Spring Conference 2017
March 14, 2017
This year’s Spring Conference is being held in the lovely City of York. Our location is the York Barbican Conference Centre for a few days this weekend. With party membership still growing after the last election we expect a bumper turn out at this year’s Spring event.
This years event will be massively influenced by the current Brexit debate in the House of Commons and Lords and the triggering of Article 50. A number of our speakers and subsequent debates will be about our future relationship with our European partners.
The Lib Dem Leader, Tim Farron, will no doubt focus much of his speech on his thoughts about how Brexit will effect our economy along with migration and social reform.
Attendees can enjoy new fringe activities and workshops throughout the conference. We advise getting to the venue early as it will be busy and crowd numbers will be high.
The Political Landscape in 2017
January 10, 2017
With the start of the New Year brings great uncertainty on the political landscape not only here in the UK but globally as well.
We still don’t know the full fall out of Brexit and what form it will take and the Trump Administration is yet to be inaugerated. Both of these eventualities will play out over the next few months.
Our hope is that a soft Brexit will allow a period of adaptation after we leave the EU. The uncertainty for business and research is a great concern for many as a great deal of jobs are reliant on these two giant industries. There are threats of banks and law firms moving jobs to the continent and office buildings throughout the City are filled with an air of trepidation.
Research funding is another area that has great uncertainty with both grants and jobs up in the air. A commitment to both of these areas is a must and the quicker the better.
Trade with our European partners is another big area of unknown consequences, particularly on the issues of tariffs. The value of the pound and how it relates to the Euro will have far reaching effects on British companies and their ability to trade on a level playing field with the rest of the world.
Switching to a more upbeat topic and particularly the outlook for the Party being very rosy in 2017. With our recent Richmond by-election victory by Sarah Olney and the rise of our leader Tim Farron the future looks bright for our party. We hope to secure more local council seats across this parliament and build towards the expected General Election of 2020, although the political landscape for then is very hard to predict.
At grassroots level we need to keep investing in feet on the street to get our message to the public and ride the wave of our membership rise post Brexit.
Plans For Brexit
October 4, 2016
Everyone is wondering what this new governments plans for Brexit are. In this discussion we share what we believe the best exit strategy for the UK is and how the government should implement the changes.
Teresa May, has recently stated that Article 50 will be applied in March of next year with a final exit from the EU in the Spring of 2019. This will cause quite a bit of uncertainty, particularly in the financial markets, with the Pound down to a record low this week against both the Dollar and the Euro.
The strategy for exit needs to be correct from the outset and Teresa May has highlighted one or two of her ideas including her push for unique access to the Single Market whilst maintaining our control on freedom of movement.
But we feel that they must push ahead with commitment to upskill British workers if they are going to reduce the number of migrants each year. They have to stick to their pledge of training 1,500 more doctors every year so the NHS has the numbers it needs to carry out all of the operations needed for our ever aging population.
The other pressing issue is housing. We don’t feel the government has done enough with its £5 billion pledge to build more homes on brown field sites. We feel more needs to be done but not at the expense of the environment – we would like to see what other ideas are viable?
While some of the proposals have some validity we would like more clarity on the important issues regarding employment and the NHS as these key areas have so much influence on the working members of our society.
The Fallout From the Referendum
July 7, 2016
What a disaster! The next generation of young Britons will grow up outside of the European Union. With the historic vote for the UK to leave to EU last week we want to look at the repercussions for the people of the United Kingdom.
As a party most of our MP’s were staunch supporters of the Remain campaign. Sadly some of the higher profile Remain campaigners from other parties weren’t as vociferous in their campaigning as we had hoped and we feel the success of the Leave campaign was partly due to the effective campaigning of characters such as Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage.
No one can accurately predict the fallout from this momentous decision to leave the EU but the experts tend to feel there will be financial and social troubles ahead. Talk of another deep recession is rife along with the break up of the United Kingdom, as Scotland voted unanimously to remain part of the European Union.
The decision has also thrown British politics into disarray with the two main parties having to elect new leadership at this time of crisis. David Cameron felt the need to resign when the result was announced and the leadership battle now looks like a race between Theresa May and Michael Gove. Over in the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn has received an overwhelming vote of no confidence from his own MP’s but insists he will carry on with the leadership at the behest of his 300,000 party members, backed by the Unions!
Time will tell if the doom mongerers are correct but what we do know is that the next few months and years are going to be full of great uncertainty both in political and financial terms. Firstly, we need to elect a new Prime Minister who must negotiate our exit from the EU and then we need to agree trade terms all the while keeping a lid on inflation and interest rates and hopefully stimulating some growth. There are some very choppy waters ahead for the British people.
Some of the Dangers of Environmental Pollution
April 26, 2016
Environmental pollution is such a huge concern because it can literally destroy the Earth. There are people who throw old cups and containers on the ground instead of in a trashcan or recycling bin. As the wind starts blowing outside, the trash thrown on the ground can move around and end up in trees, on the grass and even in the ocean water. Many sea creatures were injured and even killed by pollution in the water caused by humans.
In some countries, it is nearly impossible to swim in the ocean water because it is heavily polluted with debris. There are photographs of children and adults trying to ride in small boats and canoes while gliding past all kinds of trash. The pollution in the water has a horrible effect on a lot of different creatures, but it also has a negative impact on humans.
Most of the water we drink comes directly from the rivers around the world. If the rivers are heavily polluted, it is not healthy to drink that water. It is not just rubbish that could make its way into different oceans and rivers. In fact, oil spills can occur and cause massive damage to different bodies of water. When this happens processes like sludge dewatering can help massively to improve the environmental hazard caused and lessen the negative effect.
An oil spill is one of the worst forms of pollution because it is so difficult to get the oil out of the water. It often takes such an extended period to remove every last trace of the oil, so many sea creatures become sick and even die. In the past, ducklings and other animals were covered in oil and had to get washed thoroughly with dish detergent before being returned back into the wild. It is simply unfair to put these animals in that kind of danger.
There are a lot of bad things that can happen if humans do not stop polluting the environment. Some animals may become extinct, causing problems for the food chain. When pollution in the air occurs in the form of a gas, constant exposure to that air pollution could cause extreme health problems for humans, including lung cancer and asthma.
The only way to protect the environment is to recycle and educate others on ways to stop polluting. People can ride bikes instead of driving cars, use solar energy instead of an outdated source and even make sure to recycle instead of throwing their trash on the ground. It does not take a lot of effort to help protect the environment against pollution.
Recent Proposed Changes to VAT
January 26, 2016
Whenever you go shopping, you can notice all products on the shelves have a certain VAT amount added to the basic price. VAT stands for Value Added Tax and it is collected by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC). Merchants charge you this tax, but they aren’t allowed to spend it. At the end of each month they have to transfer it to the state, so their actual earnings are much smaller than the displayed price.
Some merchants can deduct their VAT. They calculate the total value of this tax they collect as a consequence of selling their products and services. They also calculate how much they have to pay when they purchase various things. If the collected amount is bigger than the spent one, they have to pay the difference to the state. If the collected amount is smaller, they have the right to ask the state for a reimbursement of the difference. They can also leave it only on paper and do the same calculations the following months until they break even.
Individuals, however, have to pay this tax no matter what, without any right to ask for a reimbursement. We all pay this to the states we live in, as a way of helping them offer us all facilities we benefit from as citizens of that country.
VAT has different values from country to country. This makes the whole thing even more complicated, as import and export companies have to adhere to a set of rules and regulations related to this matter. While companies have to read, understand and apply all these rules, things are quite straightforward for simple citizens: if you live in a country and you buy anything on its territory, you have to pay the VAT.
The only situation in which an individual can ask for a reimbursement is when he makes a purchase abroad. If you are from the US and you shop in Europe, you can ask to get back your VAT amount at the border, when you go back to your country. However, in order for you to qualify for this, you have to make sure you do your shopping in places that offer the tax refund facility. If you aren’t sure, you should ask for further details. Moreover, you have to inform yourself on the minimum amount you have to spend in order to qualify for a refund.
At first sight, things may seem complex and difficult to understand. In fact, all states want to have a piece of the pie whenever people create something. If you add value to the flour by turning it into bread, the government has to take its share, not from you, but from your customers. This is the price we all have to pay for living in this modern world. Since this is the only place we’ve got so far, all we can do is pay the tax and move on. This isn’t right or wrong. It’s just how things are and how they are going to stay for many years to come. If you are unsure about whether you should be charging VAT then consult a competent tax accountancy firm in your area who will be able to supply you with all the pertinent information.
Alternative Energy Sources We Can Look At
January 8, 2016
There is no question that solar power is a topic of interest that seems to grow day by day. Nevertheless, not everybody has enough knowledge regarding its potential advantages. By reviewing the details below, hopefully you will be able to understand more fully.
Are your energy costs getting a little out of hand nowadays? If you are tired of paying expensive energy bills it is time to switch to solar energy. It may set you back a bit upfront, but will eventually end up saving you money over time.
If you plan to place solar power panels on your house, bear in mind to maintain them, keeping them clean and tidy. Your solar panels have to catch the sun’s rays in order to build their power. If they are dirty, they cannot do this. By keeping them tidy, you will get the most for your money.
Start small when you start using solar energy. Perhaps purchase a couple of solar power garden lights. You can find these lights at a shop near you. Installing them isn’t hard, you simply put them where you want them.
Find out if your local energy carrier provides meter rollback programmes. As soon as you have a solar power system, you should think about signing up with one of these programmes so you could sell the energy you generate to the major grid instead of purchasing a pricey battery system to store your power.
Solar energy is something many individuals are becoming interested in. However, if the reality is you need more education before embarking on such a venture, hopefully the tips above will help.
Job Losses in the Steel Industry
December 30, 2015
The press is full of headlines about the loss of jobs in the steel industry and we fell that this is purely down to government policy and lack of foresight on their behalf.
Companies such as Tata Steel have laid off up 1,200 workers in the last couple of months. Reasons such as the cost of electricity, a strong pound and cheap Chinese imports have been given for the job losses which have decimated parts of Northern England and Scotland.
We feel that more needs to be done at the European level to create a more even playing field for our steel industry and call on the government to institute policy which will help them out.
The closing of these major steel production plants also has great implications on our defence policy as the steel produced there is used in the armour plating of our weaponry along with being an integral part of our trident nuclear weapons programme.
The government has laid the blame firmly with the Chinese but also refers to a recession in Brazil along with all of the issues going on in Russia.
The knock on effect on British jobs goes far deeper then just the steel industry itself. We call on the government to implicate policies to help many smaller industries which support thousands of jobs which are directly affected by the steel industry such as the fabrications industry and the building trades.
We strongly agree with many commentators that this government needs to come up with a coherent strategy for the British steel industry before it is lost forever and many small communities destroyed.
Our Position on Student Loans
December 22, 2015
If you are like the majority of youthful students intending to go to college or university, you are possibly asking yourself just how you will pay for all of it. Student financings are likely in your future, but you should learn more before accepting any kind of terms. By checking out the paragraphs below, you will have the details you need to handle your future carefully.
Research thoroughly when choosing your repayment terms. Many student loans could take years of repayments. Refinancing over longer time periods can imply lower monthly repayments but a bigger total invested over time. Weigh your monthly capital versus your lasting financial picture.
Do not hesitate to “shop” before getting a student loan. Just as you would in other areas of life, shopping will certainly help you discover the best offer. Some lending institutions bill an outrageous interest rate, while others are a lot more reasonable. Shop around and compare rates to get the most effective bargain.
Consider using your field of work as a way of having your outstanding loan cut. A number of not-for-profit occupations have the government benefit of student lending after a particular variety of years served in the field. The pay might be less in these fields, however the freedom from student loan settlements makes up for that in some cases.
Make sure your lender knows where you are. Keep in touch, with any change of details upgraded to avoid fees as well as charges. Always stay on top of your mail so that you do not miss any type of essential notifications. If you fall behind on repayments, be sure to talk about the circumstance with your loan provider as well as attempt to work out a resolution.
Settle the financing with the higher rate of interest initially so you could reduce the quantity of principal you owe quicker. This will certainly lower the interest you must pay back. Look at the big ones as well as see exactly how quickly you could pay them off. After the largest lending is paid, use the quantity of repayments to the second biggest one. When you make an effort to pay off your largest lendings with the biggest payments feasible and also pay the minimum on smaller sized lendings, you’ll find that it is much easier to remove your debt.
There are different actions you can take to get financial help, just make sure you get the best possible terms for a sound economic future.
The Destiny of the Party Leadership
December 15, 2015
Being the leader of a political party can be satisfying as well as difficult. On the one hand, you are in a position of power as well as rank. However, on the other hand, you might need to deal with all the little issues or handle party members who are resentful of your position. Below are some ideas to help you become a recognized leader that your members will enjoy sustaining.
Walk the talk. Leaders don’t claim one thing and do another. That is puzzling to employees, as well as demotivating in more ways than one. Rather, do exactly what you state. Follow through and also lead by example. Then you’ll have more than employees, you’ll have champions that care about your business as well as your leadership.
Look out for the job creep. This can happen when your job’s scope isn’t plainly defined. If you have control over the job, stand up to the challenge to build even more job prospects as time goes on. If you are receiving outside pressure to increase your workload, withstand it. Your staff will thank you.
Deal with every one of your staff members well and never get involved with workplace gossip. Staff members are usually healthier in an environment where their job is appreciated and also valued on the same level as any other employee. Be around all your employees so that you recognize everyone’s contribution.
Promotions, incentives and also rises must be fairly distributed and based on performance. Don’t merely promote the individual that has actually been dealing with you the longest or hand out the greatest rise to a family member. Your workers will be a lot more inspired when they understand that they could earn concrete rewards for working hard.
If you have a lack of purpose as well as interest, you won’t get very far. You have to let people know that you really guarantee everything you state. If they start to feel otherwise, you will have a difficult time trying to prove to them that you deserve to be a leader.
You may be a leader, or supervisor, but you are a human first. All of us make mistakes every now and then. If you find that you have slipped up, do not aim to hide it, hoping nobody will figure it out. You will certainly acquire a brand-new level of regard by confessing your blunders to your group, asking for their input and even apologizing for a mistake.
A good leader must be friendly and also easily accessible to employees. You can run a successful business without using your authority to intimidate individuals. If your employees feel intimidated, they are unlikely to report straightforward errors making it difficult for you to handle them efficiently. Get along, however do not attempt to make friends with your employees.
Being in a management position could offer you so many opportunities and advantages. It could likewise be a placement that is fraught with drama, an overload of work and incessant responsibilities. Make use of the ideas from above to help you come to be a leader that every person can appreciate and enjoy collaborating with.
How to Go Green With Electronics
July 25, 2015
Has green power been something you’ve thought about but have never had the opportunity to learn more? Have you been bewildered by the options as well as rates of environment-friendly power systems? Then this article should help you.
Getting energy-efficient light bulbs is a great way to save money and also use eco-friendly power in your home. These light bulbs take a couple of minutes to get to their maximum illumination. This hold-up permits a lot less energy to be used when activating the lights at home, which is an excellent method to conserve energy!
In the kitchen, if your extractor fan is more than 5 years old, think about changing it with more recent and reliable models. Each year you ought to examine it for damage and also change the filter. A damaged fan can use a lot more power and also changing the filter allows the fan to function more efficiently.
When doing washing, try using cold water. Practically 90 percent of power used by washing machines is utilized when heating up the water. Modern laundry detergent does equally as well with cold water as hot water. Always wait until you have a complete load of washing to clean; that is the power reliable means.
For eco-friendly power use in your home, you ought to change all your incandescent bulbs to the new power reliable fluorescent bulbs. Not only will this help you save a package on your energy bill, however it will also save power for future generations as well as minimize your personal influence on the power grid.
If you are using electrical products within your house, use smart eco-friendly ideas to save power by unplugging these gadgets when you are finished. This will save money as these units still consume power if left on.
When you are not using your devices, you should make sure they are turned off. For example, if you leave a room, see to it that the light is turned off when you leave and if you leave your house, make sure the TV is turned off before you go out. These little points could considerably lower the amount of power you previously used in your home, which will leave you with some extra money in your pocket at the end of the month.
How can you customize your residence as well as way of life to take full advantage of eco-friendly energy? You have the necessary information, now it’s time to put it into use in your life. You’ll be pleased by the results you see.