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September 10, 2009 12:02 AM
By Charles West

Constituency Organiser

We welcome Anna Smart who joined us as Constituency organiser on 1st September, working 3 days per week. Anna will primarily be supporting Charles in his campaigning ahead of the General Election which can be called any time between now and next May and it is vital to continue raising his profile in the Constituency and gathering support.

Don't Miss the Next Discussion evening - Tuesday 15th September 2009, 7.30pm in The Hobbs Room, Shrewsbury Library, Castle Gates. "The development of local community involvement in the new Shropshire Council". Speaker: Mike Hyatt, Assistant Chief Executive, Performance & Partnerships, Shropshire Council. This is an timely discussion evening as Localism is one of the debates at this year's national conference and your opinions can be taken back to the conference by our Conference reps. Contact Patrick Anderson, tel: 01743 351652 , or email pcw_anderson@yahoo.co.uk for more details.

Exciting things are happening in Shrewsbury. Your local party is moving forward.

Steve Webb, MP who is the Lib Dem Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions is coming to Shrewsbury on Wednesday 7th October. There will be an opportunity for members to meet with Steve and put questions to him on issues that affect us all. Further details will be sent out later.

It is also hoped that Norman Baker, MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Transport will visit Shrewsbury on Friday 16th October.

National Christmas Draw Tickets

These will be soon available. It is a great way to raise funds for the local party. Every ticket sold is entered into the draw in December with 50 excellent prizes (the first is a holiday voucher worth £2,000). After the cost of the prizes and small administration cost is deducted from the money raised the balance is returned to each local party at the end of December. Each Local Party gets back about 70% of the amount they sell. Last year Shrewsbury & Atcham received a cheque for £101.77 - let us all make a big effort and increase this amount and put Shrewsbury & Atcham Liberal Democrats in a strong financial position to support Charles in his parliamentary campaign.

Coffee morning

Saturday 31st October, 10.30 to 12.30pm at the home of Jean Duckett, 3 Crocus Drive, Sutton Park, Shrewsbury tel: 01743 247483

Advance notice - Shrewsbury & Atcham Liberal Democrats AGM - due November 2009. Venue, date and time to be announced. It is your opportunity to express how you feel the Local Party is doing. Come and meet other members and offer any help you can.

Help raise funds for Lib Dems when you order from Amazon using the link via the Lib Dem website www.libdems.org.uk

Party conferences

Bournemouth National Conference - September 19th - 23rd 2009 It is not too late to go and meet with other party members, listen to the debates formulating policies . Lib Dems value their members input - more details can be found on the Lib Dem website - www.libdems.org.uk.

On Saturday 19th September there will be the first consultation session looking at Localism with William Wallace, who is Chair of the Policy Working Group on Localism. Members will be given the opportunity to raise their concerns over the way central government has taken away more and more local democracy and accountability from our local councils and empowered Whitehall to dictate decisions without consideration of local needs. Central Government has imposed hundreds of targets on local authorities, adding new responsibilities at the same time as capping their ability to raise revenue. The Lib Dems are committed to local community politics.

West Midlands Regional Conference - Saturday 17th October 2009 at Langley School, Solihull. New members who joined the party since January 2009 get in free!!

A message from Chris Huhne, Shadow Home Secretary

"Lib Dems have made enormous progress over the last 40 years from six to 63 MPs, from four percent of councillors to a fifth, from controlling parish councils to winning Bristol, Sheffield, Liverpool, Newcastle, Hill, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Swansea and Portsmouth. We are surely near the point where the squeeze imposed by the other two parties and an electoral system designed only for them, is put into reverse. Lots of people are motivated to vote in a negative way merely out of fear that either Labour or the Conservatives, will win so, depending on the state of the nation at the time, will cast their vote accordingly. If people wake up to Labour's inevitable loss, they may begin to choose on the merits of the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives. If they do they will realise that Nick Clegg's worldly Europeanism is based on experience running aid programmes and negotiating hard ball with foreign governments, whereas David Cameron can count just a few years as a public relations man in the TV industry. The contrast is even sharper on the key issue of most concern to voters, namely the future of the economy. George Osborne has never done a job outside the Westminster bubble: I can't think of a business that would put him in charge of managing their pension fund let alone the whole economy.

By contrast Vince Cable is the former Chief Economist of Shell and the man who warned that the debt explosion would end in tears. If you want to get out of a mess bring in the man who predicted it. Tackling our finances is surely a job for grown-ups like Vince, not probationers like Boy George.

Not only do we have the people, but we have the policies to show up the Tories too. Plans for recovery that put jobs first, and recognise that the upturn must be underway before credible curbs on the burgeoning deficit. Pans for fair taxation that give priority to low and middle income earners not Tory inheritance tax cuts for the richest families in the land. Plans for sustainable future for the planet, and for public services with a human face run by local people not Whitehall.

The electoral geography has become more favourable to us. There is everything still to play for at the next general election. Where we work we win, and everyone knows that Lib Dems work. Our opponents underestimate us at their peril."

Keep up to date with Lib Dem issues / news - Don't forget to visit these websites to keep you up to date with national and local issues:

www.libdems.org.uk www.shrewsburylibdems.org www.charleswest.org

In addition check out Lib Dem News for up-to-date news from Cowley Street - www.libdems.org.uk/ldn