Tag Archives: cambridge

WATCH: Vince: Theresa May is rattled by People’s Vote movement

It’s a gorgeous day in Cambridge today, which is a good thing given that there is a local council by-election a week on Thursday.

Candidate Sarah Brown had Vince Cable along with her this afternoon:

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How you can help Sarah Brown win in Cambridge

A Cambridge Council by-election has made national headlines this week after a Labour Councillor resigned because she didn’t agree with the terms of the Equality Act, which has been in force since 2010.

Our candidate in the by-election is former Councillor for the ward and former Executive Councillor for Community Wellbeing Sarah Brown.

From Pink News:

Ahead of the September 13 by-election, the Liberal Democrats picked respected transgender activist Sarah Brown as the candidate for Sinnott’s vacated Petersfield seat.

Brown, a polyamorous transgender lesbian campaigner, previously held the seat from 2010 until 2014.

The candidate said: “Petersfield is where I live and I aim to champion it as I already know how – and as I did before.”

She added: “I am sad to see the campaign to turn the clock back on the city council’s equalities policy, which I will resist.

“It’s right that the needs and rights of transgender people, along with other groups, are recognised here, as national legislation expects.

“Cambridge has led by example on diversity, tolerance and liberal values, and we must defend that leadership from those who seek to divide us.”

It’s good to see the official Lib Dems Twitter account get behind her:

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Rod Cantrill selected as Lib Dem PPC for Cambridge

At 1:09 am, Cambridge Lib Dems announced on Twitter that they had selected their PPC. The selection meeting hadn’t gone on until then but possibly the post-meeting celebrations did.

Congratulations to Rod Cantrill, who is already well known to Cambridge voters.

Rod himself said:

He tells us on his website about his political priorities. Obviously he’s against Brexit, but here’s the section on tackling social inequality:

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Julian Huppert won’t stand again in Cambridge

Sad news for Julian Huppert’s many fans. He announced on Twitter this weekend that he won’t be standing for Parliament again.

While I understand that he might want his life back after seven years of ceaseless campaigning, I am very sad to see this. Julian was on the same side as me on practically every argument the party has had. It was fantastic to have such a prominent figure in the party campaigning so strongly against replacing Trident.

Julian was such a credible voice on matters of science and technology and riled the less knowledgeable to the extent that they greeted him with derision every time he got up to speak. He played a crucial role in making sure that the party stopped the Tories introducing the Snoopers’ Charter during the coalition years.

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Slideshow: Bonnie the Lib Dem cockapoo captures the spotlight in Cambridge

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Julian Huppert’s Green opponent in trouble for Twitter transphobia

One of the best moments for me of the debate on the Same Sex Marriage Bill was when Cambridge’s Liberal Democrat MP Julian Huppert spoke out against elements of the Bill which would cause real heartache and injustice for transgender people and their partners. His understanding, sensitivity and eloquence on these matters was second to none. Of course he was well briefed by Sarah Brown and Zoe O’Connell among others but he put his head above the parapet to try and secure fairness for people who are all too often marginalised.

His expertise on this matter (and many others) is a …

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Julian Huppert’s Tory opponent in Cambridge next May will be… an ex-Lib Dem London mayoral hopeful

chamali fernandoThe Cambridge News reports that Chamali Fernando has been chosen by the Conservatives to contest Julian Huppert’s Cambridge constituency:

A barrister and Liberal Democrat defector has been named as the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Cambridge. Chamali Fernando, 35, was adopted by party members to fight the 2015 poll at a special general meeting. She joined the Tories in 2009, two years after she unsuccessfully sought the Liberal Democrat nomination for the London mayoral poll. And it’s a case of second time lucky in Cambridge for Ms Fernando, who missed out

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Julian Huppert MP writes… EU budget boost secures UK’s position as world leader in science

Europe Day - European Union - Some rights reserved by Niccolò CarantiI heard some good news this week. It may not have grabbed the headlines, but the UK economy was given a colossal shot in the arm thanks to the European Union.

Lib Dem MEPs on Tuesday voted for an EU budget, which was overall lower – a 6.5 per cent cut – but crucially included a 30 per cent increase in funding for research and innovation. This is important funding, and a clear sign of what can be achieved to help …

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Mary Beard explains why she’s voting Lib Dem this Thursday

Mary-BeardProfessor Mary Beard (Cambridge University’s “wickedly subversive commentator on both the modern and the ancient world”) explains on her A Don’s Life blog why she’ll be voting for the Lib Dems’ Belinda Brooks-Gordon this week:

Since the Iraq War I have been a semi-floating voter. Up to then I had been Labour by default (unless tactics demanded — as they sometimes did in Shropshire — that one put one’s cross by what was back then still the Liberal Party). Since then I’ve looked afresh at each election for someone, somewhere on

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Nick Clegg in Cambridge: Liberal Democrats have a good story to tell

Nick Clegg went to Cambridge today. He met Liberal Democrat members  ahead of a packed public Question and Answer session where

Credit: Helen Duffett

he was quizzed on a huge range of subjects. Local MP Julian Huppert, LDV’s own Helen Duffett and Liberal Youth’s Harry Matthews were among those present and tweeting.Nick talked about the distinctiveness of the three traditions, Conservative, Labour and Liberal in British politics and how they couldn’t be folded into each other. He explained how the liberal tradition valued the sanctity of the individual.

The vexed question …

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Opinion: We can’t let councils discriminate against house-sharers

With the option of becoming a first-time buyer becoming ever more elusive for young adults, increasing numbers are turning to the Private Rented Sector (PRS) for their housing. Nationally there will soon be more tenants living in the PRS than in social housing. In areas with high housing costs and in university cities with a young population, the PRS has become a major part of the housing mix.

This shift in occupancy type has led to rather rapid changes to some communities, which has …

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In other news… Richard Kemp for Liverpool, Kennedy on the UK, defection in Cambridge, Hughes at Leveson

Here’s a round-up of stories we haven’t had time to cover on the site this past week…

Richard Kemp to represent Liberal Democrats in Liverpool mayor election in May (Liverpool Echo)

‘He said: “I am standing because I believe that only the Liberal Democrats have the long term strategies which will place this city in a leading position able to create the jobs and investment which this city so badly needs. Liverpool needs an encompassing vision and direction that everyone in the city, residents, business and friends can buy into and support.”

You can read Richard’s own account of …

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Julian Huppert MP voted Lib Dem Backbencher of the Year

Cambridge First reports:

The MP for Cambridge was handed the accolade by the magazine Asian Voice after its readers cast their votes in the publication’s annual political and public life awards.

Asian Voice – which launched 35 years ago to forge links between British and Asian communities – reported: “Julian Huppert has quickly established himself as one of the most refreshing and exciting MPs to have been elected in the last General Election.”

Dr Huppert said: “I am delighted to receive this highly prized award from such a prestigious magazine. I thank the readers of Asian Voice for their encouragement.”

The city MP

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Opinion: In pursuit of excellence

Earlier this month David Lammy MP highlighted the problem of the low number of black students admitted to Oxford and Cambridge Universities and called it the ‘Oxbridge Whitewash’. He wrote in the Guardian (6 Dec):

“Just one British black Caribbean student was admitted to Oxford last year. That is not a misprint: one student. Merton College, Oxford, has not admitted a single black student for five years. At Robinson College, Cambridge, a white applicant is four times more likely to be successful than a black applicant. Last year, 292 black students achieved three A grades at A-level and 475 black

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Dr Julian Huppert MP’s maiden speech

Back when Cix was the main way of talking to other Lib Dems online, a tradition emerged of posting Lib Dem MPs’ maiden speeches so that people could read them and respond – a tradition LDV would like to continue. The first new Lib Dem MP to speak in the 2010 Parliament was Gordon Birtwistle, with Julian Huppert shortly after.

Dr Julian Huppert (Cambridge) (LD): Thank you for giving me this chance to speak so early in this Parliament, Mr Deputy Speaker. It is great to see you in the Chair. There has been a long succession of maiden speeches …

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Julian Huppert: Nick Clegg’s visit to Cambridge

Julian Huppert with Nick Clegg and students
My campaign to take over from David Howarth in Cambridge was given a huge boost on Thursday, when we were visited by Nick Clegg, who did a Q+A session for students in Trinity Hall.
The turnout was huge – we overflowed the meeting room that was prepared for us. As we walked in, it was clear that there was a great energy in the room.

Nick didn’t do a preamble speech – the idea was just to …

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Julian Huppert writes … Campaigning in Cambridge

Liberal Democrat members in Cambridge met last Friday evening to select the person to succeed David Howarth – as candidate, and we hope, as the city’s MP at the next election. Julian Huppert was the winner, and we invited him to introduce himself to LDV’s readers …

Being selected to stand for Parliament is always an honour. Being selected for Cambridge is especially so for me; it’s where I grew up, went to school and university, and still live.

And, of course, it’s a seat we hold, and have great hopes of continuing to hold. This is in no …

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Julian Huppert selected for Lib Dems in Cambridge

Julian Huppert, Lib Dem PPC for CambridgeCongratulations to Julian Huppert, newly-selected Liberal Democrat PPC for Cambridge.

From a press release by Cambridge Liberal Democrats:

“Julian was selected from a shortlist of six candidates who fought for the position at Hustings at The Michaelhouse Centre in Trinity Street, Cambridge last night (Friday).

The ballot was called after MP David Howarth decided to stand down at the general election to return to his academic career at Clare College.

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Cambridge Liberal Democrats publish shortlist

The Cambridge shortlist has now been published and, contrary to some hopes and wild rumours, has neither a nationally known media star nor a BME candidate on it. But then no member of either group applied.

The candidates are all councillors or former councillors in Cambridge but, as the Returning Officer said, “The shortlisting committee was chosen by the local party and I was happy that it was a balanced one. They drew up the selection criteria and marked the applications independently of each other. We only came together to total the scores, the result of which showed that the 6 shortlisted candidates were well clear of the rest”.

This press release has gone to the local paper giving a mini biog of the six:

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Chamali Fernando shortlisted by Cambridge Conservatives

Former Lib Dem London Mayoral selection candidate Chamali Fernando, who defected to the Conservatives in July, will take part in an Open Primary selection in Cambridge this Saturday, 12 December.

At the General Election the winning candidate will face whoever succeeds the Liberal Democrat MP David Howarth, who is standing down to concentrate on his career as an academic. The Liberal Democrats’ selection is also currently underway.

Billed as “more than just a Cameron cutie!” you can read Chamali’s pitch on Cambridge Conservatives’ website, as well as the biographies of the other five shortlistees.

12 December UPDATE: Nick …

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Cambridge MP David Howarth to stand down

The party has just issued the following press release …

Liberal Democrat MP David Howarth today announced that he would be standing down from Parliament at the next election to concentrate on his career as an academic.

David Howarth said:

“After nearly 22 years of elected public office, the time has come for me to concentrate on my other life, as an academic. It has been a privilege to serve the people of Cambridge over that time, both in local government and in Parliament.

“I would like to thank the very large number of people who have helped me in politics over the past

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Opinion: How we made fortnightly bin collections work in Cambridge

There have been horror stories on this site about councils suffering political disasters after introducing fortnightly bin collections. In 2005, Lib Dem-run Cambridge City Council made just such a change, and did so without any apparent political damage. At the time, I was the Executive Councillor responsible for the bins. Here’s how we did it.

In 2004, our doorstep waste and recycling service consisted of a black box for dry recyclables (paper, aluminium cans and so forth), a green bin for compostable waste (garden waste, vegetable peelings and the like) and a black bin for everything else. The black box and green bin were collected fortnightly, on alternate weeks, and the black bin was collected weekly.

The following year, we moved to a new system of alternate weekly collections. In week one, the black bin and black box were collected. In week two, the green bin was collected, along with a new blue box for recyclable plastics.

These are the key reasons why the change worked:

• The black box and green bin recycling system was well established. Residents had got used to recycling, and many of them found that their black bin was less than half full each week before we switched to fortnightly collections. This meant there was a substantial chunk of residents for who the proposed change didn’t seem like a big deal (and who were happy to get their new plastic recycling service). It’s much easier to establish an effective recycling culture first, then switch to fortnightly collections, than to try to bring it all in at once.

• We introduced the change in autumn, so that if we did have problems with uncollected or fly-tipped waste, at least it wouldn’t be lying around in the summer heat. Making these changes in spring/summer is just asking for trouble.

• We invested the bulk of the saving from moving to fortnightly collections in a new recycling service that was in high public demand: doorstep collection of recyclable plastics. This hadn’t been part of the original plan: it came out of a public consultation about how to go about implementing alternate weekly collections, in which we had taken the opportunity to ask some general questions about recycling as well. It turned out 78% of respondents wanted doorstep plastics recycling. I tasked officers with finding a way of achieving this for less money than we would save with the switch to fortnightly collections: to their credit, they managed it. This meant we weren’t just taking something away from residents: we were providing something they really wanted at the same time.

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Ambulance-chasing, Colin Rosentiel, the Standards Board, and our loss of civic pride

Some may feel I’m asking for trouble by highlighting for a second day running the case of Colin Rosentiel, the Lib Dem Cambridge city councillor who allegedly blocked an ambulance on an emergency call to protect some common land. But, having reported the story here yesterday, it prompts a wider question than the rights and wrongs of an individual councillor.

A couple of folk linked in the comments thread to the report of Cambridge city council’s monitoring officer to its standards committee – you can read it in full here. And I mean in full – it’s …

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 16th Dec - 1:45am
    Sorry, I mean of course 'a Liberal ' in his youth, he wasn't psychic too!
  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 16th Dec - 1:41am
    Well, Peter, the absurdity was just not taken account of, it seems. Yet a shrewd friend of mine, a Lib Dem in his youth and...
  • User Avatarfrankie 15th Dec - 11:55pm
    But David I seem to remember you were a fan of Bevan's quote about rats. That was a man who through bitter experience knew what...
  • User AvatarDavid Becket 15th Dec - 10:52pm
    @ Martin Typo, not intended
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 15th Dec - 8:35pm
    I wish he was !!
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 15th Dec - 8:26pm
    The cinema site in Tunbridge Wells has been cleared and covered with broken bricks. A new cinema cannot legally be built precisely where the previous...