Author Archives: Mary Reid

Mary Reid was a councillor in Kingston upon Thames, and has developed websites for several parliamentarians and Lib Dem organisations. She manages the annual conference for the Social Liberal Forum.

Holiday costs rise post-Brexit

 

Before the Referendum, Asda Money carried out a survey which showed that on average British families spend £1310 on their summer holidays, including spending money.

At the same time David Cameron was warning that a vote for Brexit could add £230 to that cost. He predicted that the pound could fall by 12%.  Predictably, Leave campaigners claimed he was scaremongering.

Both were wrong. The cost of a family holiday has increased since June by almost £300, as a result of the pound falling by 16% against the dollar and by 23% against the euro.

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Willie Rennie says it is time to think again about Named Persons

 

Those of us south of the border have been somewhat puzzled by the furore about the proposal for ‘Named Persons’ in Scotland. The Scottish Children and Young People’s Bill proposed assigning a single point of contact – the ‘Named Person’ – to each child from birth until the age of 18. Throughout the lifetime of the child the actual person holding that role may change – starting with a midwife, then health visitor then one or more teachers. As a ‘Named Person’ they are to provide a common contact for any other professionals, such as social workers, working with the child.

Originally the Liberal Democrats supported this proposal when it came before the Scottish Parliament in 2014.

Willie Rennie, Leader of the Scottish Lib Dems, writes:

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Tim Farron on grammar schools

 

The Sunday Telegraph has revealed that Theresa May is planning to introduce new grammar schools in England. (Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are responsible for their own education systems.) The original ban on new grammar schools was brought in by Tony Blair around 20 years ago, although he did not make it easy to close existing ones.

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A quarter of a billion pounds to be claimed!

Caroline-Pidgeon

No, this is not a pitch for claims for mis-sold PPI.

£223,392,863 – that is a huge sum of money, and travellers in London have unwittingly loaned it to Transport for London. But the good news is that they can claim it back.

So where does that figure come from, and why is Caroline Pidgeon, Lib Dem London Assembly member, so bothered about it? Caroline is also Chair of London’s Transport Committee and this is not the first time she has drawn our attention to the nest egg that Transport for London is sitting on.

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Lib Dem success – huge reduction in one-use plastic bags

 

When did you last pay 5p for a plastic bag to carry home your shopping from a supermarket?

When I went food shopping yesterday I selected from the pile of heavy duty bags that sit in the boot of my car. I can choose from bags that bear the logos of Tesco, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, M&S or Lidl and for some time I’ve gone beyond feeling embarrassed if I use the ‘wrong’ bag in a shop. I very occasionally pay for a bag if I forget my own but it’s interesting that my reaction is one of guilt rather than annoyance, which I usually assuage by paying extra for a more expensive but reusable one.

And yet it is only last year that the 5p charge was introduced in England, although Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland had got there earlier through their devolved legislatures. We can thank the Lib Dems in Government for the charge in English supermarkets, even though some Tory ministers at the time hated it. In the first 6 months of the scheme the usage of thin plastic bags dropped by an amazing 83%, which equates to around 6 billion fewer bags each year.

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Vince Cable’s talk at the Social Liberal Forum Conference

Joe Otten recorded the William Beveridge Memorial Lecture given by Vince Cable at the Social Liberal Forum Conference on Saturday. And here it is:

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Heathrow, Gatwick or anywhere else?

 

The decision about whether to expand Heathrow is imminent. In fact, it has been imminent for quite some time.

A year ago the Davies Commission recommended that a third runway should be built at Heathrow, not at Gatwick, the only other contender at the time.

We were expecting to hear an announcement from Government before Christmas, but then the Department of Transport said that the decision would be delayed until summer 2016, conveniently after the May elections. This delay was not unconnected with the fact that Zac Goldsmith was the Tory candidate for London Mayor. Zac has famously declared that he will resign as MP for Richmond Park if Heathrow is chosen. He has now said he regrets this but will still stick by his plan to resign as an MP.

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