Legal aid expert selected as Lib Dem candidate for Bristol North West

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Legal aid expert selected as Lib Dem candidate for Bristol North West

After stunning results in the EU elections, securing two new MEPs and topping the polls in Bristol North West, the Liberal Democrats look poised for success with a top legal aid expert. Liberal Democrat members have selected criminal defence and prison law specialist Chris Coleman to be their candidate for the parliamentary constituency. Chris is an experienced campaigner and has been a county and borough councillor, holding the cabinet portfolio for the green environment on Cheltenham borough council.

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Climate Change - We must act fast

Roof with solar panels

While Brexit sucks energy from us all, climate change, a much bigger problem, is slipping under the radar. Yet young people are highlighting the issues through their marches and passionate speeches to our politicians.

Individually, we can make changes.
Is your electricity generated by renewable resources, for instance? Not only is that good for the environment but, thanks to Lib Dems in the coalition government, it is cheaper.
Sadly, the Conservatives in 2015 reversed many of our initiatives including selling off the Green Investment Bank. Short-termism overrode longer vision and will, in time, cost us dearly.
‘Decarbonising Capitalism’ is a Lib Dem aspiration. If we want to give our young people a decent world to live in, politicians must act with speed and fearless determination!
Read more: https://www.libdems.org.uk/climate-crisis-3-steps


Golden Goodbye: embarrassment for Bristol

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Local campaigner Graham Donald has consistently pursued the pay-off to former city council CEO Ms Klonowski in September 2017.

She was CEO for just seven months and was said to have left her employment voluntarily, yet received a payment now known to be £98k.
The Mayor told Graham that this payment was “contractual”. It has now emerged that it was not. Instead of seeking approval from his own HR Committee, the Mayor acted on external legal advice, which he refuses to disclose. A recent auditors’ report was damning.
Graham complained at Full Council that he had been fobbed off by the Mayor at every turn. Clearly there is more to discover.

As a Bristol resident, Graham said that he was embarrassed to read such an indictment of poor practice.


Best ever local election

New Liberal Democrat councillors elected across the South West

On 2nd May, the Liberal Democrats achieved our best ever local election results. We gained over 700 councillors and now run many more councils.
In the South West of England, we won Bath & North East Somerset, Cotswolds, North Devon, Teignbridge and Somerset West & Taunton – Graham’s home town.
The Westbury and Henleaze team were out helping Liberal Democrats in neighbouring areas with their local campaigns.
Just one example: residents in Stoke Park and Cheswick (near UWE) have a new young Councillor – James Arrowsmith.

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MYFIRSTMILE links Henleaze to Gloucester Road

MyFirstMile is an innovative taxi service which plugs gaps to bring the rapid bus networks closer to home.

Public transport can be efficient at ferrying lots of people along popular routes, but those routes don’t always connect so easily to “home”.

In an attempt to reduce car journeys, MYFIRSTMILE connects commuters in Henleaze and Westbury Park to popular bus services on the Gloucester Road.

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Will Bristol Libraries be talked into oblivion?

We are underwhelmed by the city council’s latest report on libraries, discussed by Cabinet on 2 October. 

The report says that a strategy will be developed, with “community conversations” about the service and the use of buildings, as well as upgrading of equipment.  The report says, after all the work done on alternative models, that the service will be council run.

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Unlawful SEND cut BLOCKED

Labour-run Bristol City Council has finally abandoned its plans to slash funding for children with special educational needs and disabilities following a High Court case brought by parents and a council motion by Liberal Democrat councillors.

In February, Labour pushed ahead with cutting funding for disabled children in the city, despite the service already being grossly underfunded. But the £5million cut was struck down by the courts following a challenge by local parents.

The courts stated the council’s decision was made ‘with no regard at all’ for the children it would affect.

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Transport remains a big issue in Bristol

Waiting for the busMetrobus is delayed, over-budget and has serious design flaws. For instance, buses will not go into Parkway Station as bus and bridge sizes are incompatible. As Bristol’s major transport investment, it is a serious let-down. And it is sucking resources away from other parts of the city, including Westbury and Henleaze.

How much longer must we wait for proposals to deal with the increased traffic on the A4018 corridor that will be a consequence of the 5700 planned homes in the Cribbs Patchway New Neighbourhood (CPNN)?

If commuters are not offered good alternatives to the car, then they drive in as far as they can and park all day in residential roads. This causes difficulties in Westbury Village and along the no 1 bus route and clogs the narrow roads of Westbury Park.

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Closure of public toilets concerns residents

The city council closed the Westbury village toilets in January and has since boarded them up.

Instead, the council is pushing a “community toilet scheme” that commits cafes and other shops to allow almost anyone into their facilities but with no contribution to the additional costs. So far no Village businesses have signed up.

Bristol Community Toilet Scheme

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Disused Phone Box

Graham spotted the disused grey phone box in the layby on Canford Lane. As it stands, it is an eyesore, attracting only spray paint and rubbish – the telephone was removed long ago.

Graham wrote to British Telecom to ask about their plans for the redundant phone box and was told that they want to remove it by March 2019.

Disused phone box

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