Bailed out banks shouldn’t whinge about tighter controls – Cable

   Commenting on a leaked report from PriceWaterhouseCoopers on behalf of major banks warning that the impact of measures to tighten regulation of the banking sector risks a double-dip recession, Vince Cable said: “Given the scale of the bailout the financial sector has received from the taxpayer, this kind of scaremongering from the City is simply whingeing.”