The Liberal Democrats will commit to a £2bn flood prevention fund which focuses on providing support for small community and locally led schemes.
The aim is to reduce upstream flooding and the knock-on effects in downstream and coastal areas, as well as improving flood defences, and introducing high standards for flood resilience for buildings and infrastructure in flood risk areas.
Flooding is exacerbated by climate change so is hardly the fault of communities up and down the country that have been devastated by flooding.
In government, it was Liberal Democrats pushing for proper funding for flood defences. Money and actions speak louder than words.
“In other parts of the country the government paid for flood defences but in Somerset the people were asked to pay through their council taxes because the government would not fund it. David Cameron famously said: ‘money is no object’. What he actually meant was ‘your money is no object.' I am delighted the Liberal Democrats are able to offer hope to communities blighted by flooding.”
Standing up for Somerset
The Liberal Democrats will block Fracking and would halt all current and future operations in England and Wales. The Lib Dems voted overwhelmingly to oppose Fracking at their conference in 2016.
Our focus would instead be placed on renewables, off shore wind, solar and unblocking large-scale ambitious projects like the Swansea Tidal Lagoon.
An average fracking well uses millions of gallons of water  and involves a cocktail of chemicals. In 2011, the Environment Agency found flow-back fluid from operations in Lancashire contained “notably high levels of sodium, chloride, bromide and iron, as well as lead" . Spills and leaks are possible at every stage of the process, risking pollution of the surrounding water table .
Other impacts, such as noise pollution, air pollution and the potential impacts on human health also show why fracking is such a controversial method of extraction.
France has opted for an outright ban of fracking and in Ireland a bill to ban fracking is currently passing through their Parliament.
Tessa voted against Fracking whilst an MP, resigning as a junior member of the Government over the matter. Tessa's successor, James Heappey pledged to block fracking in the run up to the last election, but then voted to weaken the very environmental protection regulations which would reduce the risks.
The Liberal Democrats have announced a plan which will plug funding gaps for the NHS and social care by putting a penny on income tax, in our first major manifesto commitment of the election campaign.
The tax would raise £6bn nationally and this means additional £50 million for Somerset alone, with £40 million for our NHS and £10 million for social care.
£1 billion of this extra money would be dedicated funding for mental health services.
This is the party’s flagship spending commitment and our first major policy announcement ahead of the election. Its not just throwing cash at the NHS and hoping for the best either. Our manifesto will also set out a ‘five-point recovery plan’ for NHS and social care services.
This is already proven to be a very popular policy, at least 70% of Brits would happily pay an extra 1p in every pound if that money was guaranteed to go to the NHS, an ITV poll found last October.
"Our fab Doctors and nurses are working flat out, but without proper funding and a plan our NHS is at real risk.
Right now in Somerset we are seeing patients lying on trolleys in hospital corridors, urgent operations being cancelled and the elderly being denied the care they need.
The Liberal Democrats are prepared to be honest with people and say that to secure the future of the NHS we will all need to chip in a little more.Read more