On 28th August 2019, The British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, launched an assault on the heart of our democracy and requested proroguation of Parliament in order to to drive through a no-deal, hard Brexit, against the majority wishes of Parliament, that will be catastrophic for the vast majority of British people and EU citizens currently living in the UK.
Paul Zukowskyj calls on everyone who values our precious democracy to join us and send a clear message: This Tory tyranny can not and will not be allowed to succeed.
Last year Lib Dem Councillor, Tamsin Jackson-Mynott, instigated trials of verge meadows, as an alternative to cropping the grass on a very short cut every few weeks.
The meadow verges being trialed are now in bloom and are thriving with life. Sandwiched between the A1 and B197 there is now a mini meadow full of bees, beetles, damsel flies, moths, butterflies and many more; at Southway there is even more - Knapweed, Vetch, Red Clover, Birdsfoot Trefoil, Hawksbit, Cowslips and a host of fine grasses so important to productive habitats. At the Community Orchard at Woodhall Open Space the pollinators finally have proper habitat to breed - which means more fruit for residents to enjoy!
Tamsin is thrilled with the progress of the meadow verges: “With proper management these will flourish and improve year on year with more flowers and habitat and so more lovely bugs and beasts can thrive within them. In future there may well be some planting required to improve on this year’s success, but given that one update I posted on social media last week had over 250 positive responses so far asking for more, I would love to deliver this for residents.”
Liberal Democrats have reacted angrily to news that the Urgent Care Centre at the QE2 may close at night, making the whole of Eastern and Central Herts depend on the Lister.
“I know Lister A and E and Urgent Care Centre is overwhelmed – I was there for around 5 hours recently” said LibDem council group leader Malcolm Cowan. “Having people like me sent up to Stevenage is one of the reasons it is overwhelmed. We need a publicity effort to tell people they can be treated locally at QE2. We are losing everything to Lister, after we were told the Urgent Care Centre – already a step down from a full A and E service – would be available 24/7. And for anyone without access to a car, this is even worse, buses become almost non-existent in the evenings, let alone overnight when an expensive taxi is all that is available”.
We are proud to announce that we have asked for a Special Meeting of Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council on June 19th to declare a Climate Emergency.
It would be great to have lots of support there, to show that the people of Welwyn Hatfield really do care about the future of our planet.
The meeting is scheduled for 7:30pm in the Council Chamber, Campus East, Welwyn Garden City AL8 6AE
Welwyn Hatfield Liberal Democrats have welcomed the announcement by the Save Gosling Campaign to a room full of sports hall building users last Wednesday, of a deal with Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) to potentially see squash and badminton continue for up to another 5 years. This follows GLL’s shock announcement on Xmas Eve that they would close the building from 31 March, subsequently extended to end June, and now to end September.
However, the deal means the daytime use of the sports hall building will be very limited, and many groups who currently use the facilities will not be able to, and in any case relies on Hertfordshire Police also taking a five year deal.
“It was a fantastic night for Remain and the Lib Dems” says Cllr Macolm Cowan. “Nationally and locally our positive, unambiguous Remain message has knocked Tories and Labour sideways. In Welwyn Hatfield, in the May elections we achieved 33% of the vote and in these elections we are now a strong challenger for the Grant Shapps’ seat, having got more votes than Labour and the Conservatives put together.”
In the Remain/Leave battle here, the vote was a clear win for Remain with the parties with a clear remain message (Lib Dems , Greens and ChUK) taking 41.5% of the vote share with leave parties (Brexit Party and UKIP) trailing with 36%. “I hope Grant learns the lesson after all his switching sides – Remain is well ahead and he backs our strong pro-Europe view”.
It is with deep regret that we have to report that have been unable to negotiate a power sharing agreement with Labour after the recent May elections. Such an agreement would have taken the Tories out of power.
We have had three meetings with Labour over the past week, two positive and encouraging but the third, sadly, not.
As Labour have one more councillor than us (13 Labour to our 12 Lib Dem councillors) we had quickly acquiesced to their request to hold the Leader and Mayor roles within a joint administration. Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council operates on a “cabinet” model, similar to central government, and as such, we were seeking broad equality with Labour in the number of cabinet posts our councillors would hold. We were also seeking limited control over the budget, in order that we could deliver on the promises we have made to the residents of Welwyn Hatfield.
Whilst Labour did eventually concede an additional cabinet place (although this just shared our existing agreed roles and therefore offered no increase in scope) they refused to allow us any control over any part of the Council budget whatsoever. We were seeking a mere 0.2% of the budget, to be shared equally between all wards irrespective of party, as a locality fund to support local projects. Had they agreed, Labour would still have retained effective control over the remaining 99.8% of the budget. Labour’s inflexibility and lack of goodwill on this issue was a matter of extreme concern to all involved in the negotiations and did not provide the foundations on which we felt future constructive governance could be built.
We hope that residents understand why we could not go into a close relationship like this on the basis of Labour's calls to “trust us”, without any binding commitment on their part. How many people would go enter into a personal or business relationship on such a basis?
Welwyn Hatfield is finally free from decades of Conservative rule as the LibDems gain four seats, in Panshanger (Jane Quinton), Sherrards (Frank Marsh), Handside (Anthony Dennis), and Peartree (Jayne Ranshaw) as well as successfully defending Welham Green and Hatfield South (Jaida Caliskan). The Council is now made up of 23 Conservatives, 13 Labour and 12 LibDem councillors.
In Handside Ward, Anthony Dennis scored the biggest vote of the night – with 1488 votes, and a majority of 821, in a ward were three years ago it went to three re-counts.
They also came within 31 votes of a seat in Hatfield East and won three seats on Hatfield Town Council where they now hold the balance of power – both Tory and Labour parties have six each.