Tag Archives: kath pinnock

Lib Dem attempt to kill off voter id regulations for May elections fails

Lib Dem peers, ably led by Kath Pinnock, tried to get rid of the Government’s regulations for Voter ID last night. If Labour had voted with us, we might have had a chance of defeating the Government, but they abstained and the so-called fatal motion was defeated by 210 votes to 63.

While Kath Pinnock conceded that the principle of voter ID had been passed in the deeply flawed elections Bill, she found quite a few devils in the detail that could cause problems for voters. She told her fellow peers:

There are 240 pages of regulations in this statutory instrument. They must have plenty of time to be introduced and understood so that, when it comes to elections, they can be done fairly. This is not just about communications to electors. It is about the training of the staff: how do you determine whether the likeness of a photo is acceptable? Those are decisions that polling staff will have to make, and they need to be trained properly so that there is consistency across the country. There is a lot more to it than communications.

I remind the House that those who do the practical delivery of elections are very anxious and concerned, and some of them are opposed to the implementation of these regulations for the May elections. The Electoral Commission has grave concerns: it wants six months and will get under four. The Association of Electoral Administrators—the returning officers and elections officers—is very anxious that it will not have time to properly prepare for delivery in May. From local councils, as we have heard, the Conservative chair of the Local Government Association gave a very strongly worded statement, unusually so, expressing grave concerns about the delivery of this measure fairly and equitably across the piece.

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13 December 2018 – (not just) today’s press releases

You’d think that putting the day’s piece to bed after 11.30 p.m. should cover everything. But no, the Press Teams both in London and Cardiff had one last shot in the dying moments of yesterday, so I’m including them with today’s batch. Enjoy…

  • Theresa May Must Give the People the Final Say – Welsh Lib Dems
  • PM must now change course and offer people the final say
  • Soaring numbers of children trapped in temporary accommodation is shameful
  • Welsh Lib Dems Welcome Prostate Cancer MRI Scans
  • Govt must set out plans to avoid NHS winter crisis
  • Lib Dems demand MPs holidays are cancelled to vote on Brexit
  • Cable:

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Baroness Kath Pinnock writes…Flexible childcare: Another Lib Dem victory

Who is going to look after the children?

One of the biggest worries for working parents is finding high quality and affordable childcare. It is also one of the biggest barriers, especially for women, to getting back into work.

So, when the chance came to ease those worries by improving what childcare the Government were offering, we grabbed it.

Liberal Democrats, of course, recognise that childcare is a critical issue for parents of pre-school children and successfully introduced childcare for two year olds from disadvantaged families. An increase in hours available for all 3 and 4 year olds was in our Manifesto. So we were in broad agreement with the Government Bill to increase the free childcare offer to 30 hours per week during school times.

Throughout the Bill we argued that this was a great opportunity to extend the free hours to school holidays and outside the normal school day. Parents and providers told us that the school holidays often turned out to be a nightmare to organise and could cost a small fortune. Parents who worked non-standard hours in a great variety of jobs such as nursing, cleaning, social care, and catering told us that they ended up paying for childcare when parents who worked during the school day were able to have free childcare.

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LibLink: Kath Pinnock: Lib Dems have stood up for the needs of very young children

You can sense Kath Pinnock’s frustration about the Government’s Childcare Bill as she outlines how she and the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords tried to force the Government to add some detail into the proposals in an article for Politics Home. It was pretty basic stuff that needed fleshing out as well – like the level of funding available for councils to provide 15 hours of childcare a week. Quality and training standards weren’t outlined – and nor was there even a definition of who was eligible.

Liberal Democrats tabled several amendments to deal with these issues at both Committee stage when debate takes place on the details and at Report stage when the Government is held to account if it hasn’t listened to concerns and made changes. Time and again during detailed debate we challenged the Government Minister to declare the level of funding that would be available. Every time we were told to wait for the announcement from the Chancellor in his funding review in November. And every time, we responded that this was not good enough. We have a responsibility to very young children to make sure there was enough funding for quality childcare. We pushed that to the vote and, with Labour Peers, the Government was defeated.

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Baroness Kath Pinnock: Childcare Bill must focus on impact on children’s lives

Kath PinnockThe Childcare Bill had its Second Reading in the Lords yesterday. Liberal Democrat peer Kath Pinnock, in her first major speech in her new role as spokesperson for Children, outlined her concerns with it. Her long experience in local government gives her an understanding of how these things work and who has to organise them that many MPs will not have. She also made a very important point. The Conservatives often talk about childcare as being a mechanism to get women back to work without looking at either the practicalities for the women concerned or the impact of the lives of their children. She argued that the Bill must address more than the economic argument.

She also gets that often women work in low paid, unstable jobs either early in the morning or outside school hours and the system needs to be flexible enough to cope with that. She also outlines the cost of childcare in the school holidays, particularly the Summer.

The House of Lords will be particularly important in this Parliament as the Government does not have a majority there. They have a real opportunity to improve poor legislation.

Here’s Kath’s speech in full. 

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A sneak preview of the new Ad Lib

In the next few days, a relaunched version of Ad Lib magazine will be landing on all Liberal Democrat members’ doorsteps.

It has been redesigned in accordance with feedback received from subscribers. It’s bigger, brighter and bolder than before.

Screen Shot 2014-11-26 at 17.30.26

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