May 24th, 2013 by neildarby
The Liberal Democrat and Labour group have come to a provisional agreement regarding the future administration of Lancashire County Council.
A statement from the Liberal Democrat group says, “The Liberal Democrat and Labour groups acknowledge that no party has overall control of the county council. Both groups are fully committed to ensure we provide the people of Lancashire with services in an open and democratic way, and ensure the county council has a strong, stable and open leadership.
This is an agreement to support the Labour Party to form a minority administration on the basis of supporting their nomination for Leader of the county council.
Whilst other matters which go to Full Council will be decided on a case by case basis (supply and confidence), it is our full intention wherever possible to reach a consensus on policy and budget decisions before Full Council meetings.
More information will follow, however you can download the agreement by clicking on this link.
May 23rd, 2013 by neildarby
An agreement has been reached by negotiators from the Labour and Liberal Democrat groups on Lancashire County Council under which the Liberal Democrats would support the Labour Party in a minority administration.
The agreement will be put to meetings of the Labour and Liberal Democrat groups before tomorrow’s Annual Meeting of Full Council.
Full details of the agreement will follow ratification later today.
The county council held its elections on 2 May 2013 at which point no party had gained the 43 seats necessary to take control of the council. The full results were:
Liberal Democrats 6
Green Party 1
May 22nd, 2013 by neildarby
Liberal Democrats are continuing their negotiations with both Labour and the Greens to get a better deal for Lancashire.
County Councillor Bill Winlow said today, “We have been in intensive discussions with other parties since the local elections earlier this month. These discussions have been based around a policy document produced by the Liberal Democrats, in which we call for support for the vulnerable, pursuit of shared services with districts and the provision of an infrastructure that will provide for sustainable economic growth for the whole county.”
LibDems proposed a rainbow alliance in order to address the difficult financial situation faced by the County. With no single party winning a mandate, we had hoped that all parties would put aside their political differences and work together. County Hall needs to save £1 in every £3 it currently spends in order to make the books balance over the next 4 years.
We regret that the Conservatives have broken off talks. Despite extensive efforts on our part the Conservatives showed little intention to conclude an agreement.
The Liberal Democrats will nonetheless continue to talk to both the Greens and Labour in the hope of joining with them in a progressive administration for the benefit of Lancashire residents. We recognise that some of the proposals we put forward will cost more and as such when we come to set the budget in February 2014, there will need to be strict budgetary control of the County’s finances.
These policies all form part of the Liberal Democrat’s call for a Greener, Fairer and Stronger Economy for Lancashire.
May 16th, 2013 by neildarby
Neil Darby is urging communities in Preston to apply for the new £6m First World War: then and now fund, which the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has launched.
HLF is making at least £1m available per year until 2019 to provide grants of between £3,000 and £10,000. The money will enable groups across the UK to explore, conserve and share their First World War heritage and deepen their understanding of the impact of the conflict.
Communities can apply for grants for a variety of different projects, which could include:
- Researching, identifying and recording local heritage
- Creating a community archive or collection
- Developing new interpretations of heritage through exhibitions, trails, smartphone apps, etc.
- Researching, writing and performing creative material based on heritage sources
- Conservation of war memorials
Commenting, Neil Darby said:
“The First World War had an unprecedented impact on our communities, with so many young men leaving for the front. Few people are alive now who can give us a first-hand account of this period but the legacy they have left behind can still be felt and seen.
“The Heritage Lottery Fund will allow our communities to mark the centenary. I want to encourage those who want to commemorate the centenary to get in touch with the HLF and see if they can tap into this new fund.
“This anniversary will be a poignant time for local people. I look forward to working with different groups to bring the stories from that time alive and preserve our heritage for future generations.”
May 5th, 2013 by neildarby
Liberal Democrat Leader on Lancashire County Council, County Councillor Bill Winlow, has today called for an all party coalition to run Lancashire. Following the local elections on Thursday May 2nd, no party won enough seats to set up an administration. “I have contacted both the Labour and Conservative Party leaders to say that we are willing to enter discussions about the establishment of the new administration to run Lancashire. No meetings have yet taken place” says Bill. “In the view of the Liberal Democrat Group, Lancashire faces serious financial problems over the next four years with a predicted cut in our revenue budget of about £250m, one third of our budget.
“For the sake of the people of Lancashire we need to Focus on the services that Lancashire County Council offers them because our job is to provide those services for the people who need them, particularly the vulnerable elderly and young and those with disabilities. This means that we will need to make radical changes in how the county is to be run including:
- more shared services between the county and districts
- reducing energy costs by generating energy from council assets and by better insulation
- sharing services with mutually owned enterprises and the private sector as appropriate.
“I am therefore calling for early talks for us to set up an all party coalition to run Lancashire for the next four years in the interests of Lancashire people rather than for narrow political advantage”
April 30th, 2013 by neildarby
Today is pay day for millions of people across Britain, which means they will receive their first pay slip since the Income Tax personal allowance was raised from £8,105 to £9,440. When Liberal Democrats came into power in 2010 this was just £6,475.
Raising the tax-free allowance is the Liberal Democrats’ flagship policy and has so far seen Income Tax bills slashed by £600 a year for millions of low and middle income workers compared to what they were paying under Labour. As a result, more than 2m people on low pay have been lifted out of paying Income Tax altogether.
The tax-free allowance will rise again next year to £10,000, fulfilling a commitment from the front page of the Liberal Democrats’ 2010 General Election manifesto and resulting in a total tax cut of £700.
Commenting, Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander said:
“If you get paid today, take a moment to compare your pay slip to last month’s. You’ll see that Liberal Democrats have cut your taxes.
“From this month, the Liberal Democrats will have lifted 2m people out of Income Tax and given a tax cut of £600 to more than 20m people.
“It has taken the Liberal Democrats being in Government to deliver the largest programme of tax cuts for working people for a generation.
“The Liberal Democrats are the only party that will radically cut taxes for people on low and middle incomes to build a stronger economy and a fairer society so that everyone can get on in life.”