This was Nick’s speech to Party Conference – Nick Clegg, Leader of the Liberal Democrats: Speech to Conference 2009.
My favourite quote? “If you supported Labour in 1997 because you wanted fairness. You wanted young people to flourish. You wanted political reform. You wanted the environment protected. Or you simply believed in a better future. Turn to the Liberal Democrats. We carry the torch of progress now.”
In the last eight weeks, 28 British soldiers and Royal Marines have been killed in Afghanistan. However easy it may be to forget, we are a nation at war. Already more than 75,000 British men and women have done tours of duty in Afghanistan.
Thousands upon thousands of our compatriots, putting their lives on the line in the burning heat and the frozen winters of a country on the other side of the world. I want to pay tribute, on behalf of all of us, to the tenacity, bravery and extraordinary professionalism of every one of them. Their families, too, have borne with incredible fortitude the separation, the fear, and the anguish of bereavement. We salute them.
I’m afraid the hardship has been deepened, for all of them, by the enormous difficulties of this war. After nearly 8 years, victory not only seems more distant than ever, failure seems inevitable unless we change course.
Nick Clegg, Leader of the Liberal Democrats has launched this message for anyone who’s ever voted for the Green Party, or is thinking about doing so at the next general election. He’s asking you to lend your vote to the Liberal Democrats in 2010, to stop climate change.
Nick says: “This election is our best chance – it’s probably our last chance – to get a government that acts to cut carbon emissions and protect our planet for our children. This is not a time for people who care about the environment to quarrel between ourselves. This is a time for unity.
I understand completely why people are drawn to the Green Party. Lots of people tell me they know the Greens can’t win, but they want to send a message that the environment matters. I understand that.
But the time for sending messages is over. Climate scientists tell us the next government will be the last one that can stop dangerous climate change. So it’s time for action. Only a party that has real power and influence at the heart of government will be able to make it happen.
There has been too much hot air from Labour and the Conservatives. If either of them is given a free rein in the next Parliament, they will fall short of what’s needed. They will kow-tow to business interests and political pressure. We cannot afford to let that happen.
That’s where the Liberal Democrats come in. We can make the difference.
Already, there are 150 Liberal Democrats MPs and peers in Parliament. Our votes in Parliament got a “feed in tariff” put into law to encourage renewable energy. Our votes forced the government to commit to smart meters in every household. Our votes forced companies to report their greenhouse gas emissions. We are a force for real green change, not just green words.
Just imagine what we could achieve in the next Parliament, with your help. We will demand 10% cuts in emissions in 2010, like the brilliant 10-10 campaign is fighting for. We will demand a real commitment to renewable energy. We will demand Britain be set on course to a zero carbon future. And if – with your help – our voice is strong enough, we will succeed.
Many people vote for the Green Party for good reasons. But time is running out, and a vote for a party that probably won’t win a single MP is a wasted vote. The best bet for all environmentalists is to unite under the banner of the only green party that’s actually got power in Parliament. With your support, the Liberal Democrats will be bigger and stronger than ever, and we will force through the change you want – the change our planet needs.
The clock is ticking. Climate change is worsening. We have one planet, and no second chances. So let us have one voice, too. Lend your vote to the Liberal Democrats, and stop climate change before it is too late.”
“Overcrowding on Greater Manchester’s Trains could get worse,” says Transport Chief Keith Whitmore
Overcrowing on Greater Manchester’s trains could get worse if Department of Transport (DFT) rules lead to five trains, currently used betweeen Oldham and Manchester, being mothballed next month,” says Cllr Keith Whitmore – the first-ever Liberal Democrat Chairman of the Greater Manchester Integrated Transport Authority (GMITA).
Cllr Whitmore said:
“Due to Transport Authority activities in Greater Manchester, we will next month begin conversion of a train line from Oldham to Manchester to carry Trams. When this happens, five trains will become available. We believe that the DFT’s super profits, raised from North West rail companies, should be used to allow those five trains to continue operating in Greater Manchester, where they will be invaluable in relieving some of the chronic overcrowding we experience.”
“The DFT has refused to make any funding available and have instead decided that these trains will be put into cold storage, very likely never to see the light of day again in our area. This is frankly scandalous.”
Please find below details of the social and fundraising programme for Bury Liberal Democrats over Autumn and Winter 2009 and into 2010.
All of these everts are open to any supporter of the Liberal Democrats – you’re all very welcome!
Summer Barbeque Sunday 6 September 2009 from 4.00pm
82 Glebelands Road, Prestwich M25 1NJ
We’re holding a late summer BBQ fundraiser social on Sunday 6th September from 4pm at (our home) Ann & Andrew’s house, Prestwich. All Lib Dems welcome. Please bring a contribution towards food/wine and £5 per person (inc prize draw). Hope you can join us from around 4pm. RSVP Ann & Andrew Garner (0161) 798 0117 or firstname.lastname@example.org
“Pies and Politics” Friday 16 October 2009 7.00pm
15 Lowther Close, Prestwich M25 9LN
Our St Mary’s’ Councillor, Donal O’Hanlon is inviting us to his home for an informal discussion night on the “Responding to the Credit Crunch”. Its free, and we just share the cost of the pies between us – bring a bottle if you can.
Annual Dinner Friday 8 November 2009 7.00pm
Woodthorpe Inn, Bury Old Road
Tickets £27.50 pp However, if you are an organised early bird and you book AND paid for before 30th September, you dine at 2008 prices iof £25 per person. Table of 6, your table price is £137.50 (ie one place free). Contact Clr Vic D’Albert to book. Please make cheques payable to “Bury Liberal Democrats” and send to 17 Prestwich Park Road South, Prestwich, Manchester M25 9PF or cash in person. 0161 773 9905 email@example.com
Christmas Thank You Party Sunday 13 December 2009 – 4.00-8.00pm
17 Prestwich Park Road South, Prestwich M25 9PF
The Lib Dem Council Group say “thank you” for all your help over the year. FREE food festivities – if you want to bring something to drink that’s great!
“Pizza and Politics” Friday 23 January 2010 7.00pm
27 Butterstile Close, Prestwich M25 9PH
Bury North Prospective Parliamentary Candidate and St Mary’s’ Councillor, Richard Baum is inviting us to his home for an informal discussion night – topic to be confirmed nearer the time. Its free, and we just share the cost of the pizzas between us – bring a bottle if you can.
Council graffiti response “woefully inadequate” say local Lib Dems
Local Councillors have reacted with anger after another spate of graffiti in Prestwich, and are calling on the Council to take immediate action to clean up the mess.
Cllr Vic D’Albert, Liberal Democrat Councillor for Holyrood ward and Chair of Prestwich Local Area Partnership said “I am disgusted that vandals continue to bring misery to local people by daubing our streets with graffiti. And I am equally angry with the Council’s woefully inadequate response. This has been going on for too long now, and it’s about time action was taken. The Local Area Partnership and the Police are already using very tight resources to try to manage this problem, but the Council need to take action now to help us and clean up the streets”
Liberal Democrats at Bury Town Hall have been campaigning for action for months. At a Council meeting in February they staged a demonstration displaying photographs of graffiti which has blighted Prestwich for months. The Council have offered graffiti kits for residents and businesses, but have so far directed no extra resource to clear up a problem which is getting worse.
Lib Dem spokesperson for Environmental Service Cllr Ann Garner said “The graffiti is on everything from streets signs to walls, and from utility buildings to business property. Graffiti kits are not a suitable solution except in limited circumstances. The Council have the power to insist that utility companies clean up graffiti on their property, and need to direct real efforts into cleaning it from their own property. I am proud of what Prestwich has to offer, and it is being ruined by graffiti which goes uncleaned for months.”
Cllr D’Albert concluded “We need to work together on this. Prestwich Councillors are doing their bit by leading the community fight. The Police did their bit by catching offenders, and we are supporting them to try to catch the latest offenders. But the Council are letting us down. They need to take action to clean up Prestwich now. “
Notes to Editor
Cllr Vic D’Albert is the Chair of Prestwich Area Partnership and is a Councillor for Holyrood Ward in Prestwich
Cllr Ann Garner is the Lib Dem Spokesperson on the Environment and is a Councillor for Sedgley Ward in Prestwich
PROPOSALS from the Liberal Democrats for big improvements to schools and teaching will see around £11 million of extra cash for schools in Bury to boost the education and life chances of thousands of children say local party members.
The plans were launched by Party Leader Nick Clegg and Shadow Secretary of State for Schools, David Laws MP. They call for raising standards in all local schools; closing the gap between children from rich and poor families and ending the era of Government meddling in education.
Speaking about the proposals to a meeting of members and residents, Councillor Tim Pickstone, who leads the Lib Dems in Bury said:
“There are a number of radical ideas to ensure all young people get the best start in life. The extra cash will make a real difference in our local schools.
“I am particularly pleased that funding is proposed to cut infant class sizes to private school levels of 15.
“We will also introduce a £2.5bn Pupil Premium, to ensure that extra funding goes to the pupils with the highest needs, whichever school they are in. And some of that extra money will pay for after school and Saturday classes, and extended school days.
“We will also get central government off the back of schools, teachers and pupils. The days of ministers in Whitehall stifling schools and interfering with everything that happens in the classroom must end.
“Schools here in Bury need to be freed to teach children rather than spend their time obeying ministerial orders and trying to achieve government targets.
“The schools proposals put forward by the Liberal Democrats will go a long way to ensuring that the many thousands of local children who go to local schools have at least as good a start in life as the small number who are educated privately.”
The proposals will be debated at the party’s spring conference in Harrogate in March.
Liberal Democrats on Bury Council are “ashamed” of the treatment of Council staff in the recent Pay and Grading review, according to Liberal Democrat Group Leader Cllr Tim Pickstone.
Cllr Pickstone, speaking at the meeting of Bury Council on February 4th, said “In all honesty, I was ashamed of the review. I was ashamed that that staff were sent letters saying that their salary would drop – only to be sent new letters a couple of months later saying that the rates would fall even more, and ashamed that staff were sent dismissal letters giving over the Christmas holidays, and then saw them withdrawn because of a lack of consultation.”
The Liberal Democrats supported a motion of no confidence in the Conservative Leader of the Council, Cllr Bob Bibby. But Cllr Pickstone said “It is true that the Conservatives run the Council and must take much of the blame for this calamity, but there has been a breakdown in relations between the Council and its staff representatives, and in my view the Labour Party must also take their share of blame because they were in control of the Council when this started.
Liberal Democrat spokesman for Resource and Performance, Cllr Richard Baum said “The Council has not been at its best whilst the Conservatives have been running this process. The Tories made a mockery of the scrutiny process by bending the rules around how decisions are overseen by the Council, and have consistently refused offers of help from other parties to try and work this out.”
Liberal Democrats in Bury have elected local Councillor Richard Baum as the party’s general election candidate for the Bury North constituency. He was unanimously elected at a special meeting of local party members in Elton on November 10th.
Richard, 27 and a mental health services manager is a life-long Bury resident and has been a Councillor for St Mary’s ward in the Borough since May 2007. Richard said “I am absolutely delighted to have been elected to stand for Parliament in my home town and for a party that I believe in. It really is an honour.”
Bury Lib Dem’s new Chair Nissa Finney congratulating our new Parliamenary Candidate for Bury North Richard Baum
Richard is the Liberal Democrats’ Resource spokesman on Bury Council, and has been active in many local campaigns in recent years. As well as campaigning to save local post offices and schools, Richard has led the local anti-Congestion Charge campaign, and just last week secured unanimous Council backing after Lib Dem calls for Council action against the Credit Crunch. Richard continued “I look forward to working hard on behalf of the people of Bury North on the issues that affect us all, and where the Lib Dems offer real and sensible alternatives, like the economy, crime, education and the NHS. I know that I will be part of a strong Lib Dem team in Bury North, and I am very excited about the next election when we can take the fight to Labour and the Conservatives.”
With Greater Manchester’s transport referendum three weeks away, a new survey reveals one in three Bury households would pay the congestion charge regularly.
Details of the congestion charge element of the Transport Innovation Fund (TIF) bid were explained to 500 Bury residents, they were then asked whether their household expected to pay regularly, 33% said yes.
The results directly challenge repeated advertising claims that nine out of ten people won’t pay the charge.
The survey was carried out for the Stop the Charge coalition of MPs, council leaders and 260 businesses by independent polling company Populus.
Bury Lib Dem Leader Councillor Tim Pickstone is a part of the Stop the Charge coalition”This survey makes it absolutely clear one in three households will be hit by the congestion charge. It is common sense that many will pay twice, if more than one person drives at peak times. One in 10 Greater Manchester residents will also pay the full charge of £1,200 a year.
“Hard working families will have to find up to £1,200 a year, that’s 8% of average take home pay for people in Great Manchester. Even paying £3 to cross the outer ring will be £700 a year, equating to 5% of the average salary – this would require a huge pay rise just to break even. This will also clearly have a strong knock on effect for our whole economy, leaving a lot less money in people’s pockets.
“Liberal Democrats in Bury are steadfastly committed to improvements to public transport and to tackling environmental damage. But this charge of working families is simply not a fair way to achive what needs to be done. I urge everyone to vote no in the referendum.”