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Working for you in the Fylde

Nick Clegg - Spring Conference - 8th March 2014The Liberal Democrats are working to build astronger economy in a fairer society, enabling everyone to get on in life.

That's why in Government we have given 24 million people a £700 tax cut, created 1 million jobs and helped 1.5 million apprentices.

That's 5,500 more people in work every working day!

5500 people every working day

We are the only party that can anchor Britain in the centre ground, ensuring we have sustainable growth and equality of opportunity.

Labour can't be trusted with the economy, in government they would drag Britain to the left, borrowing too much, spending too much and risking the recovery.

And the Conservatives can't be trusted to treat people fairly. If Liberal Democrats weren't in Government, the Tories would focus attention on the best-off, let employers fire staff without cause and allow schools to be run for profit.

Only the Liberal Democrats can be trusted to build a stronger economy in a fairer society, enabling every person to get on in life.

Latest News

  • Article: Mar 2, 2015

    The Liberal Democrat Conference at the end of next week will finally set out our stance for the General Election. LibDems are unique in that policy is set by Members at Conference. After all the mud that was slung at us in 2010 by the Tory press and others about tuition fees surprise surprise it has been discovered that the actual fees are not the big issue. The repayment scheme under the new system is much fairer, university funding is much more sensible & stable, and student numbers, especially from disadvantaged families, has gone up. Labour, which promised not to introduce fees but did, has again missed the point in its proposal to cut fees. On the economy the Conservatives are riven in two over Europe. How can you have a credible economic plan when business is confronted by such indecision on a crucial issue asked Chief Secretary to the Treasury, LibDem, Danny Alexander during a major speech to the Said Business School in Oxford. He also noted that the Liberal Democrats are the ONLY party with a clear committment to industrial stategy, infrastructure, and skills on which we have delivered. Elsewhere in the week the new minimum wage was announced along with nearly half a million job seekers receiving new skills and experience. LibDems propoose raising another £1bn from the banking sector. Justice policy and overseas aid were also discussed by LibDem ministers. To find out more visit: www.libdems.org.uk

  • Wind Generators (LibDemVoice)
    Article: Mar 1, 2015
    By Ed Davey MP in Lib Dem Voice

    In LibDemVoice (and replying to comments) Ed Davey, the LibDem Energy Minister writes:

    This morning I announced the results of the first auction for green energy generation. The results are impressive - more clean energy at lower costs.

    Thanks to this first renewable electricity competition of its kind, I have offered contracts to 27 renewable energy projects across the UK. Enough to power 1.4 million homes and save the equivalent carbon emissions of taking 2 million cars off the road.

    The projects include offshore wind and onshore wind and solar, and will create thousands of green jobs.

    What's even better are the lower prices our green competition achieved. The first 'reverse auction' ensured that prices were driven down. This meant we got more green energy from our budget than expected.

    By bringing this auction forward by two years than planned just 3 years ago, we've saved £110 million a year.

    And this latest boost to the UK's green electricity revolution builds on our strong record of delivery since 2010. It's important you have the facts as there is so much misrepresentation of our progress by Labour. Here are some facts to remember:

    - Electricity generation from renewables has more than doubled since 2010.
    - Since 2010, an average £7 billion a year has been invested in renewables. Compare this to £3 billion a year in the previous parliament under Labour.
    - In 2013, almost £8 billion was invested in renewables - a record - though provisional figures suggest 2014 will be even better!
    - Britain's first Green Investment Bank and first Community Energy Strategy.
    - Britain (Lib Dems!) in Europe leading to win more ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets for 2030 to give even more confidence to the industry and investors.

    If that's not enough then just last week I gave development consent for what will be the world's largest offshore wind farm and today I'm opening England's largest onshore wind farm.

    This is a story of success by any measure. But we cannot be complacent and simply assume what Lib Dems in government have achieved on green energy will simply continue unchallenged. Under Labour their heavy hand of regulation will see investors press the pause button on UK plc - because they are not obliged to invest here. They will go where they see certainty, the sort of certainty that we have created.

    As for the Conservatives, they continue to try to talk a good game on renewables, but their credibility is thin and their arguments fall apart when you look at the real world. Tories say they want to see renewables delivered in the cheapest way and I'm 100% with them on that. The trouble is if you look at what this reverse auction has delivered on prices then onshore wind and solar are clearly offering cheap green energy. As the Conservatives want to cap onshore wind, and they are not exactly promoting solar, you have to ask how they'll plug their 'renewables gap' if they want to meet our legal obligations to tackle climate change and ensure consumer bills don't go up. You can only see one scenario for Conservative energy policy - plugging the carbon gap with more expensive forms of green energy. Energy bills up under the Conservatives!

    Lib Dems in government have delivered on green energy in a way that's affordable to consumers. Yet the five green laws I proposed for the front page of our manifesto show we don't believe the job is yet done. We want to go further and faster over the next five years. Nationally and globally our environmental challenges haven't gone away.

    * Edward Davey is Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, and MP for Kingston and Surbiton

  • Article: Feb 26, 2015

    Pensioners vote in greater numbers, and tend to support the Conservatives, so it comes as no surprise that David Cameron comes out with a cynical attempt at buying votes by claiming that universal benefits for pensioners would be protected by the next Conservative government. Does he really expect us to believe that a 40% taxpaying pensioner actually needs £200 winter fuel allowance; free bus pass; TV licence etc. It has been calculated that an annual income oif £11k to £13k [depending on where you live] is the minimum a pensioner needs. Money would be much better, and more fairly, spent bringing the basic state pension up to that level. Moreover pensioners do not pay National Insurance on pension income - unlike someone in work on the same income. That is a 'perk' trhat swamps everything and there are no proposals to change that. One of our Lib Dem members writes: My pension income is about the same as average earnings - way below the 40% tax threshold - and I don't need these perks. The serious worry, which applies to elderly people whatever their income level, is how to cope with the costs of care. Instead of making stupid & irrelevant promises Cameron would do well to look seriously at what really matters to the elderly.

  • Article: Feb 25, 2015

    The 'Home Notes' magazine from May 1894* [yes that is the correct date] reported that ' Hundreds [of rail travellers] pay for a seat, think themselves lucky if they get even standing room. This overcrowding can be little better than the black hole of Calcutta. There is simply no excuse for this - - - but still, as far as can be seen, no effort is made to provide a sufficient number of carriages. Why, in the name of justice, should railway companies be allowed to herd their luckless patrons (or rather victims) together like sheep without fear of penalty?' Sound familiar to todays passengers? We don't make that much progress when it comes to the conflict between making money and giving customers a fair deal. The problem arises especially when there is no real 'market' so that competition cannot act as the provider of balance to the conflicting interests. Most current rail journeys in the UK are provided by what are in reality monopolies. Conservative ideology blinds it to the merits of an integrated national rail network, witness the zeal with which flogging the successful East Coast Trains back to a private sector that had twice failed was pursued. And before the 'Blame it all on the EU' brigade get excited the EU did NOT require privatisation [French & German railways are not privatised] nor was it a requirement to split into separate businesses for rail infrastructure and rail operations. The EU directive required that railways operate like a business and infrastructre simply be accounted for separately from operations. This is bog standartd stuff for any large multi faceted business.

  • Vince Cable
    Article: Feb 24, 2015

    The 'Business Bank' was set up in September 2012 with initially £1bn of new funds. This was part of the drive by Liberal Democrats in Government to switch our economic dependence away from financial and other services. At launch Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS), Vince Cable [pictured] identified five pillars to boost economic growth: Business Bank; Sector Strategies [in which advanced manufacturing was a priority]; Technologies [see Innovate UK - formerly Technology Strategies Board]; Skills [ apprenticeships etc.; Procurement [improved Government procedures and UK firms success]. On December 9th 2014 Vince Cable was able to announce that 2milllion apprenticeships had been created. This has been Liberal Democrat driven.

  • Article: Feb 23, 2015

    Victrex is a world leader in the development and production of specialist polymers. It is headquartered in Thornton. It is set to receive £1.3m from the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) to support the extension of their existing Research and Developoment facility. It is expected to create som 80 high quality jobs in the Blackpool, Fylde & Wyre area. Reform Energy's first Energy Recovery (Waste to Energy) received planning permission in December 2011 and work has now begun to prepare the site on Jameson Road Fleetwood for its new role. A further RGF grant of £2.5m for the Fleetrwood Fish Park will allow construction of the energy recovery plant is scheduled to take place during 2015 and it will become operational in 2017. The compaqny website says: 'As part of the integrated 'Generation & Regeneration' strategy in Fleetwood, Reform is working with local and regional stakeholders to finalise the design of a new fish processing park in the town. The facility will utilise the heat energy from the Reform plant for fish processing and refrigeration - significantly reducing the power consumption of the facilities and underpinning its economic performance'.

  • Nick Clegg at CRC with apprentices
    Article: Feb 23, 2015

    The establishment of the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) was announced on 29th June 2010 by LibDem Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg.. On Thursday 12 February 2015 Nick announced close to £300 million of extra funding to help regional businesses grow in the sixth round of funding In total, £2.85 billion has now been invested in regional companies, helping them to expand and take on more staff. Businesses across all industrial sectors will benefit from the funding, with over £1.1 billion being invested in manufacturing, including £364 million in automotive, £100 million in aerospace and £104 million for low carbon enterprises. Nick Clegg said: After decades of regional economies being neglected I set about investing directly in local businesses via the Regional Growth Fund. This investment has allowed regional businesses to be more ambitious than ever before and gone a long way in creating a stronger economy.That means providing equal opportunity for everyone across the UK, rather than solely relying on the city of London to bolster UK business. The success of the is proof that putting money in the hands of local businesses helps them flourish and creates opportunities for more people to work locally.

  • Article: Feb 22, 2015

    We are sorry that this weekly listing has stretched to three weeks. There have been a number of postings outlining various aspects of Libera Democrat child care policy. The vision is to create a world class early years education system. We have published the'Gove files' and frustrated Conservative ambitions to cut the education budget. There are also features about reducing the number of women in prison, FGM and ongoing violence towards women & girls overseas and increasing job opportunities for women. Fair taxes also continue to be addressed. LibDem Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, has written about tackling tax evasion and agressive tax avoidance, a subject he also discussed on the Andrew Marr show today (Sun 22nd Feb). LibDems continue their focus on NHS and mental health, and since imitation is supposed to be a high form of flattery we suppose we shoulkd bne pleased that David Cameron has jumped up in support. Combating terrorism without compromising the privacy of the law abiding is an ongoing dilemma especially high in the news at the moment with the missing schoolgirls and the murder of Coptic Christians. The good news is that employment is at a record high at 30.9m and inflation at a record low. LibDems continue to haul back the vindictiveness of the Conservatives whose latest welfare plans are all stick and no carrot.

  • Article: Feb 22, 2015

    Don't be taken in by the conversion of the Tories to manufacturing and trying to grab the glory for apprenticeships and so forth. The Conservatives heroine, Margaret Thatcher, enthusiastically set about rebalancing the economy. Sadly her ideology was based on a visceral hatred of Trade Unions so she 'rebalanced' in favour of financial and other service industries at the expense of manufacturing. That philosophy was enthusiastically continued by her successors, including the Blair/Brown era, right up until the financial meltdown in 2007. Indeed just weeks before it happened both Cameron & Brown were making speeches at functions largely populated by financial fat cats in which they told aforesaid fat cats what amazingly fine fellows they were. Only LibDem Vince Cable, in 2003, was warning of the dangers. Older Tories still visibly wince when reminded that one of Britain's most successful manufacturing companies today is Rolls Royce - rescued from oblivion by Tory Prime Minister Ted Heath in 1971 - for which his party never forgave him.

  • Chris Davies MEP
    Article: Feb 18, 2015

    Lib Dem councillors and others are being called upon mainly by greens and some socialists to oppose proposals for an EU-USA trade agreement. They should do no such thing.

    The official EU study suggests that a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (the 'TTIP'), by getting rid of unnecessary barriers on both sides of the pond, could open up export opportunities, create millions of jobs, reduce prices, and boost the EU economy by more than €100 billion a year. None of this should come as a surprise to Lib Dems. Our liberal tradition makes us the strongest promoters of free trade, and its expansion has lifted billions of people across the world out of poverty. Let's say that again. The expansion of trade has lifted billions of people out of poverty. The Manchester liberals who built the Free Trade Hall have been proven right many times over,

    So given the scale of unemployment across the European Union the negotiations should be good news But not to everyone it seems. Those who have convinced themselves that it is all a multinational capitalist trick are putting up a host of spurious arguments against it. According to them Europe's environmental standards will be destroyed, the NHS will be sold out, and democracy will be undermined by multinational companies. In my view it is all hooey.

    Don't get me wrong, there are legitimate concerns that must be addressed. The biggest of these is how we ensure that a regulatory process that seeks common ground between EU and USA standards does not unacceptably limit our ability to bring about change and improvement. Quite literally there is a trade-off here between the promotion of economic opportunities and democratic accountability.

    But what angers me is the way that the self-righteous opponents of trade twist the truth and pose as the only protectors of important principles. Well they are not. Reconciling the different systems in the USA and the EU is not easy but our governments negotiated the environmental and other standards we possess and don't want to see them undermined; the European Parliament (which has to assent to any trade deal) pressed mostly for even higher standards and doesn't want to see those we have undermined; and the European Commission proposed most of the standards that exist and doesn't want to see them undermined. I don't know whether an acceptable balance will be achieved, and lots of restrictions are bound to kept by both sides, but I do know that the EU negotiators are doing their best to achieve it.

    For the record, the NHS is a public service and cannot be sold out over the heads of our government - we have guarantees on that score. The proposed investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) procedure is intended to do just what it says, provide a means for settling disputes if governments introduce policy against the terms of the trade agreement. Procedures like this exist in just about every trade agreement the EU has ever made but even so the Commission is examining how to address the new concerns that have been raised.

    And, by the way, the EU trade commissioner in charge of the negotiations is Cecilia Malmstrom, a card-carrying Swedish Liberal and a tough cookie. I've known her as a friend she we were elected together in 1999 and she has my trust. I am absolutely sure that she is just as concerned about getting the balance right as anyone. The opponents of TTIP are doing a great job in selling their stories. I am going to be savage in response. I think some of these people are quite content that people stay unemployed in Europe so long as they get to bask in their self-satisfied belief that everyone is malign but them.

A £600 tax cut for every ordinary worker in the country Income Tax Halved for Someone on the Minimum Wage