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  • Article: Dec 8, 2019

    The Liberal Democrats have accused the Conservatives of failing to protect local small businesses, after figures revealed that 1,190 businesses in the area have closed over the last three years.

    It comes as the Liberal Democrats today (Saturday 7 December) unveil a series of measures to reverse this decline and boost local firms, to mark Small Business Saturday.

    Recent figures show that 1,190 businesses have closed in Torridge and West Devon between 2016 and 2018.

    Across the UK one million businesses have closed their doors between 2016 and 2018, an increase of almost a third compared to 2013- 2015.

    The Federation of Small Businesses has warned that a no deal Brexit, which Boris Johnson has repeatedly refused to rule out, would mean more damage to firms. Firms are also being held back by the Conservative government's failure to reform business rates, and by new taxes on the self-employed that business groups have described as "disastrous".

    Liberal Democrats have said that they will Stop Brexit and invest the £50 billion Remain Bonus in improving public services and tackling inequality. The party would also put in place a package of measures to support small businesses and boost high streets in Devon, including:

  • Article: Dec 8, 2019

    The Liberal Democrat candidate for Torridge and West Devon, David Chalmers has today challenged the local Conservative candidate to rule out a no-deal Brexit in December 2020.

    The challenge, just a few days before polling day, follows Boris Johnson refusing to rule out a no-deal exit from the EU.

    Under the Conservative Party's plan, the UK will have until December 2020 to deliver the second phase of negotiating a Free Trade Agreement with the EU. However, the plans also say Boris Johnson will not seek any extension despite overwhelming evidence showing that time-frame is near impossible.

    This means that the Tories are signing up to crash the UK out of the EU without a deal, the Liberal Democrats claim.

    This is why David Chalmers has today written to Geoffrey Cox, the Conservative candidate for Torridge and West Devon, to ask them to rule out a no-deal Brexit in December 2020 which would cause severe economic damage and put jobs at risk in Torridge and West Devon.

    Commenting on the announcement, Liberal Democrat Candidate for Torridge and West Devon, David Chalmers, said:

    "It is clear that the Conservatives are now effectively the party of Nigel Farage and Donald Trump. They are content to see the UK crash out of the EU without a deal.

    "Boris Johnson's Brexit plan is already a disaster for people in Devon, but he has now made things even worse by putting the UK on a collision course with a no-deal Brexit in December 2020. That means more harm to our NHS, more uncertainty for businesses, more jobs lost.

    "People in Torridge and West Devon have a right to know whether Geoffrey Cox supports the reckless and dangerous plan Boris Johnson is proposing. That is why I have written to Geoffrey Cox to urge him to rule out supporting any deal that risks a no deal cliff edge in December 2020.

    "The Liberal Democrats will continue to fight to stop Brexit. We are the strongest party for Remainers and we know that there is no deal as good as the one we have in the EU."

  • Article: Dec 7, 2019

    Each of them are driving populist, nationalist and authoritarian values. It's no surprise that Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage and Donald Trump have such a special relationship.

    Their unholy alliance has the potential to risk Britain's future. With the three of them working together to stitch up of our democracy, it's important that we stop Boris in his attempt to creep back into No. 10.

  • Article: Dec 6, 2019

    What a year we've had!

    2019 has been a record year for membership. People from all parties and none have joined our campaign to stop Brexit.

    We deserve better than two old parties who take our country for granted.

    We won the Brecon and Radnorshire Parliamentary by-election in the summer, cutting Boris Johnson's majority.

  • Article: Dec 5, 2019

    Our country and our businesses deserve better than a choice between a hard Brexit under Johnson or the hard left under Corbyn.

    Both parties would damage businesses through their plans to end free movement and deprive our fast-growing businesses of the talent they need to compete globally.

    The Liberal Democrats are the natural party of business, with a clear plan to stop Brexit, save free movement and focus on addressing the real issues facing our economy.

    We will build a brighter future by securing the UK's place as a global research powerhouse, supporting our entrepreneurs, and creating good jobs in new and growing industries.

  • Article: Dec 5, 2019
    By Liberal Democrats

    There are just days to go until the UK goes to the polls in the 2019 general election. Now, more than ever, it's crucial that we stop Boris Johnson in his pursuit of a hard Brexit and a far-right Conservative government.

    If you weren't already convinced, here are just a few things Johnson would do to Britain if he manages to stay in No. 10 and why we must stop him.

  • Dan the fish man and David
    Article: Dec 4, 2019

    Brexit will do nothing for local fishing industry, warns Lib Dem candidate for Torridge and West Devon, David Chalmers

    The Lib Dem candidate for Torridge and West Devon, has warned that Boris Johnson's Brexit plan will not address the concerns of local fishermen and fish merchants in Torridge. Speaking after a visit to Appledore Fish Dock yesterday, David Chalmers, who lives in Appledore, said:

  • Article: Dec 3, 2019
    By Jo Swinson

    As a Party we are clear: people with disabilities must have the opportunity to fully participate in every aspect of society

    3rd December is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. A day set aside to promote the rights and well-being of people with disabilities.

    Let us use today to increase our understanding of disabilities which can be physical, mental, sensory or cognitive.

  • Article: Dec 3, 2019

    The Liberal Democrats have today announced plans to fund at least 68 more police officers across Torridge and West Devon as part of an extra £1bn nationwide investment into community policing.

    This commitment amounts to 20,000 more police officers across England
    and Wales, enough for an extra two officers per ward. The Liberal Democrats will also fund an immediate 2% pay-rise for serving police officers.

    Liberal Democrat plans stand in stark contrast to Labour and the Conservatives, who have made big promises on police numbers, but have failed to commit the funding needed to deliver them.

    At the same time, Liberal Democrats are warning that Boris Johnson's Brexit plans risk letting hundreds of criminals to escape justice in Devon and Cornwall, after analysis revealed the extent to which UK police rely on vital EU crime-fighting measures.

    The South West region's police forces and prosecutors have used the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) to bring over 458 criminal fugitives to justice over the past five years, the analysis reveals. Devon and Cornwall police force alone extradited 107 criminals to justice in their home country in the last 5 years.

    The EAW allows the speedy extradition of wanted criminals, but senior police have warned that the UK risks losing access to the scheme because of Brexit. If current trends were to continue, that would mean more than 458 criminal suspects could avoid extradition in the South West over the next five years.

    Liberal Democrat candidate for Torridge and West Devon, David Chalmers said:

    "Too many people feel unsafe in their own homes and walking down their own streets. With entire communities feeling exposed and vulnerable, both the Tories and Labour are claiming to offer solutions but the sums just don't add up.

    "Meanwhile, Boris Johnson's reckless Brexit threatens to cut the UK off from vital crime-fighting tools that the police use every day to keep us safe. His plans mean that hundreds of criminals in Devon and Cornwall could remain at large, threatening the safety of our community.

    "Only the Liberal Democrats have a bold and credible plan to increase the number of police across Torridge and West Devon. The Liberal Democrats are committing £1 billion nationwide investment per year to fund this - that's £250 million more than Labour or the Tories.

    "The Liberal Democrats are the only party willing to back our bobbies with money, not just words. We are the only party that can stop Brexit, make our communities safe and build a brighter future."

  • Article: Dec 2, 2019

    Sir Ed Davey, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats

    Net Funding Zero - Ed Davey (Kevin Daws)Ed Davey, Deputy Leader of the Lib Dems served as Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change during the coalition and managed to push through a very Green agenda whilst he was in the Cabinet. There has been a huge surge of renewable energy provision which was started on his watch, bringing the cost of renewable energy tumbling down over the years since then. Typical of the Tories the Department was abolished in 2016 and merged into Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Since then there has been much backsliding from the climate change imperative!