“No Place for Local Council Leader to have Pro-Whitehall Attitude” say Liberal Democrats

Liberal Democrats on Gloucestershire County Council have asked the Leader of the Council, Cllr. Mark Hawthorne, the reason why he’s not joined 119 other leaders of English councils in signing a letter calling for greater devolution and an end to financial cuts imposed by the centre.
The Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Cllr. Jeremy Hilton (LD: Kingsholm and Wotton) said that: “I am disappointed that other Tory controlled regions in England have joined forces in signing this letter, but  the Leader of Gloucestershire County Council has decided not to sign.
“In the wake of the Scottish referendum we have the perfect opportunity for power to be devolved from London to this county. An opportunity that Mr. Hawthorne doesn’t appear to want to take.
“I would like to hear publicly from Mr. Hawthorne why he felt this was a letter that his Tory colleague on Gloucester City Council could sign i.e. Cllr. Paul James, but that he could not.
“Is it not the case that Mr. Hawthorne is quite happy being dictated to by a distant Whitehall?”
Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Cllr. Iain Dobie (LD: Leckhampton and Warden Hill) also said that: “The question of devolution was debated last week at Shire Hall. Here, Mr. Hawthorne voted against a joint Lib Dem/Labour amendment asking him to write to the Prime Minister in encouraging more power to county and city regions.
“The very fact that Mr. Hawthorne has not signed this letter gives me further reasons to believe that the Leader of Gloucestershire County Council does not want to seize this opportunity in taking greater local responsibility.
“Taking power back from Whitehall is a good thing for the county, but needs the support from everyone – not least the Leader of the County Council. It would be good if the Leader of the Council speaks up for Gloucestershire.”
ENDS

A417 upgrade good for road safety and reducing congestion

01_12_2014 E01 10-GEC Echo GECH2S2

Today the coalition government has reserved millions of pounds towards improvements along the A417 at the Air Balloon. These improvements will see the road converted to a dual carraigeway from Brockworth to Cowley roundabout. The estimated cost is £255m.

Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Gloucester, Jeremy Hilton has welcomed the government announcement.

Jeremy Hilton said: “The A147 along the missing link is congested and dangerous. Upgrading it to a dual carriageway will improve road safety and reduce congestion. Pollution levels will go down. Connectivity will get better, enhancing travel times from Gloucester to London and the South East This should boost the economy in Gloucestershire and create new jobs.

“I now call on all of the county’s MPs and councillors to work together to back this scheme which will make this road safer and less congested.”

Liberal Democrats created 1,190 new apprentices in Gloucester last year – Jeremy Hilton

New figures from the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills show 1,190 people started an apprenticeship in Gloucester in the last 12 months.
Liberal Democrats in Government have led the apprentice drive and are on course to deliver two million apprenticeships in Britain by the end of this parliament.
Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Gloucester, Cllr. Jeremy Hilton said:
“Gone are the days when a vocational education was seen as the poor relation when it came to choosing a career path. Apprenticeships offer young people an opportunity to earn a living while they learn their vocation.
“We are seeing more young people choosing apprenticeships while hearing from businesses in Gloucester who say they simply couldn’t function without the talent and ambition they bring. The recent Grow Gloucestershire Showcase Awards held at Cheltenham Racecourse, which I attended, showed how important apprenticeships are to young people starting out on their careers and to their employers.
“All young people in Gloucester should have an opportunity to get on in life and apprenticeships are a great way to deliver that.
“Vince Cable the Business Secretary and Liberal Democrats have pushed this policy in Government and made sure apprentice programmes are rigorous, responsive and meet the changing needs of the future economy.
“Delivering on apprenticeships helps build the stronger economy and fairer society Britain needs.”

Born and Bred in Gloucester – Jeremy Hilton will fight to become Gloucester’s MP

Jeremy Hilton - Wotton Pitch

Jeremy Hilton, a well-known figure in Gloucester has been selected by the Liberal Democrats as their parliamentary candidate. He has fought the Gloucester seat three times before in 1987, 2005 and 2010. Mr Hilton currently serves as local councillor.

Jeremy Hilton was born and bred in Gloucester. He lives in the heart of the city close to the cathedral and vows that his fight is for a stronger and fairer Gloucester.

Cllr. Hilton has an excellent track record of public service, representing Kingsholm on both the city and county councils, where he is also the Liberal Democrat group leader. With over 22 years experience as a councillor, Jeremy is a local person ideally qualified to become Gloucester’s next MP.

As the current chairperson of the Local Government Association’s, Fire Service Management Committee, Jeremy is experienced in parliamentary matters. He has given verbal evidence to a House of Commons Select Committee.

As the Next MP for Gloucester, Jeremy Hilton will work hard for a strong economy and fairer society, by:-

• campaigning for good education for all Gloucester children and free school meals for everyone at primary school

• delivering better rail connections to Gloucester and a new central bus station

• raising the income tax free allowance to £12,500 and securing the triple lock, in law, for state pensions

• securing Gloucester’s regeneration with UNESCO World Heritage Site status for the cathedral, whilst building more affordable homes for young families

• increasing the number apprenticeships for young people and ensuring a diverse and growing economy in Gloucester

• guaranteeing equal care and waiting times for mental health as for physical health, by increasing spending on the NHS

Tory MP challenged over Europe

Here is my letter to Richard Graham the Tory MP for Gloucester over his suggestion we have a referendum on Europe

Dear Richard

I see from your email to me that you want a referendum on Europe, even though the coalition has passed legislation for this to happen if there are further transfers of power.

Why would you want to hold and in out referendum just for fun? The uncertainty would create instability in the economy and discourage inward investment. Many jobs in Gloucester could be put at risk.

Membership of the European Union is good for Britain. It is good for jobs and business. Good for international co-operation. In my lifetime, it has helped democratise many European countries. Membership of the European Union helps to protect the human rights of millions of people in Britain and across the continent.

If there is a referendum on Europe I shall be campaigning and voting to stay in. You may willing to appease UKIP, but I am not. Britain must retain its membership of the European Union. Why would you want to put our membership at risk!

The public in Gloucester need to know. If there was a referendum on the European Union, would you vote to stay in or get out?

Cllr. Jeremy Hilton
Kingsholm & Wotton