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Green Liberal Democrats

GLD NEWS Page

See our twitter at: https://twitter.com/intent/user?screen_name=GreenLibdems

And see our Links page for other news sources

See also News from the Liberal Democrats


Green Liberal Democrats: Recent News Articles

  • Vince Cable (Chris McAndrew [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)
    Article: Nov 16, 2017
    By Joe Bourke in Liberal Democrat Voice

    In July of this year ALTER floated the idea of a Progressive Alliance round Land Value Taxation and put out a call for the formation of an All Party Parliamentary Group on Land Value Tax in advance of our fringe at Bournemouth on this theme.

    n a pre-budget speech in the City of London this week, Sir Vince Cable laid out Liberal Democrat proposals for tax reform including investigating the feasibility of Land Value Taxation (LVT).

  • Environment
    Article: Nov 16, 2017
    By Andy Boddington in Liberal Democrat Voice

    In the Sunday Telegraph, Michael Gove sets out his plans for an environmental watchdog post-Brexit. As education secretary under David Cameron, he was seen as a career hungry politician willing to risk quality education in a drive to create academies, open creationist schools and dictate what was taught in lessons. He was marginally better as Justice Secretary, but not much. Now, he is well on the road to becoming Britain's leading environmental champion.

  • Wind Turbines (By Barrow_Offshore_wind_turbines.jpg: Andy Dingley derivative work: Papa Lima Whiskey 2 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)
    Article: Nov 16, 2017
    By Steve Mason in Liberal Democrat Voice

    Confusion reigns in the corridors of power with contradiction at every turn on the UK's energy needs. Recent reports on the UK's future in clean energy and climate change have flagged the critical need to prioritise low-carbon energy generation and the climate change obligations that the UK must meet by 2030.

  • MEPs put pressure on Commission for immediate EU ivory ban (http://meps4wildlife.eu/meps-put-pressure-commission-immediate-eu-ivory-ban/)
    Article: Nov 13, 2017
    By Catherine Bearder MEP

    MEPs for Wildlife was established in February 2015 as a cross-party interest group at the European Parliament campaigning for the EU to step up the fight against wildlife crime.

    As a group we aim to raise awareness at a European level about the threat posed by wildlife crime, which is now the fourth-largest illegal trade in the world.

  • Two minutes silence for Armistice Day (Keith Melton)
    Article: Nov 12, 2017

    11 am on the 11th day of the 11th Month

    Armistice Day - Sout East Liberal Democrat`s

    Regional meeting

    GLD at the South East Region

  • The front cover of the Autumn 2010 Challenge Magazine (Green Liberal Democrats)
    Article: Nov 11, 2017
    By George Miles

    Dear Green Liberals,

    please send us articles, news, photos, ideas etc for our December Challenge Magazine which will be posted to all our members.

    Most articles should also be published on our website, and hence be indexed by google.

    https://greenlibdems.org.uk/en/page/challenge-magazine-1

    The email address is challenge@greenlibdems.org.uk

  • Pat Marsh (Liberal Democrat Councillor for Harrogate,) (http://www.hftf.org.uk/blog/2017/10/31/hope-for-the-future-training-through-the-eyes-of-a-local-councillor#.WgRApmi0NGM=)
    Article: Nov 10, 2017

    Liberal Democrat Councillor for Harrogate, Pat Marsh

    In mid-October 2017, Hope for the Future delivered training to Zero Carbon Harrogate, a group dedicated to seeing their local area reducing its carbon footprint. Hope for the Future's co-founder and trustee, Jemima Parker is the Chair of this group and invited HFTF's Assistant Director, Sarah, to run a two hour session on how to contact MPs and local councillors about the issue of climate change. In the audience was a local Liberal Democrat Councillor for Harrogate, Pat Marsh. Pat was incredibly helpful to have there as she was able to offer her own perspective of how, as a local politician, she would like to be approached by local residents. Pat writes about how she found the session at:

    http://www.hftf.org.uk/blog/2017/10/31/hope-for-the-future-training-through-the-eyes-of-a-local-councillor

  • Liberal Democrat Policy
    Article: Nov 10, 2017
    By Chris Bowers and Paul Pettinger in Liberal Democrat Voice

    One of the biggest hits the party took during the coalition years was not so much being associated with the Conservatives (though that was toxic enough) but losing so much of our identity. And if we want to have a future as a party, we have to get that identity back.

    Our coalition years slogan 'Stronger economy, fairer society' was fine up to a point, but it didn't provide us with much distinctiveness. Associated messaging that framed us as having more head than Labour and more heart than the Conservatives effectively defined us in relation to Labour and the Conservatives. It did not emphasis what we stood for and make clear what a vote for the Lib Dems meant. By the time of the 2015 seven-leaders TV debate, most people could have formulated in a few words what six of the seven parties stood for, but they might well have struggled with us.

  • wild fowl
    Article: Nov 10, 2017

    The council's proposed PSPO is going to make it an offence to feed the ducks and geese in Water Gardens.

    Why? Because the geese are trampling the grass verges. Are we alone in thinking this is absurd?

    We think it is important to preserve the wildlife and the waterways that create a beautiful oasis in the middle of our town centre . But we also believe that this is best done through education, signage and alternative feeds, instead of cautions, fines and prosecutions.

    Please join us in opposing this proposal which is being rushed through without proper consideration.

  • Article: Nov 10, 2017

    Scottish Liberal Democrat energy spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP has today warned that the Scottish Government must "turn up the heat" on efforts to promote renewable heating after new figures revealed that renewable heat generation decreased in 2016.

    In response to a parliamentary question, the Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy Paul Wheelhouse revealed that during the 2016 calendar year, just 4.8-5.0% of Scotland's non-electrical heat demand was supplied from renewable sources, despite heat making up around half of Scotland's energy usage. Moreover, renewable heat generation decreased by 11%, when compared with 2015.

  • Animal welfare
    Article: Nov 10, 2017

    Local MP Tim Farron has called on the government to commit to keeping animal welfare laws after Britain has left the EU.

    The South Lakes MP today met with representatives from Cumbrian eggs business 'Lakes Free Range' at an event in Parliament hosted by the RSPCA to discuss the impact of Brexit on farm animal welfare.

  • Article: Nov 10, 2017

    Scottish Liberal Democrat environment spokesperson Mariam Mahmood has today called on both of Scotland's government to commit to guaranteeing environmental protections will be at least as strong as current EU protections if the UK leaves the European Union, as a major environmental conference warned that Brexit could put the country's protected sites at risk.

  • Suffolk Coastal and Waveney District Councils proposed merger
    Article: Nov 10, 2017

    Yesterday (7th November), the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid, made a statement in the House of Commons announcing that he is "minded to" implement the proposal to merge Suffolk Coastal and Waveney district councils into a single new district council -- the so-called "super district council", which would be (reportedly) the biggest district council in the country. His statement went as follows:

  • Wera Hobhouse (Chris McAndrew [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)
    Article: Nov 10, 2017

    • Local authorities in England recorded 1,002,154 cases of fly-tipping in 2016-17, up 7% on the previous year. This is equivalent to 114 every hour.

    • The estimated cost to the taxpayer for clearing up fly-tipping was £58 million, up 16% on the previous year

    • The number of prosecutions for fly-tipping fell by a quarter to 1,602, compared to 2,135 the previous year

  • GLD stand Yorks and Humberside
    Article: Nov 7, 2017
    By Keith Melton

    Yorkshire and Humberside Regional meeting November 4th 2017

    We took the GLD stand to the Yorkshire and Humberside Regional meeting on

    4th November 2017 and had plenty of interest in the work of the Green Liberal

    Democrats as well as meeting several delegates who were already GLD members.

    We were also successful in having the GLD rainforest resolution chosen for debate here. There was only space for two debates and our resolution was chosen from a field of 14 submitted for discussion. The wording of the resolution is appended below - it is a work in progress, so if you would like to submit it for your own region do please get in touch as we shall probably update it further yet, hoping to submit something along these lines to the Liberal Democrat Spring Conference. The resolution as worded was proposed by Matt Walker and seconded by Mark McDermid. Matt was the Lib Dem candidate for Keighley and Ilkley at the last election and Mark is a Lib Dem newbie and now an enthusiastic GLD member.

  • Article: Nov 4, 2017

    Birmingham City Council Approves £13.4m Pilot Scheme for 20 hydrogen-fueled buses

    From FuelCellsWorks, October 27, 2017

    Bimingham--Birmingham City Council has approved a pilot scheme which will see at least 20 new cleaner, zero emission hydrogen-fuelled buses take to Birmingham's roads.

    The scheme aims to reduce nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels on key bus routes which in turn will support the council in its work to reduce air pollution and become compliant with air quality legislation.

    A report due to go before Cabinet on October 24 asks members to approve the full business case for the pilot, as well as giving the go-ahead to find a bus operator via an open tender process and using the Transport for London Hydrogen Bus Framework to purchase the proposed vehicles, which will be delivered by March 2019.

    Funding for the £13.4 million pilot includes grant contributions from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCHJU), the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) Local Growth Fund and approved Future Council Programme resources.

    The pilot is designed to test the potential of developing a hydrogen market to encourage the take-up of zero emission transport fuels, with the buses set to be the first hydrogen vehicles in the city. The buses will be fuelled by hydrogen produced at Tyseley Energy Park, which will continue to be developed as the first UK low/zero-emission refuelling hub for commercial and public sector vehicles, ranging from buses and bin wagons to vans and taxis. Tyseley Energy Park will become operational by September 2018, with the new hydrogen buses being re-fuelled there from March 2019.

    Councillor Stewart Stacey, Cabinet Member for Transport and Roads, said: "Public transport plays a key role in encouraging people to leave their cars at home and choose alternative methods of travelling around the city, which in turn will help reduce both congestion on our roads and the impact of vehicle emissions on the environment.

    "It therefore follows that we must look at ways to make public transport more environmentally friendly too, which is why this hydrogen bus pilot is so important. If successful, this could completely change bus travel in a way that will benefit the entire city."

    Councillor Lisa Trickett, Cabinet Member for Air Quality, said: "Air pollution is a major public health issuing affecting us all. We are clear that every single person in Birmingham has the right to clean air.

    "While we recognise that we face a significant challenge in meeting air quality compliance standards in the city, the introduction of hydrogen fuelled buses as part of this pilot is a hugely positive step forward in supporting the work we are doing towards achieving that."

    Council Decision Below

    On 24 October 2017, Cabinet:- (i) Approved the Full Business Case at Appendix A to the report, for the CAHB pilot at an estimated capital cost of up to £13.440m, funded from OLEV grant (£3.814m), FCHJU grant (£4.141m) GBSLEP Local Growth Fund (£2.156m), Bus Operator minimum contribution (£3.289m) and approved Future Council Programme resources of £0.040m, to procure and deploy up to 22 hydrogen fuelled buses for use by a procured Bus Operator and to provide grant aid towards the cost of providing hydrogen refuelling infrastructure. (ii) Approved the procurement strategy provided in the FBC to the report (Annex A to the report), that proposes firstly to use an 'open tender' approach to procure a Bus Operator and secondly, to utilise the Transport For London (TfL) Hydrogen Bus framework to purchase the proposed hydrogen buses; (iii) Approved the Council acting as Accountable Body for the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) grant and accepts their offer of £3.814m capital grant; (iv) Authorised the Assistant Director - Transport and Connectivity to pass-port with conditions of grant, £1.340m of the OLEV grant funding to TfL, as joint applicant under the OLEV Grant scheme, to enable them to fund their own procurement of hydrogen buses; (v) Authorised the Assistant Director - Transport and Connectivity to make a grant of £1.0m to ITM Power, the hydrogen re-fuelling infrastructure partner, funded from the OLEV capital grant towards the cost for hydrogen re-fuelling infrastructure to be based at Tyseley Energy Park subject to the completion of a funding agreement; (vi) Accepted grant funding of £4.141m from the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Joint Undertaking (FCHJU) comprising £4.081m for capital and £0.060m for revenue expenditure; (vii) Approved the Council to act as Accountable Body for Local Growth Fund grant from the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) and accepts their offer of £2.156m capital grant, subject to receipt of a final offer letter; (viii) Authorised the Corporate Director, Economy, in conjunction with the Interim Chief Finance Officer, the Director of Commissioning and Procurement and the City Solicitor (or their delegates) to award a contract for the manufacture and delivery of up to 22 hydrogen buses subject to the values not exceeding pre-tender estimates; (ix) Authorised the Corporate Director, Economy, in conjunction with the Interim Chief Finance Officer, the Director of Commissioning and Procurement and the City Solicitor (or their delegates) to enter into a lease agreement for the use of the 22 hydrogen fuelled buses for a period of 7 years on the basis of the procurement process outlined in Annex A to the report; (x) Authorised the City Solicitor to negotiate, execute and complete any necessary legal documentation to give effect to the above decisions.

  • Article: Nov 3, 2017

    Sorry, spelling mistake in title, please click

    More Hydrogen Buses

  • GLD stall East Midlands Region
    Article: Nov 1, 2017
    By Keith Melton

    Hi Folks,

    This is just a short report about our recent attendance at the East Midlands Regional Conference with a Green Lib Dem Stand. We had hoped it would be associated with a resolution on Rainforest issues but the resolution was not selected for debate, so nothing immediate to report there, but we will be submitting it to other regional conferences, so watch this space!

  • Windfarm
    Article: Oct 30, 2017

    ScottishPower Renewables (SPR) is currently building an offshore windfarm off the Suffolk coast, with 102 turbines. They have already received development consent for a second windfarm nearby, which will add a further 172 turbines. As a guide to the physical scale of these projects, the 172 turbines in that second development alone will cover an area of 305 square kilometres (or 118 square miles).

  • Article: Oct 30, 2017

    The government must take urgent action following a UN report warning that CO2 emissions have reached a record high.

    As Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, I played a key role in international attempts to tackle climate change.

    Ministers should use the Budget to announce the go-ahead of tidal lagoons and reverse their opposition to onshore wind farms.

  • Brown Bin Tax #Fail
    Article: Oct 30, 2017

    Councillors were shocked to learn that the recycling rate in Welwyn Hatfield has dropped from 54% last year to 46% this year.

    Even worse, the target the council sets itself has dropped even further - from 53% to 42%.

    Asked why, the council replied: "The brown bin tax".

    Helen Quenet, LibDem councillor, says "This is truly shocking, but all so predictable. When the Brown Bin Tax was being discussed last year, I said it was common sense that not allowing food waste in the brown bins would reduce recycling levels, not just because of food not being included but also because of plastics/containers not being recycled.

  • Jenny Pinkett Matt avies
    Article: Oct 30, 2017

    "We would like to see more attention turned to the town centre and local shopping centres around the constituency where we could convert many empty and partially used retail and commercial units to residential use. We need to think ahead if we are to provide more homes. More housing is needed but if the infrastructure is not put in place first ever increasing pollution from traffic hot spots will be a disaster. Tamworth already has areas where the air quality does not meet requirements. If hundreds of more houses are built before putting in a road and transport system that is fit for purpose poor air quality will put our children's health at serious risk."

  • Document: Sep 15, 2017
    464.25 KiB drawing or desktop publishing document
  • Tom Brake MP
    Article: Sep 14, 2017

    AIR POLLUTION AND RED DIESEL
    Early day motion 295

    That this House notes the Government's plans to tackle Britain's air pollution crisis and improve air quality; further notes that reduced duty red diesel for certain uses costs HM Treasury £2.4 billion annually; believes that subsidising red diesel also inhibits the Government's plans to support the take-up of cleaner technologies and tackle air pollution effectively; notes that clean and affordable alternative fuels are available for some uses of red diesel, such as in transport refrigeration units; notes that if the UK's 84,000 transport refrigeration units became zero emission it would equate to taking 4 million Euro 6 diesel cars off the UK's roads; welcomes HM Treasury's red diesel consultation that was announced in the Spring Budget 2017 and closed in in June 2017; and calls on the Government to act and end red diesel subsidies for transport refrigeration units.

  • Paddy Ashdown
    Article: Sep 14, 2017
    By Paddy Ashdown in Liberal Democrat Voice

    So, here, as promised are four dangerous ideas for the future. Please be clear. I am not necessarily proposing these. Just asking why we are not even discussing them?

    Dangerous idea 1

    We are guiltily obsessed with student fees. The fact that we don't need to be, because the principle is right, does not make life easier (how I wish we had called them a Graduate tax!). But now with the student loan debt rising, do we not also have to consider how we get better value for what students pay? If we have a tertiary education system which cannot be paid for without loading more and more debt on our young, should we not be looking at the system, not just at how they pay? We persist in the medieval practice of taking students to medieval ivy covered buildings, to receive their education in the medieval manner from minds, too many of which, when it comes to delivering education, are stuck in the middle ages. Yet distance learning was pioneered in Britain at the Open University when communicating with your tutor meant stuffing your academic paper in an envelope, licking it, sticking a stamp on it and putting it in the local post-box. Today the whole planet is into distance learning. Many of our own Universities make tons of money providing distance learning degree courses to students all over the world. But none of them are in Britain! If we were to convert at least part of our tertiary education syllabus to distance learning we might reduce the cost of degrees without diminishing their quality, give students more flexibility, force lecturers into the modern age, widen access and create a superb platform for adult education all at the same time. Why, beloved Lib Dems, do we allow medieval vested interests to preserve our ivy covered tertiary education system exactly as it is, loading more and more debt on students and preventing us from doing what much of the rest of the world is doing already? Just asking.

  • Article: Sep 13, 2017
    By Nigel Orchard in GLD Challenge Magazine (Summer 2017)

    Gordon Brown's government announced the smart meter implementation program (SMIP) in 2006 - every home will have one by 2020, the biggest infrastructure change since natural gas in 1974. Eleven years later we have not seen much progress. True about 25% are installed, but these are only compatible with a single energy supplier. When you change, the meter becomes dumb and needs to be replaced. At £250 a pop, and 10% churn, that's a cost of £25 per household per annum, greater than the £18 savings from being "in control". Not very smart according to recent papers by the Institute of Directors (IoD), Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) and several BBC broadcasts.

  • GISTEMP anomaly (GreenLibDems.org.uk)
    Article: Sep 13, 2017
    By Richard Joy in Challenge Magazine (Summerer 2017)

    Now, I don't want to launch into a political rant but it often appears that politicians are only concerned with winning the popular support of the electorate. They avoid confronting the difficult issues and students of BBC sitcoms know that the words most likely to strike fear into the heart of Jim Hacker MP, were: " … a very brave decision minister."

  • Document: Sep 13, 2017
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    Constitution Proposed Changes for September 2017 GLD AGM

  • Document: Sep 13, 2017
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  • Document: Sep 13, 2017
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  • Document: Sep 13, 2017
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  • Document: Sep 13, 2017
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    Agenda for September 2017 GLD AGM

    (v1)

  • George Miles, Lorraine Chatwin and Nick Clegg (dicegeorge.com)
    Article: Sep 13, 2017
    By George Miles in GLD Challenge Magazine (Summer 2017)

    Am I a Green Liberal or a Liberal Green?
    Sorry, the snap general election this Spring 2017 caught me by suprise, I didnt do as much as I should have, I'd just stripped a critical section of slates off my roof, and had a cold. I delivered leaflets locally in Herefordshire, but the Greens refused to stand down in Hereford South, and the Libdems to stand down in Hereford North. All four candidates were good liberal pro-european women who would have made better MPs than the two Tory Etonian who got in. Maybe Theresa May knew that there were talks of Progressive Alliances to counter the unfair electoral system and so called the election early.

    But every time a Libdem says 'we are the only party who oppose brexit' or 'the only party who support voting reform', or 'the only party who decide our polices by one member one vote' etc it pisses me off because the Green Party also do these things. And it must also piss off all Green party members, belittling them, and makes them think all Libdems are liars, and makes cross party progressive alliance less likely. As when Labour belittle the Libdems. The Libdems and the Greens have so much in common. Yes I wish the founders of the Ecology party had instead joined the Liberals, we have so much in common, but they didn't.
    Their constitution begins:

    "In these principles we assert the interdependence of all life, and the role of the Green movement in establishing appropriate relationships in this web of interdependence. While respecting the human person, we recognise and celebrate our interdependence with other species. We oppose the destructive processes which are destroying our planet. We favour a balanced and sustainable system of production and utilisation of resources, keeping account of real costs. The task before us is to transform the vision of continued viable life on earth into reality."

    But environmentalism is not just an issue for one party - if we leave it until the Greens get a majority at Westminster then the planet will be burnt.

    Some of my friends from the Young Liberals are now in the Green party, as are many of my friends from Reclaim the Streets and the Stonehenge Campaign. My heart is with the Greens, my head with the Libdems.

    The tribalism where Libdems delight in knocking Greens to third place, and vice versa, is not for me.

    All parties are a compromise - I doubt if there's even one Libdem who truly supports every word of every policy voted on by conference, or formulated by our MPs, Peers and MEP. We don't expect to, nor do we expect to agree with every idea of our 'Leader', or for him (or her) to agree with every policy of conference. It must be possible for a LibDem leader to be a Christian, or a Muslim, or an Atheist, please!

    But generally I agree with the attitude and direction of the Libdem party, so I'll stay.

    The preamble to the Libdem constitution begins:

    "The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity. We champion the freedom, dignity and well-being of individuals, we acknowledge and respect their right to freedom of conscience and their right to develop their talents to the full. We aim to disperse power, to foster diversity and to nurture creativity. We believe that the role of the state is to enable all citizens to attain these ideals, to contribute fully to their communities and to take part in the decisions which affect their lives."

    I agree with that, and with the Greens' principles.

    George Miles (GLD Exec ordinary member)


    (Note: this was published in the Summer 2017 GLD Challenge magazine, with one typing mistake, 'leomisnter South' instead of North )

  • Article: Sep 12, 2017

    The Lake District National Park Authority have slammed the Government's decision to cancel the proposed electrification of the lakes line.

    In a letter written to the Transport Secretary, the National Park said they were "disappointed" by the decision, and expressed their support for the electrification of the Lakes Line saying it would make "a significant and positive contribution to supporting the regional economy and enabling low carbon sustainable transport".

  • Article: Sep 8, 2017

    draft for agm 2017 docs

  • Article: Sep 1, 2017

    Writing in the Yorkshire Post, Chris Grayling said: "the success of Northern transport depends on the North itself."

    It comes after the government dropped pledges to electrify rail routes in Wales, the Midlands and the North, while supporting the £30 billion Crossrail 2 scheme for London.

    This is a betrayal of the North and all the areas across the country being neglected under this Conservative government.

    The government is trying to dodge responsibility after breaking its promises to upgrade regional rail links.

    Chris Grayling may be a South East MP but as Transport Secretary he has a responsibility to look beyond the capital.

    The rest of the country deserves better. The government needs to act now to stop the 'Northern Powerhouse' becoming a byword for failure.

  • Cllrs Lucy Care, Eric Ashburner and Mike Carr with Nigel Staunton (centre) and Mandy Packham of Friends of Littleover Parks with a copy of the council report releasing the funding.
    Article: Sep 1, 2017

    The Labour Council Cabinet have finally agreed to release over £300,000 for improvements to parks in an area within a mile of Heatherton. This was part of the 'planning gain' or 'Section 106' contribution from Heatherton developers to improve outdoor leisure in the area. Over £50,000 is also available for Heatherton Community Centre.

  • Document: Aug 12, 2017
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    FOR MEMBERS ONLY

    Invitation to AGM on 17th September 2017

    Invitation to Nominate for Officer Posts and the Executive

    Invitation to Apply for Postal Vote.

    NOTE CLOSING DATE for nominations is the 27th of August, but please reply as soon as posible.

    Those using the post are asked to try to send forms to arrive by the 24th so that they an be processed BEFORE the Bank Holiday Weekend.

  • Document: Aug 12, 2017
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  • Document: Aug 12, 2017