Article: May 9, 2022
It's been a great result last week for the Lib Dems in England. Nearly two hundred NEW councillors elected. Three NEW councils under the Liberal Democrats' control, bringing the total to sixteen.
Sad that we had no candidate in Tamworth to demonstrate what the swing there to Lib Dems might have been, and of course there were no elections this year in Lichfield or East Staffordshire (wait for next year, though!).
Article: Apr 15, 2022
Lichfield's MP, Michael Fabricant, seems never to have taken note of the advice above. He has made himself, and by extension, the constituency of Lichfield, a laughing-stock throughout the country.
On Twitter and indeed on national broadcast and print media, his attempts to defend the Prime Minister's breaking of the rules have met with disgust and incredulity. Indeed, many people believed that Mr Fabricant was in fact a comedy parody account along the lines of "Sir Michael Take CBE"'s over-the-top praise of Mr Johnson, and were surprised to find that he is indeed a real person and an elected representative, who excuses the Prime Minister on the grounds that key workers such as nurses and teachers were enjoying drinks together after their shifts.
Article: Feb 13, 2022
The Liberal Democrats have accused the Government of forgetting victims of fraud in Staffordshire after senior Conservative Ministers overlooked fraud and computer misuse offences when making false claims on falling crime.
There were 6407 fraud and computer misuse offences referred to Staffordshire last year - up 10.6% on the year before. This is the equivalent of 18 cases each day across Staffordshire. These victims are part of the four million people across England and Wales who were duped by fraudsters and online scammers last year.
Article: Jan 29, 2022
This week Helen Morgan, the new MP for North Shropshire, made her maiden speech(1). It's worth listening to. It has a nice mixture of civility (much needed in our public discourse), wit and powerful defence of the rights of individual people to challenge public bodies. It was made in the report stage of the Judicial Review and Courts Bill. In this bill the Government, contrary to the advice of the Law Society(2) and others, seeks to impede the rights of the citizen to hold public bodies to account. Ironic that the Government should be taking away our rights to defend ourselves when many conservative MPs are queuing up to defend the prime minister.
Article: Jan 23, 2022
The latest performance figures for the English Ambulance Trusts were released two weeks ago. For WMAS it is impressive how, despite the extreme difficulty of maintaining an emergency service, response times for Category 1 calls such as cardiac and respiratory arrest have remained almost unchanged compared to their best in 2019.
Article: Jan 5, 2022
The first duty of a government is the security of its people. How many times have you heard that? It's usually to justify more spending on defence or harsher prison sentences. But why does it not apply to health care? This morning health minister Gillian Keegan gave an interview on the Today programme. Just before the interview we heard that seventeen hospitals in Greater Manchester were pausing routine work because of the Omicron crisis and it was likely that many other districts would have to follow suit. Later in the day that emergency ambulance calls with targets of 18 minutes were taking hours and, linked to this, heart attack patients were being advised to get themselves to hospital. Ms Keegan was stunning in her complacency. According to her this was almost normal winter behaviour, "We often slow down certain electives", she said. To which two questions, Why do we often have to slow down - could it be that our government has not taken care of the NHS, not just because of insufficient money, but also inadequate staff support and planning, continuous re-organisations, failure of social care, migration controls and so on! And the second question: is this slow down no worse than a normal year?! With 6 million on the waiting list. Wake up Ms Keegan.
Article: Jan 1, 2022
Happy New Year, everyone. I hope you had a great Christmas. I am so looking forward to 2022 - I hope it's the year we will finally beat Covid, that Liberal Democrats will keep beating the Conservatives as we did in two historic by-elections last year, and England will win the World Cup.
Even though things are tough at the moment, I'm determined we find solutions to our country's many problems. The year is starting with many worries. The cost of living crisis, with heating bills rocketing; a staff shortage crisis with so many people off work, self-isolating; and a political crisis, with a divided Government incapable of leading the country through this public health crisis.
Article: Dec 20, 2021
What terrific news from North Shropshire. LTB welcomes the election last Thursday of Helen Morgan to this thoroughly safe Conservative seat. Could anything like that happen in Lichfield, Tamworth and East Staffordshire Districts? Miracles take a bit of effort: if you'd like to help, just get in touch.
Around 30,000 low income households in our area are paying over the odds for their broadband as Government fails to actArticle: Nov 10, 2021
Low income households in East Staffs, Lichfield and Tamworth districts are paying too much for their broadband because the Government has not forced providers to offer cheaper tariffs, an analysis by the Liberal Democrats has found.
So-called 'social tariffs', which typically offer broadband access between £10 and £20 a month, are only currently offered by some providers. But changes to the law that came into force last year mean that the Government now has the ability to force broadband providers to offer these cheaper deals.