Tag Archives: phil willis

Phil Willis praises 111 service

Phil WillisPhil Willis has praised the 111 service in York for the excellent service he received recently. Speaking in the House of Lords yesterday he said:

On June 9 I had reason to call 111 because I was having a heart attack.

The response from 111 was not only excellent in York – not only at the same time did they call the paramedics, but they had me in hospital within 25 minutes to an absolutely superb accident and emergency.

He was responding to a Private Notice Question posed by a Labour peer: “To …

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This week in the Lords: 28 January – 1 February

House of LordsYes, just as late as has been the habit recently, here’s your heads up for events in the upper chamber this week… anyone would think that I didn’t have a day of my own…

It’s another long week for our Parliamentary Party, with a nod to the recent wintry weather, but Monday sees Day 2 of the Committee Stage of the Growth and Infrastructure Bill, where Tony Greaves will seek to remove attempts to place further limits on the power to require information with planning applications. Frankly, when I see …

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Julian Huppert MP writes… Developing a future: Policies for science and research

Back in 2010, a survey by the Programme for International Student Assessment found that UK schoolchildren ranked 16th in Science and 28th in Maths among 65 OECD countries. Since then, little has changed.

For a country which has led the world in scientific discovery, and profited from those developments, this is deeply worrying.

We in the Lib Dems have a proud record of arguing in favour of science and research, and promoting it from the classroom to the lab. People such as Dr Evan Harris and now-Lord Phil Willis have made sure that we are seen as a pro-science party;

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged , , and | 16 Comments

Julian Huppert MP writes… A new Lib Dem science and research policy

Britain has an excellent track record in science and research, with many great figures in natural sciences, humanities, computing, computing, engineering and mathematics over the years. We continue to outperform other countries in our achievements in these fields, in terms of outputs per person and per pound. We publish 13.8% of the world’s most cited papers, and massively outperform other countries on papers and citations per pound spent or per researcher.

However, we should not just assume that this will just continue automatically, and the UK needs both a thorough vision and policies that support science and research. It is in …

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged and | 11 Comments

Modernising community politics: creating communities

At the recent Social Liberal Forum conference, I took part in the panel on the Big Society and community politics. Regular readers won’t be surprised about the views I expressed on either of them (see for example here and here), but one point that I’ve not talked about for a while came out in discussion following a very pertinent question from Hackney’s Mark Smulian.

Mark rightly pointed out that the concept of community in the area where he lives, with a large transient population, was very different from what worked when community politics was first being created. Mark if …

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Lord McNally: General Election costs “broadly the same” under AV, no plans for counting machines

An exchange in the House of Lords this afternoon led Lord McNally, the Minister of State at the Ministry of Justice to exclaim, “Gosh, we are getting a lot of information today.” (contrast with David Cameron’s appearance this morning on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme)

Phil Willis (Lord Willis of Knaresborough) asked Her Majesty’s Government “what they estimate will be the costs of a general election held under the alternative vote system”.

Lord McNally replied that the costs of a general election under AV would be broadly the same as under the existing system. Any extra costs incurred by the …

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Phil Willis writes: fighting the right battles over Higher Education

That Lord Browne’s conveniently delayed report ‘SECURING A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE FOR HIGHER EDUCATION’ recommends a significant shift for the funding of university teaching from the state to the student or graduate is hardly surprising. Indeed in January 2004 when the introduction of ‘variable fees’ was pushed through the House by Alan Johnson I stated ‘the reality is that by 2009 it will not be possible to go back to a system of state funding our universities with flat-rate fees’.

I genuinely believed that to be the case then and despite the most noble of efforts by the Liberal Democrats to …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 21 Comments
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    Steven Rose makes an important point that, although in theory all party members can attend conference and vote on policy, in practice many are unable...
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    Simon Shaw and Malc - I think they have thrown everything they can at Corbyn. The idea they are holding back is, I think, fanciful....
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    All our party members who turn up and register can now vote. That was about 2500 last year and more this year. The party website...
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    Thanks Little Jackie. Cameron got some a concession on free movement - there are ways to twist arms if we are imaginative. We could even...
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    @Dennis Loretta. Thanks for making that point. How many people out if the 75,000 members and 2.4 million voters were at the conference? 2,000 /...
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    Eddie Sammon - I think you are spot on right. But... 1 - The EU institutions can think and say what they want. There are...