Nick Clegg – “I am not the Kingmaker”

‘We’ve just returned from Birmingham as one of the delegates from Bury Liberal Democrats to the Party’s national Spring Conference.

There’s a link to Nick Clegg’s speech to Conference below – well worth a read. In a statement Nick said:

I’m not the kingmaker.

45 million voters are the kingmakers.

Today I’ve used my keynote speech to our Spring Conference in Birmingham to make that one very simple, very important point. Some days the papers say our party is doing a deal with Labour. Some days the Conservatives. But they can’t predict the future. I can’t predict the future.

Voters should give politicians their marching orders – not the other way around.

We’ve made it clear how our Party will change Britain.

Under the Liberal Democrats, no-one will pay tax on the first £10,000 they earn. That’s the most fundamental change to the tax system for decades.

We will give every child the fair start they deserve, by reducing class sizes and increasing one to one tuition in our schools.

We’ll rebalance the economy so that Britain is no longer just betting on things, but Britain starts building things again.

And we will build a clean, open, fair politics.

Things don’t have to be the way they are. The coming election is a chance to get fairness and to get change.

Almost 1 in 4 voters chose the Liberal Democrats at the last election. If that increased to 1 in 3, we could lead the next government.

That is what we can achieve together. Thank you for all you are doing to bring it about.

With all best wishes,

Bury Lib Dems Quiz Night this Friday

The Bury Liberal Democrats will be holding a fun quiz night on Friday 26th February.

The Grant Arms Hotel in Ramsbottom will be hosting us as we test to see if your brain has managed to defrost after the freezing winter! Entry cost is £15 per team,(max 6 per team) but if you can’t form a team, bring yourself along and we’ll make up some groupings on the night.

Start time is 7:30pm. 

We really hope to see you there – if you’d like more details, please get in touch.

Childrens Play at risk from dog mess

Children’s Outdoor play groups in the area are warning that dog fouling is threatening their future, making it unsafe for children to play outside. Local Liberal Democrat Councillors in Prestwich have called for the Council to fine offending dog owners and ask dog owners to be more responsible.
Cllr Andrew Garner, Sedgley ward Councillor, said “At a recent surgery we were told that a popular local children’s play group at St Mary’s Park is considering its future because the dog mess problem is so bad. Not only is it obviously unsightly, but it is a health hazard and children’s health are being put at risk. It’s very disappointing that beautiful parks are being spoiled like this, and that our children are suffering as a result.”
Local Councillors are calling on dog owners to take care that their pets don’t foul footpaths and park areas, and to clean up when this happens. There is growing anger that the Council are not doing enough to help residents with the problem and growing anger against selfish dog owners who don’t clean up after their pets.

A long-standing campaigner for Prestwich is Liberal Democrat Councillor for St Mary’s ward Donal O’Hanlon. He said “The Council have to do more to help us. Recently we discovered that Prestwich has significantly fewer dog waste bins than any other part of Bury. The Conservatives who run the town hall are neglecting Prestwich and it has to change. Where are our dog bins? Where are the dog wardens? Where are the clean up teams? This neglect of Prestwich from the Conservatives who run the Council is just not good enough, and now it’s harming our children.”


A Fair Start for Children

Today at a speech to Barnado’s Nick Clegg announced one of our four key policies for the General Election campaign ahead – A Fair Start for Every Child.

Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg today pledged to give every child a fair start in life by investing an extra £2.5bn in schools which could be used to cut class sizes, offer one-on-one tuition and provide catch-up classes.

In a speech to Barnardo’s this morning, Nick Clegg set out the Liberal Democrat manifesto pledge to introduce a Pupil Premium which would raise the poorest children’s school funding to private school levels.

Commenting, Nick Clegg said:

“One of the biggest challenges we face as a country is breaking this link between financial deprivation at home and educational under-achievement in the classroom.

“Despite all the money that has been spent by Labour, schools taking disadvantaged children aren’t getting the money they need to break this link by cutting class sizes and providing them with extra support.

“As we work our way out of this recession and rebuild a country which is fairer, we must ensure our school system gives every child a chance to fulfil their potential irrespective of their background and where they live.”

View a full copy of the speech here.

Read the rest of this entry.

Lib Dems in fairer tax pledge

Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg today pledged to put fair taxes at the heart of the party’s message to the British people.The party’s new tax plans will see tax cuts for millions of people, paid for by closing tax loopholes, making polluters pay and introducing a ‘mansion tax’ on homes worth over £2m.

Nick Clegg said:

“If you want to know how committed a government is to fairness then look at its tax system.

“Gordon Brown has created a tax regime that forces some of the lowest earners in society to pay hundreds of pounds in tax they can’t afford, while polluters and rich  tax dodgers avoid paying their fair share.  

“Meanwhile the Conservatives want tax cuts for millionaires, but say there might be tax rises for everyone else.

“Under our plans people won’t pay a penny on the first ten thousand pounds they earn. That would put £700 back in the pockets of the vast majority of tax payers, and take millions of people on low pay out of paying income tax altogether.

“Our plans represent the most radical, far reaching tax reform in a generation.

“They embody everything the Liberal Democrats stand for: fairness, protecting the environment, rewarding hard work.

“It is right to ask those with the broadest shoulders to bear a little more of the burden so that millions of people on normal earnings get the break they desperately need.”

Send a Message on Climate Change

Next month, members of the United Nations meet in Copenhagen for vital talks on securing a new worldwide response to climate change.

On the Saturday beforehand, December 5, thousands of people will march in London to demand the Government goes further in cutting carbon emissions.

Nick Clegg and Simon Hughes will be leading Liberal Democrats on the march. All Lib Dems are urged to join them. Here’s why:

We are the party that has the courage to tackle climate change in Britain. We will go furthest on cutting carbon emissions. Go furthest in generating renewable energy. And go furthest in insulating homes.

But climate change can only be tackled by global action – and that is why the Copenhagen conference is so important. It could prove to be the most important in our lifetimes.

The march on December 5 is a chance for us to show the Government how strongly people in Britain feel. We can’t let this opportunity pass. And a strong Liberal Democrat presence on the march will send a clear message to the nation that we are the only party with the ambition and policies to reverse climate change.

Please let us know that you are going to be able to take part in the day of action in December 5th by signing up here.

Bury Liberal Democrats Annual Dinner 2009

The Woodthorpe Hotel in prestwich hosted the fourth Bury Liberal Democrats Annual Dinner on Friday 6th November.

This year we were joined by guest speaker Andrew Stunell MP, the Liberal Democrat MP for Hazel Grove. Mr Stunell is the vice chair of the Lib Dem General Election campaign, and is also a member of the House of Commons International Development Select Committee. He had returned from a fact-finding trip to Nepal and Bangladesh less than 24 hours before his appearance in Prestwich, but overcame the jet-lag to entertain the many members of the Bury Lib Dems who came together for the meal.

There was a special presentation made to David Foss, the newly elected Honourary President of the Bury Liberal Democrats. David is a long-standing party member and activist who’s decades of contributions to the local party were recognised on Friday. The picture above sees David (centre) flanked by Vic D’Albert, our parliamentary candidate for Bury South, and Andrew Stunell MP.

As well as Mr Stunell’s speech, and some high quality food, there was also a raffle and some fund-raising activities. Plans are already under way for the fifth annual dinner next year, but not before a range of other social events for members, activists, helpers and anyone else interested in the Bury Lib Dems, starting with the Christmas party next month. Just get in touch to find out more.

The photograph below shows Cllr Wilf Davison and his wife Maureen, two of the other guests at Friday night’s Annual Dinner.

Nick Clegg’s Speech to Party Conference 2009


Nick Clegg\'s Speech to Conferece 2009

Nick Clegg: Conference 2009

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.”

Nick Clegg

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.

Read the rest of this entry. Read the rest of this entry. Read the rest of this entry.

Conference Report

Last week was the main Autumn Federal Conference for the Liberal Democrats – back in Bournemouth for the second year running.

Bury Liberal Democrats were this year represented by Council Group Leader Cllr Tim Pickstone and Deputy Group Leader Cllr Andrew Garner and by Philip Garner.

Conference news stories include:
Think big, choose a better future – Nick Clegg speech
Liberal Democrats back plans for 20 hours of free childcare
Kirsty Williams’ speech to the Conference
Lib Dems call for real action to help the people of Gaza
Lib Dems fight for post office investment
Lib Dems say no to titan prisons, yes to more police
Liberal Democrats back plans to cut primary class sizes to 15 

Vince Cable’s speech to the Conference
Simon Hughes’ speech to the Conference
Lib Dems back plans to scrap tuition fees
Lib Dems set out plans to bring the City to heel
Lib Dems kick off spring conference (preview)

Here’s Vince Cable’s speech to conference:

The following Conference videos can be viewed by clicking below:
Nick Clegg’s keynote speech part one
Nick Clegg’s keynote speech part two
Leader of the Welsh Lib Dems, Kirsty Williams’ speech
Vince Cable’s speech on the economic crisis
Former Chairman of the US Democratic Party, Governor Howard Dean’s speech
Simon Hughes’ speech on environmental sustainability

Fundraising and Socials Autumn/Winter 2009

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!

Bury Lib Dems Barbeque 2009
“Summer” Barbeque

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

“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

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.