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Working for a fairer, greener, better Barnet

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.

Protecting the green belt

Helping local businesses

Fighting to defend vital local services

Recent updates

  • Article: Mar 25, 2015

    Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, commenting on the Mayor's refusal at today's Mayor's Question Time to accept a full and independent audit of the procurement process for the design of the Garden Bridge said:

    "Through extensive investigation led by Architect Journal a number of serious issues have arisen about how Heatherwick Studio was awarded the contract for the design of the proposed bridge. It really is odd in the extreme that companies with far greater expertise in designing bridges were marked down on the criteria of 'relevant design experience'.

    "When a former chairman of the Royal Institute of British Architects procurement reform group states that serious questions remain about the selection process you would expect the Mayor of London to directly address the issues of concern.

    "Yet instead the Mayor has dodged answering questions and simply thrown abusive comments at anyone who dares to question the merits of the Garden Bridge."

    "The whole process has been as murky as the water that flows down the Thames."

  • Article: Mar 17, 2015

    Caroline Pidgeon AM, Liberal Democrat London Assembly transport spokesperson, commenting on today's report by the House of Commons Transport Committee on river crossings said:

    "Far from being forward looking this report is based on ideas dating back to the 1970s.

    "I think it is bitterly disappointing that the report totally overlooks the need for improved public transport links across the Thames, such as extending the London Overground across the Thames beyond Barking Riverside.

  • Article: Mar 11, 2015

    Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, commenting on the announcement that the Home Secretary is refusing to give the go-ahead for the use of water cannon in London said:

    "Unlike the Mayor the Home Secretary is showing commonsense on this issue.

    "Water cannon runs the risk of injury of innocent people and it will certainly undermine policing by public consent. Yet at the same time it is an ineffective tool to manage serious public disorder situations.

  • Article: Mar 11, 2015

    On National No Smoking Day Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, has welcomed the decision by Transport for London to install no smoking signs in all of its bus shelters.

    By the end of April 'no smoking' stickers will now be added to 9,800 bus shelters which currently have no signage. At present just 2700 of London bus shelters have no smoking signage. In response to previous requests to install 'no smoking' signs the Mayor suggested that merely placing 'no smoking' signs at new and refurbished bus shelters was satisfactory.

  • Councillor Jack Cohen
    Article: Mar 6, 2015
    By Cllr Jack Cohen in Barnet Press

    FOR the first time in 28 years I am not a member of Barnet's main planning committee. So when it met to determine a controversial application in my ward, I leapt at the opportunity to address the committee from the public speaker hot seat.

    The room was packed out. People had turned out in force to voice their objections. The application to revamp the Granville Road estate, in Childs Hill, was recommended for approval by planning officers.

    Residents were organised and up for the fight. Despite a smooth presentation by the developers, councillors on the committee were impressed enough by the force of argument against the plans, including loss of vital green space, no provision of community facilities, increase in traffic and over-development, that they voted by six to four to refuse the application.

    What struck me was that so few of the councillors on the committee said anything or even asked the officers questions.

    Indeed when it came to the vote some sheepishly, or so it appeared, raised a hand and even that was hard to detect to such an extent that the normally mild-mannered chairman had to urge them to make their mind up, while those voting against made their intentions clear.

    Of course, the residents were delighted and streamed out of the town hall in a happy frame of mind, but all too aware that the developers may well come back again.

    In the meantime, however, this result demonstrates that when residents come together in one voice it is possible to protect our environment.

    Next stop is saving our libraries.

  • Article: Mar 5, 2015

    Caroline Pidgeon AM, Liberal Democrat London Assembly transport spokesperson, commenting on theadmission that the Mayor has agreed to underwrite Garden Bridge maintenance costs commented:

    "It is concerning that only after the Mayor has given planning permission to the scheme and having allocated £30 million of public funds that he finally comes clean and admits that a financial guarantee has also been provided. The Mayor should have been clear many months ago that far from the Garden Bridge being a private and charitable initiative it is actually a major drain on public funds.

  • Alasdair Hill campaigning against library closures
    Article: Mar 5, 2015

    Liberal Democrat candidate for Hendon Alasdair Hill presented councillors with a petition against library cuts signed by more than 9,000 people at this week's Council meeting.

    Alasdair Hill told the councillors: "Libraries are the temples of civic society. They go beyond books.

    "More 2,000 consultation responses have been submitted. This is despite the galling question asking residents which options they prefer - close, close or shrink. Limiting the response may produce the data the council wants but it flies in the face of open and transparent democracy. Why can we not say we disagree with all options?

  • Councillor Jack Cohen
    Article: Mar 4, 2015

    Liberal Democrat councillor Jack Cohen proposed an alternative budget at Tuesday's Council meeting, which included a council tax freeze and money to protect the library service.

    His proposals included a reduction in director and senior officer posts, a £1,000 cut in councillors' basic allowances, removing all councillors' special responsibility allowances and a reduction in spending on agency and consultancy staff.

  • Article: Mar 3, 2015

    Caroline Pidgeon AM, Liberal Democrat London Assembly transport spokesperson, commenting on the results of the London Survey which reveals significant differences in Londoners' feelings of safety between day and night-time, when travelling by bus or the London Underground said:

    "It is really concerning that not all Londoners feel safe when travelling on buses or the tube, in particular at night.

  • Article: Feb 27, 2015

    Caroline Pidgeon AM, Liberal Democrat London Assembly transport spokesperson commenting on the announcement that Santander have won the new sponsorship deal for the cycle hire scheme said:

    "The bike hire scheme is a brilliant development but from day one it has been hindered by a poor sponsorship contract.Today's new sponsorship deal does look like a real improvement on the rotten deal struck with Barclays.