Last night saw the results of the Witney by-election - we started the campaign in 4th place as 50/1 outsiders and thanks to the relentless, positive campaign we ran, dented the Conservative majority and secured one of our best by-election results in decades. This is what you need to know:
1: If this result was repeated across the UK, the Tories would lose their majority
The recently released viability report on Manston Airport by Avia Consulting, commissioned by UKIP-led Thanet Council, completely ignores several potential revenue streams in its calculations.
The Thanet Liberal Democrats are therefore calling for a public meeting to allow for questions and challenges to be aired.
1. Why were significant potential aviation-related revenue streams not considered such as Aircraft Salvage? Footnote 1 of the report states: The scope of this report does not extend to a consideration of other uses for the airport (other than passenger and cargo), and Avia Solutions is therefore not able to comment on the reasonableness or otherwise of the alternative use proposals. Why Not?
2. Avia Consulting has strong credentials with regards to the operation of commercial airports focused on passenger traffic, not Aviation support services (see 1. above). So why were they chosen to do this important report?
3. Whilst stating that financial models are focused on 'upper bounds' of predicted traffic, this is misleading without considering other sources of income, i.e. Aircraft Maintenance.
4. The report assumes that a third runway will be built at Heathrow Airport - this is a significant assumption and could lead to a massive under-capacity issue if there were delays and challenges to the scheme. Manston is good to go now.
We disagree with the conclusion that Manston Airport cannot be financially viable, and fully support any commercial venture that is willing to stake money and reputation to realise a high-tech, high -skilled jobs future for Manston Airport.
The Thanet Liberal Democrats call for consideration of the following uses for Manston Airport as an Aviation Ancillary Services Hub within any viability calculations:
We thought it would be a nice idea to meet for a drink and a chat, so that new members (and members not yet active!) could get to know each other, and join the fightback. We will be in the bar from 6.30pm.
Liberal Democrat peer, John Sharkey, whose Private Member's Bill was instrumental in securing a pardon for Alan Turing, has reached an agreement with the Government which will grant a posthumous pardon to thousands of gay and bisexual men convicted under long abolished sexual offence laws.
Those similarly convicted but still alive will also receive pardons if they have successfully applied for a disregard or in future successfully apply for a disregard under the Protection of Freedoms Act.
KCC has spent £6,877.6 on just 200 copies of an 'Annual Strategic Statement' and an executive summary, 84 each of which were to go to County Members, the rest to 'key partners' and MPs. The cost, which equates to over £34 each, includes £3,430 for graphic design alone. The information was obtained by Lib Dem County Councillor Rob Bird.
Lib Dem county councillors Trudy Dean, Rob Bird, Dan Daley and Ian Chittenden met with Kent Highways officers on Monday. Councillors expressed concern about the current unacceptable congestion at the northern end of Hermitage Lane and stressed the need for road improvements to be implemented as a matter of extreme urgency.
Responding to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal ruling today which found that UK security agencies unlawfully collected data of British citizens for over a decade, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael said:
"Allowing the state to collect endless amounts of personal data is not just a gross invasion of a privacy, it is a waste of precious resources.