Thursday, August 18, 2016

Clean up Neath Port Talbot Streets

For years now, Neath Port Talbot Council has allowed our streets and our residential areas to look more and more shabby and unkempt.

The build-up of rubbish and weeds that choke our streets and lanes makes our communities look and feel decaying and unloved. We used to have regular patrols to deal with problems like litter and weed growth. That seems to have been allowed to drift over recent years. For a county with the second highest principal council tax rate in Wales, that is just not good enough.

It is not only bad for the people who live here, it is bad for the economy of the county borough, too. How can we persuade people that Neath and Port Talbot are good locations in which to invest, to start a new business or to call their home in the midst of this neglect?

We want Neath, Port Talbot and their towns and villages to fulfil their potential and we want them to be good places to live in. That won’t happen while our Labour Council sits back and watches as the mess piles up around us.
Please support our petition calling on Neath Port Talbot Council to clean up our streets. Please help to take good care of our community.

Sign our petition here: http://www.peter-black.net/cleanupnpt

Monday, July 18, 2016

LibDem net gains in council by-elections


Liberal Democrats made net gains of four seats in principal council by-elections in the three-month period up to 5th May. The next quarter, which includes post-Brexit successes like these, is expected to show further improvement.


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Peter Black to be part of Mark Williams' team

Councillor Peter Black, former AM for South Wales West, has been named by Mark Williams, leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats in his team of spokespeople. Peter will speak on Finance and Local Government, Heritage and Housing.

Aberavon and Neath Liberal Democrats congratulate Peter on his appointment.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Liberal Democrat response to Chilcot

Sir John Chilcot has published his report into the Iraq war. Responding, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said:
“Blair was fixated in joining Bush in going to war in Iraq regardless of the evidence, the legality or the serious potential consequences.
“Daesh has arisen from the complete absence of any post conflict planning by the government.
“Charles Kennedy’s judgment has been vindicated in every respect. I hope those in the Labour and Conservative parties who were so forceful in their criticism of him and the Liberal Democrats at the time are equally forceful in their acknowledgements today that he was right. An absence of scrutiny by the Conservative party opened the door for Blair and the Labour Government to pursue a counter-strategic, ill-resourced campaign.
“I hope Sir John Chilcot’s findings can in some way provide comfort to the families of the British servicemen and servicewomen who lost their lives [including 14 from Wales], and to the people of Iraq. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have lost their lives and a generation has been shaped by this illegal war.
“Far from being Bush’s passenger, Blair was his co-pilot in taking this catastrophic decision which has destabilised Iraq, provided the hotbed for Daesh and tarnished Britain’s reputation around the world.“
Liberal Democrats consistently opposed the invasion of Iraq in 2003
Liberal Democrats consistently opposed the invasion of Iraq in 2003

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Fifteen thousand new members

More than 15,000 new members have joined the Liberal Democrats since the result of the EU Referendum was announced. With over 74,000 members, we now have more members than we’ve had in over a decade!
These new members have joined us because they share our values and principles. They know that we are the only party who can now speak for those who believe the UK is best when it’s tolerant, outward-looking and compassionate.
There are still many of you who are looking for someone to give them a voice in the wake of the referendum result. If you are not yet a member, you can join locally - see the sidebar on the right - or you can sign up via Twitter, Facebook or by clicking here.



Friday, July 01, 2016

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Peter Black says First Minister should not rush to give formal notification of EU withdrawal


A senior Welsh Liberal Democrat and former Assembly Member has criticised the First Minister’s call for official notification of the UK's intention to leave the EU under Article 50 to be sent as early as possible.

Councillor Peter Black has called on his former colleague Kirsty Williams, the Welsh Liberal Democrats Education Secretary to distance herself from the proposal, arguing that giving formal notification before proper arrangements are in place could leave Wales worse off.

“I understand that the First Minister wants to limit the amount of uncertainty faced by Welsh businesses,” said Mr. Black, “but if we go too early then negotiators could find themselves battling against an immoveable deadline to put in place new agreements on trade and free movement of labour. It would significantly weaken our negotiating position and potentially leave Welsh businesses struggling to compete.

“This is not a position that the Welsh Liberal Democrats support. It is important therefore that our only AM, who sits in the government, distances herself from Carwyn Jones’ statement.

“The vote last Thursday is a potential disaster for communities in Wales. It puts jobs under threat, it places key funding for agriculture and deprived areas in jeopardy and it undermines Welsh businesses. That is why Tim Farron and the Liberal Democrats are right to say they will put a pledge in their next manifesto to seek to re-join the EU.”

Monday, June 27, 2016

Referendum shows that people turn out when they know that their votes count

Anthony Tuffin of STV Action says:

Turnout

Yesterday’s EU referendum turnout was 72% compared with 65.1% and 66.2% in the 2010 and 2015 general elections.  An important reason for this is, as David Cameron said on 8 June, “every vote counts the same [in the referendum]”.

Comparison

Although the referendum result was very close (51.9% – 48.1%), at least it was clear and obvious – unlike the general election results in 2005 and 2015 when, respectively, the Labour Party was awarded an overall majority for only 35.2% of the votes and the Conservative Party was awarded an overall majority for only 36.9%.  This needs to be repeated over and over again.  Every vote should count in elections as well as referendums.

Who will represent us in the exit negotiations?

All of us, Remainers and Leavers alike and whatever party loyalties we may have, must hope that the Government gets the best deal possible in the crucial exit negotiations that will take place.  The Government’s duty is to represent us all but, elected by only 36.9% of the voters, it is not representative of us.

David Cameron has recognized this a little by announcing his resignation, but his successor will be chosen by the Conservative Party and not by the voters.  Others have recognized it a little more by calling for a general election but a new Government, elected by about 35% - 40% of the voters by First Past The Post, would still not be representative.

We should have a general election now by STV/PR to elect a truly representative Parliament and a Government with a mandate to negotiate.

Owen Winter launched a petition today for a PR general election.  Even if you think the Government will ignore it, it is worth signing to increase publicity for electoral reform and attract new supporters.  As he has written:

After a divisive referendum campaign, UK public opinion is deeply split. The only way to reconcile our differences is an election where all voters have a stake in the result. As David Cameron said, every vote in a referendum ‘counts the same’. Surely this should apply for general elections too?

Please click on MVMbrexit-petition to see the petition and sign it.

What next?

38 Degrees consulted with its members today on what its priorities should be now that the decision has been taken to leave the EU.  Unsurprisingly (because they never do), they did not even mention electoral reform as one of their possible priorities, but their final question invited general comments so I wrote:

The Government is responsible for representing us in the vital exit negotiations but, elected by only 36.9% of voters, it does not represent us and a new Government, also elected by First Past The Post, wouldn't represent us either.  We need a General Election NOW by STV/PR.

Constitutional issues

The Electoral Reform Society has published a blog, in which it makes the point that “the referendum demonstrated a clear public appetite to engage with constitutional issues of where power should lie” and suggests that the public should continue to be engaged.  The blog continues, “Leaving the European Union and determining the future shape of the United Kingdom are huge and difficult tasks – far too difficult to be left to politicians behind closed doors.

Please click on ERSpublic-engagement for the full text.

Frank Little, secretary of the local Liberal Democrat party writes: "I largely agree with this and have already supported the inclusion on the agenda for the next Liberal Democrat conference a motion calling for a fair voting system for Westminster elections and local government elections in England and Wales. If the latter is good enough for the Scots, it is good enough for us."

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Sunday, June 19, 2016

UK's influence in the EU

The EU cannot override the UK in the following areas:

There are more facts here.


Friday, June 17, 2016

Referendum campaigning has ceased

As a mark of respect to Jo Cox, and with regard to the current overheated political atmosphere, it has been decided not to proceed with campaigning. In particular, the street stall planned for the Lidl store in Bryncoch South this weekend will not now take place.

 - Frank Little, Secretary