Vote ALEXA CLARKE Thursday 25 August

Alexa Clarke with her familyAlexa Clarke, Liberal Democrat  candidate for Hailsham Town Council East Ward, says:

When choosing your next Town Councillor

If you are concerned about

  • the over development of Hailsham
  • the future schooling of your children or grandchildren
  • being able to see a doctor or getting the healthcare that you need
  • the endless traffic jams and difficulties with parking
  • our future and that of your family
  • and the future of the town and the area in which you live
  • the failure of the Town Council to stand up to the District Council

Then Alexa shares your concerns.

Alexa says “It’s no good just complaining.  You have to do something about it. Together we can change things for the better. Please give me your support in this election and give me the chance to work with you to make a difference

Please do not leave it to others – every vote really will count this time.

Polling Stations will be open from 7am to 10pm.
You vote at your usual polling station.

Alexa will only win if all those who say they will vote for her vote.

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“It’s not good enough” says Alexa

Seaforth Farm SurgeryAlmost a year ago Wealden Planners published for comments their proposals to build a further 9380 homes in Hailsham in addition to the 3000 given permission since 2005, many of which have now been built.

Two thirds of those who commented objected to the several proposals for Hailsham, but at a meeting of the Wealden Local Plan Committee held on 8th June to review the public’s comments, the six conservative members, one elected to represent the views of the residents of Hailsham, and the one independent member from Willingdon, voted to proceed with their original plans.   But they haven’t told us about plans for any new schools or doctors surgeries nor any improvements to the roads and transport links.  And they still haven’t delivered

  • the new primary school,
  • the additional secondary school places,
  • the new health centre,
  • and the many other improvements

promised in earlier Local Plans in 2005 and 2013.

SchoolA primary school for 210 children at Ingrams Way, but only admitting 30 new children a year for the next seven years when other primary schools in the town are under pressure and class sizes are being increased is not the answer!

It’s not surprising

  • if you are finding it difficult to get your child into a school of your choice,
  • if you have difficulty in getting to see a doctor at a time convenient to you,
  • or if your journey through the town centre takes longer and longer
  • and then you can’t park your car when you arrive.

Hailsham Titanic Sea of OverdevelopmentWhen will they learn that you cannot go on approving more and more new homes without first addressing the obvious shortages of school places and healthcare facilities, the inadequate transport and the poor roads? Spending money on changes to the High Street when everything else is neglected is a bit like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic just before it sinks!

It’s time to elect people who will speak up for the needs of the Town, people
prepared to put the needs of residents before party politics and people not afraid to speak up against the domination of those who don’t have to live with the chaos and misery that follows upon their decisions, those who don’t live here and are only too pleased to impose development away from where they do live!

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Alexa Clarke for Hailsham East 25 August

Alexa ClarkeAlexa Clarke is the Liberal Democrat candidate in the Hailsham Town Council by-election on 25 August. Alexa says:

Hi, I am Alexa Clarke. l have lived in Hailsham since l was 7 years old.

I am married to a local businessman and mother to three children all of whom attend local schools.
I am concerned about a number of issues in Hailsham

  • The infrastructure of the town is not adequate for the massive increase in the population.
  • The health provision is going to suffer more than it does currently. It is already proving quite difficult for any family to get access to a Doctor as and when they are most needed, a problem which in my mind will only get worse unless health provision is improved.
  • Independent traders in the town are going to struggle once the high street has been converted and on street parking greatly reduced. How are these businesses to survive or indeed expand to meet the needs of a larger population when the passing trade is being diverted away from the High Street and the centre of the town?
  • Where is there any additional town centre parking to meet the expanding town?
  • It is not until you meet other parents of children you realise the big big problem they are having placing their children in an appropriate school not only near where they live BUT accessible from their homes. This problem is only going to get worse as all the planned new houses within the town become occupied.

It’s time someone spoke up for the town and for the people who live here. I hope I seem approachable enough for you the VOTERS to help me, to help this town thrive and make this a better community for all ages

Posted in Alexa Clarke, Hailsham, Liberal Democrats | Comments Off on Alexa Clarke for Hailsham East 25 August

LibDem success – huge reduction in one-use plastic bags

The Government reports that during the 6 months since the 5p charge on plastic bags was introduced in England there has been a huge reduction in the number of one-use plastic bags used in supermarkets – equivalent to a reduction of 83% over a year.

This follows earlier big reductions in use after the devolved legislatures in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland introduced a charge on these bags.

The net proceeds from the charge in England over the 6 month period came to £41.3m of which at least £29.2m was donated to good causes, such as environmental, education, health, arts, charity or voluntary groups.

The LibDems must take credit for getting the charge introduced in England in the face of opposition from some Tory ministers during the Coalition.

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Join the Lib Dems to keep us in the single market

Alan Whittaker

Wealden LibDems Chair Alan Whittaker has called on a Conservative correspondent to the Sussex Express to join the Liberal Democrats to keep Britain in the single market.

In his own letter to the paper Alan says

“Paul Newman, a self-confessed Tory calls for people to support “the Liberal Party” in order to keep us in the single market ( Sussex Express, 8 July). Welcome, Mr Newman, but why not go the whole hog and join the Liberal Democrats? Thousand have done so since both the election result and the disastrous victory of the  Leave campaign.

My MP, Nus Ghani, like Mr Newman’s Maria Caulfield, voted against the UK’s best interests by campaigning to Leave. I should like publicly, via the Sussex Express, to ask Nus Ghani three questions. Perhaps Ms Caulfield’s constituents would like to ask her the same questions.

  1. Will she press the Treasury to match the subsidies formerly paid by the EU to East Sussex farmers if Brexit is finally victorious?
  2. Will she recognise that referendum results are, legally, only advisory, and therefore join the call for a vote on membership of the EU by the Commons, and if such a debate takes place will she vote to Remain  and so recognise the disastrous consequences of her Leave vote?
  3. Does she  agree with  David Cameron’s call of 2007 when Gordon Brown stepped into Tony Blair’s shoes? He said then: “ Gordon Brown doesn’t have the mandate, he wasn’t elected as Prime Minister, and he should go to the country.” If she does, will she urge the new prime minister to call an early election?

An answer from both of them in this newspaper would make interesting, perhaps illuminating, reading.”

Posted in Alan Whittaker, Europe, Liberal Democrats | Comments Off on Join the Lib Dems to keep us in the single market

Iraq War – LibDems were right

Commenting (6 July) on the Chilcot report LibDem Leader Tim Farron says:

Today’s Chilcot report is a damning indictment of the decision to go to war in Iraq.

The report clearly shows that Tony Blair was fixated in joining Bush in going to war in Iraq regardless of the evidence, the legality or the serious potential consequences.

That fateful decision cost hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives as well as the lives 179 members of the British Armed Forces.

Chilcot lays bare the complete lack of planning for the aftermath of the invasion. That failure caused many more years of bloodshed and instability in the Middle East and led to the rise of Daesh.

Chilcot is also a clear vindication of Charles Kennedy’s judgement and leadership on the Iraq War – and our party’s position.

I hope those in the Labour and Conservative parties who were so forceful in their criticism of him and the Liberal Democrats at the time are equally forceful in their acknowledgements today that he was right.

I am determined to ensure that the right lessons are learnt from the Iraq War.

That is why today I have called on the British government to pledge that we will never again go to war unless it is clear the action is legal under international law, without a clear exit plan, and without clear, unbiased intelligence.”

Watch the late Charles Kennedy’s speech at the 2003 Iraq War Rally in Hyde Park – click on the image of Charles:

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Another petition – Restore truthful politics

Former LibDem MP for Eastbourne Stephen Loyd has drawn attention to a petition “Restore truthful politics- create an independent office to monitor political campaigns” saying:

“Now is the time for cool, experienced, sensible heads. Now is the time for proposals that bring us all together rather than continue to pour paraffin on the fire. Proposals which actually ‘improve’ our political process going forward, and not make it worse!

And I think I’ve found something that could, something productive to enhance our political discourse, decisions, trust and even outcomes for the future.

It’s another petition but I think a practical one which may actually work, and can be supported by all fair-minded people of any or no political persuasion.

Let us demand that future national campaigns, elections etc are at least based on accurate facts. True, verifiable facts which stand up under scrutiny so that we can at least ensure our decisions are properly informed and based on ‘facts’ rather than spin or even, at times, outright lies. ”

The petition was started by Josh Babarinde who was a parliamentary assistant to Stephen. Josh says

“We have a body, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), that monitors truth in corporate campaigns. It’s about time we had one for politics as well.

“I would like to see UK party leaders and the Electoral Commission working with advice from groups such as the ASA to establish an independent Office of Electoral Integrity (OEI) to factually verify the truthfulness of claims made during political campaigns.

“The OEI should hold campaigns to account, with powers to issue fines and factual clarifications.

“There’s a precedent for a body like this – a body in Australia monitors political claims and ensures people have their facts straight. Why don’t we get something similar here?”

Please Sign the Truthful Politics Petition

Posted in Democracy, EU, Europe, Stephen Lloyd | Comments Off on Another petition – Restore truthful politics

Lib Dems – the voice of those seeing a positive future in Europe

In an article in the Independent (27 June) LibDem Leader Tim Farron writes:

“The look of wide-eyed, guilty panic in the eyes of Boris Johnston and Michael Gove on Friday morning hinted at what was later confirmed: the Brexiteers who had schemed for this moment all their political lives had absolutely no plan for life after Thursday.

“But those of us who argued passionately that Britain should remain in Europe should also concede that there is little consensus among progressives now Britain has voted “out” – either how we will improve the lives of those who felt so left behind that they voted to Leave, or to build a winning coalition to rescue disadvantaged people from the clutches of right-wing escapism.

The Conservative Party has just crashed the economy, left Britain more alone than at any point I can ever remember, and betrayed the hopes of a generation – and while the national emergency grows, our governing party is pre-occupied with who is going to bag what job. Yet progressives must recognise that the reason we could face an early general election is because the Tories still think they can win one, despite putting a bomb under their much-vaunted reputation for economic competence.

“And the basis for that frankly sickening Tory confidence is clear. Jeremy Corbyn is a decent man, but he never even enjoyed the confidence of Labour MPs to lose.”

Join the LibDems Tim goes on to say:

“I fought a positive campaign, working with others, setting out an optimistic, open vision of Britain. But sometimes Labour seemed keener to give a bloody nose to David Cameron than to keep us in Europe, even though membership of the European Union is way more important.

“I am an internationalist, who believes we must work across borders to face the great challenges such as the world’s largest ever movement of people, climate change, the rising power of multi-nationals and terrorism, along with the arrival in the international labour market of a billion Chinese workers which has depressed wages across the western world. A progressive political settlement needs international co-operation, and it has been the EU that has guaranteed worker rights, consumer protection and environmental safeguards.

“But if you are a progressive, pro-European who recognises that you need a successful economy to deliver social justice, I just don’t see a future for you in Labour. Even if Labour MPs achieve their “Jexit”, might not Labour members simply elect someone equally extreme – leaving the path clear for a Tory Party to beat up on the poor?

“And this makes me furious. The Institute for Public Policy Research has shown that the poorest will be hit twice as hard as the richest by new inflation caused by sterling’s slide. The pound is at its lowest in 30 years. There is now a £900bn hole in the pension funds.

Low-paid workers are worried sick today about their jobs, with Tata Steel now at risk. Some leftists might enjoy seeing trading in banks being temporarily suspended, but the reduction in the value of the state’s share in RBS has already cost taxpayers £7.3bn. And as with the last recession, it will be the poorest who pay.

“But there is a rallying point for progressives who refuse to settle for a future of glowering across the White Cliffs of Dover. That rallying point is the Liberal Democrats. Since I announced that we would go into the next election as the only party calling for Britain to remain in the EU, thousands have joined our party, at the rate of one a minute.

“By yesterday, almost 7,000 had joined, and the number’s rising.

We must be the voice of those who see a positive future in Europe. Young people – 73 per cent of whom voted to Remain – are determined to keep opportunities to travel, work and study abroad. More than that, these new members want to demonstrate that Britain remains an internationalist, open and optimistic country.

“But as a progressive I am just as concerned about the 52 per cent who voted to leave. Many, understandably, feel marginalised, with stagnating wages, insufficient training to gain better jobs, a housing shortage and struggling NHS. Ironically, the vote was less a rejection of Europe as a rejection of a Westminster that seems disinterested in the problems of people it purports to represent.

It is the disadvantaged whose modest living standards face a further assault thanks to “Brex-trick”.

My number one priority has always been to transform education and training, better housing and healthcare to give real life chances. The British are naturally welcoming, and many concerns that have been attributed to immigration are actually about the disgraceful lack of opportunity to move into better jobs, to get a house, or a school space for your child. These are challenges that I am determined to fight for.

Liberalism is about championing the individual against the powerful. That means standing firm for our Human Rights Act, against internet surveillance and illiberal extremism orders. But it’s also about protecting individuals from those giant evils that rob people of their freedom: poverty, poor housing and inequality. This is my pitch – to centrist and centre-left voters.

“I believe in four core principles. Freedom – the right of people to live as they see fit; the second is democracy – a state that supports freedom has to be democratic, with power dispersed, which is why we fought to democratise Europe.

“Our third core value is fairness, whether it be how police deal with young people on the streets or the way jobcentres treat benefits claimants. Fairness is not only right in itself, it leads to people working better together.

“Our fourth core value is environmentalism. Climate change, pollution and the degradation of the natural world pose one of the biggest threats. We have to act at home and internationally to promote green technologies, producing clean energy and transport, stopping the waste of natural resources and energy and protecting nature.

“If you are a green voter, a labour voter or a moderate Tory my appeal to you is this: these are causes that should speak to anyone who calls themselves progressive.

“But amazingly, it is only the Liberal Democrats fighting for them. Britain, and its most vulnerable people, need you to join me in the fightback.
Join the LibDems

Posted in Economy, Environment, EU, Europe, International, Liberal Democrats, Tim Farron, Young people | Comments Off on Lib Dems – the voice of those seeing a positive future in Europe

UPDATE – Black Friday – please sign the petition

UPDATE – Confirmation that the petition calling for a second EU Referendum WILL be debated in the House of Commons on Monday 5 September.

Wealden LibDems Chair Alan Whittaker says:

Friday 24th June produced one of the bleakest early mornings that most of us have had to face. The result of the unnecessary referendum foisted on the nation resulted in “Little England winning over Great Britain”, as Italy’s Corriera della Serra put it.

There is no disguising the fact that the Brexiters’ win was sad, stunning, disappointing and disastrous for the United Kingdom and particularly for teenagers and twenty somethings – the generations that will suffer longest the effects of the exit decision by their elders.

I hesitate to follow Gove’s reference to Nazis, but Hitler and Goebbels  infamously made use of the Big Lie –  if a lie is big enough and is repeated loudly enough then it will be believed.

Johnson’s £350 million slogan was untrue. But it was believed. Interestingly, now the poll is over Farage is distancing himself from it – despite evidence to the contrary from BBC Question Time.

The prime minister fought strongly and I think sincerely to Remain, unlike Corbyn, but it must be remembered it was his decision to call a totally unnecessary referendum. It was a political party decision. Cameron hoped to tame his Euro sceptic right wing. Party was put before nation.

As a result of the Leave win the home nations have been split from one another and within their borders, and educational, social, political, and inter-generational fissures cover the face of our Union. The future truly is bleak.

The Tories are still the nasty party and Johnson, the buffoon who is content to live with a lie, is the bookies’ favourite to succeed Cameron. Forget immigrants: watch the emigration queue.

Italy’s leading newspaper is right.

Meanwhile for those unhappy with the result – there is a petition on the Government Petitions website calling for a second referendum. At the time of writing the number of signatures is over 2.9 million – far in excess of the number signing any other petition on the site to this date.

I urge all those unhappy with the referendum result toSign the Petition

In sorrow at the result and in anger at the system that produced it


PS – Thanks again for fighting for sanity

Posted in Alan Whittaker, Democracy, EU, Europe, International | Comments Off on UPDATE – Black Friday – please sign the petition

Referendum result Wealden DC

Our former Referendum agent in Wealden, Paul Meakin, reports the result of the referendum count across the Wealden Distrrict Council area was as follows:-

Remain: – 44,084 45.5%
Leave: – 52,808 54.5%
Spoiled: – 52
Total: – 96,944
Posted in EU, Europe, International, Wealden | Comments Off on Referendum result Wealden DC