Sadly we lost in our three seats on Thursday night on what was a bruising night for Lib Dems nationally. Labour held all three Parliamentary seats.
Yet nothing could show just how much Britain needs a strong, liberal party than Theresa May’s announcement – while the election results were still coming in – that she will immediately be introducing the snoopers charter, which will give the state unprecedented power to monitor your personal communications.
Those of us who believe in our values of liberty, community and individual freedom must stand together and defend them. Pleasejoin us todayand be part of our future.
And thank you to the 943 who supported Carly Hicks in Ashton-Under-Lyne, 957 who voted for Mark Jewell in Denton & Reddish, and 1,256 who gave Pete Flynn their vote in Stalybridge & Hyde.
To mark National Apprenticeship Week 2015, Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is urging young people and businesses alike to draw on the many benefits of apprenticeships.
National Apprenticeship Week runs from 9-13 March and celebrates the positive impact that apprenticeships have on individuals and businesses.
Liberal Democrats in government have created more than 2 million apprenticeships, helping people of all ages develop new skills and helping British businesses to grow.
In his message, Nick highlights research showing that a fifth of all apprentices progress to higher education and that gaining a higher-level apprenticeship can boost lifetime earnings by £150,000.
Nick adds: “Whatever your professional interests, there’s a high-quality apprenticeship available to help you develop the skills that you need. And, whatever your sector, there’s a hard-working, dedicated apprentice out there ready to help your organisation thrive.”
Tameside Lib Dem MEP Chris Davies has welcomed the Liberal Democrat Million Jobs Campaign, which was launched by Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg today. 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 over 207,830 in the North West. 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.
The Liberal Democrats are aiming to create more jobs outside London and have invested £2.6 billion in a Regional growth fund that is already benefiting northern England.
Commenting, Chris said: “The Liberal Democrats are building a stronger economy in a fairer society, enabling everyone to get on in life.
“That’s why 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 am also working to bring more European investment to the area, to invest in new skills and give new businesses the premises and capital they need to get going.
“I look forward to me and my fellow Liberal Democrats working with local businesses, community groups and schools and colleges to turn this ambition into reality in Tameside.”
Chris Davies, the Lib Dem MEP who represents Tameside and the rest of North West England, has welcomed the budget for the help it provides to his constituents. He said, “2.6 million of my constituents will get a £700 tax cut compared to 2010 when Labour were in power – and it is the lowest paid that are getting the benefit with 286,000 people taken out of tax altogether.
“279,231 families in the region could benefit from tax free childcare and 95,000 businesses will benefit from the changes to National Insurance, creating and preserving jobs.
“A typical motorist will save £7 per tank of petrol compared to Labour’s plans and I am working in the EU to try and increase that number by making sure new cars use less fuel to travel the same distance – delivering savings for working people as well as benefits to our environment.
“There is even good news for Tameside pubs with 6,714 pubs across the region set to benefit from the cut in beer duty. Even the serial complainers of UKIP should be happy with that, after all their MEP did promise to hold surgeries in pubs. Personally I shall be enjoying my cheaper pints outside work hours.
“The Liberal Democrats are trying to build a stronger economy and a fairer society and this budget proves our influence in government.”
Liberal Democrats in Tameside have picked Euro-MP Chris Davies to lead their campaign to hold on to their European parliament seat.
The list was chosen by party members in a postal ballot. Chris will be joined by businesswoman Helen Foster-Grime, economics professor Jo Crotty and community activist Qassim Afzal on his team of candidates for the eight places up for grabs in Brussels.
In 2009 the North West of England constituency returned 3 Conservative MEPs, 2 Labour and one each of the Lib Dems, UKIP and the BNP.
Chris Davies has represented Tameside in Brussels since 1999. He is the environment spokesman for the 85 Liberal Democrat MEPs from across the EU. He claims credit for introducing a billion euro funding mechanism that is supporting research into new renewable energy technologies.
Chris said “I’ve been proud to have represented the people of the North West in the EU for 13 years and I want to use this experience to drive forward environmental improvements and promote EU reform.
“Firms across Tameside depend on the EU for access to markets and thousands of jobs here depend on us staying as members. If UKIP got their way and we pulled out, any benefit we got by reducing our membership fee would be wiped out and more by the jobs we would lose to countries like China.”
Often outspoken, the MEP has campaigned for a change in the law to allow patients suffering intolerably to seek medical help to die. His call for drugs to be decriminalised and for their supply to be taken out of the hands of criminals will also be an issue for opponents of the Lib Dem team.