At the start of 2016, Tim Farron said "I am determined that the Liberal Democrats face the new year with a new sense of purpose, a new drive and a sense of ambition."
Of course we were disappointed by the EU Referendum result, but over 2016 we have made tremendous progress. A short video released by the party over the holiday period sums up the last two years, including the low points and the start of our fightback:-
- We have 79,000 + members - our highest membership this century.
- We've delivered a hat trick of fantastic by-election results in Witney, Sleaford and North Hykeham and especially in Richmond Park and North Kingston.
- We gained 28 seats in council by-elections - more than all other parties combined, and gained 45 seats in May’s council elections.
- Here in Huntingdon we have been taking the lead in improving car-parking arrangements and tackling road safety issues. Pedestrian safety and encouragement of more cycling are high priorities for us.
- In the County Council we joined forces with others to force the Conservatives to back down on reductions to the winter gritting programme. We also helped to get the streets lights switched back on after many complaints that lighting reductions had been too severe and have been causing accidents, as well as increasing the fear of crime.
- As spending pressures increase, we have been working hard to encourage local communities e.g. parish councils, to take more responsibility for their own environment.
All of this clearly shows that we’re growing as a movement and that we’re serious players in British politics, both nationally and locally.
In 2017, at the national level, we have an incredible opportunity to build our party still further and become the rallying point for everyone who wants to keep Britain open, tolerant and united. We need to bring in the thousands of progressive voters, from all parties, who share our values, and help lead the real opposition to this Conservative Brexit Government.
In Huntingdonshire, our priorities for 2017 are to ensure that our district becomes an even better place to live and work, and that the needs of local people are put first. Our councilors will continue to work hard to ensure that all residents are well-represented year round. We will never forget that local issues matter most to you and that being there, on the doorstep, to listen and then try to make a difference is what really helps communities.