Tag Archives: reading

Liberal Democrats must push for recommendations of Fulford Report to be properly implemented

The report of Judge Coroner Sir Adrian Fulford was the conclusion of a long process that started well before the horrifying attack in Forbury Gardens in that warm summer after lockdown in 2020.

The attack rocked Reading and the communities around it hard; the report of the Judge Coroner should rock the country.  The process it concludes and summarises is a litany of failure after failure, from the clunking fist of state agencies such as the rotten Home Office right down to local, entirely understandable human failures on the ground which didn’t have good processes around them to stop them happening.

One thing that’s clear from the report is the siloed, hot-potato attitude of agency after agency, closing cases as they passed the attacker on to the next underfunded, constantly-fire-fighting agency so they could wash their hands of him.  Anyone who has worked in a complex organisation will recognise this classic symptom of chronic underfunding and toxic management.

Every time something like this happens, state bodies and agencies put out sombre statements of condolence, solidarity, and lessons being learned.  But as politicians trying to do the best for our communities, and particularly as Liberals, we need to demand better than this.

Every time something like this happens, equally, the same arguments are dusted off and wheeled out about better communication between organisations and agencies (obvious), better funding for them all (also obvious), and an inevitable increase in tough rhetoric about punishing this sort of thing, locking them up and throwing the key, giving ever more draconian powers to the police, and so on (depressing).

Our town will never be the same again after the events of 20th June, 2020.  So how do we make sure our response won’t be the same again either?

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

Where next for Lib Dem Bloggers’ Internetty Meetup Thing?

John Barrett MP at Lib Dem Bloggers' Unconference

Just two weekends ago, we helped run a moderately successful Bloggers’ Unconference in Edinburgh, the guests of the Scottish Liberal Democrats at their HQ in Clifton Terrace. The Scottish Lib Dems were generous with their facilities and their time, giving us a room for a day, feeding us, and making sure lots of interesting senior Scottish Lib Dems came to talk to us. In the end four English bloggers made the …

Posted in Events and Online politics | Also tagged , , , , , and | 9 Comments

Activate – reviewed by a participant

Around 8 miles from the sizeable spa town of Buxton in Derbyshire, but in the quaint and tiny village of Great Hucklow, activists from across the country assembled together for Liberal Youth’s Activate/Motivate training weekend at the Foundry Adventure Centre. This was my first time at a Liberal Youth specific event, having only previously attended the Federal Conference in Harrogate as a Liberal Democrat member.

Intensive training from a team of four party campaigners, including one current councillor and a full-time training officer, gave us tuition on a range of skills including: canvassing technique; writing campaign literature; writing short speeches; …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , and | 5 Comments

How are Lib Dem councillors using Twitter/Facebook?

Today’s Times reports on the growth of Twitter and Facebook among councillors, noting in particular the work of one Lib Dem councillor/blogger, Daisy Benson:

Daisy Benson, a Liberal Democrat member of Reading Borough Council, used Facebook to encourage young people to take part in a scrutiny review of the standard of private rented housing in the area. “I used it because the issue we were looking at particularly affected students and young people and it’s a good way to reach them.”

Benson set up a Facebook group and listed the consultation questions. The group attracted more than 80 members. Among

Posted in Online politics | Also tagged , , and | 5 Comments
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