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Welcome to the Witney Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats stand for freedom and fairness in politics. As the preamble to our Constitution says:

"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."

If you share our views, get involved - help us, join us.

Recent news updates

  • Article: Aug 3, 2015

    As President Obama's announcement of a clean power plan was hailed as the strongest action on climate change by a US president, Tim Farron has found the Conservatives' plans regressive.

    Commenting on President Obama's clean energy plan, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said:

    "We have seen today how President Obama is committed to bringing in measures to tackle climate change, yet David Cameron is insistent on setting about dismantling the Coalition's green legacy.

    "Our own Prime Minister seems intent on rolling back the green agenda championed by Liberal Democrats in Coalition and it reflects his arrogant and lackadaisical attitude to climate change.

    "In America they are seeking to boost investment in wind and solar technology, but in the UK the Government is slashing support for these very same renewable energy sources.

    "Liberal Democrats will fight tooth and nail against these short sighted, ideological cuts to the programmes that we fought for in Government."

  • Article: Aug 3, 2015
    By Cllr John Howson and Cllr Jean Fooks in Oxford Mail

    Dear Sir,

    We are pleased about investment in the railways, taking to move freight off roads, but this means much greater activity on existing lines, some of which in Oxford, run alongside homes, from the station through Jericho to Wolvercote, where the former branch line to Bicester is to become part of a busy East-West route. We understand people's concerns about the impact on their lives.

    The City Council seems to have very limited powers to reduce the noise and vibration from both passenger and, more importantly, freight trains. One way to improve the situation is for Network Rail to build the flyover, said to be needed for future rail capacity, further north than currently proposed, so it is built north of the A40. This would remove trains from Upper Wolvercote completely.

    Sadly the Conservative-run County Council withdrew the rail strategy from the new Local Transport Plan; when re-written it should consider this option as it would benefit residents.

    For people south of Wolvercote we expect that Nicola Blackwood MP, who promised to stand up for residents, to put much greater pressure on Network Rail to provide noise barriers and to replace as much as possible of the vegetation removed by Network Rail.

    The Labour-run City Council has failed to listen to the concerns of residents along the railway in both the St Margaret's and Summertown divisions.

    Both Councils and the MP should be doing all they can to ensure that their constituents are protected from the downside of increased rail investment.

    Cllr John Howson

    Cllr Jean Fooks

    Lib Dem County Councillors

    Oxfordshire County Council

    County Hall

  • Article: Aug 3, 2015
    By Cllr John Howson

    I am pleased to present this petition on behalf of the pupils and parents at St Aloysius' School in my division. The petition has been signed by 233 people - 119 on line and 114 on the paper petition. This is a large number for a small primary school.

    The petition is to request the extension of the current cycle path on the west side of the Woodstock Road from its present conclusion at Fenchay Road to St Margaret's Road where the school is located.

    The current home to school transport policy of this council starts with a recognition that it is better if pupils can either walk or cycle to school. There are obvious health benefits to cycling to school and the secondary school in my division, the Cherwell School, has an enviably high percentage of its pupils that cycle to school each day. Indeed, this council recently improved that cycling experience by painting an additional white line on the Marston Ferry Road cycle path.

    This petition calls for the extension southwards of the existing cycle path on the Woodstock Road to a point adjacent to the school gates. At present, the cycle path on the western side of the Woodstock Road ends at Frenchay Road and transfer from a pavement path to an in-road path on the eastern carriageway. This is clearly less safe for primary age children and requires them to cross the busy Woodstock Road twice to reach the school. The crossing is not a Pelican crossing designed to assist cyclists.

    The western side of the Woodstock Road is wide enough between French and St Margaret's Roads to accommodate an extension of the cycle path. The extension will clearly encourage more cycling to school and is supported by the school including by the pupils' Eco Council.

    I hope that the Cabinet member will consider this petition and be able to support the request as it will encourage cycling and will provide a safer route to school for many children.

    Thank you.

  • Article: Aug 3, 2015
    By Cllr John Howson in Oxford Mail

    Funding for schools in Oxfordshire has been among the lowest in the country for many years. This lack of funding has been equally the case under both Labour and Conservative governments. Even though the basis for calculating the amount each individual school receives is no longer directly a matter for the County Council, but is decided by the Schools Forum, there is a feeling among heads and governors that Oxfordshire schools are being short-changed. However, I find it difficult to accept that the schools should focus their complaints on the two additional areas of funding that resulted from policy changes introduced by the Liberal Democrats when part of the coalition government.

  • Article: Jul 30, 2015

    Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron has responded to the Prime Minister's remarks on the Calais migrant crisis. David Cameron said today that the UK will not become a "safe haven" for a "swarm of people coming across the Mediterranean".

    Tim Farron said,

    By blaming 'migrant swarms' for the current crisis in Calais David Cameron risks dehumanising some of the world's most desperate people. We are talking about human beings here, not insects.

    Of course, we need to improve security at the tunnel to protect our borders and stop migrants from dying on the tracks but we also need to address the wider humanitarian issue too.

    This means as a country we should accept our fair share of refugees by signing up to the EU asylum policy, rather than expecting others to do it for us. If Ireland can sign up to the scheme why can't we?

    By using the Prime Minister's language we lose sight of how desperate someone has to be to cling to the bottom of a lorry or train for the chance of a better life.

  • Article: Jul 29, 2015

    Tim Farron has set about ending the Liberal Democrats' lack diversity at the top of the party - by naming the most diverse shadow cabinet team in the party's history to lead the party's fightback.

    The new Lib Dem leader announced a spokesperson team including 12 women and 10 men to lead the fight back against the Tory government.

  • Article: Jul 28, 2015

    Politicians from across the political spectrum should seize the opportunity to overhaul the House of Lords once and for all, Lib Dem leader Tim Farron has said.

    It comes amid the fallout of Lord Sewel's resignation from the House of Lords, which has sparked calls for a shake-up of the second chamber.

    Tim has written to party leaders in the Commons and Lords - as well as crossbench peers - urging them to back the case for reform.

  • Article: Jul 24, 2015

    Three by elections victories - one hold and two gains from both Labour and Conservatives - are an encouraging boost for the #LibDemFightback.

    Coming the same day that Tim Farron was elected as the new leader of the party, all three ballots had the Lib Dems on over 50% of the vote. Congratulations to all the new Lib Dem councillors!

  • Article: Jul 24, 2015

    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.

  • Article: Jul 22, 2015

    Tim Farron savages Labour and Tories over Welfare Bill in maiden speech as leader.

    Speaking in the House of Commons the new Liberal Democrat leader called Tory plans to rip £12bn from welfare bill "unfair, unwise and inhuman". Tim Farron said the cut was unnecessary and accused George Osborne of choosing to attack the poorest families under the guise of economic necessity. He accused the Chancellor of "demonising" people with disabilities and mental health conditions. The Westmorland and Lonsdale MP also accused Labour of giving in to the Conservatives' narrative and said their position on the bill was "shameful".

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