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Welcome to the website of Northampton Liberal Democrats

Northampton Liberal Democrats currently have 2 Councillors on Northampton Borough Council and 6 on Northamptonshire County Council.

To help our campaign or for more information please get in touch here.

Tim Farron M.P. Leader of The Liberal Democrats

tim 2

Recent updates

  • Energy Saving
    Article: Jul 26, 2015
    By national liberal democrats

    In a huge blow to Britain's Green industry, the Conservatives have announced they will end all Government funding to the Green Deal - a programme set up by the Liberal Democrats in Coalition that helps people make their homes more energy efficient.

    Tim Farron has condemned the new policy, saying:

    "Today's news is yet another blow for green industry and British jobs. The Conservatives claim they want to tackle climate change, but this is further evidence they don't care about the environment.

  • You are a Liberal
    Article: Jul 20, 2015
    By national liberal democrats
  • Article: Jul 16, 2015
    By national liberal democrats
    Liberal Democrats could pave the way for 16-year-olds to vote in local council elections as David Cameron is expected to face a further defeat in the House of Lords on Wednesday.

    Lib Dem peers have tabled an amendment to the Government's 'Cities' Bill to give under-18s the right to choose their local councillors.

    Labour is expected to support the amendment, which would mean yet another defeat for the Government in the second chamber.

    The move is part of the party's wider campaign to allow 16 and 17-year-olds to vote in the EU Referendum and General Elections.

    key_votes-at-16.jpg

    Liberal Democrat Constitutional Spokesperson Lord Tyler said:

    "There is no reason to deny 16 and 17-year olds the right to vote. They are subject to all the laws of the land and pay taxes as the rest of us.

    "They can become company directors, get married and join the army. They are full members of society and should be treated as such when it comes to voting.

    "The Scottish Referendum showed that 16 and 17-year-olds are more than capable of taking part in the democratic process, this right should now
    be extended to those young people in England and Wales.

    "This is an important first step in the Liberal Democrat fight to make sure 16-year-olds have the vote in the EU Referendum and General Elections.

    "Conservative cuts will hit young people the hardest - it is only fair they get the chance to have their say on these measures."

  • Votes @ 16
    Article: Jun 24, 2015
    By Northampton Lib Dems

    The EU Referendum Bill will pave the way for a referendum on the UK's membership of the EU and yet the Government has not proposed any extension in the election franchise to allow 16 year-olds the right to vote.

    16 year-olds are eligible to join the armed forces, get married and pay income tax but yet don't have the right to vote.

    16 and 17 year-olds were able to vote in last years Scottish Referendum and this helped add life to the campaign. When it comes to a referendum on our future in Europe and the World then Liberal Democrats believe that those who will build that future should also have their say.

  • key_wind_(800x447).jpg
    Article: Jun 22, 2015
    By National Liberal Democrats

    Following reports that the Conservatives will cut wind farm subsidies earlier than planned, Liberal Democrat Energy and Climate Change spokesperson Lord Purvis said:

    "Anti-wind power Tories will put up electricity bills, cut green jobs and reduce investment.

    "This is bad for the environment, it is bad for the economy and it is bad for our energy supplies. This is the sort of short sighted mistake that the Liberal Democrats consistently stopped the Tories from making.

    "The need for us to secure the greatest amount of renewable electricity as part of our energy mix is more important now than ever before.

    "This Conservative commitment was wrong to make it in the first place, it is being delivered in the wrong way and the result will be the wrong one for the renewable energy sector and for the future of our planet."

  • Article: Jun 10, 2015

    The Referendum - who can and can't vote?

    June 9, 2015 11:02 AM
    By Jon Danzig in British Influence

    EU Franchise

    Citizens from over 70 nations will be able to vote in the UK referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union. But most European Union nationalities will be excluded.

    A spokesman for the British Prime Minster said:

  • key_Charles_Kennedy.jpg
    Article: Jun 3, 2015
    By National Liberal Democrats

    Charles was one of the greatest politicians of his generation, devoting his life to public service, having been elected as a Highlands MP at the age of 23. He was well known for his wit and charm when speaking, which touched many people beyond the world of politics.

    He led the Liberal Democrats to our party's greatest electoral successes and showed immense courage when standing up against injustice, most notably when his spoke for the country against the invasion of Iraq.

    Commenting on his death, Nick Clegg has said: "He always remained modest about his huge achievements. Whenever I asked him for advice, he was unfailingly kind and wise. Most of all, I will never forget the pride and love with which he would talk about his own family, most especially his devotion to his son Donald. My heart goes out to his sister and brother and to Sarah and Donald at this tragic time."

    The Liberal Democrats, and many more outside the party, will never forget him.

    A book of condolence for Charles can be signed here.

    Willie Rennie, Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, paid tribute to Charles Kennedy:

    "With that cheeky smile, highland voice and a few simple words Charles Kennedy captured the political hearts of the nation. Charles had a unique combination of political talent and public affection. He had a healthy disdain for policy detail but had highly tuned political instincts.

    "He was in his element on the campaign trail - stealing the show in a TV debate on independence, a joust with opponents in a public meeting in Portree or greeting people on streets of Dunfermline. His wise counsel and gentle encouragement is something I especially valued. I will miss him so much."

    Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, paid tribute to Charles Kennedy.

    "We are all immensely sad to hear of this devastating news. You would struggle to meet a kinder man than Charles. He was a man who had time for everybody; a real people person and that made him stand out from all the rest. He will always be remembered for his warm personality and brilliant quick wit.

    "Charles was a giant in our party. He was robust, sincere and passionate. Never will I be more proud of our party than when Charles us led from the front in our opposition to the Iraq war. This wasn't a decision taken lightly, yet Charles was a man of principle and did what he knew was right. The party owes him a great gratitude for the position he took and the bravery he showed.

    "Above all else, our thoughts go out to Charles' family at this very difficult time."

  • Article: Jun 1, 2015
    In The Observer
    May 31, 2015 3:24 PM
    By Toby Helm and Daniel Boffey in The Observer

    A row of housesFormer top civil servant Lord Kerslake says plan is wrong in principle, in attack that will deal blow to David Cameron's pledge

    The former head of the civil service will this week denounce the government's flagship plan to extend the "right to buy" to 1.3 million housing association tenants, saying it is wrong in principle and practice and will not address the urgent need to build more affordable homes.

    Lord Kerslake (formerly Sir Bob Kerslake), who was the most senior mandarin at the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) until February, when he was made a peer by David Cameron, will break cover in his maiden speech in the House of Lords on Tuesday, delivering a serious blow to a centrepiece of the prime minister's legislative programme outlined in last week's Queen's speech.

    Kerslake, who was head of the civil service from 2012 to 2014, and permanent secretary at the DCLG until weeks before the election, working on housing policy, told the Observer: "I will raise my serious concerns about the policy in its current form. I think it's wrong in principle and wrong in practice, and it won't help tackle the urgent need to build more housing and more affordable housing in this country, particularly in London."

    Now sitting as a crossbench peer, Kerslake is expected to demand that ministers hold urgent discussions with housing experts to rethink the policy, which has been widely criticised by the housing industry and business groups, including the CBI, as hugely expensive, unworkable and potentially damaging.

    Meanwhile the London mayor, Boris Johnson, who returned to the Commons as the Tory MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip at the election, has also warned colleagues at the highest levels of government that the plans could be a disaster for the capital unless guarantees are given that the money raised from sales of high-value properties in London is spent on building more affordable homes.

    While he backs extending the right- to-buy in principle, Johnson wants assurances that the proceeds are not siphoned off elsewhere to areas where construction will be cheaper and land more readily available. At a recent meeting of the London assembly, the mayor said it would be the "height of insanity" if the proceeds are used to fund housebuilding in areas where the shortage is less acute.

    He is also said to be worried that the policy will hurt London's "social mix" and leave key public sector workers, including nurses, teachers and others on low incomes, without places to live.

    A spokesman for the mayor said: "He has been clear that the new policy must deliver an overall increase in housebuilding in London, and that all the money generated from selling London homes is retained in the capital to help increase the supply of new homes, particularly affordable homes."

    The Conservatives announced before the general election that they would set out plans within 100 days on how to allow tenants in housing association homes to buy their properties at discounts of up to £104,000 in London and over £77,000 elsewhere.

    Ministers say housing associations will be compensated for the discounts from money raised by forcing local authorities to sell off their most expensive housing stock when it becomes vacant. They say the plan will ensure "one-for-one replacement" of affordable properties sold.

    The ideas have been widely attacked, including by housing associations, which are independent charities. Many have threatened to sue the government if forced into sales. Critics say that similar promises to replace homes sold with new affordable homes were not honoured when the right to buy council homes was introduced by Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s.

    Whitehall sources say the Tories rushed out the announcement in the runup to the election when they believed the ideas could be shelved or watered down in any coalition with the Liberal Democrats or other parties.

    The National Housing Federation has said the policy will cost up to £5.8bn a year because compensation will have to be paid to housing associations.

    Kerslake will be joined by several other peers. One, Lord Best, another crossbencher who will speak on Tuesday, said: "There is an acute need for more affordable homes: even those on relatively good incomes are now priced out of London and much of southern England. And since we have been building enough homes each year for only half the number of new households, the position is becoming ever more critical."

    Communities secretary Greg Clark will this week tell local authorities to let go of surplus and redundant sites to allow new homes to be constructed, and will set a target for them to release enough land to build 150,000 homes by 2020.

  • Article: May 27, 2015
    By National Liberal Democrats

    key_Tom_Brake.jpg

    Tom Brake, the Liberal Democrat MP for Carshalton and Wallington, has written about the Tories' plans to abolish the Human Rights Act. You can back our campaign to protect it here.

    Tom writes:

    In Coalition, the Tories said they would abolish the Human Rights Act as quickly as possible if they had their own way.

    They also threatened to walk away from the European Convention on Human Rights, with no guarantee about what would come in its place.

    The only reason they could not follow through on their plans is because they were blocked time and again by the Liberal Democrats.

    Now David Cameron - presiding over a wafer-thin majority and held to ransom by the swivel-eyed right wingers on his backbenches - is back on the war path.

    His first act in Government is not to explain how he plans to rip £12bn out of the welfare budget but a blatant, aggressive and cowardly attack on our human rights.

    By drawing up plans to scrap the Human Rights Act (HRA) and laying the groundwork to pull out of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) - the Tories are revealing their true colours.

    It sends a clear message to the British people: the next five years will be nastier, less liberal and less compassionate than any Government in living memory.

    But we must fight the Tories every step of the way and stop them from trampling on our hard-fought freedoms and rights.

    The HRA and ECHR are not some piffling pieces of legislation, dreamt up by bureaucrats in Brussels to tie us in red tape.

    These are British rights, drafted by British lawyers.

    They were forged in the aftermath of the atrocities of the Second World War and fought for by Winston Churchill.

    They are designed to place public authorities in the UK under a strict, non-negotiable obligation to treat people with fairness, equality and dignity.

    Frequently they have been all that has stood in the way of injustice, most usually inflicted on the individual by an over-powerful state.

    Our HRA has already achieved so much. It's held the state to account for spying on us, safeguarded our soldiers and supported peaceful protest.

    It's helped rape victims, defended domestic violence victims and guarded against slavery. It's protected those in care, shielded press freedom and provided answers for grieving families.

    Take for example, 90-year-olds Richard and Beryl Driscoll. They lived together for more than 65 years until, in 2006, he was moved into a residential care home.

    He could not walk unaided and she was blind. She relied on her husband as her eyes and he relied on her for his mobility.

    They wanted to remain together but the council said it wasn't possible to accommodate them in the same nursing home.

    But thanks to a campaign that argued their treatment breached their human rights - specifically their right to a family life - the council were forced to back down and they were reunited.

    It's difficult to believe that, without the protection afforded to them by the HRA, there would have been a happy ending.

    The same is true in Europe too. Up until 2004, it was possible for two gay men to be prosecuted for having sex if one was aged 16 or 17, even though it was legal for heterosexual couples.

    This blatant unfairness was only removed as a result of an ECHR ruling, one the right to a private life, a clause that causes heartless Tories such distress.

    And, in 2002, a male-to-female transsexual - asked Strasbourg to determine whether there had been a violation of her right to respect and family life.

    Why? Because Britain did not legally recognise her changed gender and did not let her marry. Her victory was a huge step forward in the battle for trans-equality in this country.

    Our current human rights legislation has also blocked blanket interception of private messages by the state, protected our right to a fair trial and prevented indiscriminate police stop-and-search.

    To walk away from the HRA and ECHR would remove at a stroke the moral authority we have when we engage with other countries.

    What sort of message would the Tories send to brutal dictators across the world if we abandoned our human rights' obligations?

    If we pulled out of the ECHR we would join Belarus - hardly a bastion of liberal democracy - as the only other European country not to sign up to it.

    These are fundamental rights we all have and they define how we treat our citizens and offer our citizens protection from the state.

    David Cameron has shown he cares less about the rights of the British people than he does about placating his frothing-at-the-mouth anti-European backbenchers.

    Liberal Democrats fought in Government to stop the Tories trashing our human rights laws. We must all come together now to stop them trying it again.

  • candidates 2015
    Article: May 5, 2015
    By Northampton Lib Dems

    Sally Beardsworth, Kingsthorpe Councillor and former Mayor on this years local elections

    "There is intense speculation as to the result of the General Election but no agreement on the outcome. Local and national media and most of the political parties are however ignoring the Borough Council Elections which also take place this Thursday.

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