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  • Street Lights
    Article: Feb 13, 2015

    A better youth service in Essex; more pavements fixed; helping adult learners; turning street lights back on at night and moving to low energy LEDs. That would be the result of adopting the Liberal Democrats proposals for the Essex County Council budget.

    The Lib Dem proposals are being moved as an amendment to the Conservative-drafted budget this (Tuesday) morning. In making the proposals, the Lib Dem Leader on Essex County Council, Mike Mackrory, will say:

  • Cllr Wendy Rider and Cllr Charles Royden, with Local Resident at a Bus Stop in Brickhill
    Article: Feb 7, 2015

    Essex County Council are consulting citizens about a their new Bus Strategy.

    They are proposing to introduce a Bus Strategy Commissioning Board: for the first time since deregulation in the 1980's, the council have a real opportunity to help plan and modernise the service.

    You can read the strategy and respond to the questionnaire online at www.essex.gov.uk/busreview.

  • Article: Feb 6, 2015

    Labour's stance on apprenticeships once again prove they cannot be trusted to build a stronger economy.

    Today (Friday 6 February) they criticised the coalition's record on creating apprenticeships, even though there are now more apprentices than ever before.

    In fact there are more than 85 per cent more apprentices in schemes in England than there were under Labour.

  • Article: Feb 6, 2015

    Today Danny Alexander and I outlined the Liberal Democrats' plans for taxes, spending and borrowing for the next Parliament.

    When the Liberal Democrats joined the Coalition in 2010 we had a clear priority: to rescue, repair and renew the economy. Sometimes this has meant taking difficult and unpalatable decisions. We didn't relish the prospect of austerity, but we knew it would be a means to an end - and the end is now in sight.

  • NHS
    Article: Feb 1, 2015

    West Essex CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) are responsible for buying NHS services in our area. Their managers have to decide which treatments and services will save most lives and improve health in Epping Forest and surrounds.

    If you want to know what they are up to, and have a chance to ask questions of local health and care leaders, you may want to attend one of the upcoming "My Health, My Future, My Say" events.

  • Article: Feb 1, 2015

    Liberal Democrats are celebrating the one millionth tree being planted this Parliament through the Big Tree Plant.

    The Big Tree Plant is the first government tree planting initiative since the 1970s. Liberal Democrats in government are proud to have delivered this project which will leave a living, lasting legacy in communities across England.

  • Article: Feb 1, 2015

    Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg discusses his vision for a greener Britain and a sustainable economic future.

    The countdown has started. In 10 months time, the world will gather in Paris to agree a new legally binding global climate change agreement. It's no exaggeration to say our future, and that of our children, depends on its success.

    Of course, none of this is news to you. Yet, I believe it's a truth that bears repeating as often and widely as possible.

    The evidence of the global risk we face is clear, the science exhaustive and beyond doubt and, without a strong deal in Paris, the task ahead of us to reduce the world's emissions and tackle climate change will only become more difficult with every year that goes by.

    We are already running to catch up: the more we delay, the more the world's poorest countries are hardest hit of all. For them, denying climate change isn't an option. Its impact is all too plain to see on their doorstep, increasingly putting their families, homes and livelihoods at risk.

    For us too, as a country, going green isn't a luxury extra, but a necessary investment in our future.

    In the years ahead, the only sustainable growth will be green growth. It's a guarantee of jobs and prosperity for generations to come.

    It's a massive opportunity for Britain. We're a competitive place to invest, a great place to do business and have a skilled, flexible workforce.

    Most importantly, without that shift to low carbon, we put at risk the huge physical and psychological benefits, as well as the sheer joy, we gain from our natural environment. Once lost, it's gone forever.

    That's why, in government, Liberal Democrats have always fought for an approach that doesn't just look after today, but is also mindful of tomorrow; that doesn't just deal with the fiscal deficit we inherited, but also the imbalances in how we treat the environment around us.

    This includes reforming our electricity market to boost investment in low-carbon energy. Since 2010, we've more than doubled the share of electricity we generate from renewable sources - reaching nearly 15 per cent of the UK's electricity at the end of 2013.

    The UK is now a world leader in offshore wind, with more installed offshore wind capacity than any other country in the world. We're also strengthening our global lead in wave and tidal technology. According to the latest Bloomberg estimates, clean energy investment in our country rose by 3 per cent last year, to just over £10bn.

    To help each of us live our lives more sustainably, we've committed hundreds of millions pounds to drive forward green transport. This includes half a billion pounds to sharpen the UK's competitive edge in the development and use of electric vehicles, and I recently announced an unprecedented £214m investment to develop the UK's cycling networks.

    We're establishing a new generation of garden cities and all new homes will be zero carbon from 2016.

    We've created the Natural Capital Committee to help protect our natural wealth. And, step by step, we're preserving Britain's natural landscape: creating marine conservation zones; securing the future of our woodlands - England now has 10 per cent wood land cover, it's highest level in 600 years; and maintaining strong protections for the Green Belt, our National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

    We've secured extra funding for Kew Gardens, fought hard to ensure England's Coastal Path will be completed by 2020 and, to halt the blight of throwaway plastic bags, we're introducing our 5p charge.

    Critically, we've committed £3.87bn to the International Climate Fund to help developing countries protect their biodiversity and communities from the impacts of climate change also.

    But this is just the start. Whatever the result on May 7, we need a clear commitment from all of the main parties to achieve a landmark global deal in Paris and secure Britain's low carbon future.

    This isn't a job for the fainthearted. Climate Change has no respect for borders, job titles or the political divide. It demands leadership at a local, national and international level, and we all have a role to play - in politics, business and civil society.

    It's one of the central reasons why I believe the UK's continued membership of the EU is so important. If we're to safeguard the future for our children and their children, then we need to stand tall in the world.

    That starts with us leading in Europe, working with our partners to deliver an ambitious green agenda in Paris and beyond. Together, our voices are louder and stronger.

    So let's keep pushing across all political parties for a greener world, a better future for our children and an ambitious agreement in Paris.

  • Street Lights
    Article: Dec 10, 2014

    Essex County Council yesterday rejected a bid to allocate funding for low-energy streetlights. At a meeting of the full council, the Liberal Democrat Group moved a motion calling on the council to allocate funds in next year's budget.

    Moving the motion, Cllr Stephen Robinson (Chelmsford North) pointed out that the Liberal Democrats in the coalition Government have created the Green Investment Bank (GIB) to help the UK economy become greener and stronger.

  • key_carer.jpg
    Article: Nov 30, 2014

    To mark Carers Rights Day, Liberal Democrats are urging people who care for ill or disabled loved ones to find out about the financial and practical support they are entitled to.

    Across the UK there are around 6.5m unpaid carers looking after family, friends and neighbours.

    These unsung heroes save the country an estimated £119bn a year, which is why Liberal Democrats want to give something back to those who dedicate their time to care for another person.

  • Article: Nov 27, 2014

    Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has today unveiled the biggest single investment in cycling.

    The funding worth £214m is designed to make it easier and safer to get on your bike in the UK.

    In July Nick said he wanted to see the number of journeys made by bike more than doubled by 2020. Nick will today discuss how this will be made possible by the new funding when he hosts a cycling summit in Bristol.