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  • Nick Clegg and school dinners (Dave Radcliffe)
    Article: Sep 18, 2013

    Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg used his speech to Liberal Democrat conference to announce that all pupils at infant schools in England are to get free school lunches from September 2014, with equivalent funding for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

    In addition, disadvantaged students at sixth form colleges and further education colleges in England will also be eligible for free school meals also from next September. Money is also being provided for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, but as education is a devolved issue, it will be up to those running schools there to decide whether to spend the money on free lunches.

  • Budget
    Article: Mar 20, 2013
    Lib Dem MEP Phil Bennion has hailed budget news that another 220,000 people will be taken out of income tax and changes to help business as a much needed boost for the West Midlands region.
    Phil Bennion said: "There is a clear Lib Dem stamp on this budget - help for business and tax cuts for the low paid.
  • Nick Clegg (Photo by Dave Radcliffe for the Liberal Democrats)
    Article: Mar 10, 2013

    Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has closed the Liberal Democrat Spring Conference in Brighton by calling on members to spread the message of the Party's commitment in Government to deliver a stronger economy and a fairer society.

    In his keynote Leader's speech, Nick paid tribute to the work of the Party in winning the Eastleigh by-election, beating the Conservatives into third place and squeezing Labour while campaigning on the Lib Dem record of delivering in Government.

  • Lorely Burt MP and Phil Bennion MEP: welcorme Jaguar Land Rover's latest investment plans
    Article: Feb 8, 2013

    West Midlands MEP Dr Phil Bennion has highlighted a vote by the European Parliament on noise limits for cars which recognises the needs of premium car-makers in the region such as Aston Martin, JLR and Morgan.

    MEPs backed a Liberal group proposal for mandatory introduction of 'acoustic vehicle alerting systems' (AVAS) in ultra-quiet vehicles such as electric and hybrid cars, to protect vulnerable road users.

  • Phil Bennion MEP is backing the Fish for the Future campaign at the European Parliament
    Article: Feb 8, 2013
    Lib Dem Euro MP Phil Bennion has welcomed a historic vote by the European Parliament for sweeping reforms of European fisheries policy to end over-fishing and stop the wasteful practice of throwing thousands of tonnes of 'over quota' fish back into the sea.
    In the vote at Strasbourg, Euro MPs including Dr Bennion and the Lib Dem ALDE group backed a blueprint for reform of the EU's Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) by 502 votes to 137.
  • Article: Jan 11, 2013

    The campaign by Lib Dem councillors and residents to stop a planning application to remove 7 miles of hedgerow in the Chirbury area of West Shropshire is getting ever-growing support,

    The issue featured on tonights BBC Midlands Today and is attracting national newspaper attention and objections from academics at Cambridge University.

  • Olympic Boxing Gold Medal Winner Nicola Adams (Picture taken for GOC by David Poultney)
    Article: Dec 28, 2012
    By Nick Clegg, Leader of the Liberal Democrats and Deputy Prime Minister in New Year's Message

    The last twelve months have been lit up by moments that will stay with us forever. When Mo Farah approached the final stretch of the 10,000m final, who wasn't up on their feet, screaming at the TV?

    When Nicola Adams beamed at the crowd after winning the first ever women's Olympic boxing, who didn't smile back? I was lucky enough to be there, and that's one I'll never forget.

  • Article: Dec 6, 2012

    Commenting on the raising of the Personal Allowance further than already planned, Wolverhampton campaigner and West Midlands Lib Dem party chair Jonathan Webber said:

    "Liberal Democrats are working for a stronger economy and a fairer society, so that everyone can get on in life. That's why we have insisted that the coalition cuts taxes for working people.

    "Today's announcement means that by April, 80,200 working people in Wolverhampton, 87,700 in Walsall and 121,100 in Dudley will get a further Income Tax cut, bringing the total tax cut to £600 a year since Liberal Democrats joined the Coalition Government.

    "In Wolverhampton, this welcome news also means that 8,350 low-earners will be lifted out of paying Income Tax altogether since the Coalition Government came to power.

    Mr Webber is Director of International Trade at Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and was recently selected as a Lib Dem candidate for the next Euro-elections.

    He said he also particularly welcomed the shift of £5 billion to capital projects and the cut in corporation tax.

    "Fairer taxes and boosting business are key Liberal Democrats priorities. That is why we made raising the tax-free allowance a key priority at the General Election and why Vince Cable is making such a difference in increasing help for small and medium-sized businesses.

    "SMEs are the backbone of the economy in the Black Country and across the West Midlands.

    "When times are tough, with rising bills and wages not keeping pace with inflation, we want to give people real, practical help and everything possible to encourage business to create new jobs.

    "These tax cuts won't deal with all of those problems but they will make a real difference where it matters."

    ENDS

    Notes:
    Local authority area tax cut: lifted out of tax altogether:
    Birmingham 299,800 27,550
    Dudley 121,100 12,640
    Sandwell 95,500 10,490
    Shropshire 112,100 13,080
    Telford & Wrekin 69,200 8,720
    Walsall 87,700 8,990
    Wolverhampton 80,200 8,350
    Worcestershire 220,100 23,070
    • Liberal Democrats in the Coalition Government have increased the amount of money you can earn tax-free every year. In April it will be raised to £9,440, a total tax cut of £600 a year for more than 20m people.
    • In 2013, someone working full time on the minimum wage will see their Income Tax bill cut in half compared to what they were paying under Labour.
    • By April we will have taken more than 2m low-income workers out of paying tax altogether. The majority will be women.
    • Liberal Democrats aim to increase the amount of money you can earn tax-free to £10,000 by 2015, which would be a total tax cut of £700 a year for most people. Beyond that, we want to increase the tax-free allowance further until it reaches the same level as the Minimum Wage.
    • Labour's record of unfair taxes: Labour cut tax for millionaires every single year until their last month, while increasing tax on low earners by scrapping the 10p tax rate. Under Labour, someone on the Minimum Wage paid £1,000 in Income Tax. We have cut their tax bill in half and under our future plans, they would pay nothing.
      Labour helped the richest in society when they cut Capital Gains Tax for hedge fund managers and cut tax on millionaires' pension pots.
    • Conservatives tax cuts for the richest: The only tax cuts the Conservatives support are ones for the very rich. At the General Election, their priority was to cut inheritance tax for millionaires. In the Coalition, Liberal Democrats have blocked these plans and instead we are cutting taxes for millions.
  • Christine Tinker, West Midlands Lib Dem defence spokesman, who lost her husband in the Falklands war
    Article: Nov 8, 2012

    West Midlands Lib Dems have welcomed a move by Lib Dem Crime Prevention Minister Jeremy Browne to impose tough new penalties on people who steal or sell metal from war memorials.

    From next month new powers will take effect to stop cash payments for scrap metal and give the police stronger powers to target rogue traders.

    The West Midlands Region has recently suffered metal thefts from War Memorials in Chesterton Park in Staffordshire and at St Mary's the Mount Church in Walsall.

  • Nick Clegg MP
    Article: Sep 26, 2012

    Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg has used his keynote speech to the Lib Dem Party conference in Brighton to announce extra money for 110,000 children struggling with maths and English.

    The Deputy Prime Minister said secondary schools in England will receive an extra £55 million to help pupils arriving in year seven who have slipped behind in English and maths at primary school. The money will come in from next January, with schools deciding how to spend it to help pupils with weaker results in maths and English.

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