Communities urged to bid for funds

Leader of Calderdale Liberal Democrats Councillor Janet Battye is urging local residents to apply for a share of a new government fund to help plan building projects.

The government has just announced that £17million will be available over the next 18 months to help people meet the costs of the design and planning stages of proposals that will benefit their communities.

 Cllr Battye told us: “People often have good ideas that need more work before they become concrete proposals able to attract the funding to make them happen. I think this new government fund will help people through that difficult middle stage and I urge people to apply.”

 “Playgrounds and Community shops are specifically mentioned among the projects this fund is intended to support, and those are just the sort of thing that we should be encouraging locally. If people have ideas along these lines, I urge them to apply for funding” said Cllr Battye.

 

Slowly but surely the Coalition’s economic plan is working – Williams

Commenting on today’s GDP figures showing that the economy grew by 0.6% in the last quarter, Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesperson, Stephen Williams said:

“Fixing the economy was always going to take time, but these figures are further evidence that the Coalition’s plan is working.

“After wrecking the economy, Labour spent the last years rubbishing the Coalition’s growth plan. They were wrong. Slowly but surely the plan is working and the economy is recovering.

“It is particularly encouraging to see the construction sector growing so strongly, providing a much needed boost to house-building, and to see manufacturing on the rise.

“The Liberal Democrats are building a stronger economy and a fairer society, enabling everyone to get on in life. Getting growth going and creating jobs is at the heart of that. We have helped businesses create a million jobs, now we want to help create a million more.”

Liberal Democrats launch ‘Save our Pubs’ Campaign

We are launching  a campaign to save Calderdale pubs from threats of closure. Research from CAMRA that shows across the country 26 pubs are closing every week and  if something isn’t done now we risk losing more of our cherished community pubs.

The Coalition government has introduced measures in the localism act to register community facilities such as local pubs as community assets. This power has already been used in Calderdale by campaigns to save the Fox & Goose in Hebden Bridge and the Holy Well Inn in Holywell Green. However we believe both the government and the local Council need to go further to protect our cherished pubs from closure.

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The campaign is asking for a number of practical measures from Calderdale  Council and Government such as reforming large pub companies to giving pubs better protection under planning legislation. We have launched a campaign website and petition at www.savecalderdalepubs.com which local residents are signing to demonstrate their support. We then intend to put forward a motion to Council calling for better protection of pubs. We hope this will receive cross-party support.

 Councillor Janet Battye leader of Calderdale Liberal Democrats said: “Local pubs are hubs of the community and are vitally important, especially in the villages that have lost their post officer or shop. We are running this campaign to get Calderdale Council to take action to protect pubs. ”

Cllr Baker & Battye supporting the Little Valley brewery based in Calderdale. Photograph by Jade Smith.

Cllr Baker & Battye supporting the Little Valley brewery based in Calderdale. Photograph by Jade Smith.

Councillor James Baker said “The coalition has helped reduce the cost of living by scrapping the beer duty escalator.  We think it should go further in lowering beer tax so people can afford to be social and visit their local, rather than having to buy cheap booze from a supermarket.

Manufacturing figures fantastic news – Birtwistle

Commenting on figures showing UK manufacturing growth at a two-year high,

Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party Committee on Business, Innovation and Skills, Gordon Birtwistle said:

“The Liberal Democrats have helped to create more than a million jobs in the private sector – now we want to help create a million more. Manufacturing is absolutely crucial to that and UK manufacturing growth hitting a two-year high is fantastic news.

“These figures are welcome but there is a long way to go. For years Labour and Conservative governments let British manufacturing collapse, the Liberal Democrats are determined to rebuild it.

“That’s why we are putting billions of pounds into high-tech manufacturing, science and renewable energy. And it’s why we are massively increasing the number of apprenticeships to make sure employers get the skilled workers they need.”

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A Million Jobs Campaign

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Cllr Janet Battye has welcomed the Liberal Democrat Million Jobs Campaign, which was launched by Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg.

More than one million private sector jobs have been created since the Coalition Government came to power. Liberal Democrats now want to create a million more.

This will build on what Liberal Democrats in the Coalition Government have already achieved. Business Secretary, Vince Cable has overseen a record rise in apprenticeships, including 5,580 apprentices in Calderdale since 2010. To support jobs in manufacturing, £5.5bn extra has been invested into science, high-tech manufacturing and renewable energy and Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander has introduced £2,000 cash back on National Insurance contributions for employers who take on more staff.

Commenting, Cllr Janet Battye said:

“The Liberal Democrats are building a stronger economy in a fairer society, enabling everyone to get on in life.

“Liberal Democrats in the Coalition Government have helped businesses create more than one million private sector jobs, and now we’re working to help them create a million more.

“I look forward to working with local businesses, community groups and schools and colleges to turn this ambition into reality in Calderdale.”

 

Communities Directorate Handed Over “In Good Order”

The Communities Directorate of Calderdale Council has delivered a balanced budget at the end of the 2012/13 financial year, according to a report to the Council’s Cabinet today (3 June 2013).

Commenting on this, Councillor Pauline Nash (Liberal Democrat, Skircoat), who was, until last month, the Cabinet Member for Communities told us:

“I do not have to follow the example of Liam Byrne, Labour’s last Chief Secretary to the Treasury, who left his successor a note saying there was no money left. I am handing over to the new Cabinet member a directorate in financial good health and delivering services that are valued by the people of Calderdale.”

“I hope the same is true when the next annual accounts are published in a year’s time”.

Pensioners and carers to benefit from Liberal Democrat policies

Thousands of pensioners as well as those who need care and their carers stand to benefit from measures announced in the Queen’s Speech, with a fair flat-rate pension for all and a reform of social care announced.

The Care Bill will put fairness back into social care funding, ensuring people do not have to sell their home in their lifetime to pay for care by capping costs as recommended by the independent Dilnot Commission. It will also extend the means-test threshold for financial assistance.

To support carers, councils will have to assess what support they need to manage their own lives and provide services to those who need them.

The Queen also announced a reform of the pensions system, ending the confusion state pension provision by introducing a single, flat-rate pension. This is in addition to the triple lock, championed by the Liberal Democrats, which has ensured record rise in the state pension of £12.50 a week since 2010. The triple lock will continue to safeguard an increase in the state pension in line with earnings, inflation or 2.5% – whichever is higher.

Cares will also benefit from the new flat-rate state pension, even if they take time out of work to support relatives.

Commenting, Cllr Janet Battye  said:

“The Queen’s Speech shows the influence Liberal Democrats have in the Coalition Government. Our priority to build a stronger economy in a fairer society is clear in these reforms.

“For too long, pensioners and those who need care have received a raw deal and the previous Labour government refused to act and take responsibility. Instead, Gordon Brown gave pensioners an insulting 75p rise in their state pension.

“These reforms will ensure thousands in Calderdale will have dignity in old age with a fair, single-tier pension and peace of mind by protecting them from catastrophic costs for their care.

“That’s the fairness the Liberal Democrats are ensuring is at the heart of this Coalition Government.”

Child Care Business Grants

A new £2m scheme has been launched by the Coalition Government to help boost childcare businesses and help women back into work.

People who want to set up a nursery can apply for grants of up to £500 to help cover things like legal and insurance costs, training, equipment and adaptations to buildings. The scheme is aimed to launch up to 6,000 new childcare businesses across England.

We hope people in Calderdale will take up this offer so that a significant number of new nurseries will spring up here, boosting options for parents.

This funding boost comes on top of other recent good news for parents. Last month it was announced that 524 of the poorest two-year-olds in Calderdale stand to benefit from 15 hours free childcare a week from this September. This was championed by Liberal Democrats in the Coalition Government to ensure those toddlers have a good start in life and education.

 

Commenting, Cllr Ashley Evans said:

“Liberal Democrats want to create a stronger economy in a fairer society, enabling everyone to get on in life. Childcare plays a vital role in achieving those goals. It helps the early development of children and removes barriers for those parents keen to return to work.

“We have seen time and time again the important difference that good quality childcare can make in giving children the best possible start in life.

“This money will help entrepreneurs set up and run new childcare facilities which along with over £1.4 million extra to help fund child care for two year olds will be a boost to Calderdale’s economy and a massive help to families here.”

Check your pay slip

Today is pay day for millions of people across Britain, which means they will receive their first pay slip since the Income Tax personal allowance was raised from £8,105 to£9,440. When Liberal Democrats came into power in 2010 this was just £6,475.

 Raising the tax-free allowance is the Liberal Democrats’ flagship policy and has so far seen Income Tax bills slashed by £600 a year for millions of low and middle income workers compared to what they were paying under Labour. As a result, more than 2m people on low pay have been lifted out of paying Income Tax altogether.

 The tax-free allowance will rise again next year to £10,000, fulfilling a commitment from the front page of the Liberal Democrats’ 2010 General Election manifesto and resulting in a total tax cut of £700.

 Commenting, Councillor James Baker said:

“If you get paid today, take a moment to compare your pay slip to last month’s. You’ll see that Liberal Democrats have cut your taxes.

In total over 79,000 people living in Calderdale have received a tax cut, this is the biggest programme of tax cuts for working people for a generation. This tax cut  means an extra £40 million has been kept in the pockets of residents to be spent in our local economy.

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