• Cllr Tim Martland
    Article: Jan 29, 2021
    By Cllr Tim Martland

    Local Liberal Democrats have joined their national Party colleagues in expressing disappointment at the six-month delay in the Government's Environment Bill.

    The bill will lay down how Britain outside the European Union will regulate the environment. It is not expected to be given the Royal Assent until the autumn as the Government has run out of time to pass it in Parliament now.

  • Graham with south Warrington backdrop
    Article: Jan 28, 2021
    By Cllr Graham Gowland

    Local Liberal Democrats remain concerned about the impact of a potential new railway from Liverpool to Leeds on the lives of residents alongside the route. The Warrington South MP has responded to these concerns but Liberal Democrat campaigners are not satisfied.

    It was interesting to hear the MP's response, but we are still no closer to knowing the route that will be chosen. Will we have 125mph trains running along the Trans Pennine Trail into the heart of Warrington or will another route be found? I accept that he has commented on Northern Powerhouse Rail. Last June he put a story on his website and in January he tweeted that the priority should be on the East / West line. Having reviewed Hansard, I can see he has indeed asked for Warrington Bank Quay to be included in the route, but made no enquiries about the routing.

  • Cllr Graham Gowland
    Article: Jan 26, 2021
    By Cllr Graham Gowland

    Local Liberal Democrats are calling for clarity on the Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) route through Warrington.

    The Government is planning a new high speed rail link from Liverpool to Leeds. Part of the route runs from Bank Quay station to High Legh, where it joins a stretch of HS2.

    Local campaigner Cllr Graham Gowland says: We have been trying to get clarity on the planned route. It is clear that it is going to run through south Warrington and into the town centre but no public consultation has taken place. I have contacted the Government transport body responsible [Transport for the North (TfN)] but they have refused to give details. While there is a lot of merit in NPR, its impact on individuals must be considered. The best local knowledge must be applied to finding the most acceptable route.

  • Article: Jan 22, 2021
    By Cllrs Bob Barr & Ian Marks

    The COVID crisis has showed the tremendous benefits of different organisations working together to combat a problem. The exceptional rainfall that has caused flooding problems in parts of Lymm and elsewhere in Warrington has again shown the benefits of co-operation.

    We have been very impressed by the way Warrington Council, the Police, the Fire and Rescue Service, the Environment Agency, housing providers and others have come together. The Council and the Environment Agency have provided useful bulletins, which they have updated frequently.

  • wp-content/uploads/imarks.jpg
    Article: Jan 17, 2021
    By Cllr Ian Marks - Finance spokesperson

    There is still no date for the last three years' Warrington Borough Council accounts to be signed off by auditor Grant Thornton.

    Councillors were hoping to hear a date at the Audit Committee last week but nothing was forthcoming, apart from a statement that the Council and Grant Thornton were getting closer to agreement. Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Finance, Cllr Ian Marks says: I have lost count of how many dates have been promised to us. It was significant that this time the Auditor would not commit himself to a date, which suggests there is still some way to go. There are three sets of accounts outstanding - 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/20. The ongoing delay can only be doing harm to the Labour Council's reputation and is costing a fortune in fees.

  • Map of broadband availability as of 14 Jan 2021 (Ofcom)
    Article: Jan 14, 2021

    Local Liberal Democrats are worried that parts of South Warrington will be left behind as faster broadband is rolled out across the country.

    The Government's election pledge was to roll out ultrafast broadband across the whole country by 2025. The 2020 Spending Review backtracked on this pledge and reduced the target to 85%. Cllr Bob Barr, Leader of Warrington Council's Liberal Democrat Group says: The COVID crisis has forced more and more children to home-school and learn on-line. The Government is encouraging people to work from home. This is only possible if you have access to fast broadband and can afford it. The pandemic has exposed economic inequalities. We are very concerned that this slippage will lead to geographic inequalities between areas in our town as well as an inequality of opportunity.