Our District Council Candidates for Thursday 2nd May 2019

3rd April 2019 by Tom Comments Off on Our District Council Candidates for Thursday 2nd May 2019

The District Council elections are less than an month away!  Here’s some information on the candidates that are standing in Royston on behalf of the Liberal Democrats.

Royston Heath – Carol Stanier

Carol made her home in Royston nearly ten years ago and loves the area. She is an active Town Councillor for part of Heath ward and her young children attend a local school. This makes her passionate about children’s and family services, which are being cut back and back in the current climate. She is active in the community, running a local German conversation group and being involved in her school’s “Friends” group. She has campaigned on, amongst other things, the brown bin tax and on-street parking in Royston. As a scientist by training, she always tries to make decisions based on rational thought and evidence. Her experience of living abroad has taught her to be curious about and inclusive of other cultures and mindsets. She said “I have always been a Liberal Democrat supporter and voter, though I joined the party just after the referendum in 2016. Whether we are in or out of the EU, I want to make sure that the whole of the British people get the facilities and services that they require and deserve. I intend to be as approachable and open as possible to all those from my ward who come to me with ideas and questions, or asking for help.”

Royston Meridian – Peter Rice

Peter Rice is the Liberal Democrat candidate for the District Council elections in Meridian ward on Thursday 2nd May. A Royston resident himself, he is a professional open-source software developer for biology and medicine. He has been a church warden in Royston, and Hertfordshire chess captain. He has also represented Royston Bridge Club, winning twice. Peter took a lead locally campaigning for StrongerIn in 2016, helping to secure a victory for ‘Remain’ in North Hertfordshire, if not the wider country! Peter is passionate about improving parking in town and about protecting and enhancing Royston’s high street.

Royston Palace – Amy Di Capite

Amy relocated her young family from Cambridgeshire just over two years ago and now lives in the heart of Royston. Although currently a full-time mum, Amy has a degree in Chemical Engineering and previously worked on fluid flow for a Cambridge-based company. She is a frequent visitor and customer of Royston town centre and passionate about supporting the local businesses and regeneration of the High Street. Amy is the Liberal Democrat candidate for the District Council in Palace ward. She said, “I’m always out and about with my children using the public services and spaces Royston has to offer. As such, I want to help maintain and improve them for others to enjoy too.”

Ermine – Suzanne Anderton

Originally from the Peak District in Derbyshire, Suzie moved to the rural community of Barkway ten years ago. She is passionate about environmental issues, particularly the impact of single use plastics and the increase in the amount of plastic litter we see in our countryside and farmland. She commented “The volume of litter strewn across our country lanes and fields has grown at an alarming rate. It is worrying to see empty cans, bottles and plastic wrappers polluting the local farmland and ruining the beautiful countryside in which we live. More has to be done, on both a central and local government level, to ensure that litter and commercial waste is disposed of properly and where possible recycled.” Profoundly against Brexit Suzie believes that it is local businesses who are taking the brunt of the chaos currently being witnessing in Westminster. “The UK voting to leave the European Union saddens me greatly. I voted Remain and I still believe that as a nation we are stronger and more secure being in the EU rather than out. The Referendum was divisive and the result has split the nation. Regardless of what the future brings we now have to work together to unite our communities and regain trust with the people of this country who have lost faith in the political system. I believe that it is time to challenge the political status quo and that’s why Liberal Democrats supporters have to come together to challenge the Tories and Labour.”

Agent for all Royston and Ermine candidates: John Hully, 16 Betony Vale, Royston, SG8 9TS

 

East West Rail

11th March 2019 by Tom Comments Off on East West Rail

Plans are being developed for a rail link between Cambridge and Bedford, as part of a wider reinstatement of a railway line between Cambridge and Oxford (which was called the “Varsity Line”).  This brings a number of opportunities for residents of Royston as well as some concerns that we believe should be addressed.  The organisation set up to deliver this new rail infrastructure, the East West Railway Company, has recently asked local residents for their views on a number of route options.  We decided to make the following response:

East West Rail Route Options consultation
Response from Royston Liberal Democrat Councillors
11th March 2019

We write to you as Town, District and County Councillors for Royston, speaking independently of our respective councils.

We are supportive of the principle of improving transport connections in our local area, and we positively welcome increased rail connectivity as a sustainable transport solution in preference to construction or widening of roads.

However, we have two main concerns:

1. We are concerned about the prospect of a new town of 100,000 people being built at Bassingbourn. It can be assumed that a number of the residents of this new town will commute to London, which will require substantial infrastructure improvements in Royston which are not specified in the consultation documents. Examples of these improvements include additional rail services into London, improved car parking at Royston station and a cycle route linking the two towns including a bridge over the A505.

We therefore oppose routes A, C and D unless a detailed plan for the required infrastructure improvements in Royston can be provided.

2. We are also concerned about the potential impact on railway capacity into Cambridge. We understand that capacity at Cambridge is already limiting Royston services so any works to bring a further connection into Cambridge will need to expand capacity for the existing routes as well as accommodate the new route.

We therefore have concerns about (but do not specifically oppose) routes A, B, C, D and E unless rail capacity is improved in the required manner.

Thomas Perry (Town Councillor for Royston Town South)
Carol Stanier (Town Councillor for Royston Town South)
Steve Jarvis (County Councillor for Royston West and Rural)
Ruth Brown (District and Town Councillor for Royston Heath and Royston Town West)
Emma Squire-Smith (Town Councillor for Royston Town West)

 

Libraries to be “Outsourced”

25th February 2019 by The Lib Dem Team Comments Off on Libraries to be “Outsourced”

Conservatives at Herts County Council have decided to go ahead with a plan to “outsource” the running of all the county’s libraries.

This means that, rather than being run by the council, supervised by our county councillors, they will are likely to be run by some sort of trust. Just like the trusts that now run many other public services local people will have no say over its operation.

 

Parking Problems

18th February 2019 by The Lib Dem Team Comments Off on Parking Problems

Residents in Heath Avenue, Chilcott and Briary Lane have been telling Carol Stanier that they are fed up with their roads used being used as a town centre car park making it difficult to get out of drives and cutting visibility at junctions.

There was supposed to be a review of Royston’s parking problems which should have resulted in yellow lines or residents’ parking areas to address the problems. Unfortunately North Herts Council has been stalling on changes for nearly two years.

Carol Stanier has asked them to get a move on and get the problems sorted.

 

Street light success

11th February 2019 by The Lib Dem Team Comments Off on Street light success

All lights to stay on until 1.00 am

For several years Liberal Democrat County Councillors have been arguing that the street lights that are turned off at midnight should be kept on later. Particularly around town centres and stations there are people still making their way home at this time who need the lights to be on.

We are pleased to say that the County Council has eventually listened and agreed that street lights that have been converted to LEDs will be left on until 1.00 am rather than going off at midnight. This will be paid for by dimming the lights (which trials show most people don’t notice) after 9.00 pm. This means that there is no additional cost or energy usage.

We have actually come up with a way to save even more money and energy and leave town centre lights on until 2.00 am, but at the moment the Conservatives are refusing to do this.

 

Making Votes Matter

3rd January 2019 by Tom Comments Off on Making Votes Matter

Ian Stuart is one of our local Liberal Democrat members.  He recently visited Parliament to make the case for electoral reform to Sir Oliver Heald, our MP for North East Hertfordshire, and he’s written the following report for us:

It was a very interesting day organised by the group Make Votes Matter, who brought together representatives from around the country. After a briefing in a nearby church hall from national organisers and from two members of the House of Lords we made our way to Parliament in small groups for individually arranged meetings with MPs.

Security was very tight but we were relieved that the Brexit vote due to take place that same day had been postponed as otherwise MPs would understandably have potentially had to cancel at short notice.

I met Sir Oliver Heald in a Committee room (in fact next door to the room where the next day Prime Minister May held her party confidence vote!) and spent roughly 20 minutes discussing reform of the electoral system. He accepted that the current system is not ideal and needs reform although he has some reservations with regard to most PR systems, his primary concern being that it could lead to a weakening of the bond between MPs and the areas they represent. He accepted that Canada and the USA together with the UK are the only democratic countries that still use First Past the Post, but quite reasonably pointed out that the next 12 months will be extremely busy and that there is unlikely to be any movement towards reform in near future. A suggestion by myself that the current mess could perhaps have been avoided if we had a more representative House of Commons brought a wry smile!

It was an interesting and amiable conversation and to Sir Oliver’s credit he was very happy to engage with me, in contrast to many other MPs who I gathered had refused to meet with their constituents.

After the meeting, a group of 40 or 50 of us were addressed by Sir Vince Cable and Stephen Kinnock, both of whom took questions and encouraged us to keep up the pressure. Caroline Lucas of the Green Party also popped in.

I came away more than ever convinced that in order to achieve truly representative government in this country we need to reform our electoral system so that every vote matters.

 

Join us for our autumn quiz!

10th October 2018 by Tom Comments Off on Join us for our autumn quiz!

Date and time: Saturday 17th November at 19:00

Location: Market Hill Rooms, Royston

Tickets are £12 per person to enter and they include a choice of fish, chicken or veggie burger with chips for dinner.  We’re happy for people to come along in teams or alternatively to join a team when they come along.

Please let us know if you’d like to attend so we can estimate numbers in advance.

 

Councillor Paul Marment defects to the Lib Dems

17th August 2018 by Tom Comments Off on Councillor Paul Marment defects to the Lib Dems

Please welcome Councillor Paul Marment from Letchworth Grange to the party.

https://hitch-harp-libdems.org.uk/…/defection-letchworth-co…