Local Growth Funds

As part of the Liberal Democrat plan to build a stronger economy and a fairer society, the government is investing a further £1 billion in local economies across England, by expanding the successful Growth Deals.

 An agreement has been reached with all 39 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) to expand significantly the Growth Deals that were struck last July.

The funding, to be devolved from central government into the hands of local authorities, businesses, colleges and universities will help to train young people, create thousands of new jobs, build thousands of new homes and start hundreds of infrastructure projects, including transport improvements and superfast broadband networks.

Ros Kayes, our Parliamentary Candidate, says: "This is excellent for rural areas like West Dorset, too often we feel isolated from central government and the decisions they make are just plain wrong for us. I am delighted the Lib Dems are bringing this forward: this is the beginning of the end of a country where Whitehall calls the shots."

 

 

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Delay on the Chilcot Report is unacceptable

The Chilcot Report won’t be released before the election. 

That means key figures like Jack Straw, Gordon Brown and Tony Blair could be getting off lightly thanks to the publication’s delay. They need to be held to account: the victims and the public deserve answers. Even though the report was finished three years ago we still haven't seen anything!

So many people support the Lib Dems because of our brave stance on the Iraq war - and this still stands, we haven't forgotten.

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Hackney Heroine takes Bridport by storm!

Pauline Pearce, the Hackney Heroine packed the Lyric Theatre in Bridport to the rafters on Friday for a sell-out fundraising event on "What’s wrong with politics?".

A wide ranging audience from Dorchester, Sherborne, Bournemouth and Lyme Regis as well as Bridport attended the Question Time style event which debated: community politics, localism, sustainability and how to increase people power in politics without giving in to right wing populism.

The panel, also comprising international human rights lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith; photographer, documentary-maker and founder of the Home in Bridport project, Robert Golden; and Bridport Councillor and our Parliamentary Candidate Ros Kayes explored what has led to the current apathy and anger with politics and whether it can ever be reversed.

Following close upon the heels of Dorchester’s People First meeting (which challenged West Dorset District Council’s system of cabinet government and its contempt for the public) the meeting, chaired by former Mayor of Bridport Dave Rickard looked at why trust has been lost in career politicians and how ordinary people can rediscover their voices and regain control of how decisions are made.

 

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New Dorchester Transport & Environment Plan Unveiled!

After listening to the concerns of residents across the town a new Plan has been drawn up to improve traffic flows, increase safety and make Dorchester a more attractive place to visit.

“This may have taken some time but the important thing for the future of Dorchester is that we get this right,” says Dorchester Councillor Andy Canning, who is Chairman of the DTEP Working Group. All of the proposals on this page are funded and work will start on some of them this year! The detailed drawings and plans for the first stage will be available soon.

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Millions will benefit as automatic pension rollout hits the halfway point

Now there are 5 million workers who have been automatically enrolled in workplace pensions: this is significant as it represents a halfway point of the policy, which will see around 10 million automatically enrolled by 2018.

Also announced by Steve Webb, minister for pensions, is that from Autumn 2016 there will be a scheme which will introduce a pension pot that can follow workers from job to job - this is particularly useful as the average person has 11 jobs throughout their lifetime.

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Local Lib Dems query rationale for voluntary redundancies at West Dorset District Council

Councillors at West Dorset District Council responded to the retiring leader Robert Gould's statement that staff were leaving the authority because of an upturn in the private sector rather than as a response to the changes taking place at the authority.

Mr John Grantham, a member of the public, had asked a question about why staff were leaving and how many had taken voluntary redundancies as part of the merger with Weymouth and Portland, which the Councils say has saved 6 million pounds.

In 2012-13 41 staff left, 7.4 percent of the total representing 33 voluntary retirements and 8 redundancies. In 2013 - 14 the figures were 3.5 percent, 25 retirements and 8 redundancies.

But Liberal Democrats question the rationale offered by the council leader. "We know that this has been a period of extreme stress for staff, with many having received changes to their pay grades and in their wages, and we are concerned that the forthcoming merger with North Dorset will heighten the pressure", said Cllr Stella Jones, Lib Dem Group Leader.

 

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