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  • Palace of Westminster.
    Article: May 9, 2018

    Last night Theresa May suffered yet another series of damning defeats in the Lords, exposing the ever-increasing anger at her administration's undemocratic, destructive approach to Brexit.

    So far the government has been defeated a total of 14 times, with the Lords rejecting the Brexit deadline and exit date, securing a meaningful vote in the Commons, and quashing attempts to hand ministers 'blank cheque' powers.

  • Nick Harvey | Image: Chatham House
    Article: May 9, 2018
    By Nick Harvey

    Specifically, the Privacy Policy and a set of Fair Processing Notices (FPN). Both are vital to telling people how we will use, store and collect their data. This is a major milestone in our preparations for GDPR. All information gathered under the new legal notices will be compliant.

    You can view the notices and related guidance here: https://www.libdems.org.uk/privacy-advice

    An online webinar covering the specifics of the notices has been arranged for Thursday 10th May from 6.00pm. https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/8679668325408153603

    Amendments to the legislation have meant publishing has taken longer than hoped. For our lawyers and the Project Team, it's meant some late nights.

    Now is the time to start adding a suitable version of the new FPN wherever you are gathering information. Be this online, in emails or on leaflets. The next step is the reconsent campaign, asking email recipients to opt-in to receiving communication. You will receive advice on this shortly.

    For parties using Nationbuilder or Prater Raines websites, the information will be auto-updated. However, if your local party is on a different system then please let us know at help@libdems.org.uk immediately.

  • Palace of Westminster.
    Article: May 9, 2018

    The Government have received their eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth defeats in the House of Lords during the Report stage of the EU Withdrawal Bill.

    A vote on an amendment to ensure our future interaction with EU law and agencies was passed by a cross-bench majority of 298 to 227

    A further vote on an amendment to remove the exit date from the bill passed by a cross-bench majority of 311 to 233.

  • Article: May 4, 2018

    On Thursday, England went to the polls in the local elections - and going in the pundits weren't exactly predicting a great night for us:

  • A pile of Liberal Democrat posters. Window posters mind. Not the really good ones.
    Article: May 4, 2018

    Firstly, I want to thank everyone who has worked so hard in these elections.

    Whether you got the result you hoped for or not; you have done a fantastic job. Thank you.

    So far it looks like we're on course for a great set of results.

    We've defended our Councils in Eastleigh, Cheltenham and Sutton. We have also pulled off a spectacular victory in taking control of Richmond.

    We've made gains in Hull, Liverpool, Sunderland, Gosport, West Oxfordshire, Cambridge, Sheffield, Portsmouth, Winchester and St Albans. We've held our ground in places like Southwark.

  • Rob at CH
    Article: May 3, 2018

    Kent mums with difficulty breastfeeding may not be able to access specialist care when they need it under Conservative plans to redesign the county's breastfeeding support services.

    At Tuesday's meeting of the Health Reform and Public Health Cabinet Committee, Conservatives refused to give an assurance that new mothers with breastfeeding problems would be able to see a specialist Lactation Consultant within two days, under the new Infant Feeding Scheme.

    Access to Lactation Consultants, who are able to help with more complex infant feeding problems, is key for both mums and babies, and was one of the main concerns of mothers who campaigned against the Conservative's infant feeding service proposals.

    Up to one in ten babies is born with tongue-tie. This may require a small specialist procedure and/or more specialist breastfeeding advice for the mother. Crucially, unless this issue is dealt with quickly, the child will struggle to put on weight, which is vital in early days, and the mother will be suffer from increased stress and anxiety.

    KCC proposes just one Lactation Consultant clinic per week in eleven of Kent's twelve districts (with Dartford and Gravesham sharing a clinic) together with home visits and telephone advice.

    Additional Lactation Consultant support will be 'spot purchased'. However, no-one can guarantee that Kent's mums will be able to see Lactation Consultants when they need to.

    In recent years fewer than one in five mums has been provided with infant feeding support in Kent. UK rates of breastfeeding are amongst the lowest in the world, and at 71 per cent Kent's rate is below the national average of 73.8 per cent.

    Two boroughs, Swale and Gravesham, have breastfeeding rates well the national average at 64 per cent and 63 per cent respectively.

    There are significant and well known health benefits breastfeeding brings to both baby and mother.

    For the baby, breastfeeding brings early resistance to infection, fewer cases of Infant Sudden Death, childhood leukaemia, obesity, and cardio vascular problems, and possibly better speed of learning.

    For mums the immediate benefit is a faster return to pre-pregnancy weight, and internal organs shrinking to normal size together with reduced long term incidence of breast and ovarian cancer.

    Leader of the Opposition at County Hall, Rob Bird said: "The Liberal Democrats strongly support the provision of a universal service across Kent, but we remain concerned about fast access to Lactation Consultants when new mothers need it most.

  • A pen marking an X in a box.
    Article: May 3, 2018
    By Greg Foster

    All over England, people are voting Liberal Democrat today - because they know they'll get Councillors who will champion quality social care, strong local schools, and well-funded services.

    And - even better, thousands of people have been tweeting to say why they're voting for their local Lib Dem candidates - here are a few of our favourites:

  • The flags of EU countries flying.
    Article: May 1, 2018

    What was the amendment on Monday evening?

    Amendment 50 of the EU Withdrawal Bill Report Stage in the House of Lords put the option of the public final say on the deal before the House of Commons. This would include an extension of Article 50 so that there would be time for the vote to be held before the UK is due to leave the EU.

  • The House of Lords. Image: UK Parliament
    Article: May 1, 2018
    By Richard Newby

    Yesterday evening just a handful of votes stopped us from giving the British public the final say on the Brexit deal.

    If the Labour leadership had voted with us last night, the amendment would have passed. But they didn't.

    On this key issue, the Labour party has gone missing in action.

    At the outset of our campaign, few believed we would get this close. But the momentum is now with us.

  • Trudy with Millicent Fawcett
    Article: Apr 27, 2018
    By Trudy Dean

    Yesterday, Rob and I visited the House of Lords to speak with Baroness Jolly who is the Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Health. We asked her to pursue the failure of every one of Kent's NHS Trusts to use any of their Apprenticeship Levy to fund a single Nursing Apprenticeship in Kent.

    Employers with a pay bill of over £3 million have been liable since April 2017 to pay a Government levy which will fund Apprenticeships nationwide. Half of the money paid can be claimed back by the employer to fund their own Apprenticeship schemes. But despite crying out for nurses, none of Kent's NHS Trusts has claimed this free money back to do so. The money is lost to the employer if not claimed back within two years.