Tag Archives: dorothy thornhill

LibLink: Dorothy Thornhill: Harry Potter and my spell as England’s longest serving woman mayor

This month, Dorothy Thornhill stepped down as Mayor of Watford after 16 years in tole. She was always very popular and left a great legacy for her successor, Peter Taylor.

She wrote for the Guardian this week about her years as Mayor, which included supporting the establishment of the Harry Potter Experience.

She looked at the advantages of towns having a directly elected Mayor:

At one level mayors have no more direct power than council leaders. But they have more soft power. You are the mayor of a place, not just the leader of a council. The mandate from the public gives you

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WATCH: Dorothy Thornhill on her 16 years as Mayor of Watford

One of this party’s finest female role models has just stepped down from her public role after 16 years of service in Watford.

Watch Dorothy Thornhill talk about her time as Mayor in this interview.

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The Independent View: Thank you Dorothy!


Watford Mayor Dorothy Thornhill visits the Vibe 107.6FM studios.

Whether you’ve lived in Watford all your life or just a few years, you will probably notice the transformation of the town. Over last sixteen years Dorothy as Mayor has made Watford the town it is today.

In 2006, I set out to bring Watford its own brand new local radio station. The idea was to try and convince the regulator Ofcom that Watford could sustain a full-time community radio station, predominantly aimed at under 35’s. It was important that the station was presented in an upbeat, vibrant way that would encompass the feel of the town. With this in mind, I led a team of volunteers to put together four trial broadcasts from 2006 to 2010. Shortly after our final trial broadcast, we had the opportunity to apply for a full-time broadcasting licence, which we applied for and won in 2010. Vibe 107.6 FM officially launched full time on 11th August 2011 and is still on air today.

Posted in The Independent View | Also tagged and | 4 Comments

A personal view on the successful Watford campaign

If we cast our mins back to Friday 6th May, one of the pieces of good news in our election results was in Watford. We won seven seats, wiping out the Tories on the council and gaining control.

Over on “Rambles of a Liberal“, Nassar Kessell has written a personal view of that campaign. For those of you not familiar with Nassar, he is one of our live wire activists. He has brought a remarkable mixture of passion and energy to campaigns.

Nassar identifies five headers in the Watford success story:

Posted in Local government | Also tagged | 1 Comment

++Lib Dems GAIN Watford – Tories wiped out!

Watford march action day


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Lib Dem Lords’ maiden speeches: Dorothy Thornhill on housing and planning

Dorothy Thornhill at Bournemouth
Last Tuesday, Dorothy Thornhill, Mayor of Watford, made her maiden speech in the House of Lords. She spoke in the debate on the Housing and Planning Bill. Here it is in full:

When I mentioned to my noble friends that I was excited but concerned about my maiden speech

Posted in Parliament | Also tagged | 2 Comments

Video: 3 reasons to vote for Dorothy Thornhill in Watford

The Watford campaign team have given us all a lesson in how to do video campaigning this election. First there was this introduction to Dorothy as a person, and now there are three solid policy reasons to vote for her:

Three Reasons to Vote Dorothy from Think About It Films on Vimeo.

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Campaigning in Watford

I am twenty-three years old, a politics graduate and a political activist. I am a Liberal Democrat and I have volunteered with the local party. Several issues spring to mind when I think about the Liberal Democrats: equality, civil liberties, pro-Europe and of course working towards a stronger and fairer economy.

Whilst studying Politics at university, I was really happy to say I was from a marginal constituency because I felt like it made the general election a little more exciting as opposed to other constituencies.

Posted in General Election and News | Also tagged | 3 Comments

Ashcroft’s poll of Lib Dem battleground seats: incumbency is alive and well but 2015 will be a survival election for the party

Tory peer and pollster Lord Ashcroft has published his latest set of constituency findings. He polled some of the key Lib Dem / Tory and Lib Dem / Labour battlegrounds in the summer – he’s now followed that up by looking at a further 22 seats. Of these, 2 are Lib Dem targets, 15 the party is defending against the Tories, and 5 against Labour. You can see the full results here .

Here are the headline findings:

  • Of the 20 Lib Dem-held seats polled, the Lib Dems would retain just 6.
  • The Tories would gain 7 and Labour would gain 4. The other 2 would be a tie (though actually a further 5 are statistical ties within the margin of error).
  • The Lib Dems would win neither of their two targets.
  • Posted in Polls | Also tagged , , , , , , , , and | 37 Comments

    Mayor Dorothy announces she’ll go for fourth term in Watford

    June 2011 Watford, UK Elected Mayor of Watford Dorothy ThornhillGood news in Watford, where Dorothy Thornhill, who in 2002 became the first directly-elected Lib Dem mayor in the country, has announced she will run for a fourth term of office:

    I am really pleased to announce that I am going to stand again as the mayoral candidate for the Watford Liberal Democrats in the 2014 mayoral elections.

    Last night we held our official party meeting at St Luke’s Church, at which I was unanimously reselected. The turnout was great,

    Posted in Local government and News | Also tagged , and | 3 Comments

    Watford’s last Conservative Councillor moves to Liberal Democrats because of Conservatives’ “right wing drift”

    From the Watford Observer:

    Watford’s Conservative party has been extinguished at borough level after the last Tory councillor has defected to the ruling Liberal Democrat group.

    Steve Johnson, who had been the leader of the Conservatives onWatford Borough Council until recently, announced this morning he was crossing the floor due to the national Tory party’s “right wing drift”.

    In a statement the Leggatts representative said: “I have become increasingly disappointed by the right-wing drift of Conservative party rhetoric, particularly its attitude to welfare issues. I feel my views are more in tune with the Liberal Democrat part of the coalition, in

    Posted in Local government and News | Also tagged , and | 9 Comments

    Local Government Association Lib Dems announce election results

    ALDC reports:

    The Liberal Democrat Group in the Local Government Association has announced the results of its elections to group positions and the various LGA commissioners, boards and panels. Those elected are listed below with the results available here and the full breakdown of the results by stage available here.

    Group Executive

    Group Leader – Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Portsmouth (Elected unopposed)
    Deputy Leader (Policy) – Chris White, Hertfordshire (Elected unopposed)
    Deputy Leader (Political) – Dorothy Thornhill, Watford
    Group Chair – Jill Shortland, Somerset (Elected unopposed)
    Group Whip – Howard Sykes, Oldham (Elected unopposed)

    See the full list of those elected at the ALDC website

    Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , and | 1 Comment

    Liberal Democrats receive Queen’s Birthday Honours

    Graham Watson, Liberal Democrat MEP for South West England and Gibraltar, has received a knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2011.

    He’s listed under Knights Bachelor – Knighthoods:

    Graham Robert WATSON, MEP. For public and political services.

    Congratulations, Sir Graham!

    Also:

    Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , , , and | 8 Comments

    Labour struggle to understand election results

    The Watford Labour Party has published a members’ newsletter and placed a copy online. In the report of May’s local elections it reads:

    In the Mayoral election, Nigel Bell came a close second.
    Which is strange. Because in the vote for Watford’s elected mayor, won for the third time by Lib Dem Dorothy Thornhill, Labour’s candidate Nigel Bell didn’t come second, close or otherwise. He came third.

    In the first ballot of the AV election, the votes were:

    • Nigel Bell (Labour) 10,029
    • Steve Johnson (Conservative) 10,403
    • Alex Macgregor Mason (Green) 2,173
    • Dorothy Thornhill (LibDem) 19,153

    After the votes in this AV election were transferred, …

    Posted in News | Also tagged and | 9 Comments

    Obama would have been blocked by Labour – what about the Lib Dems?

    A former US grassroots campaigner, now working in Manchester, has claimed that Labour is an alienating force in our big cities and Obama would never have made it in the Labour Party.

    Gregory Galluzo, the Guardian claimed on Saturday, trained Obama in grassroots politics over a decade ago.

    Galluzo is quoted in the Guardian as saying:

    In my experience the Labour party in your big cities like Manchester is one of the most alienating forces in Great Britain.

    It is a very small group of people that controls the city council and they get voted in because they are Labour, not because of

    Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 15 Comments

    Opinion: Kill puffins and paint horizontally to save millions

    Local newspapers in western Hertfordshire exploded on Friday evening with news that the county council had lost a court case. It was chasing an invoice for £335 in a dispute with a water company over a broken manhole cover. The county council had had to put up a couple of cones to warn passing motorists and apparently cones are expensive things to handle.

    The water company felt that this was excessive and the council and the utility had seen each other in court. The costs of the case were awarded largely against the council and were reportedly £110,000.

    Debate has raged. The …

    Posted in Local government and Op-eds | Also tagged | 1 Comment

    Sara Bedford on the Watford play areas ‘Flat Earth News’ day

    I reported here on LDV this afternoon on the serious mis-reporting of Watford Borough Council’s children’s adventure playgrounds policy, indulged by Iain Dale and some newspapers.

    For all the media attempts to stir-up some cliched ‘political correctness gone mad’ controversy, it’s clear that Lib Dem Mayor Dorothy Thornhill has acted sensibly and straightforwardly throughout. I hope all those who have copy ‘n’ pasted the mythologised story without first verifying their sources will now ensure they amend their articles to reflect the facts.

    One person who does know what she’s talking about – both as a near-by councillor, and as …

    Posted in News | Also tagged and | 7 Comments

    Watford’s liberal Lib Dem Mayor – what Iain Dale didn’t report

    Tory blogger Iain Dale should perhaps have paused before clicking ‘publish’ on his latest – highly inaccurate – post, How Very Illiberal of a LibDem Mayor. Those few seconds’ hesitation would have been sufficient for him to do a quick Google and find out what he was about to write was nonsense.

    In his article, Iain recycled a Metro report to allege that Watford Borough Council (run by elected Lib Dem mayor Dorothy Thornhill) has “barred from public playgrounds in parks. Instead, they are forced to wait outside the railings whilst council-employed “play facilitators” assist the children.”

    Iain describes the …

    Posted in Local government | Also tagged , and | 36 Comments
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