Tag Archives: Caroline Pidgeon

LDV hosts debate on devolution – “Just do it”

Lib Dem Voice and the local government think tank Localis co-hosted a debate yesterday under the title ‘What should the Lib Dems offer on devolution in their manifesto?‘. I started by pointing out that our policies were not a secret and we had been discussing the manifesto for the last year or so, most recently in Liverpool. But the debate still threw up some interesting challenges.

Stephen Williams, the Communities Minister, argued strongly that the next government will have to devolve a range of powers to local government almost immediately after the election; not only do all the main parties advocate it but there is growing pressure to do so around the country, especially post Indyref. The UK devolves fewer powers away from central government than any other country in the EU.

The Lib Dem policy is for more substantial devolution on demand, and throughout the debate the Lib Dems emphasised that, rather than impose a unified system straightaway, it would be better to allow practice to emerge from the grassroots as areas became ready to take on more responsibilities, as has happened recently in Manchester. As a first step, Stephen would prefer to see a flatter structure, replacing two tier counties with unitaries, bringing power closer to the people.

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Invitation to a debate on devolution to local government with Stephen Williams

Stephen WilliamsWill you be in London on Tuesday 24th March? Here at Lib Dem Voice we have been planning a joint session with Localis, the local government think-tank, under the title “The local offer: what should the Lib Dems offer on devolution in their manifesto?”

We are delighted that Stephen Williams, who is the Minister for Communities, has agreed to speak. Alongside him will be John Shipley, (advisor to the Government on cities from the House of Lords), Caroline Pidgeon (Leader of the Liberal Democrat group on the London Assembly) and Tony Greenham (New Economics Foundation). I will be chairing the session on behalf of Lib Dem Voice.

You are invited to join us at 6.45pm on 24th March at The Ideas Space, Clutha House, 10 Storey’s Gate, Westminster, SW1P 3AY, which is just round the corner from HQ.

The event is free, but please book your place in advance on the Localis website.

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Caroline Pidgeon expresses concern about Stagecoach involvement with LGBT Rainbow bus

Rainbow BusIt’s a lovely bright sight on the streets of London. A bus with rainbow livery to celebrate the 10th anniversary of OUTbound, the Transport for London’s LGBT staff network.

It’s a nice idea to have such a clear statement of solidarity with London’s LGBT people.

There is a cloud though, and that comes in the form of the involvement in Stagecoach’s partnership in the venture. You know, the same Stagecoach whose chairman Brian Souter took such exception to the abolition of Scotland’s equivalent of Section 28 that he spent a huge some of money on a campaign against it, sending a ballot paper to every home.

I might be prepared to dismiss it with an ironic smile – after all, doesn’t taking their money for something their chairman really doesn’t believe in is kind of funny – if it weren’t for the actual misery and harm that Souter caused.

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Caroline Pidgeon writes… URGENT! Five minutes of your time could help ensure firearm licence fee changes in 2015

Feeling slightly restless between Christmas and New Year?  Are you one of those people who just can’t keep away from their computer or device? Fed up of the constant emails about sales?!

Well if your answer yes to any of these questions – and the fact that you are even reading this article suggest you might – then I have a suggestion for something to do.

Why not quickly complete a Home Office consultation on the issues of firearm licence fees?

Yes you read that correctly.

The consultation ends at the very end of Monday 29th December (I didn’t set the deadline!) so it really is now or never.

The issue, as I raised back in an article in August, is that the cost of a five-year licence for a firearm, has now been frozen for more than 13 years.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 11 Comments

Congratulations Ed and Russell! AKA The Lib Dem Wedding of the Year

ConffetiCongratulations from all at Lib Dem Voice to Ed Fordham and Russell Eagling, who were married yesterday, Saturday 5th July. Their happy day made the local paper:

Campaigner Ed Fordham, a beaten candidate in Hampstead and Kilburn at the 2010 General Election, married his partner of 17 years, the former Fortune Green councillor Russell Eagling. The ceremony took place at the Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel in Hampstead.

The pair got engaged in Parliament Square after Ed Fordham went down on one knee in front of a crowd of more than 1,000

photo by:
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A very important baby boy born in London

Caroline PidgeonCongratulations to Caroline Pidgeon, Leader of the Liberal Democrats on the London Assembly, who gave birth to a baby boy this morning!

He weighed in at 7lb 11oz at 9.51am. Everyone is doing well.

 

 

 

Posted in News | 6 Comments

Caroline Pidgeon AM challenges London Mayor over unpaid congestion charges

Caroline PidgeonCaroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrats on the London Assembly, has challenged the London Mayor over congestion charges that have been evaded by embassies in the capital.

In answer to Caroline’s written question the Mayor admitted that embassies currently owe around £68 million. By the end of the year they will owe the equivalent to almost £10 to every Londoner.

The majority of embassies have some charges to pay. Two years ago the Liberal Democrat group studied the data gleaned through a Freedom of Information request and found that about a quarter of all embassies in London refuse to pay any charges at all. These persistent evaders include some of the richest countries in the world – US, Russia, Japan and Germany.  To date the American Embassy owes over £7 million in unpaid charges

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Ece, Pidgeon and Swinson nominated for Women in Public Life awards

Meral H EceJo Swinson wins "Best use of e-campaigning 2009"Caroline PidgeonEvery year, Women in Public Life hold awards to celebrate female leaders across politics, journalism and business. As Dame Kelly Holmes puts it on their website:

Women are under represented in business, the arts and politics. These awards help to highlight and reward the achievements of women and encourage others to pursue leadership roles and to strive for greater representation. I encourage all

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Congratulations, Caroline Pidgeon

Caroline PidgeonIt’s great to see Lib Dem London Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon awarded an MBE in the New Years Honours.

She has been, is, and I’m sure will continue to be, one of the most effective London Assembly members of any party. Her MBE rightly recognises her skill and tenacity in holding to account the Mayor and providers of key public services in London.

Congratulations Caroline.

(Personally, I’d prefer it if we had an honours system which normally didn’t give awards to politicians at all, but as we do it’s lovely to see such a good …

Posted in News | 13 Comments

Success for Caroline Pidgeon’s cycling safety campaign as new lights to be tested

As the Evening Standard reports there’s good news for one of the issues London Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon has been campaigning for with others:

Traffic lights for cyclists are to be brought in under plans to improve safety on the capital’s streets.

Transport for London has pledged to test the Dutch-style lights, which will be at eye-level and could be staggered to give bikes a head start…

TfL chiefs are holding talks with the Department for Transport about installing the equipment as it would require a law change. But managing director for surface transport Leon Daniels suggested that TfL would press ahead with a trial regardless.

Posted in London and News | Also tagged | 1 Comment

Who Lib Dem members think are the most effective non-MPs at promoting the party

Lib Dem Voice polled our members-only forum recently to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Some 500 party members have responded, and we’re publishing the full results.

Oakeshott, Ashdown and Pack top your list

LDV asked: Which prominent Lib Dems who are NOT MPs (eg, peers, campaigners) are doing an effective job of promoting the party to the public? Please write-in.

    Lord (Matthew) Oakeshott
    Lord (Paddy) Ashdown
    Mark Pack
    Evan Harris
    Baroness (Shirley) Williams
    Lord (Chris) Rennard
    Caroline Pidgeon AM
    Willie Rennie MSP
    Baroness (Susan) Kramer
    Stephen Tall
    Kirsty Williams AM
    Lord (Tom) McNally
    Baroness (Ros) Scott
    Brian

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Opinion: Three steps to better campaigning in London

Immediately after the London Mayoral and GLA election Mike Tuffrey wrote some very shrewd observations on Lib Dem Voice. Now the dust has settled and the election results are known by ward perhaps it is time to think through the next stage of learning.

For me getting Caroline Pidgeon re-elected was always a top priority. I’m delighted that she has been joined by my long-standing friend Stephen Knight – the shame being that they are not joined by Bridget Fox and Shas Sheehan. But Stephen and Caroline will punch above their weight and the work they have already started …

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Opinion: Learning lessons from London – two and half quick reflections

Let’s start with the facts….

  • Overall turnout was down to 38%, from 45% last time.
  • Two Liberal Democrat Assembly members elected, compared to three in 2008 and five in 2004.
  • Mayoral vote was 92,000 (4.2% – and deposit lost), compared to 236,752 (9.8%) in 2008.
  • Our Assembly list vote was 150,447 (6.8% – just over the threshold), against 275,272 (11.4%) in 2008.
  • The Greens “pushed the Lib Dems into fourth place”: actually their Assembly vote flat-lined at 8.5%, although their Mayoral vote was up a bit, from 3.2% to 4.5%.

First off, a big thank you to Brian Paddick, his brilliant deputy Caroline Pidgeon, and the …

Posted in London and Op-eds | Also tagged | 27 Comments

London elections results open thread

The count for the Mayor of London and the members of the London Assembly is now underway in Olympia, ExCel and Alexandra Palace.

Once again, the electorate have had to cope with not one but three different voting systems.

Mayor of London

There are seven candidates for the Mayor of London, with Brian Paddick standing for the Liberal Democrats.

Voters had the opportunity to mark a first and a second preference candidate on the ballot paper. If one candidate achieves more than 50% of the first preference votes then that person is elected. If, as is more likely, no candidate passes the 50% ...

Posted in London and News | Also tagged , and | 21 Comments

Guardian hails Paddick proposals as “properly liberal”, progressive and bold

We’re not so used to the Guardian saying nice things about Liberal Democrats these days, but Dave Hill is full of praise for the London Liberal Democrat Manifesto for the Mayoral and Assembly elections which was launched yesterday, calling it liberal, progressive and bold. This is what he has to say about policing and transport proposals:

Mayor Paddick would give each London neighbourhood its own “plan for policing,” with local residents and businesses having input into policing priorities in their areas. His “Paddick patrols” of community groups and residents associations would act as the “eyes and ears” of the police on

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All Aboard! One hour bus campaign moves up a gear

Tomorrow Brian Paddick  and I are boarding our first campaign bus together, and what better way to celebrate than using it to launch our great One Hour Bus Ticket policy.

We’ll be travelling round eight London boroughs informing residents that the Lib Dems are dedicated to targeting fare reductions at those Londoners who need them most. Our Fairer Fares package proposes six ways to save, one of which is a One Hour Bus Ticket that will allow people to hop-on and hop-off buses as many times as needed within one hour, paying only one single fare.

The scheme works successfully in several …

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Boost for Brian as Lib Dem London fundraising hits £400k

The media may be focusing on the Boris v Ken show for London mayor, but Brian Paddick’s Lib Dem campaign is making some noise. His hard-hitting campaign posters focusing on crime — an issue the former police commander in the Metropolitan police knows first-hand how to tackle — abound in London.

And one of the reasons Brian is able to achieve this exposure is the success of the London Lib Dem fundraising effort. I understand that the total raised has, or is about to, pass the £400,000 …

Posted in London and News | Also tagged , and | 6 Comments

Brian Paddick: It is vital that we maximise our vote for the London Assembly

The fantastic Sage conference hall was the venue for Brian Paddick’s speech to the Liberal Democrat spring conference.

Or rather, his co-speech. Because for the purposes of the London 2012 campaign, Brian Paddick is no more. Instead he has been merged into Brian-Paddick-Caroline-Pidgeon.

It is one of the lessons from previous London campaigns that the party needs to be far better at turning profile for a Mayor candidate into votes for the London Assembly list, the best prospect for the party to gain new seats.

This then was not Brian Paddick’s speaking slot. It was the Brian-Paddick-Caroline-Pidgeon speaking slot, preceded by the Brian-Paddick-Caroline-Pidgeon …

Posted in Conference and London | Also tagged , and | 5 Comments

Sometimes a bus is just a bus

When Boris Johnson promised that if elected Mayor of London he would introduce a new Routemaster bus, I don’t think many expected him to interpret that quite as literally as he has.

For by the end of his term in office, there won’t be hoardes of new Routemaster buses on London’s roads. Not even scores or dozens. But there will be a new Routemaster bus. One bus. Just the single bus.

As London Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon puts it:

Posted in London and News | Also tagged | 25 Comments

London Liberal Democrats – helping those with the smallest pockets get to work

Last week Brian Paddick and I launched a fairer fares package ahead of this year’s London Mayoral and Assembly elections.

Boris Johnson has been Mayor of London since 2008. In just four years he has increased the cheapest bus fare from 90p to £1.35 – and he had planned to raise fares even further until the Coalition Government stepped in and helped limit the rise. As well as bus fares, the cost of travelling on the Tube, the Docklands Light Railway, the Croydon Tramlink and the London Overground have all soared under Mr Johnson’s mayoralty.

Of course there …

Posted in London and News | Also tagged , and | 10 Comments

London Lib Dems hit out at Boris’s fare hikes as “shameful”

London Lib Dem mayoral candidate Brian Paddick and leader of the London Lib Dems Caroline Pidgeon have criticised Boris Johnson’s 7% price hike for public transport fares which came into force today. Here’s the party’s official statement:

Commenting on the Mayor’s 2012 fare rises being introduced today Brian Paddick, the Liberal Democrat Mayoral candidate said:

“Once again we start the year with another painful fare package from Boris Johnson. For the fourth year in a row he has racked up fares by far more than the rate of inflation.

“His latest rises will simply add to the financial problems

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Questions left hanging over Boris’s cable car

Conservative politicians spend much of their time criticising their Labour counterparts for the often-inefficient way in which they spend public money. This is often quite justifiable: the many billions wasted through disastrous PFI schemes, abandoned IT projects and expensive-but-pointless gimmicks under Labour are a shameful legacy.

But the gap between this Tory rhetoric and reality is often rather stark, and nowhere is this more evident than with the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.

Take, for example, one of Boris’s pet projects of a cable car to transport people between the O2 arena and the Excel exhibition centre (both Olympic venues). Sounds like …

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Guide dogs allowed on London Underground escalators – Caroline Pidgeon campaign success

Following a campaign by Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon, the legal ban on guide dogs travelling on the escalators on the London Underground is being lifted on Wednesday.

Transport for London and the Government are changing a by-law which originated in the era of wooden escalators which could expand and contract depending on heat and humidity. This meant larger gaps have to be left by default than on modern metal escalators, with resulting fears that guide dogs (now often called assistance dogs) might get their paws stuck …

Posted in London | Also tagged | 2 Comments

A tale of two holes – and a £39m price tag

In principle, I have no objection to people digging holes in the ground. Even very expensive holes. Potholes? Bad. But lift shafts, underground tunnels and other such excavations? Good. A big hole that loops back on itself and could* end the universe? That’ll do nicely. The combination of a hole, Bernard Cribbins and Lego? Excellent.

If I had to postulate a general theory of holes, I’d say that a hole that is not used is a bad hole. And two holes that are not used are doubly bad.

Which brings me to the question of the £39 million spent …

Posted in London | Also tagged , , , , and | 13 Comments

Brian Paddick selected as Liberal Democrats’ London Mayoral Candidate for 2012

Jonathan Fryer, Chair of London Region Liberal Democrats emails party members in London with the news:

The count has just been completed in the ballot for the Liberal Democrat London Mayoral candidate for 2012.

The selection contest turned into a really close race, reflecting the excellent choice of candidates London members were presented with.

I would like to congratulate Brian Paddick warmly on his victory, and all of us at Team London look forward to working with him and our GLA candidates over the next eight months to ensure the best possible result in May.

Brian Paddick, Liberal Democrat Mayoral Candidate for 2012

Posted in London and News | Also tagged and | 16 Comments

Mike Tuffrey writes… The Big Switch: turning London’s buses and taxis electric

Rudolf Diesel has a lot to answer for. The compression engine he invented has become the great workhorse of heavy duty vehicles like the buses, taxis and vans which fill our streets. But the nasty side effect of diesel fuel is fine particulate exhaust emissions that are creating a major health crisis. Tiny particles get deep into the lungs, causing thousands of premature deaths and a big increase in ill health.

The biggest culprit in central London, where the health problems are most acute? Yes, buses, taxis …

Posted in London and Op-eds | Also tagged and | 12 Comments

Mike Tuffrey writes… My kinda campaign … working towards success in 2014

Ol’ blue eyes himself, Frank Sinatra, used to sing about “My kinda town…” Rest assured, I won’t be singing. But let me tell you about London – my town – and the kind of campaign I intend to run as our candidate to be Mayor of London.

The test of success in the 2012 campaign isn’t just the number of votes we win in the Mayor contest – it is how many Assembly members we get elected and how many councillors, councils and MEPs we get elected in 2014.

Our very best London-wide campaigning in the past – such as that led …

Posted in London and Op-eds | Also tagged and | 4 Comments

Brian Coleman tops lists of expense claims, again

Conservative London Assembly member Brian Coleman has often been in the news over the years for his expense claims (not to mention his attempt to ban questions of himself), so I hesitate slightly to says it is “news” that new figures from the London Fire Brigade show him topping the list of expense claims:

Assembly Member
Brian Coleman April 2010 to March 2011 £3,480.20
Darren Johnson April 2010 to March 2011 £0.00
Gareth Bacon April 2010 to March 2011 £0.00
Mike Tuffrey April 2010 to March 2011 £0.00
Murad Qureshi April 2010

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 10 Comments

Unpaid Congestion Charge fees and fines by embassies set to break £50m barrier

As of yesterday, the total in unpaid Congestion Charges and penalties run by embassies in London was £49.4m and at the current rate of growth that figure will break the £50m barrier later this month.

Liberal Democrat London Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon has said, “The amount in unpaid Congestion Charges and Penalty Charge Notices owed by embassies is now so large that it could pay for more than 260 new buses on London’s streets, or fund the significant expansion of the cycle hire scheme, or alternatively reduce fare rises.”

Or, as she didn’t say, £50m could pay for one Fernando Torres.

Posted in London and News | Also tagged | 9 Comments

Transport for London offers up more data for free

Over the summer we reported the welcome news that Transport for London was making more of its data available for others to reuse:

It’s a smart move because it means the emphasis on working out how to make best use of the data shifts from TfL to the wider commercial sector. That means people can experiment (and fail) in a way that is much harder when politicians, media (and yes, bloggers) are looking over your shoulder waiting to shout “Waste of public money!” if an idea doesn’t pan out. It also means that Transport for London can concentrate on what it is (or should be) good at – running transport services, whilst letting those who are good at developing data services and marrying up different commercial ideas can do what they’re good at.

Posted in London | Also tagged | 6 Comments
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    The women's manifesto was indeed excellent! I very much enjoyed it. It reminded me a lot of the very down to earth party I spent...
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    Paul Walter 4th May '15 - 9:17pm "One thing Nick Clegg should be given credit for is working hard in his constituency while he has...
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    Thanks for posting this Paul. It is the ideas that are important, not so much the tacit recommendation. It was a bit harsh on the...
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    Agree with Alistair - really pleased if Clegg wins - it would be very damaging to the party if he loses. But we can't go...
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    Happy for Clegg to win as long as he resigns the leadership after the election, based purely and simply on the number of MEPs, councillors...
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    @Paul Walter unfortunately they'll never listen to you