Wednesday 28th January – Excellent speech on mental health and Q&A session with Norman Lamb MP – Minister for Health Care &Social at the University of Leeds. Wakefield’s Finbarr Cronin was there to meet Norman Lamb to discuss national policy on autism and increased NHS funding to tackle mental health.
Thanks to everyone who attended and helped make possible the Meet the Minister event, co-hosted with the brilliant Mind Matters society.
Liberal Democrats for Wakefield District & Morley are holding their Summer Garden Party on Friday 11th July at 5.30pm where there will be an opportunity to meet Greg Mullholland: MP for Leeds North West.
Everyone is welcome to this enjoyable event where there will be an opportunity to meet one of our local MPs. The event is also a fundraiser ready for next year’s general election. If you are keen to come and bring £10 on the day to buy your ticket, please contact David Smith (MP candidate for Wakefield) for more details:
The Liberal Democrats welcome George Osborne’s new commitment to a ‘HS3′ high-speed rail link between Manchester and Leeds, which could strengthen the North.
Nick Clegg has long believed that three cities – Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield – should become a ‘Northern golden triangle’ to drive economic growth in the North.
The Liberal Democrats have been working to rebalance the economy so that it benefits the whole country, rather than just the City of London.
The economic regeneration of the North is not going to be solved by improving transport links alone, so we will be setting out comprehensive plans soon to enhance the labour market and business environment across the North of England.
We hope that George Osborne will match his words with action by backing the Leeds City Region growth deal and its proposals for better transport links to other cities across the North
The government has today outlined plans to help fill more than 3 million potholes as part of a massive investment in the country’s local and major roads.
Councils across England have been allocated £168 million of funding from a Pothole Repair Fund, with which they are required to publish updates to local residents on how many potholes have been repaired.
This is part of the £24 billion which is being spent on England’s strategic road network between 2010 and 2021 – the biggest investment in the road network since the 1970s, which will contribute towards ensuring a strong economy.
Click here to view a map of the funding allocations for local authorities.
Legislation that will transform the Highway Agency is being considered in order to eliminate the uncertain ‘stop-start’ funding progress of the past and save the taxpayer at least £2.6 billion over the next 10 years.
The investment in the strategic road network is reflected by a further £7.4 billion committed to local roads in the next Parliament, along with funding from the £12 billion Local Growth Fund.
We are asking all authorities who are awarded funding to use the money to help repair potholes or to ensure that they do not appear in the first place
Ed Miliband has said that, under a Labour government, he would end entitlement to out-of-work benefits for 18 to 21 year olds refusing to take training courses.
This comes after Labour have opposed government reforms designed to make work pay and help people get on in life. By contrast, Liberal Democrats plans are working to help young people earn and learn, but we are trialling skills training for low-skilled young people to make sure that it is beneficial.
By refusing to give young people benefits, Labour will make it harder for young people to find work.
The Liberal Democrats believe in opportunities for young people. We will not scrap housing benefits for under 25s and we will still encourage young people to look for work, including learning on the job through apprenticeships.
In fact, we have introduced over a million apprenticeships for young people and youth unemployment is falling – down 100,000 over the past year. And as part of our Youth Contract we have made over 100,000 work experience placements available to young people.
Today, Norman Baker and Lynne Featherstone hosted faith and community leaders at the Home Office to discuss the unacceptable practice of female genital mutilation.
Attendees included representatives from organisations including the International Relief Foundation, FORWARD and the Muslim Women’s Network UK.
All representatives share the Liberal Democrats’ commitment to prevent and end this extremely harmful form of violence. By signing a joint declaration against the practice of FGM, they hope to send a clear message to communities across the UK that the practice is a form of violence and is not supported by any religious doctrine.
The final declaration will be signed by UK representatives of the world’s major religions during the government’s Girl Summit in July.
Minister for Crime Prevention, Norman Baker said:
“Female genital mutilation is a terrible practice that is not condoned by any religion.
“Political or cultural sensitivities must not get in the way of uncovering and stopping this abuse.
“The law in this country is clear but we need to win hearts and minds if we are to end FGM.
“Today’s summit is a landmark moment. By bringing together religious and community leaders to forge a commitment to condemn this shocking practice, we are working to support communities to abandon the practice themselves and to eliminate FGM within a generation.”
Regarded as a criminal offence in the UK, FGM is a human rights violation and can have a life long impact on survivors’ physical and psychological health.
Join our campaign to end female genital mutilation within a generation.
Employer intention to hire permanent staff reaches a record high, with eight out of ten planning to create more permanent jobs in the next quarter, according to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s JobOutlook survey of employers.
More than half of employers are planning to take on more agency staff. The survey also reveals that the proportion of employers saying they need new staff to meet increased demand has risen from 25% at the start of the year to 34%.
More than six in ten employers report that they have not reduced the cost of their workforce at all in the last year, either via redundancies, reduced pay or headcount freezes.
The report shows that business confidence is growing. This proves that the work that the Liberal Democrats are doing to create more jobs by investing in business sectors has taken effect.
Inflation fell more sharply than expected in May, driven by a sharp drop in air fares and retail prices, with food prices at their lowest level in eight years.
Figures show that inflation has fallen to 1.5%, lower than it has been in nearly five years. This has marked the fifth month in a row that it was below the 2% target.
These figures show that the Liberal Democrat plan for a stronger economy is working.
Danny Alexander commented on the good news:
“As a result of our role in Government, the Liberal Democrats have created the right climate for the recovery and the country is now getting back on the front foot.
Today’s inflation figures add to a developing pattern of low inflation, strengthening growth and high levels of job creation.”
Forcing someone to marry against their will becomes a criminal offence today. New legislation is designed to help people in England, Wales and UK nationals overseas who are at risk of becoming victims of forced marriage.
Forced marriage can lead to physical, psychological, emotional, financial and sexual abuse, including being held captive, assaulted and raped.
In 2013, the Forced Marriage Unit gave advice or support related to a possible forced marriage to over 1300 people. The new legislation has also given law enforcement agencies powers that will allow them to pursue perpetrators in other countries.
The legislation will also make it illegal to force a UK national into marriage outside the UK for the first time.
The maximum penalty for breaching a Forced Marriage Protection order is five years and/or an unlimited fine. Victims will have the choice to pursue a civil or criminal option.
Crime Prevention Minister Norman Baker said:
“Forced marriage is an appalling form of abuse which crosses borders and cultural boundaries. The scale of reported cases is deeply worrying, but this is just the tip of the iceberg.
“Legislation is the next key step in solving this problem and builds on the hard work already being done by the government and third sector organisations to tackle this practice.
“The message from the coalition government is clear – forced marriage is totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”
The Liberal Democrats will protect the full education budget in the next parliament, Nick Clegg announced today at his monthly press conference.
Currently funding is protected for children aged between 5 and 16, but Lib Dems would ringfence education spending for 2 to 19-year-olds.
This means that an extra £10billion of education spending would be protected based on this financial year, rising with inflation.
This fits in with last week’s anouncement that the Liberal Democrat manifesto will include a commitment to every child being taught a core curriculum by a properly qualified teacher.
A link to Nick’s speech can be found below: