Welcome to our Website!

This is the official website for West Hertfordshire Liberal Democrats Local Party.
The West Herts Liberal Democrats campaign in the Parliamentary Constituencies of Hemel Hempstead and South West Herts - from Long Marston and Tring in the North West to Rickmansworth and South Oxhey in the South East.

Chair: James Davies; Secretary: Anne Wellington; Membership Development Officer: Dominic Sokalski Click names to contact.

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

  • Ed Davey Leader
    Article: Sep 1, 2020

    I'd like to start by thanking my friend Layla Moran. Layla, you fought a passionate campaign, full of energy.

    Since becoming an MP, you have inspired so many people, particularly young people. Your future is bright and I look forward to you playing a big role in my team.

    To members of the Liberal Democrats, thank you for putting your faith in me and giving me the honour of leading a party I joined 30 years ago.

    And I want also to thank a whole host of people who've run this campaign - whether in party headquarters alongside the Returning Officer, or in my own amazing campaign team.

    The thousands of people who've volunteered time to campaign with me. Who've donated to my campaign. Who've championed our vision of a greener, fairer, more caring society.

    I'd particularly like to thank Claire Halliwell, my Campaign Manager. Claire, you've been fantastic.

    And of course Emily, my wife and our two beautiful children, John and Ellie. Thank you Emily for your amazing support, patience and love.

    I am sure I am speaking for many people when I say that - for all the stress and uncertainty of the last few months - one positive has been the chance to spend more time with our families. And so I'd like to thank Ellie in particular, for appearing as a surprise cameo in so many of my zoom calls and online hustings.

    I want to talk now about the future of the Liberal Democrats.

    I joined this party 30 years ago. I met Emily here. I have made so many good friends here.

    And with those friends, I have campaigned across our country, knocking on tens of thousands of doors, delivering hundreds of thousands of leaflets.

    The reason I have done all this is simple.
    I love our party. And I believe in it.

    I stand for all the things the Liberal Democrats stand for:

    Social justice, political reform, equality and protecting our environment.

    I stand for fairness and for fighting to protect the rights of ordinary people.

    I'm determined our Party backs a Britain that works with other countries across the world for peace and prosperity.

    But, it is my love of our party that makes me recognise that we have to change. We have to wake up and smell the coffee.

    Nationally, our party has lost touch with too many voters.

    Yes, we are powerful advocates locally.

    Our campaigners listen to local people, work hard for communities and deliver results.

    But at the national level, we have to face the facts of three disappointing general election results. The truth is...

    Voters don't believe that the Liberal Democrats want to help ordinary people get on in life.

    Voters don't believe we share their values.

    And voters don't believe we are on the side of people like them.

    Nationally, voters have been sending us a message.

    But we have not been listening. It is time for us to start listening.

    As leader I am telling you: I have got that message. I am listening now.

    Whether you're from the North, South, or somewhere in between

    Whether you voted for Brexit or Remain, or just wanted the whole thing settled

    Whether you voted Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat, SNP or Plaid

    My message for you is this:

    I will travel up and down our country to meet you.

    To hear about the things that matter most to you.

    Your problems and fears, your hopes and dreams.

    I will face up to uncomfortable truths.

    And I will make your concerns my own.

    Our country is going through one of the most extraordinary and difficult periods for generations.

    The challenge of Covid will affect our country and the world for decades to come.

    Millions of people are suffering.

    As Leader of the Liberal Democrats, I want to reach out to help you and your community get through this.

    Whether your concerns are your families' health, your children's education or your livelihood.

    I want to understand the new future you want after all this - and help to deliver it.

    So my job from today is to rebuild the Liberal Democrats to national relevance so we can deliver this future for you, for your family and for the people who need it the most.

    None of this is going to be easy.

    None of this is going to be straightforward.

    And none of it is going to be quick or simple to achieve.

    But I want the Liberal Democrats to represent the whole country, not just some people, and to stand for fairness and opportunity for all.

    That is my commitment to you as the new leader of the Liberal Democrats.

    The hard work starts today.

  • Light at the End of the Tunnel
    Article: Aug 30, 2020

    Nick Hollinghurst has just returned from a 4-day self-imposed media blackout to discover the Liberal Democrats have a new Leader.

    "And about time too!" he remarked. "Once again we were asked to chose between two first-class candidates, though this time noticeably different emphases and attitudes emerged. The election process was fair and thorough - and it certainly gave the two candidates sufficient time to set out their views and programmes."

    "At times, though, it seemed never-ending and it has taken us nearly 8 months to get to this point. There was even some talk of prolonging the whole thing by another whole year, such was the rumour. However, I'm sure many people are grateful that we now have a resolution and, for once, a decisive result."

    "However," he added, "it is to be hoped that due consideration will be given to the views expressed by the unsuccessful candidate, since these are legitimate proposals which have the support of a significant minority of our members."

  • First Tomatoes 2020
    Article: Aug 26, 2020

    The climate seems to be changing more and more under the influence of global heating. Some crops have done well, such as our red currants and gooseberries. Others seem less productive e.g. the potatoes.

    The tomatoes, however, are looking good, if the first ones off the plant are anything to go by. Of course being in the greenhouse, which is something of a semi-controlled environment, they have been well looked after and we ensured that they got enough water during the dry spells.

    Reports of the cereal harvest in East Anglia don't sound very encouraging though. It's all very well for people to laugh off global heating, but they really should stop and think for a bit about where food comes from. ( Hint. "supermarkets" is not the answer - nor is "Ocado" )

    We hope the mini-boom in allotment demand is maintained. If you try to grow some food for yourself you will be surprised how difficult it actually is. Now that makes you think. But it's good, healthy exercise, very satisfying and rewarding - not just in terms of food which tastes so much better than stuff that is flown in, but also in terms of what you learn, a sense of achievement and insight into the natural world with a glimpse into what our place in it really is.

  • Document: Aug 26, 2020
    19.67 KiB document

    Cllr Nick Hollinghurst's Response to Dacorum Borough Council's consultation on their Draft Strategic Design Guide. This is a Supplementary Planning Document which will form part of the evolving Local Plan for strategic housing in the Borough.

  • Planning Permission Granted
    Article: Aug 25, 2020

    INTERESTING FACTS 2. HOUSES AND PLANNING PERMISSION

    Did you know that there are over a million homes in the UK where planning permission has been granted - but the houses have never been built! It works out that over the last 10 years 40% of the houses with planning permissions just remained as open fields or vacant plots or otherwise unused land.

    This was certainly a surprise to me - and this is happening more and more. Did you know that the rate at which planning permission for homes is being granted has nearly doubled between 2012/13 and 2019/20.

    And did you know that local councils grant planning permission for homes 90% of the time?

    Could it be that some companies and people are just trying to increase the value of their land by getting planning permission (maybe to sell it on and make a large profit) without any real intention of actually building anything? I don't know.

    So what are the reasons why the houses are not being built?

  • Brook Street Traffic
    Article: Aug 23, 2020
    INTERESTING FACTS 1. CARS AND PEOPLE
    Did you know that there are:
    33.6 million people with driving licences in the UK?
    31.7 million cars
    4.1 million vans
    35.8 million cars and vans in total.

    So that means that everyone could be driving at the same time. What a traffic jam that would be!
    But hey, don't worry - these vehicles are not really used that much.

    In fact 96% of the time the cars and vans are parked somewhere. They are only actually being driven for 4% of the time. This is equivalent to 58 minutes per day and they travel only about 21 miles per day on average.

  • Snowdon Railway Diesel Hybrid
    Article: Aug 22, 2020

    Yes, it's certainly true - hybrid traction is getting everywhere now!

    The latest news is that Snowdon Mountain Railway's owners, Heritage Great Britain, have decided to replace their diesel locomotives with two diesel hybrids specially made for them by Clayton Equipment Ltd to run on the UK's only rack and pinion railway.

    The railway will be saving fuel as well as noise and pollution with the new diesel engines which comply to Euro 5 standards and are more efficient than locomotives they are replacing. They will also be able to recover much of the energy used to go uphill by using the electric motors to act as brakes as they descend, recharging the batteries at the same time. This will substantially reduce the railway's carbon dioxide emissions while enabling more passengers to be carried.

    For railway locomotives with the space and the sturdiness to carry lead-acid batteries, diesel hybrids are clearly the way to go if high speed is not a requirement.

  • Bristol Traffic (UWE)
    Article: Aug 21, 2020

    I wonder how many people have heard of Donald Sidney Appleyard (born London, 1928 - died Athens, 1982)? An English-American who studied first architecture and later urban planning at MIT, where he taught for 6 years before moving to Berkeley He worked on neighbourhood design in Berkeley and Athens and citywide planning in San Francisco and Ciudad Guayana. He lectured at over forty universities and acted in a professional capacity in architecture and planning in the United Kingdom, Italy and the United States. Sadly and ironically he died in Athens as a consequence of a traffic accident when he was struck and knocked down by a drunk, speeding driver.

  • Healthy Start (NHS)
    Article: Aug 19, 2020

    Towards the end of last year a report on smoking in pregnancy was presented to the County's Public Health Cabinet Panel by Herfordshire's Director of Public Health. Encouraging changes in behaviour to improve public health is a difficult and sensitive process. An authoritarian approach or attitudes by professionals that come across as scolding or blaming are counter productive and worse than useless. People engaging in behaviour that is risky - to themselves or to others - must be treated with the respect that is due to everyone. That means trusting the individual and focussing on the problem - her addiction to nicotine - and providing sympathetic help to escape from the situation.

    Smoking is the single most important risk factor for an adverse outcome in pregnancy that can be quickly removed by a behavioural change. In Hertfordshire in 2018/19, 6% of pregnant women smoked to the end of their pregnancy. This compares with a figure of 10% for all England. Unfortunately pregnancy smoking showed a rise in Hertfordshire in Q1 2019/20, especially in the East & North Herts CCCG area where it reached 9%.

    This is serious, especially for the child, its perinatal and lifetime health and its opportunities and life chances.

    The consequences of smoking in pregnancy include:

  • Night Flight Noise (Guardian/Steve Parsons/PA)
    Article: Aug 15, 2020

    What with traffic being less and flight almost stopped because of covid-19 restrictions many people are now getting a better night's sleep. And this is a good thing too - because sleep disturbance or insufficient sleep has a series of adverse health consequences.

    It's now been known for decades that the modern way of life disturbs natural sleep rythms and interferes with the biological clocks ion our metabolisms that have evolved over millions of years - literally from the time that life began - and it's the higher mamals e.g. us that find sleep disturbance most damaging.

    A study around involving nearly 5,000 people living in noise hotspots close to 6 major European airports, including Heathrow, for over 5 years found a 14% increase in the risk of high blood pressure for every 10 dB increase in nighttime noise. There was no correlation with daytime noise. (reported in Guardian 13/02/2008)

    And it's not just the noise itself, but the way it disturbs sleep even if it doesn't wake you up.

    This adverse effect of night-time noise was confirmed 5 years later by a similar study involving 1,500 near Heathrow, which also detected an adverse effects with daytime noise. For night-time noise the overall increased risk of hospital admission for stroke was increase by 29%, for coronary heart disease by 12% and for cardiovascular disease by 9%. For day-time noise the corresponding figures were 23%, 11% and 14%. These effects were stronger in the case of persons with South Asian ethnicity.

    Other sources of noise were studied and, as measured by subjective reports of annoyance, aircraft noise was more annoying than noise from road traffic or from rail which in turn led to comparatively higher effects from aircraft noise. (reported in Guardian 09/10/2013)

    Noise is associated with activation of the sympathetic nervous system and so it would not be surprising for it to be associated with other health problems and last year an analysis of many different but similar scientific published papers (a meta-analysis) covering nearly half a million individuals found a 6% increase in the risk of Type 2 diabetes following only a 3 dB increase in noise exposure, regardless of source. Within the data, however, a stronger effect was observed with aircraft noise than with road or rail noise.