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Welcome to the website of Julie Smith

I am a Cambridge academic specialising in European Politics and the History of the European Union and a Liberal Democrat member of the House of Lords, where I am a Defence Spokesperson.

Julie Smith

I served as a City Councillor for Newnham ward in Cambridge from 2003 until May 2015, when I stood down to focus on the Lords and my academic career. I was Executive Councillor for Arts and Recreation, with responsibility for sports, open spaces and arts in the City, from 2006 until 2010, and Executive Councillor for Customer Services and Resources from 2012 to 2014.

Nationally, I am an active member of the Lib Dem Federal Policy Committee, currently serving as Vice-Chair. Over the years, I have served on various policy working groups, including those on Liberal Democracy, Better Governance, Defence and Europe. I have also served on the Council of the European Liberal party, ELDR (as ALDE was previously known.

Passionate about international politics, I have served as Chairman and then as a Vice-President of the Liberal International (British Group), an independent organisation closely linked to the Lib Dems, and am a former Vice-President of the Liberal International.

I hope that my website gives you an insight into my background, Newnham ward, and attitudes to politics locally, nationally and internationally.

Please don't hesitate to get in touch if you've got any questions that aren't answered here.

Very best wishes,

Julie Smith

Recent updates

  • Chris White
    Article: Apr 24, 2016

    Sound Finance, Solid Experience - Chris White, Liberal Democrat Candidate for Police & Crime Commissioner in Hertfordshire

    Chris White is Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on St Albans Council and has been a Hertfordshire county councillor since 1993. He has built a reputation as a formidable campaigner.

  • EU / UK flags
    Article: Mar 17, 2016

    The former Political Editor of the East Anglian Daily Times backs the United Kingdom remaining in the EU. Graham Dines says:

    "I shall be voting and campaigning to remain a member of the European Union. I believe it is in the best interests of the UK as a whole to be making decisions at the heart of Europe rather than being an impotent by-stander watching from the sidelines.

  • EU / UK flags
    Article: Jan 24, 2016
  • Universal Credit
    Article: Jan 1, 2016

    The Liberal Democrats have fired a challenge to Conservative backbenchers and Labour to join with the party in its attempt to stop cuts to Universal Credit.

    Working families could lose more than £1,000 a year when the changes for new claimants come into force in April.

    Liberal Democrat Leader Tim Farron said the first "big political battle of 2016" will be over Tory plans to cut support for working families on low incomes. The party is set to table an amendment in the House of Lords to the Government's Welfare Reform and Work Bill in a bid to repeal the planned changes.

  • Fracking Illustration
    Article: Dec 22, 2015

    On 15th December, the Conservative Government forced through plans to allow fracking in National Parks without a proper debate in the House of Commons. The Government will make the changes through a Statutory Instrument which means there is no Commons debate held around the details of their proposals.

  • A14 Traffic at Present
    Article: Dec 13, 2015

    Both the Midland Main Line and the East Coast Main Line cross the East of England Region. Both are used to move freight on rail and both suffer from capacity problems. Several critical rail freight enhancements are being deferred as part of the government's insistance that Network Rail delays its enhancement plans.

  • Flood Warning
    Article: Dec 11, 2015

    Liberal Democrat Leader Tim Farron has called on the government to provide additional funding to affected areas to help deal with the recent floods.

    Following the extreme flooding of the last couple of days, reside nts in Cumbria have been forced to evacuate as their homes have flooded, whilst business premises have also been adversely affected. Local infrastructure has also faced a severe hit, with many residents facing power blackouts, and many local roads in severe need of repair.

  • Article: Dec 11, 2015

    December 10, 2015

    Huntingdon DC. Huntingdon, East Ward

    Lib Dem Steve Greenall 844 [45%; +17%]

    Conservative 596 [31.8%; -3.3%]

    UKIP 293 [15.6%; -7.8%]

    Labour 141 [7.5%; -4.9%]

    [TUSC [0.0%; -1.1%]]

    Majority: 248

    Lib Dem GAIN from UKIP

    Percentage change since 2015

    Harborough DC. Market Harborough, Logan Ward

  • Tim Farron Cambridge 2015
    Article: Oct 18, 2015

    Back again in Churchill College, Cambridge - a prestigious, high quality location with excellent facilities - the East of England Liberal Democrats enjoyed their best regional conference yet.

    It was opened by Norman Lamb MP, who outlined the work he had done as Health Minister to improve the treatment (in every sense of the word) by the NHS of people with mental health problems. But he mainly stressed the vast amount that still needs to be done to achieve a parity of esteem, resources and treatment between mentally ill and physically ill patients.

  • Rickmansworth
    Article: Oct 11, 2015
    It has been a busy time at the Withey Beds Nature Reserve. The boardwalk has been extended, the interpretation boards are being replaced, some small dragon fly ponds have been created and some new types of willows introduced. Wildlife recorded includes slow worms, glow worms, grass snakes, roe deer, muntjac, bats, badger, newts and numerous birds and insects. Preparations are being made for the introduction of 6 Dexter cattle next spring. This is the traditional way of managing and improving grass land for the benefit of wildlife. Not only do the cattle eat the vegetation in a way that encourages wild life, but their dung benefits at least 250 insect species which of course attracts bats and birds.The cattle will be grazing the field where the pill box is sited. Friends of the Withey Beds have a new website so, if you want to know more visit http://www.thewitheybeds.org.uk
    HCC has informed us that Shepherds Lane will be closed between its junction with Chiltern Drive and the junction with Stag Lane, between 10.00am- 3.00pm on Sunday 25th October. This is to accommodate the Ricky Road Run and the only traffic allowed on this stretch of road will be vehicles associated with event.
    Dance For Parkinsons is a leisure scheme to help people with Parkinsons protect and improve their mobility, increase their access to leisure facilities and offer an enjoyable, helpful activity to be shared with other members of the local community . At present there is no such project in the Three Rivers District Council (TRDC) area. We would very much like to know what interest there would be in this being started in this area.
    TRDC has launched the airText Service within the district. This a free, air pollution forecasting and alert system for Greater London and neighbouring areas. The health effects of air pollution are significant. This service can help at-risk individuals to make informed health decisions and assist them in planning their activities. airText provides access to forecasts of air pollution, UV, pollen and temperature. Users can receive daily alerts by SMS, email or voicemail. 3 days ahead forecasts are available. Access via website www.airtext.info using the free airText smart phone app or by following the Twitter account airtext_3Rivers.
    Please remember to fill in the future of garden waste consultation - see last week's edition of RTW. It can be viewed at www.threerivers.gov.uk hard copies are available from TRDC, ring 776611. We need to know what you think.
    A local woman has narrowly escaped a jail sentence for fraud, including benefit and Council Tax fraud. The investigation was carried out by TRDC and the DWP. The custodial sentence was suspended for 18 months. The £52,000 fraudulently obtained must be repaid and other penalties were imposed. TRDC takes a firm line against benefit fraud. If you have information about fraud please, confidentially, contact fraud@threerivers.gov.uk or ring 0800 458 9200
    Dates for your Diary
    • Thur 15th Oct Friends of Watersmeet Film Society present 'A Little Chaos' 2.00pm & 7.45pm
    • Thur 15th Oct Moor Park Mansion NADFAS tours start at 10am - last tour at 11am. Take a look at the Museum video https://youtu.be/ARxKiehd3mE
    • Wed 21st Oct Rickmansworth and District Horticultural Society'sOpen Evening at the WRVS Centre, Bury Lane. Start 8pm. The talk is Butterflies of Britain and Europe by Roger Gibbons There will be a raffle with interval for tea/coffee and biscuits. All welcome. Admission: members £2, non members £3.
    • Fri 23rd Oct Watersmeet Film 'Legend' The story of the Kray Twins 2.00pm & 7.45pm £5 & £4 Concessions.
      By phone 01923 711063 - the Box Office is open from 10am-4pm Monday to Friday or book online atwww.watersmeet.co.uk
    • 27th October (half term) Watersmeet Film Free 'Disney's Cinderella' 11am 105 mins Certificate: U Tickets: Booking fee £1 per person, maximum 6 tickets per booking. To book: Call the Box Office on 01923 711063, Monday - Friday 10am-4pm, Saturday 10am-2pm
    • Sat 31st Oct Last Croxley Great Barn Tour this year. Meet St Joan Arc School car park 10.45 Phone 01923 772325 for more info. http://www.trmt.org.uk/ - info@trmt.org.uk & www.croxleygreatbarn.co.uk
    • Two Rickmansworth artists are participating in this September's Herts Open Studio. Textiles artist Freya Brookman Artist 83 (Herts Open Studio Brochure). Handmade eco cushions, throws & accessories from reclaimed textiles & leather. Oil Painter Andrew Schofield Artist 82 (Herts Open Studio Brochure). Andrew creates a fantastic display of oil paintings of animals, people & places. See demonstration, cards & prints to buy plus refreshments. http://www.hvaf.org.uk/Open-Studios/Open-Studios-2015 for opening times & locations. Support local artists, lots to see all studios free to visit.
    • Future F.O.W Films at Watersmeet - 29th October 'Minions' - WED 4th November 'True Story'

    • Ricky Folk meet at 8.15pm in the back bar of the Conservative Club, Bury Lane on the 2nd Tuesday of every month.You can sing, play or both or simply come and listen. No entrance fee and drinks are at club prices. In exchange for the facilities they entertain members of the Club at summer events each year and participate in other local events.

    • Three Rivers Museum in Basing House next to the library, have three displays featuring the Great War. - 1) "The-Send Off". 1914 --1915. A display depicting rural, domestic life in the early years of WW1. - 2) "Egg farm to wind farm" with information from RES - 3) Maple Lodge Nature Reserve. Photos and information about this "hidden gem" past Mill End and near Maple Cross off the Uxbridge Road. Museum open Mon to Fri 2-4pm, Sat 10am to 4pm. Free. Support you local museum.

    • Art Exhibition by local artists in TRDC Council Offices, in the reception area next to the stairs (in the foyer). From October, Janet Lee will be exhibiting her paintings in watercolour and mixed media. Janet says her inspiration is drawn from her art teachers, nature and the world around her.

    • Rickmansworth and District Art Society meet in the Cloisters Hall on the first Thursday of the month.

    • Croxley Camera Club is the photographic society for Three Rivers district and is known as the friendly club. They have a range of photographic interests and skills within the club with photographic advice available from specialists in many genres including nature, landscape, studio and other areas. They meet every Thursday between September and May (starts 3rd Sept) in the Croxley Green Community Centre at 7:30 for a 7:45 start. New members of all abilities are always warmly welcome. information about the club please go to their website: http://croxleycameraclub.com/

    • A full list of forthcoming events at Watersmeet can be seen by clicking this link http://www.watersmeet.co.uk/whats-on/

    • Ricky This Week is now also available on Twitter. Some weeks, through re-tweets it reaches over 1000 people @LesMead_

    • Police Officers from the Local Neighbourhood Team would like to hear from residents if they have any information about drug use or crime. Please report any information, intelligence or suspicious behaviour. Please phone on 101, or speak anonymously to Crime Stoppers on 0800 555111 or email ryan.hemmings@herts.pnn.police.uk

    • Herts County Council fault reporting https://www.hertsdirect.org/faultreporting/