Quitting Europol would undermine fight against ivory poaching

Catherine BearderLibDem MEP Catherine Bearder, who is currently part of an official MEP delegation to the CITES conference in South Africa, is warning that leaving the EU’s main crime-fighting agency, Europol, would deal a damaging blow to the fight against poaching and wildlife-trafficking.

Despite the UK’s National Wildlife Crime Unit cooperating with Europol in 2015 in the largest ever international operation against wildlife crime (Operation Cobra III), resulting in the seizure of over 12 tonnes of ivory and the arrests of several individuals linked to wildlife trafficking the UK government is not saying whether or not it will opt in to new rules governing Europol or to quit the agency.

Catherine says:

“If the Government is serious about tackling wildlife crime, it must commit to fully participating in Europol.

“Our best chance of saving elephants and other threatened species from extinction is by strengthening international cooperation, not weakening it.

“Quitting Europol would undermine UK law enforcement and embolden the evil traffickers using Britain as a transit point in the illegal ivory trade.”

More on Catherine’s website.

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Hailsham East – another LibDem win

LibDem candidate Graham Moore has won the Hailsham Town Council by-election (22 Sept) in Hailsham East ward – by 161 votes to 109.

This is the third Town Council LibDem by-election win in Hailsham East ward this year. The full result is on the Wealden District Council website.

Congratulations to Graham and all those who helped him win.

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Graham Moore for Hailsham East 22 September

Graham MooreGraham Moore is the Liberal Democrat Candidate in the next Hailsham Town Council by-election in Hailsham East Ward on Thursday 22 September. Graham says:

“l have lived in East Sussex all my life.

“I was born in Lewes and went to school in Uckfield. As an apprenticed coachbuilder I attended Preston College in Brighton.

“I worked as a foreman, and subsequently branch manager for a leading motor dealer in Haywards Heath before setting up my own vehicle restoration and repair business, Moore’s, in Eastbourne.

“Now retired and happily married, with children and grandchildren, my wife and I have been living in Hailsham since 1998.

“I have watched the town grow with many good things and some not so good. I have seen the closure of businesses and the loss of major employers. Ropemaker Park once the home of Hailsham’s famous rope making business no longer makes rope. Although some new businesses have come into the town the net loss of jobs from those that have gone has not been made good. New supermarkets have opened but we have lost many of the independent shops, – the butchers, the fishmonger, the greengrocers and the clothing and shoe shops.

“The town now faces the prospect of being doubled in size but so far we have no details of the new shops and businesses or the new employers that will be needed if the town is not to become just one large housing estate with residents daily commuting to work and shop elsewhere.

“The present infrastructure of the town is not adequate for the massive increase in the population and the problems will only get worse as all the planned new houses become occupied. Elected Councillors need to speak up on behalf of our residents. I believe that I have a lifetime of experience to draw upon and I would like the opportunity to use this for the benefit of the community.

“Help me, to help YOU and make Hailsham a better place for all.”

Graham Moore

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A new politics – public meeting in Crowborough 16 Sept

A public meeting has been arranged in Crowborough on 16 September to enable people to discuss prospects for cooperation among progressives in Wealden.

Please come and support this public meeting on the 16th Sept in  Crowborough at 7.30 pm in All Saints Church Hall, Church Road, Crowborough, TN6 1ED entitled “A New  Politics”.  

Many believe that the old way of doing politics has come to the end of the road. It is time to look at a new kind of politics and we have three fantastic speakers coming to speak in Crowborough – Caroline Lucas who is a nationally known political figure, our own Chris  Bowers who stood for election to parliament in Wealden the time before  last and  Neal Lawson who is Chair of Compass, a think tank on the left.

It should be an interesting and thought provoking evening. Please come
and support this event. Please tell your friends about it. We look  forward to seeing you!

Posted in Progressive politics | Comments Off on A new politics – public meeting in Crowborough 16 Sept

Alexa wins by a landslide

Alexa ClarkeLibDem candidate Alexa Clarke has won the 25 August Hailsham Town Council by-election in East ward by a landslide.

Alexa received 186 votes – nearly 56% of the total votes cast.

Our thanks to all those who supported Alexa and all those who helped in her campaign.

The full result is on the Wealden District Council website. This is the second LibDem Town Council seat gain in Hailsham East ward this year following Gavin Blake-Coggins’s win in January.

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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!

Posted in Alexa Clarke, Hailsham, Liberal Democrats | Comments Off on “It’s not good enough” says Alexa

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