Beveridge went to school in Birkdale. In the 1945 election he wrote supporting our candidate :
'I am more than sorry not to able to visit Southport during the Election because I will miss re-visiting one of the scenes of my childhood. With my sister I was left for three years in a small school in Southport from an age of 4 to 7 whilst my parents were in India. If, as many psychologists say, these are the most critical formative years of life, then Southport is largely responsible for everything I had done, including the Beveridge Report!
With an eye to the new parliamentary year and forthcoming legislation, the Beveridge Group has reformed and a new updated website is already up and running. The initiative follows widespread concern inside and outside parliament as to where Coalition policy on public services may be going.
We want to prompt a proper debate as to where the Liberal Democrats stand and importantly what we will stand for as well as engage those many members and supporters active in improving our public services and perhaps a little flummoxed by some of the initiatives coming out of government – particularly from the Tory ministers with a clear ideological axe to grind. The response from parliamentary colleagues has been very positive but the idea is to reach out beyond parliament and to those working in the public services whom the coalition may unintentionally have alienated. The message is ‘pitch in’.
The group was originally set up by John Barrett, Paul Holmes, Alistair Carmichael and John Pugh was set up at the time of the Huhne Commission and the party’s last review of its policy and exists according to Alistair, “to promote debate on the subject of public service provision within the Liberal Democrats. The Group seeks to advance thinking which will better define the public service ethos and its place in party policy. It seeks to re-establish the standing of people working in public services and to promote recognition of the contribution which they make to the wider community.
The Group approaches public service provision from the basic premise that public services must be accountable and responsive to community needs and wishes. They are therefore best provided by democratically elected bodies and as a consequence of that are most likely to be paid for out of general taxation which should wherever possible be progressive and transparent.”