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Welcome to the website of Rushcliffe Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no-one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity.

Recent updates

  • memorial 1
    Article: Oct 21, 2014

    NHS Regional Director to Investigate and respond to Phil Knowles

    Cllr Phil Knowles has secured what is being described as a positive step forward with the news that NHS England Boss Simon Stevens has asked Paul Watson (NHS England Regional Director Midlands & East) to investigate and respond directly to Phil Knowles. This as the long running saga on Harborough Hospital, War Memorial and Portico takes yet another twist.

  • Michael Mullaney at Autumn Conference 2014
    Article: Oct 20, 2014

    Bosworth Councillor and Parliamentary candidate Michael Mullaney calls for real "Recall" of MPs

    Local Councillor and Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Bosworth Michael Mullaney is urging MPs to support the full power of recall for MPs.

    Today (Tuesday 21 October) Parliament will vote on a new law to "Recall" those "bad apple" MPs from parliament who have done wrong and force them to face a public vote in a by-election.

  • Michael Mullaney at Desford Library
    Article: Oct 20, 2014

    Local author backs Councillor Michael Mullaney's campaign to save local Libraries

    Local Councillor and Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for Bosworth Michael Mullaney was approached by local author Stewart Bint who offered his support to Michael Mullaney's fight to save threatened local libraries.

    Michael Mullaney met Mr Bint, from Desford, at the Desford Library to discuss the campaign.

    Michael Mullaney said "It's great to see local authors backing the campaign to save our local Libraries. Here in Hinckley and Bosworth we have eight local Libraries under threat. Desford, Barwell, Burbage, Newbold Verdon, Markfield, Ratby, Groby and Market Bosworth could be closed by Conservative run Leicestershire County Council.

    "The County Council are saying that if volunteers can't be found to run these Libraries they will close.

    "It would be a tragedy to lose these important community facilities, especially as many of these villages have lost other services and amenities over the years.

    "These threats to Libraries are unlikely to even save much money. The County Council wants to save £800,000 through closing these Libraries. But one of them, Newbold Verdon, was built recently with over £700,000 from the Big Lottery Fund which the County may have to pay back if they close it. This would wipe out almost all the savings and so it would be all pain with virtually no gain.

    "I hope Conservative run Leicestershire County Council have a rethink and keep the Libraries open."

    Local Author Stewart Bint said "How can our County Council live with themselves by wanting to deny people's access to books? It's akin to the book-burning regimes which litter history.

  • Nick and Miriam leave hospital with their new son, Miguel
    Article: Oct 20, 2014
    By James Chapman, Political Editor in Daily Mail

    Reforms would see fathers in Civil Service given same package as mothers

    • It would enable them to benefit from new system of shared parental leave

    • He wants to 'blaze a trail' for employers across private and public sector

    • From April next year new parents will share 52 weeks of parental leave

    • Mothers will have to use first two weeks but rest can be transferred

    • It will mean fathers can tell employers he wants as much as 50 weeks off

  • Nick Clegg and his wife, Miriam González Durántez, at a school
    Article: Oct 20, 2014
    In Liberal Democrat Voice

    It seems that Miriam González Durántez's interview the other day has impressed a couple of Fleet Street columnists.

    In the Guardian, Gaby Hinsliff says Miriam is "electrifying.":

    "I've seen Miriam talking to girls at an Essex comp about raising their sights. She was electrifying. In a world where successful women are regularly portrayed as ball-breakers, lonely, or just underdressed, she makes working motherhood look thrillingly fun and achievable, if not easy. (She's big on graft). And for teenage girls, she explodes the myth that men won't want you if you're clever. She doesn't rush, surrendered wife-style, to kiss Clegg for the cameras after a party conference speech: she waits for him to come to her - and he does.

    "In person she's funny, frank, mischievous, and enviably fearless. She doesn't care how people judge her: she simply can't see why she can't have what men have, professionally and personally (which is of course why a certain kind of man hates her)."

  • Article: Oct 19, 2014
    By Caron Lindsay in Liberal Democrat Voice

    We all heard David Cameron and George Osborne take credit as often as they can for the raising of the tax threshold during this Parliament but a poll from IPSOS-MORI with fieldwork done after our Conference shows that the public just aren't buying the Tory claims. 41% give the Liberal Democrats the credit for the policy compared to just 26% for the Conservatives as this graphic shows.

  • Lucy Care
    Article: Oct 19, 2014
    In Liberal Democrat Voice

    The National Union of Students is questioning candidates across the country via the medium of Twitter as part of its build up to next year's General Election.

    The idea is that they will take one marginal seat at a time and ask each of its candidates a series of ten questions. The candidates will then tweet their replies. The first such event took place last Wednesday involving the candidates from Derby North, including our own Lucy Care. Tackling the subject of tuition fees in 140 characters and doing it justice was quite a challenge but Lucy managed it.

  • Michael Mullaney at Autumn Conference 2014
    Article: Oct 18, 2014
    By Andrew Page in A Scottish Liberal

    It seems rather absurd that I should have to make this obvious statement.

    However, there appear to be those who take a different line.

    Conservative health committee member David Tredinnick MP has this week suggested that the NHS should treat patients with herbal remedies, astrology and homeopathy in a quest to drive down costs.

    He explained to Channel 4 News that "in some cultures astrology is part of healthcare because they need to have a voice and I've got up and said that...but I also think we can reduce the bill by using a whole range of alternative medicine including herbal medicine, acupuncture, homeopathy."
    Tredinnick has estimated that five per cent of the NHS budget could be saved in this way, although what precise calculations he has used were not disclosed. He has previously expressed interest in allowing astrology to replace more "conventional" NHS treatments, telling the House of Commons in July that "I am absolutely convinced that those who look at the map of the sky for the day that they were born and receive some professional guidance will find out a lot about themselves and it will make their lives easier."

    The MP is known to be a long-term advocate of alternative medicine, although oddly enough is also a member of the all-party Science and Technology Committee. Fortunately Tredinnick's rather eccentric beliefs say more about himself than they do the Conservative Party, but it does raise questions as to why someone with such anti-scientific views is sitting on scientific committees.

    I don't doubt Tredinnick's sincerity when he insists that "in future we [should] stop looking just at increasing the supply of drugs and consider the way that complementary and alternative medicine can reduce the demand for drugs, reduce pressures on the health service, increase patient satisfaction, and make everyone in this country happier." He clearly believes this. The difficulty I have is that when a serving member of Commons committees on health and science makes such statements, it is more than embarrassing for parliament and for the cause of evidence-led treatment. And, in this case, he's simply wrong.
    I spent most of my adult life working in the NHS, including mental health services. I will not deny that there is a need for delivering holistic approaches towards patient care that take into account their personal and spiritual beliefs. There is also a need to facilitate better availability of treatments other than medication, especially in the field of mental health. The answer is not always to dispense more drugs. However, this is not based on some oddball plan to deliver costs reductions, but to create an NHS that is more responsive to patient need. Moreover, it is evidence-based and follows the lead of academic research looking at providing more preventative, rather than reactive, treatments.

    The scientific basis for homeopathy is virtually non-existent and for Tredinnick's projected savings to be realised it would require "alternative medicine" not only to be effective but in demand by patients. I suspect that David Tredinnick has not spent 17 years of his life working within the NHS, so I hope he will trust my experience when I suggest that patients would be far "happier" if they were treated more quickly - and with greater dignity and respect - than they would if they were to be given an appointment with an astrological therapist.
    NHS treatments should naturally continue to evolve and adapt, following scientific advances, to deliver the best possible care for patients. It is not so much Tredinnick's ridiculous call for herbs, homeopathy and horoscopes that I find offensive, but the fact that someone who is a member of both the Commons Health Committee and the Science and Technology Committee sees fit to make pronouncements that undermine scientific rigour and evidence-based approaches in favour of a personally held dogmatic stance.
    It is true that Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt also has an unscientific belief in the powers of homeopathy, but his championing of alternative medicine stops there. Tredinnick's continuing missions to regulate Chinese herbalists (and in doing so give them professional recognition) and his often-quoted reference to the alleged fact that he knew of "a psychiatric hospital that doubled its staff at full-moon" (it is, of course, entirely untrue) suggest that perhaps it's time he was reigned in. Speeches in parliament referring to the "fact" that blood does not clot under a full moon hardly give him much credibility with which to speak on health issues.
    As far as I know, Tredinnick has not yet given evidence of the role of werewolves in hypogycaemia or the connections between fairies and cerebro-vascular accidents, but there is as much evidence for these as there are his plethora of other health claims.
    Rather odd and eccentric people are all good and well, and there is a place for them in public life, but for the Conservative Party to appoint someone with these views to committees of such responsibility seems either absurd or some kind of unfunny joke. Health and science are not laughing matters, and the aims of the respective committees should not be undermined by those sitting on them. It's like having the leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints sitting on a committee promoting atheistic humanism.
    This naturally raises questions about how MPs are selected to serve on committees. As someone who is naturally pro-science and supportive of evidence-based approaches - especially on health issues - I find it an affront to democracy that while MPs are accountable to the public, committees are less directly accountable. Some serious rethinking of the relationship between committees, parliament and the civil service - and the way in which appointments are made - is overdue and patently necessary.
    If the Conservatives are serious about keeping Bosworth, they perhaps should consider having a word with Tredinnick about his tendency to undermine scientific approaches from within the Science and Technology Committee. His contributions are becoming more unpredictable and unreasonable, and his appointment to these committees has seen an increase in such proclamations. Tredinnick has been the Conservative MP for Bosworth since 1987, but faced a tough challenge from Liberal Democrat Michael Mullaney in 2010 and his growing reputation as a pro-quackery eccentric is unlikely to help him.
    Mullaney, who will again be contesting the seat in 2015, is understandably focused on his own constituency. "People in Hinckley and Bosworth want an MP who will stand up for them on the important issues of jobs and services. Our current MP spends his time telling doctors not to operate on full moons, advising GPs to consult people's astrology charts when they come for treatments and suggests that scientists objecting to widespread use of Chinese Herbal medicines to cure serious illnesses are racially motivated."

    Mullaney added: "At a time when the pressures facing the NHS are again under the spotlight, his answer to the strains on the NHS budget is to treat serious illness with herbal medicines and other ineffective and unproven methods. It's illogical.
    "He has been MP for Bosworth for 27 years - this is far too long and it's about time he was thrown out by the voters next May!"
  • Article: Oct 18, 2014
    In Liberal Democrat Voice

    There was some really good news from York after Thursday's by-election, former Liberal Democrat Group Leader, who lost his seat in the City's Westfield ward in 2011, regained it in spectacular style, with a 24.8% swing from Labour.

    The result in full is:

    Andrew Waller - Lib Dem 1804
    Labour 588
    UKIP 398
    Con 113
    Green 87

  • Phil Knowles at Hospital
    Article: Oct 17, 2014

    Phil Knowles has called on the EU to increase yet again its efforts both to mobilise medical expertise from across the world and encourage financial contributions to the fighting fund. Financial input from both within and outside of the EU.

    'The world is a much 'smaller place' now. It can be argued that Air travel has seen to that. With the greater accessibility to travel comes the potential for illness such as Ebola to quickly cross boarders and continents. In the EU we have some of the world's leading experts in medical matters. They must be focused quickly and in a well organised way on to the prevention of the spreading of the disease and seeking ways of caring for the victims. They are then well placed to assist in coordinating world resources.