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Science not Stigma – End the MSM Blood Donation Ban

Reading Lib Dems @ Reading PrideFor Reading Pride, we’re believing in Science not Stigma – End the MSM Blood Ban.

We believe that the 12 month ban on men who have safe sex with other men (MSM) and women who sleep with them, is based on prejudice rather than reliable science.

We believe that any restrictions on blood donation should be based on risky behaviour such as unprotected sex, promiscuity and lack of regular STI testing for donors and their partners.

Sign our petition now at or come visit our stall at Reading Pride on Saturday 30th August, noon until 4pm where you can sign the petition.

We’ll also be celebrating Liberal Democrats in Government delivering same-sex marriage!

Lib Dems in Government to fix thousands of potholes in Reading

IMG_1119As many as 3,000 potholes will be fixed in Reading in the next year thanks to Liberal Democrats in government.

A total of £163,833funding has been allocated to the area to fix the problem by the Coalition.

The local authority will also have to publish reports on the number of potholes repaired as a condition of receiving the money.

Lib Dem Transport Spokesperson Cllr Ricky Duveen said:

“Potholes are the bane of all our lives and this will help rid our roads of this menace.”

“This money, secured by Liberal Democrats in government, will make a real difference to business and the journeys of commuters and families in the area.”

The funding is part of a nationwide scheme which sees councils across England allocated £168 million to repair potholes. The money will help fix more than three million potholes across the country and is part of the largest investment in the roads since the 1970s.

Liberal Democrat Transport Minister Susan Kramer said:

“Potholes are a major form of distress for many motorists especially ones that seemingly need refilling every few months.”

“That is why I am so pleased that we have announced that more than three million potholes are to be filled.”

“Investing in our vital road network helps to build a stronger economy for all of us.”

It is the latest in a series of announcements that will see more than £24 billion spent on England’s strategic road network between 2010 and 2021.

Work on the potholes must be completed by March of next year. The money must be used on repairing potholes or ensuring they do not appear in the first place.

Councils will have to publish quarterly updates telling local residents how many potholes they have fixed.

Queen’s Speech guarantees thousands of parents in Reading will get help with childcare costs

childrens centre photoA major tax-free childcare package will help 505 families in Reading, Liberal Democrat Cllr Meri O’Connell said today (Monday, June 9th).

Working families will get up to £2,000 to ease the cost of childcare as part of a scheme to be rolled out in Autumn 2015.

It means a family with two children under 12-years-old could benefit by up to £4,000 a year.

Meri said: “The announcement in the Queen’s Speech last week provides a huge boost to hardworking families in Reading.

“This is something Liberal Democrats have fought for and are now delivering in Government.”

“We are committed to building a stronger economy and a fairer society and this helps children get the best start in life.”

The Queen’s Speech outlines the legislative agenda for the Coalition Government over the next 12 months.

Meri added: “It was announced every infant will get a free school meal to help improve education attainment and child health.”

“It comes on top of 15 hours free weekly childcare we have already delivered for all three and four year olds and pupil premium to help our schools.”

“All these measures will help parents go to work and provide security for their families.”

Local Election Candidates 2014

Wondering who your local Liberal Democrat candidate is, and what is important to them? Read below to find out.

Don’t know which ward you’re in? You can find out here >

Abbey – James Moore
Battle – Glenn Goodall
Caversham – Chris Burden
Church – Margaret McNeill
Katesgrove – Peter Kinsley
Kentwood – Jon Walls
Minster – Jon Fanti
Norcot – Georgina Hughes
Park – Rebecca Rye
Park By-Election – Francis Jakeman
Peppard – Jenny Woods
Redlands – Kirsten Bayes
Southcote – Madeleine Adams
Thames – Guy Penman
Tilehurst – Ricky Duveen
Whitley – Janel Blattler

Reading Lib Dems launch manifesto

Stronger_Fairer_SQUARE_whiteLiberal Democrats in Reading have launched their manifesto for the 2014 local council elections, taking place on 22 May.

Distinctive policy ideas put forward by the party include:

- Dealing with Reading’s housing shortage, by ensuring developers build at least 50 percent affordable housing in each new development.

- Making Reading’s streets safer, by bringing in 20 mile an hour speed limits in neighbourhoods across Reading.

- A promise to keep all libraries, arts and sports venues, youth centres and Sure Start Centres open.

Cllr Ricky Duveen, the leader of the Lib Dems on Reading Borough Council said, “We want to make Reading a better place to live, by freeing individuals, companies and communities from obstacles that stop them reaching their full potential.”

“We recognise that times are tight. We will continue to make the Council more efficient, making sure money isn’t wasted. That is why we will ensure that Council Tax rises are kept down and see to it that those on lowest incomes are taken out of paying Council Tax altogether.”

“Reading has a bright future. Economically it is the power house of the Thames Valley. We want all our citizens, rich and poor alike, to benefit from the growing economy.”

View the manifesto online >

Reading Lib Dems Announce Candidates for Council elections in May

forburyLiberal Democrats in Reading have announced their prospective candidates for the 2014 Local Elections on May 22nd. The party will have candidates for every ward up for election this year.

Lib Dem Group Leader on Reading Council, Cllr Ricky Duveen is restanding in Tilehurst. He said, “I am delighted we have such a strong field of candidates standing everywhere across the town. In Tilehurst, I will be asking for re election based on our decades long record of local action, and of staying in touch with residents all year round.”

Cllr Daisy Benson will be leaving the Council. Former councillor Kirsten Bayes will be standing again in Redlands. Daisy said,

“It has been a huge honour representing Redlands on the Council over the last eight years. It has been a pleasure getting to know the residents and I would like to thank them for the kindness and support they have shown me.

I will continue to take a keen interest in local issues and help where I can but I am stepping down as I need to focus on my professional career which is taking up increasing amounts of my time.

Kirsten is an experienced and energetic local campaigner, who has lived in Redlands for more than 20 years: she will be a strong local champion.”

Cllr Rebecca Rye will be stepping down in Katesgrove to stand in Park ward. Peter Kinsley, a scientific data analyst will be standing in Katesgrove, where he is a resident. Rebecca said, “It has been four very busy years on the Council. I am excited to be campaigning for the people of Park, and will be supporting Peter to ensure that people in Katesgrove have a knowledgeable local representative who stands up for them.”

Cllr Ricky Duveen said, “I’d like to thank Daisy and Rebecca for all their hard work in the wards they have represented and for fulfilling key roles as Group Leader and Deputy Leader respectively. I’d also like to wish Daisy well in whatever she chooses to do next, and look forward to supporting Rebecca on the campaign trail.”

The full list of prospective candidates is as follows:

Abbey: James Moore
Battle: Glenn Goodall
Caversham: Chris Burden
Church: Margaret McNeill
Katesgrove: Peter Kinsley
Kentwood: Jon Walls
Minster: Jon Fanti
Norcot: Georgina Hughes
Park: Rebecca Rye
Park By-Election: Francis Jakeman
Peppard: Jenny Woods
Redlands: Kirsten Bayes
Southcote: Maddy Adams
Thames: Guy Penman
Tilehurst: Ricky Duveen
Whitley: Janel Blattler

Local Lib Dems welcome extension of Crossrail to Reading

1400894_76032516Liberal Democrats in Reading have welcomed news that the Crossrail project will be extended to Reading.
Cllr Ricky Duveen, the Lib Dem Group Leader on Reading Council, who also speaks on transport issues said,
“We welcome the government decision to extend Crossrail to Reading announced today. It will bring much needed capacity  and extend choices for London-bound commuters as well as for those travelling in to work in Reading. This decision also confirms that Reading  is the beating heart of the Thames Valley and cannot simply be ignored on such a major project as Crossrail.

It was always the logical place to terminate Crossrail.”

Hundreds of parents in Reading to get help with childcare costs

childrens centre photoA major childcare package is set to help 5,050 parents in Reading, Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson Meri O’Connell said today.

Working families will be given up to £2,000 to ease the cost of childcare as part of a scheme to be rolled out in Autumn 2015.

The Government has said it will provide 20 per cent support on childcare costs up to £10,000 per year for each child.

For example, it means a family with two children under 12-years-old could benefit by up to £4,000 as a result.

Meri said: “Today’s news provides a huge boost to hardworking families in Reading.

“The Liberal Democrats are committed to building a stronger economy and a fairer society and this helps children get off to the best start in life.”

The Government has also said people on Universal Credit will get 85 per cent of childcare costs fully covered.

Meri added: “These measures will help parents to go to work and provide security for their families.”

Reading Lib Dems Welcome Budget

key_Tax_cuts_Budget_2014Reading Liberal Democrats welcome many items in yesterday’s budget. Included in this are the positive points in the budget:

  • £700 tax cut promised, £800 tax cut delivered
  • The Budget has confirmed victory for the Liberal Democrats in our campaign to deliver an £800 tax cut for people on low and middle incomes.
  • Cutting income tax by £700 – by raising the tax-free allowance to £10,000 – was the top priority on the front page of the Liberal Democrat manifesto. That comes into effect next month and the Budget has confirmed that the Liberal Democrats have now been able to go even further. The tax-free threshold will rise to £10,500 next year, giving a tax cut of £800 for 25m working people since 2010.
  • Liberal Democrat policy is to continue to increase the threshold in the next Parliament to £12,500

The Budget also includes:

  • A boost for apprentices – £85m to extend the Apprenticeship Grants for Employers scheme, creating 100,000 new apprentices, and £20m to support apprenticeships up to postgraduate level
  • A fuel duty freeze
  • Giving people control over the money they have saved in their pension pots – removing the need for people to be tied into buying annuities
  • Help for savers – reducing tax on savings for people on low incomes and increasing the levels and flexibility on ISAs
  • Help for small businesses – doubling the amount of money that companies can set off against tax for investing in new equipment to £500,000
  • Tax-free childcare worth up to £2,000 per child
  • More measures to clamp down on tax avoidance

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander said:

“This recovery would not be happening without the Liberal Democrats in Government. The Liberal Democrats are committed to building a stronger economy and a fairer society. The Liberal Democrats have fought for rises in the amount of money that people can earn before paying income tax right from the start of the coalition. We have already delivered an increase to £10,000 by April this year. That gives millions of tax payers a £700 tax cut.
We’ve been campaigning for months to go even further and we’ve been successful. The personal tax-free allowance will rise to £10,500 in April 2015 which will give millions of taxpayers another £100 tax cut taking the total tax cut in 2015 to £800.”

Commenting further, Reading Liberal Democrat Group Leader, Ricky Duveen said:

“We promised to give a tax cut to people on low and middle incomes, and we have done just that. £700 was promised, £800 was delivered. And now people earning less than £10,500 per year won’t pay tax at all from next year”

He also welcomed changes to savings and pensions, “the changes to pensions championed by the Lib Dems will give people much more freedom when investing money in retirement. We believe people know best how to manage their own money.”

£1.5m Funding Boost for Reading Schools

Tilehurst schoolLocal Lib Dems have warmly welcomed proposals which will see Reading receive £93 more per pupil in school funding than under the current system. This comes as part of an extra £350million boost to schools in the least fairly funded areas in the country.

The proposals announced in Parliament today by Liberal Democrat Education Minister David Laws will mean that funding will be allocated to local areas on the basis of the actual characteristics of their pupils and schools, rather than simply on the basis of historic levels of spending.

The proposed changes mean that, on average instead of receiving £4,454, schools in Reading will receive £4,547 per pupil next year, an increase of around 2.1 per cent, which equates to £1.5m in cash.

Commenting on the announcement, Cllr Meri O’Connell, Lib Dem Education Lead said:

“This is fantastic news for local children and is a much needed reform. The school funding system inherited by the Coalition was unfair. Labour knew it was unfair, but chose not to act.

“For too long, school funding has been based on historical data that no longer reflects pupils’ needs. Similar schools just miles apart can be funded at very different levels, just because they happen to be in different local authority areas.

“Today’s announcement, along with the Pupil Premium, will mean that our children can get the education they deserve. It is more evidence that the Liberal Democrats in government are actively implementing policies to build a fairer society.”

Upcoming Events

   September  2014 »
Events on September 15, 2014
  • Exec Committee meeting
    Starts: 7:30 pm
    Ends: September 15, 2014 - 9:30 pm
    Location: Reading International Solidarity Centre (RISC), London Street, Reading, United Kingdom
Events on September 24, 2014
  • Fresher's Fayre
    Starts: 11:00 am
    Ends: September 24, 2014 - 5:00 pm
    Location: Reading University Students Union RUSU Reading, RG6 6AZ
Events on September 28, 2014
  • Liberal Drinks
    Starts: 7:30 pm
    Ends: September 28, 2014 - 10:30 pm
    Location: The Inn On The Park, The Pavillon, Woodford Park, Haddon Drive, Woodley, Reading, United Kingdom


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