Recommended reading for Liberal Democrat councillors and local campaigners over the last seven days:
Firstly, for some good news from Three Rivers as popular Labour councillor and current chairman of the council Ron Spellen defects to the Liberal Democrats.
But now for the big news of the week – the budget.
Prior to the budget Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander MP explained on Lib Dem Voice the government’s priorities and the BBC have a useful guide to the main points in the budget. The big news for Lib Dems is a further increase in the personal tax allowance – a Lib Dem manifesto commitment (ALDC members can find a useful guide to how this benefits each part of the country here).
An interesting report this week that was covered by a number of newspapers shows that the public still largely blames the previous Labour government for previous budget cuts.
Another bit of good news from the last week is on the commission looking at the European Convention on Human Rights which The Spectator describes as a “powerful victory over the Conservatives” by Nick Clegg.
In another bit of news that didn’t receive a lot of press attention in the last week was a poll by Ipsos-Mori showing that Nick Clegg is more popular than Ed Miliband. Now admittedly, the poll was far from universal good news, but it’s a nice headline to see given Miliband’s opposition to Nick taking a high profile role in the Yes to Fairer Votes campaign. On which subject, you can also read Tim Farron’s excellent speech from the launch of the Lib Dem Yes to Fairer Votes campaign.
An interesting blog post from the last week is by former PPC Nick Radford about his reasons for his ‘retirement’ from politics at the age of just 27. His reasons for retirement are ones that many Lib Dem activists can probably empathise with, no matter how enthusiastic they are about politics. In response, Cllr Mark Cole responds by talking up the positives of being a councillor on his own blog.
In the local government world:
DCLG has announced the removal of the ring-fencing of some more pots of cash given to local councils, with the aim of giving councils more flexibility in how they provide local services.
Plus, to bring the local government world and the budget together, George Osborne has announced a further £100 million to repair potholes, on top of the money agreed last month.
Finally, Mark Pack gives his tips on how to get on in online politics through the ‘little and often’ technique.