NewS from Uttlesford Lib Dems
Article: Feb 18, 2021
Liberal Democrats in the East of England have called on the Government to reinstate the EnAble Fund for disabled candidates running for public office.
With political campaigning made more difficult because of Covid-19, disabled candidates are unfairly disadvantaged. The current Conservative Government should fulfil the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, which states disabled people have the right to 'participate effectively and fully in political life on an equal basis with others.'
Adam Robertson, Diversity Lead for East of England Liberal Democrats, said:
Article: Dec 15, 2020
By UDC Liberal Democrat Group
Uttlesford Liberal Democrats were deeply disappointed by the failure of a cross party motion to re-affirm a commitment at Uttlesford District Council to the well-established Seven Principles of Public Life, also known as the "Nolan Principles". These principles outline the ethical standards that those working in the public sector are expected to adhere to. They are found in Codes of Conduct all across public life.
In light of recent allegations of misconduct and the related refusal of Uttlesford District Council's auditors to sign off the Council's accounts (see this report in the local press: https://www.bishopsstortfordindependent.co.uk/news/police-investigating-possible-criminal-offences-at-uttlesford-district-council-9144824/
), Liberal Democrat District Councillor Melvin Caton, with cross-party support, proposed a motion which asked the Council to reaffirm its commitment to the seven Nolan Principles of Public Life: Selflessness, Integrity, Objectivity, Accountability, Openness, Honesty and Leadership
- and to the highest level of Governance in its dealings with officers, members and the public.
(1) called on the Executive and/or the Chief Executive to clarify the cause and implications of the Auditors' refusal (if necessary in a confidential private briefing of all members);
(2) asked any relevant member(s) to step down from any position appointed by Council or Cabinet until such time as residents and members can be assured that the situation has been satisfactorily resolved; and
(3) reminded all members of their responsibility to abide by the Councillors' Code of Conduct.
RFU Councillors voted together to not only ensure that debate was curtailed (before all Councillors had been given the chance to speak) but also to defeat the motion. Former Chairman of Uttlesford District Council and current Liberal Democrat Councillor, Geoffrey Sell, said, "The debate and resulting decision was a dismal day for democracy in Uttlesford."
Subsequent to the vote and in protest at the outcome, Liberal Democrat Councillors Alan Dean and Janice Loughlin have resigned from the Councils Standards Committee.
Article: Sep 21, 2020
By Geoffrey Sell
LIBERAL DEMOCRATS SAY NO TO R4U U-TURN ON CABINET REVIEW
The Residents for Uttlesford election manifesto in 2019 promised: "We will review
and improve or replace the current Cabinet system to make the District Council fairer
and to ensure all that all voices are heard."
"Fine words, which we agree with. But what is the reality", says Stansted Lib Dem
councillor, Geoffrey Sell? "The recommendation at last week's meeting of the
Governance Review Working Group was to stop work until Spring of 2021 on
reviewing the current Cabinet system. A reason given for this was that the Corporate
Plan had allocated no resources for the review."
Lib Dem councillors Ayub Khan and Geoffrey Sell both expressed their opposition
and labelled it "a failure of political will".
Said Cllr Khan, (Lib Dem, Stansted South & Birchanger): "If you think something is
important the necessary resources will be found".
The two Liberal Democrat councillors fortunately managed to secure the support of
colleagues from other parties. They are now recommending the continuance of the work of
the Governance Review Group.
Cllr Khan added "Now is not the time for R4U to put this on hold. We have to look at
how we can do better as a Council in communicating with and being accountable to
Cllr Sell called upon the R4U administration to honour its manifesto pledge and to
commit the necessary resources so that the review can go ahead.
Article: Aug 24, 2020
By Melvin Caton
Uttlesford Liberal Democrats have responded to reports that the Government is expected to publish plans next month to reorganise councils in Essex. The leader of Uttlesford Lib Dem councillors, Cllr Alan Dean said that "the time is not right for such an upheaval whilst local councils are still dealing the
consequences of the current COVID-19 pandemic and the emerging economic recession.
"Reorganisation would be extremely resource intensive and an unwelcome distraction at a
time when we should be completely focused on responding to the recovery our communities
in Uttlesford need", Cllr Dean said.
Article: Aug 13, 2020
By Alan Dean
Cllr Alan Dean, leader of the Lib Dem Opposition, said "Back in April, when R4U persuaded the Council to vote to withdraw the emerging plan, the Lib Dems warned that the decision meant the Council would lose control over the number of houses the Government required to be built in the district. We said it would also leave the district prey to more unplanned development without the necessary infrastructure".
Article: Jun 11, 2020
By Alan Dean
Uttlesford Liberal Democrat and Green councillors are seriously concerned and distressed at the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, USA two weeks ago.
They decry discrimination and injustice that still exists for Black, Asian and all minority ethnic communities, whether in Uttlesford, elsewhere in the UK, the USA or in other countries.
Article: Jun 3, 2020
Callum Robertson, Chair of the East of England Policy Committee, interviews Ed Davey MP.
Photo credit: Uk Parliament licensed under CC BY 3.0.
Article: May 1, 2020
The second of Callum Robertson's interviews is with Dr Julian Huppert, Director of the Intellectual Forum at Jesus College Cambridge and Visiting Professor at King's College, London. He was MP for Cambridge from 2010 until 2015. Julian is a former research scientist and has a particular interest in science and technology policy.