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South Lincolnshire Liberal Democrats cover the parliamentary constituencies of South Holland and The Deepings, and Grantham and Stamford.

The constituencies are part of South Holland District Council and South Kesteven District Council areas. There are a number of major towns within the South Lincs Liberal Democrats area including Bourne, Grantham, Holbeach, Market Deeping, Spalding, Stamford, as well as a host of beautiful villages.

If you want to know more about our work here in South Lincolnshire contact our chair on chair@southlincslibdems.org.uk or to be part of the Lib Dem fightback join here - http://www.libdems.org.uk/join

What do Liberal Democrats believe

Recent updates

  • Liberal Democrat Gain
    Article: Mar 25, 2017

    West Somerset DC, Dunster & Timberscombe - 23rd March 2017

    Congratulations to Peter Pilkington and the Liberal Democrat team in Dunster and Timberscombe, especially as the two times previously the ward was up for election since it was created there wasn't even a Liberal Democrat candidate.

    Con 115 [32.9%, -26.7%]
    Green 38 [10.9%, -26.9%]
    Lab 23 [6.6%, +6.6%]
    Turnout
    Liberal Democrat gain from Conservative
    Percentage changes since 2015

    .

    Labour 164
    Conservative 26
    Liberal Democrat gain from Labour

    .

    Ross-on-Wye Town Council, Ross-on-Wye West - 23rd March 2017

    LD Julian Utting 245
    Conservative 211
    It's Our County 185
    Turnout 24.09%

    It's Our County 143 [18.3%, +18.3%]
    Conservative 139 [17.8%, -8.6%]
    No Description 116 [14.9%]
    LD Clive Thomas 64 [8.2%, + 8.2 %]
    Turnout
    Green gain from Independent
    Percentage changes from 2015

  • Norman lamb speech
    Article: Mar 25, 2017

    Here is Norman Lamb's speech from the Conference health debate:

    First, we condemn Theresa May for her refusal to guarantee the rights of EU citizens working in our NHS and care services to stay in this country.

    We value the vital contribution you make.

    We demand that their right is guaranteed.

    The Budget completely failed to address the dire financial situation facing the NHS and care.

    Whatever your politics, it makes no sense to spend a reducing share of our national income on the NHS as demand rises at 4% every year

    Whatever your politics, it makes no sense that in 2018/19 spending per head in real terms will actually fall as pressures grow

    Whatever your politics, surely we can't tolerate over a million older people with care needs left unmet.

    Yet this is the reality today.

    And it's not just numbers or statistics - it's the impact on people which is so disturbing. There are real consequences for families up and down our country.

    This is what the brilliant charity, Young Minds, reports from its Parents' Helpline:

    'The helpline receives calls every day from parents who are desperately trying to get support from Children's Mental Health Services. We regularly hear from parents who can't even get a referral or who have been waiting months for an initial assessment and whose children's conditions have got worse during that time. Children who have started to self harm or become suicidal during the wait - or who've dropped out of school, which not only has a big impact on their own education but also means that one of the parents has to give up their job to look after them.

    We hear from parents who've separated because of the pressure the wait is putting on the whole family.'

    This in OUR NHS. It's shameful.

    The man in North Norfolk told that the waiting time for the adult ADHD clinic is two years. What's he supposed to do in the meantime?

    People waiting in a state of acute anxiety for a cancer operation which is delayed beyond the standard maximum 62 days from referral to treatment. Across the country, this standard is no longer being met.

    Or the missed ambulance response times for patients in life or death situations, the record numbers of delayed discharges - frail older people stuck in hospital becoming more dependent.

    A system under impossible pressure.

    The awful truth is that failures of care are becoming commonplace - at a time when the Secretary of State claims that he wants the NHS to be the safest health system in the world.

    And here's the really insidious trend. More and more people, who have the funds, are opting out, fast-tracking treatment by paying privately. And who can blame them. You do what you can for your family.

    But how can we tolerate a situation where those with money can get speedy access to treatment whilst those without are left waiting. This totally undermines the solidarity of which we are all proud, that belief that in this country, you get access to treatment regardless of your ability to pay.

    And just look at how we have fallen behind other European countries in how much we spend on healthcare. Germany and France spend more than we do.

    Watch how the Tories self-righteously condemn other countries for falling short of the golden 2% share of GDP spent on defence - an international benchmark, yet seem not to care when we fall so badly behind on health spending?

    We can't carry on letting people down. We are the sixth largest economy in the world. Surely we are capable of doing better than this?

    So the Lib Dems will lead the way, showing how we can give hope to patients and to the remarkable workforce in the NHS and in care services.

    I pay tribute to the work carried out by the independent expert panel. I thank them for guiding us. Their interim report is powerful.

    An OBR for Health - an independent assessment of the amount of money needed to deliver a modern and effective health and care system - taking it out of the hands of politicians, restoring people's trust.

    And three options for providing sustainable funding.

    I have been clear that I am immensely attracted to their third option - a dedicated NHS and Care Tax, shown on your pay packet, fair between generations and progressive.

    And until such a tax could be implemented, we have to find a credible way of funding the necessary increased investment.

    I want us to consider a penny on income tax to help guarantee that our loved ones get the care they need, in their hour of need. But we must be smart on how that extra money is spent. As our expert panel has proposed, extra investment must be focused on out of hospital care and social care. We must champion PREVENTION of ill health, investing in PUBLIC HEALTH - so stupidly cut by the Tories.

    And we must invest more in mental health to end the injustice suffered by those with mental ill health.

    So Liberal Democrats will lead the way in coming up with solutions for the big challenges we face.

    But there is real urgency about the crisis we face. That's why I have brought together Conservative, Labour and Lib Dem MPs to call for the Prime Minister to establish an NHS and Care Convention.

    It was a great Liberal, William Beveridge, who proposed the NHS.

    Now, as we approach it's 70th year, the NHS is in desperate need of renewal.

    Today's Liberal party - the Liberal Democrats - must meet that challenge. We must lead the way.

  • Joan Walmsley
    Article: Mar 25, 2017
    By Joan Walmsley in Liberal Democrat Voice

    In order to "incentivise employers to think differently about their recruitment and skills decisions and the balance between investing in UK skills and overseas recruitment" (Lord Nash in the Lords on Tuesday) the government has decided to introduce an Immigration Skills Charge, a tax of £1000 per employee, per year, paid in advance by an employer wishing to recruit a skilled worker from outside the European Economic Area.

  • ALTER fringe York Spring 2017 conference
    Article: Mar 25, 2017

    A record number of new members attended the Spring Conference in York, and ALTER's fringe was packed. Vice Chair Tony Vickers spoke about the housing crisis, and secretary David Cooper unveiled a proposed tax (provisionally called the "Zoopla Recovery Tax") on overseas investors in the UK housing market.

  • Anita Day
    Article: Mar 24, 2017
    By Anita Day in Postcard from a Lincolnshire Liberal

    Last weekend I attended my first Liberal Democrat Spring Conference in York. If you've never been to a national conference…. well, it was simply phenomenal! I had expected there to be well-argued debates in which ordinary members could influence Lib Dem policy (tick!); thought-provoking fringe meetings (tick!); excellent training (tick!); opportunities to chat to knowledgeable Liberal Democrats (tick!); and time to laugh & have fun (also tick!).

    It was wonderful to see Lib Dems passing motions to re-open the Dubs child refugee scheme, and demand NHS 'passports' for EU doctors & nurses. But it was also good to hear the discussions on Trident, over-crowding in prisons, the crisis in health & social care, education policy, NATO, EU associate citizenship, press control, and more. I particularly enjoyed a fringe meeting at which 2 politicians (one Lib Dem; one Labour who had voted against her party whip on Article 50) came together to discuss how to achieve social justice at a time of economic deficits (given that the economic situation will probably worsen post-Brexit).

    New members commented that debates felt really inclusive, & respectful of differing opinions. But, more than anything, I loved the spirit of the Conference! There was a noticeable buzz about the place - our biggest ever Spring Conference received more press publicity than the Tory & SNP conferences which were running at the same time - and a real feeling that we are gaining political momentum (the highest membership this century & higher donations in the last 3 months than Labour!) Ordinary members are starting to talk about the Lib Dems becoming the party of government, not just the opposition! It was inspiring! If you haven't had the chance yet to hear Tim Farron's conference closing speech, here is a link…. it's 45 mins long but well worth the effort: http://www.libdems.org.uk/tim-farron-conference-speech

    That buzz continued last night when we had a gathering of current and past members & supporters at the home of Harrish Bisnauthsing, who is standing with me in Stamford in the County Council elections on 4 May. It was a pleasure to meet some people for the first time, alongside those I know well, and to enjoy some of Harrish's famous Mauritian curries! But there was a serious purpose too.

    As Tim said in his speech, it feels like the tectonic plates of UK politics are shifting… and, with your help, we intend to 'encourage' the shift right here! ;-)

    Take care, and speak soon

    Anita

    PS: If you are interested in any of my previous Postcards, you can find them here: https://southlincslibdems.org.uk/en/page/postcards-from-a-lincolnshire-liberal


    Anita A D Day
    Membership Development
    South Lincs Liberal Democrats
    Tel: 07410 709338 / @AnitadayA / FB: Anita.Day.LD
  • Local Votes
    Article: Mar 24, 2017
    By Mark Pack

    Theresa May ruled out a snap election and it can be revealed Tory MPs had begged the Prime Minister NOT to go to the country in an early poll.

    West Country Conservatives - who routed the Lib Dems from the south west in 2015 - feared a fresh contest so close to the Brexit vote could give the pro-EU party a foothold, putting the PM's 17 seat majority at risk. [The Sun]

  • Article: Mar 24, 2017

    The Liberal Democrat European Group and its members look forward to joining other Liberal Democrats for the Unite for Europe march tomorrow at 1000 at Marble Arch.

    The Liberal Democrat European Group regrets the decision of the European Movement not to participate fully in this march.

  • Article: Mar 23, 2017
  • Nicholas Belfitt - Isle of Wight Libdem chair ()
    Article: Mar 23, 2017

    Isle of Wight County Press reports:

    "ISLE of Wight Lib Dems have taken their concerns about fracking to the party's national conference.

    Fighting fracking will be one of the party's manifesto pledges at May's Isle of Wight Council elections."

    More at: http://www.iwcp.co.uk/news/news/fracking-a-manifesto-issue-for-isle-of-wight-lib-dems-98041.aspx

  • The hydrogen economy (http://www.green-gas.net/k-h/index.html)
    Article: Mar 22, 2017

    http://www.green-gas.net/k-h/index.html is a translation of Karl‐Heinz Tetzlaff's 2014 website

    In a hydrogen economy energy is utilised and traded at all levels only as hydrogen. In practice this means:

    • Conversion of all forms of energy into hydrogen
    • Distribution of Hydrogen to the end user via the gas grid
    • Decentralised conversion of hydrogen into electric power, heat and transport at the end user
  • Article: Mar 22, 2017

    Commenting on today's attack in Westminster, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said:

    "These were horrific and deeply tragic events and my thoughts and prayers are with the family and loved ones of those who lost their lives today and the many more who are injured.

    "The bravery and professionalism of the police and emergency services has been truly humbling."

  • Gas Flares (GreenLibDems.org.uk)
    Article: Mar 22, 2017
    By Bill Powell

    Green Gas the Cinderella of energy

    by Bill Powell bill@vts16.fastmail.fm

    17/10/2016 (x) indicates a Note.

    BACKGROUND Former energy minister Ed Davey told the Liberal Democrat 2016 Spring conference that we'd continue to need gas for heating until at least 2030.

    a) I and only two other participants in the LibDem working party on energy policy had a professional engineering background. There we found that the consensus was that all UK premises could be raised to a 'Passivhaus' standard so there would be minimal need for heating. One of us suggested that there were 30 million premises (23 million residential) that would need £35,000 or so spent on each to achieve that. Multiply and the result is £1 trillion. This would not be government but private expenditure. He suggested such expenditure was unrealistic. But we were told that we were contributing to a political not an engineering document.

  • Article: Mar 21, 2017
    By S. Bolter

    Green Lib Dem Fringe Event 15:00 to 18:00 17 March 2017 at York.

    INTRODUCTION Steve Bolter, (then) Vice Chair (P) Green Lib Dems

    We aim to find How to build a Pathway to a Carbon Free Britainand then to tell the Nation about it.

    Back in 2013, Lib Dem Policy Paper 109 was entitled Transition to a Zero Carbon Britain

  • Article: Mar 21, 2017

    The Liberal Democrats have today published a paper setting out the challenges facing the UK's creative industries.

    The Power of Creativity and Brexit paints a testing picture for the industry, with potentially huge impacts from changes to freedom of movement, loss of investment and funding and less access to markets after Brexit.

  • Article: Mar 21, 2017
    This Saturday the 25th of March, March for Europe will be taking place in London to protest against the UK leaving Europe and to remind Mrs May and the Brexit government we are not all as keen they are to see us leave. More details can be found on Facebook or Google.
    Lib Dems Unite for Europe will be joining up with the march. (The Liberal Democrat European Group regrets the decision of the European Movement not to participate fully in this march.)
  • Scottish Lib Dem Logo (http://www.scotlibdems.org.uk)
    Article: Mar 21, 2017

    Scottish Liberal Democrat MSPs have used today's debate on the environment to brand the Scottish Government's draft climate change plan "timid and lacking ambition".

    This came after a number of critical Holyrood committee reports. The Scottish Government's draft plan failed to take account of the impact of proposed cuts in Air Passenger Duty and targets for renewable heat and transport are unambitious.

  • Mariam Mahmood - Scots LibDem Environment spokesman (Mariam Mahmood)
    Article: Mar 21, 2017

    Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie MSP has announced Mariam Mahmood as the new environment spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats.

    Ms Mahmood, originally from Glasgow, is a student at University of St Andrews studying International Relations and joined the party after the general election in 2015. Since joining the party, Mariam has been heavily involved in campaigning for the party, including campaigning alongside Willie Rennie in the Scottish Parliament Election - taking North East Fife back from the SNP.

  • Scottish Lib Dem Logo (http://www.scotlibdems.org.uk)
    Article: Mar 21, 2017

    We are trustees of a world, and a society, and must pass on a sustainable legacy which will benefit future generations.

    The liberal approach demands sustainability. We know there are never quick fixes that can do the job of a long term solution.

    Our belief in the empowerment of individuals is not limited to the current generation. Future generations have the same rights as we do to live their lives in the ways they choose. Climate change, pollution and the degradation of the natural world pose some of the greatest threats to the well-being and freedom of present and future generations that modern society has ever seen. We need to act at home and internationally to promote environmentally sustainable ways of doing things.

    We are internationalists because some goals are too big for nation-states to achieve on their own. Climate change and a healthy environment are two.

  • Article: Mar 21, 2017

    George Galloway's decision to stand in the Manchester Gorton by-election could boost the chances of a Liberal Democrat win.

    Mr Galloway once acted like a cat during a stint on reality show Big Brother but his politics are perhaps even more alarming.

    George Galloway cat

    Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said: "While George Galloway won't pick up enough votes to win, he clearly will take a number of votes from Labour. That increases our chances of winning as the only party that can beat Labour in Manchester Gorton.

  • Article: Mar 21, 2017
    By Lynne Featherstone

    Baronesse Lynne Featherstone's speech about our planet, and what we can do to help:

    "Well conference....
    It's been quite a year.
    And if a week is a long time in politics - then this year has felt like an eternity.
    The election of Donald Trump. Leaving the European Union. The end of 'BrAngelina'.
    But even these events pale in comparison to the threat posed by climate change.
    For years we have known about the dangers of global warming and the melting of the polar ice caps.
    Academics have shown us the evidence.
    Physical signs around the world have begun to appear - droughts in some areas and floods in others.
    Global air pollution is getting worse.
    In the UK, an increase in floods has been attributed to climate change.
    It has taken many years of campaigning by individuals, charities and, of course, the Liberal Democrats, to cast the climate change deniers into the side-lines and help us recognise that climate change requires a change in the way we live.
    Children are now growing up with an understanding of the threat.
    Young people instinctively get that tackling climate change is the right thing to do.
    Millennials are asking their employers what they are doing to make their business more sustainable.
    Baby Boomers are buying electric cars and installing solar panels on their roofs.
    There has been a cultural shift.
    Politically, we have made huge progress.
    Almost ten years ago all major parties agreed to the Climate Change Act which was, at the time, an ambitious commitment to reducing our emissions.
    Then the Coalition took huge strides forward and took the rest of Europe with us - led of course by our excellent Liberal Democrat Secretaries of State, Ed Davey and Chris Huhne.
    We have a huge amount to thank them for.
    By the end of the Coalition, we Liberal Democrats had made Britain the fastest growing green economy in Europe.
    The amount of electricity from renewables had more than trebled.
    We had set up the Green Investment Bank, which has helped fund £11 billion worth of green infrastructure projects in the UK, with just £2.7 billion of investment.
    And we had invested £500 million in low emission vehicles.
    In 2015 we had a record-breaking year with billions of pounds poured into solar and wind energy and more homes powered by nature than ever before.
    None of these things would have happened with a Conservative only Government.
    We knew this at the time.
    Now we have proof that it's true.
    We wrestled hard behind the scenes for our green achievements in Government.
    Now it's clear for everyone to see that it was only the Liberal Democrats that had environmental protection built into its DNA.
    We have had less than two full years of Conservative-only Government, and already the list of anti-green measures is shocking.
    They have cut subsidies for solar and wind power.
    They have caused over 12,000 job losses in solar alone.
    They have scrapped the £1 billion Carbon Capture and Storage projects.
    They have cut the Renewable Heat Incentive.
    They have pushed ahead with fracking, even under National Parks.
    They have abandoned our Zero Carbon Homes policy to make homes more efficient and bills cheaper.
    And to top it all off, they have closed the Department for Energy and Climate Change.
    That, Conference, shows the Conservatives in their true colours.
    But now, sadly, the Conservatives are not the only threat to our fight against climate change.
    We have a climate-denier in the White House.
    Trump has called climate change a 'hoax' cooked up by the Chinese.
    And these weren't just meaningless words on the campaign trail. He has acted on them.
    Within hours of being elected, he removed all references to climate change on the Presidential website.
    Already, he has cut 70% of funding for measures to combat climate change, cut the government's Environmental Protection Agency by 25% and rolled back Obama era regulations designed to combat harmful emissions and corruption in oil and gas companies.
    And he is just getting started.
    There's a genuine risk that other countries will use Trump as an excuse for not acting themselves.
    The hard won, Paris Agreement, which gave so much hope just a year ago when it presented a united global ambition to tackle climate change, is now under threat.
    The global consensus is in danger of unravelling.

    And then Brexit.
    Our withdrawal from the European Union will shape this country's future for decades to come.
    But the government has taken an incredibly short-sighted view in pursuing a Hard Brexit.
    Hard Brexit will mean that we will no longer be held accountable to the EU for air pollution, already the cause of 40 000 deaths a year in the UK.
    Hard Brexit will mean that targets for recycling, emissions and renewable energy will be dropped.
    And most of all, Hard Brexit will mean that the UK will lose its voice at the negotiating table at a time when strong multilateral action is needed more than ever.
    Conference, you cannot have a safe environment with a Hard Brexit.

    That's why our role as Liberal Democrats is as crucial now as it ever has been.
    We have not abandoned our clean agenda despite the political challenges Britain is currently facing.
    We are still fighting.
    The Conservatives may have given up, pandering to Trump and their climate sceptic friends, but we will not.
    We are committed to reducing carbon emissions by 100% by 2050.
    We are committed to limiting global temperature rises by 1.5 degrees.
    We are relentlessly pro-renewables, pro-efficiency and pro cutting edge technologies that will take us towards a zero carbon Britain.
    As well as protecting the environment, we want to take the opportunity to make our economy stronger and create jobs across the UK.
    Our clean economy can make us prosperous while doing the right thing for the planet.
    It will also bring down energy bills and help tackle fuel poverty.
    Britain needs a new green industrial revolution - a clean industrial revolution.
    We need to do with clean energy what the Victorians did with rail and infrastructure.
    We must create a radical programme of upfront investment which transforms the world we live in.
    Because future generations will look back at ours and they will judge us. What will they think?
    I want them to look back and be proud that it was our generation that transformed our economy - from one reliant on fossil fuels to one that is sustainable.
    Conference, when it comes to climate change, we can't simply tinker around the edges.
    We need to be bold.
    We need to be ambitious.
    We need to take advantage of the huge opportunities before us.
    The Liberal Democrats are going further and faster towards a sustainable future than any other party.
    That is why, with the help of experts, we are doing the work to create a roadmap to a carbon free Britain.

    It will show us what actions need to be taken now in order to achieve a zero carbon Britain by 2050.

    It will focus not just on energy sources, but on how all businesses can be sustainable and help meet our targets.

    There is a huge amount of change that's needed:

    Reforming agriculture and land-use.

    Boosting natural protections such as peat and forestry.

    Electrifying transport.

    Developing smart technology and advancing the circular economy.

    Addressing the need for change in our homes and heating.

    And using the financial sector to promote clean industry, including through better disclosure of climate risk.

    Tim Farron has already called for concrete proposals to help us get to a Zero Carbon Britain by 2050.

    Just a couple of weeks ago he called for a British Infrastructure Development Bank to provide the funding for the sustainable building of the future.
    And he called for up to ten new tidal lagoons across Britain, to harness the power of the seas to power our homes.
    Britain's clean future is exciting.
    Our roofs will power our washing machines. We will charge our cars at home. We will make money from the waste we throw away. Our homes will be warm without turning the heating on. Our energy will be British, it will be clean and its production will create hundreds of thousands of jobs - in every part of the UK.

    But business as usual will not get us there.
    Small tweaks to the system and a gentle increase in renewables are not enough.
    Theresa May may not be a climate denier but she is a climate ignorer.
    She failed to mention climate change in her Brexit plan and her Party Conference Speech. In her Industrial Strategy, she failed to propose even one concrete measure to tackle climate change.
    Last week in the Budget, Philip Hammond too made no mention of the environment, climate change, the solar industry or air pollution in his Budget speech- including the much needed protection for businesses who face an 800% hike in business rates on their solar panels.
    Both May and Hammond are denying us the opportunity to be a global leader in clean energy and capitalise on the economic advantages before us.
    At the moment, we have a comparative advantage in the area of renewables which we can build on.
    We generate 40% of all offshore wind power across the world and we have the best sustainability expertise in the world.
    But in ten years our leading role could be obsolete.
    With countries like China and India sensing the business opportunities in the low carbon and no carbon economy, we will quickly be left behind.
    Unless, of course, we do the right thing and invest now.

    Meanwhile, what are our European neighbours doing?
    While our Government is fighting over how hard and fast to pull out of Europe and ruin our economy, other European countries are moving ahead with going green.
    There are many examples we can take:
    The Netherlands have developed a bike lane which is solar panelled.
    France has forced financial institutions to address the risk of climate change to their business.
    Denmark was run entirely on renewables for a day last month.
    Portugal managed to run on renewables for 4 days straight last year.
    Norway has pledged to become climate-neutral by 2030.
    While our Government is preoccupied with Brexit, other countries across the continent are pressing ahead.

    And what about even further afield?
    We might expect that developing countries would be falling behind on their efforts, especially when the leader of the US is uncommitted.
    But that's not true.
    Forty seven of the world's poorest countries have committed to a zero carbon target by 2050 - a target even more ambitious than Britain's.
    While Trump's election made Theresa May go quiet on climate change, countries in the Climate Vulnerable Forum - which includes Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Haiti - responded to him by making an even bigger, bolder commitment to reduce their carbon emissions than they ever had before.
    If they can stand up in the face of Trump, why can't we?
    When I was minister for International Development I visited many places already experiencing the harmful effect of climate change.
    Those in areas that have seen a deterioration of their crops over recent years know that climate change is a reality now and not a future possibility that they can ignore.
    People who live in cities that are thick with smog from polluting vehicles and buildings are crying out for cleaner, greener energy that protects them and their children's health.
    We have a responsibility to lead the way on the clean economy not just for our own sake, for the sake of those all over the world.
    A green revolution will transform the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in the world.
    Solar energy could provide cheap and reliable power to villages and towns currently unable to access mainstream energy sources.
    Expanding the circular economy will cut emissions and provide thousands of secure jobs.
    Cleaner air will increase the life expectancy of future generations.
    There are already many innovative projects helping people in developing countries to adapt and prepare for their future.
    Part of Britain's role in leading on climate change is to support this action - because we have only one planet and we share it.

    One reason why countries around the world are waking up to climate change is because of concerns about air pollution.
    Emissions are causing a global health crisis. China knows it. We know it.
    Here in Britain there are millions of people breathing in dangerously high levels of pollution each and every day.
    There are 40,000 premature deaths every year in the UK caused by pollutants.
    Exhaust fumes cause asthma in otherwise healthy children and stunt children's lung and brain development.
    Shockingly, 90% of the UK's population now live in areas where levels of air pollution exceed World Health Organisation limits.
    This public health hazard is unacceptable and costs the NHS and the economy billions of pounds.
    The Government has sat back and done nothing while legal limits have been broken.
    In Brixton, the annual air pollution limit was breached in just the first five days of 2017.
    At Heathrow, targets have been missed for the last decade but expansion is going ahead with no plan for tackling it.
    Here in York, the city was named by the World Health Organisation for breaching safe levels of fine particles last year.
    Meanwhile, the M25's busy Dartford Crossing was excluded from air pollution assessments because it was classed by the government as a 'rural road'.
    It's time for radical action to address this crisis.
    Diesel cars currently make up nearly 45% of all new car sales in the UK. That figure has risen from 18% in 2001.
    Many diesel car owners bought their vehicles in good faith that it was better for the environment than a petrol car.
    But now the evidence from experts is clear.
    We need to put our children's health first and cut emissions as fast as possible.
    Four cities around the world have pledged to ban diesel by 2025 - they are Paris, Madrid, Mexico City and Athens.
    But none of our great cities are on that list.
    If Paris can do it, why can't our major cities, including London, do it too?
    It would be tough, but we could do it - if the political will is there.
    Liberal Democrats are calling for radical action to tackle the pollution crisis.
    We're calling for a scrappage scheme to incentivise diesel drivers to change their vehicles to electric ones, through cash payments.
    We're calling for a ban on any diesel-powered vehicle keeping engines running while parked or at a terminus.
    And we're calling for Clean Air Zones to be extended to more cities across the UK - including Manchester, Liverpool and York.
    Freight needs to be taken off the roads and onto trains, and the much-delayed electrification of the railways must be rolled out.
    More support for the move towards electric and hydrogen buses is vital.
    And to top it off, a phased-in ban on the sale of new diesel cars in the UK must be investigated.
    This crisis will not be fixed by a single solution. But if we act now with a programme of measures it will start to change.

    We must send a strong signal to the market that the future will be clean.
    For some people, this is a hard message; for example, London's black cab drivers.
    I spoke to a driver recently who said that the changes would cost him £40,000 and were bound to put prices up, making it harder to attract customers.
    He said that with Uber he already had enough to deal with.
    But then he said something crucial.
    He said to me, 'Despite it all, the question is what kind of world I want my grandchildren to grow up in.
    If we want to tackle our air pollution crisis, then hard decisions will have to be made.
    But the benefits will be huge.
    Britain could be a world leader in selling electric vehicles.
    There is a huge economic opportunity here for us to capitalise on.
    The more electric cars become mainstream, the quicker they will come down in price.
    And of course, we must also reduce the number of polluting vehicles by encouraging cycling, walking and using public transport.

    As Liberal Democrats, we have a job to do.
    We have long since fought for a green economy which places us at the centre of global efforts to tackle climate change.
    Now we are needed more than ever.
    We must be the opposition voice that is raising the level of debate, challenging the Government, offering better policies and holding them to account.
    We are the only opposition party that has a clear and coherent approach to the environment and the economy.
    And if we are to win this fight, we will need to win the public over to seeing tackling climate change not as something that is just for a handful of keen activists, but a patriotic endeavour for which we can all be proud.
    We must convince those on the right of the economic benefits to tackling climate change - the opportunities for job creation, prosperous businesses and tax revenues.
    And we must convince those on the left that climate change will affect global poverty more than anything else.
    If we do not lead this fight, then who will?
    Conference, there is an urgency about this fight that is being ignored.
    There is no time to waste.
    We must act now.
    Let's work together to hold the Tories to account and create a Britain that future generations will look back on with pride.


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