Vince Cable on Boris’s Brexit speech

From BBC Newsnight 13 February – Vince Cable says of Boris Johnson’s Brexit speech:

“It’s either a deliberate misuse of language or intellectual confusion”

Posted in Brexit, Economy, EU, Europe, Exit from Brexit, Liberal Democrats, Vince Cable | Comments Off on Vince Cable on Boris’s Brexit speech

Vince Cable Q&A

Vince Cable at a Q&A session for Party members in Sheffield – introduced by LibDem MP Tom Brake

Live from Launchpad North

Join me LIVE for a Q&A from Launchpad North in Sheffield. Tom Brake MP will follow me with a Brexit Q&AComment below to ask me a question.

Posted by Vince Cable on Saturday, 10 February 2018

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Hailsham TC LibDem candidate Anne Blake-Coggins says

I will listen to you!Anne Blake-Coggins
I will want to hear your concerns and issues so I can deal with them for you. I value keeping in touch with my residents.

07590 478881 Email Anne

I will challenge unsafe decisions!
The steps down to the proposed new medical centre are not suitable for pushchairs or any kind of disabled access.

They have to be changed with better lighting!

I will Campaign!
Access to the Grovelands school urgentlyneeds major Road Safety measures!

I will represent YOU on the Town Council.

I am Experienced , Reliable, Approachable, Pro-Active

 

Posted in Anne Blake-Coggins, Elections, Hailsham, Liberal Democrats | Comments Off on Hailsham TC LibDem candidate Anne Blake-Coggins says

Hailsham Town Council South & West by-election 8 February

Anne Blake-CogginsOur candidate Anne Blake-Coggins says

Hello I’m Anne,

  • Hailsham has been my home for just about 30 yrs now, where l have brought up my children and regularly help with my grandchildren.
  • My career was in the Health and Care sectors with a focus on elderly / special needs people.
  • l have been the instigator in setting up Beaver Scout groups within Eastbourne and surrounding districts.
  • I think about and am concerned for others so have served as a Hailsham Town Councillor before.
  • My experience means I know why residents are dissatisfied with the performance of our current Council.
  • We have seen many aspects of our town disposed of without any apparent direct benefit to those it may affect, and the wider community.
  • The Council needs more representatives who have the residents needs at heart, and are prepared to put in the effort to work for everyone.
  • Hailsham will be going through big changes over the next few years and will need to have experienced and motivated individuals prepared to work to get the best for us
  • We are losing a great many of our open public places and this has to be controlled to ensure we don’t lose them all, ruining the character of our town.

I hope you will support me, someone who will work hard for you, with a strong commitment to represent all our residents.

Anne Blake-Coggins

Posted in Anne Blake-Coggins, Elections, Hailsham, Liberal Democrats | Comments Off on Hailsham Town Council South & West by-election 8 February

Government backs Lib Dem pension proposal

LibDem MP for Eastbourne Stephen Lloyd

The government has agreed to bring forward plans to review the current rules concerning the priority of pensioners following pressure from the Liberal Democrats.

Responding to calls from the Lib Dem Spokesman for the Department for Work & Pensions, Stephen Lloyd MP, new DWP Secretary of State Esther McVey agreed that a review into the current rules – past and current – after companies go bust is “something that needs to be brought forward”.

Responding to the comments, Liberal Democrat Work & Pensions Spokesman, Stephen Lloyd MP said:

“Under current rules, pension obligations are unsecured meaning that insolvent companies only fund their pension schemes once they have compensated their other supposedly more important secured creditors.

“Today I urged the new Secretary of State to review the rules and provide further protection for employees with private pensions by giving them greater priority when companies fail. I was delighted to hear the Minister agree that this is something ‘which needs to be brought forward’.

“Then and only then will employees with private pensions be wholly protected when large companies collapse. I will be making sure that the Minister sticks to her word on this.”

Posted in Liberal Democrats, Pensions, Stephen Lloyd | Comments Off on Government backs Lib Dem pension proposal

Nearly 500 homes in Wealden left empty for years

Derelict empty homeNearly 500 homes in Wealden district are sitting empty, research by the Liberal Democrats has revealed.

The figures, uncovered through Freedom of Information requests, show that there are 467 homes across the district that have been empty for six months or more. Of these, 168 had been empty for two years or more, 77 for five years plus, and 24 have stood empty for at least 10 years.

Wealden Lib Dems’ parliamentary spokesperson Chris Bowers said, ‘We are as keen to tackle homelessness as anyone else, but unlike other parties we have stressed that we can’t build our way out of trouble – we have to ensure maximum use of existing buildings as well.”

Councils have the power to make Empty Dwelling Management Orders (EDMO) to take over properties that have been empty for at least two years. Wealden District Council has yet to issue one EDMO, despite the fact that some local families spent Christmas without a home.

Nationally only 19 of the 247 councils in England and Wales that responded (the powers do not apply in Scotland) had used an EDMO in the past five years. Of these only six had used one in the past year.

Chris added, ‘At a time when the homelessness crisis is worsening, more and more people are sleeping out in the cold on our streets, and vast swathes of greenfield land are being given over to new housing, it is a scandal that so many homes that already exist are sitting empty across Wealden. These homes could be turned into affordable places to live for those that need it.

‘The government needs to urgently review the current system which is clearly not working, and Wealden District Council needs to use its powers to bring empty homes back into use. It’s shameful that the Conservative-dominated council gives the impression that it just doesn’t care.’

Posted in Chris Bowers, Homelessness, Housing, Liberal Democrats, Wealden | Comments Off on Nearly 500 homes in Wealden left empty for years

Vince Cable’s Christmas Message

Vince is asking people to support a charity that works with the homeless.

Vince Cable's Christmas message

Vince Cable: I expect that you are as shocked as I am by the number of people who are sleeping in the streets, on beds of cardboard, huddled in doorways for shelter and safety.Last week, I went to help at The Connection, at St Martin’s in the Field’s Church in Central London. The brilliant staff and volunteers there are an example to all of us. They provide much-needed shelter, laundry services, and hot food – day in day out.In my Christmas message this year, I am asking you to do something similar with a charity near to you.In the meantime, I want to thank each and every one of you for your membership of our party for your work, and your campaigning for the causes that we all believe in.Together we are making a real difference.Merry Christmas.

Posted by Liberal Democrats on Wednesday, 20 December 2017

 

Vince says

“I expect that you are as shocked as I am by the number of people who are sleeping in the streets, on beds of cardboard, huddled in doorways for shelter and safety.

“Last week, I went to help at The Connection, at St Martin’s in the Field’s Church in Central London. The brilliant staff and volunteers there are an example to all of us. They provide much-needed shelter, laundry services, and hot food – day in day out.”

Some charities people might wish to support
Shelter emmaus St Mungo’s

Posted in Homelessness, Housing, Vince Cable | Comments Off on Vince Cable’s Christmas Message

Lib Dems condemn ‘condescending’ treatment of parents and students

Wealden Liberal Democrats have condemned the county council’s response to a ‘condescending’ leaflet it produced that told parents there was no excuse for not sending their their children to school – even if they’re ill.

The petition, launched by Seaford parent Ella Lewis, attacked the ‘Get a Grip’ leaflet sent out by the county council to all parents and students who have missed three days of school since early September. The leaflet included the sentence: ‘Good reasons for missing school – there are none.’

Ella Lewis was incensed to receive the letter after her six-year-old daughter missed three days to recover from a stomach bug and chest infection. Her petition was picked up by Lib Dem county councillor Carolyn Lambert, who tabled a motion to yesterday’s full meeting of the county council, asking for the leaflet to be withdrawn and parents to be treated with more respect.

The petition described the leaflet’s message as ‘aggressive, condescending and insulting’ and attracted nearly 7000 signatures. But despite presenting it eloquently to yesterday’s meeting, the petition was given short shrift by Conservative and Labour councillors alike.

Hellingly and East Hoathly Conservative Nick Bennett said the leaflet was not aimed at ‘responsible parents, vulnerable children or those with a long-term illness’ but at ‘what is happening in some households where the children are not expected to go to school’.

And Hastings Labour councillor Godfrey Daniel said ‘If the leaflet upsets a few people, that’s OK. I think people are getting offended too easily.’

Wealden parliamentary spokesperson Chris Bowers said: ‘Efforts to improve attendance rates at school are in principle good, but it has to be done with common sense and compassion. The county’s leaflet pays no regard to parents who need to take a day off work when their child can’t go to school, and the havoc this plays with family routines. The idea being peddled by this leaflet is that most kids who miss school are somehow taking a soft option – such a suggestion is an outrage.

‘There is also a severe case of double-standards going on, because if a school fears any form of disruption – like from bad weather or public transport blockages – its principal will have no qualms about closing the school for a day or two, yet children who miss three days a term for illness are being demonised. And all this with the county giving our children less than a fortnight’s Christmas holiday when all our kids need a decent break after a long term.

‘The county council ought to cherish our youngsters instead of driving them into the ground and making them feel like skivers before they’ve even attempted to seek employment.’

Posted in Chris Bowers, East Sussex, Education, Wealden | Comments Off on Lib Dems condemn ‘condescending’ treatment of parents and students

Chris Bowers – Watch for the devil in the technocratic detail

Isn’t it odd how the most unprepossessing of stories can sometimes carry potentially great significance! Is it possible this week’s announcement that the Electoral Commission is investigating whether Vote Leave breached its spending allowance in the 2016 EU referendum might carry between its lines the potential to change the whole culture around Brexit? I do wonder.

I’ve just completed a study on whether current election spending rules are fit for purpose, and one of the crucial elements is whether the punishment for breaking those rules fits the crime. I mean, if you break the rules in an election and gain an unfair advantage, surely you shouldn’t be allowed to keep the prize, should you?

So what happens when, in a nationwide vote designed to be fair by both sides having spending limits, you find later that one side has overspent? I should stress that there’s no proof as yet that Vote Leave did overspend; there’s just sufficient indication that it might have done for the Electoral Commission to investigate. But what happens if the Commission judges that Vote Leave did overspend?

At face value, the answer to that is simple: it fines the Leave campaign £20,000, the maximum it’s allowed to fine any party or campaign for any single offence. And if you’ve stumped up £7 million to try and get Britain out of the EU, I’m sure there’s someone in your camp who’ll fork out 20 grand for the fine as part of the peripheral costs of winning the referendum.

But that’s just the technocratic detail. What happens to the public confidence in the referendum result? If a game has been played with one side subsequently found to be cheating, surely the result should be annulled? When Ben Johnson won the Olympic 100 metres and was then found to be on illegal drugs, he was stripped of his gold medal. When the Labour MP Phil Woolas breached election spending rules in 2010, his election result was annulled and there had to be a by-election.

The Electoral Commission isn’t going to order a re-run of the 2016 referendum if it finds Vote Leave to have breached its spending limit.But if by the time it makes its judgement the implications of Brexit are becoming alarmingly clear and public opinion is reflecting a ‘second thoughts’ culture, then a finding from the Commission – if it comes – could push public opinion a big step closer to accepting a referendum on whatever Brexit deal Theresa May’s government negotiates.

Watch this space.

Posted in Chris Bowers, Democracy, Elections, EU | Comments Off on Chris Bowers – Watch for the devil in the technocratic detail

Paul Sparks – Browns Lane-London Road wall finally fixed.

Libdem COuncillor Paul SaprksUckfield LibDem Councillor and campaigner Paul Sparks was contacted by several residents living close to the junction of Browns Lane and London Road. A retaining wall at this location was in a very poor condition and starting to collapse towards the pavement and road.

There was clearly a risk that if the wall collapsed it could cause personal injury and possible traffic accidents and although residents had approached local councils they were told that this was a privately owned wall and not their responsibility.

So Paul took up the challenge and contacted East Sussex County Highways who confirmed this was a private wall and they had been trying for the past 6 years to trace the owner. Paul stated that if they had not found the owner in 6 years they were very unlikely to do so in the future but in the meantime the wall is becoming ever more dangerous and could cause a serious accident.

After further exchanges, County agreed and set a time scale for these repairs which would take between 4 – 6 weeks. Paul was extremely pleased with this response but also advised that the pavement by this wall is used by school children so care required during the works. County responded very well to this so started the work during half term and always made sure the pavement was clear during morning and afternoon school times.

The work is now almost complete and Paul and the residents are delighted with the result whereby this retaining wall has been fully rebuilt to an excellent standard.

Posted in Liberal Democrats, Paul Sparks, Uckfield | Comments Off on Paul Sparks – Browns Lane-London Road wall finally fixed.