Category Archives: Policy

Suffolk Lib Dems launch Manifesto 2017

Candidates for the forthcoming Suffolk County Council elections join Sal Brinton and Ros Scott in the launch of their Manifesto

On Saturday 4 March  Suffolk’s very own Baroness Ros Scott joined Lib Dem party chair Baroness Sal Brinton to  launch the Suffolk Lib Dem  party manifesto for the elections in May.

We have now had  had a decade of conservative cuts letting local people down. Since 2005 the Conservatives have run the County Council, consistently  reducing services, rather than looking after the real needs of local people.  Suffolk Liberal Democrats believe there is a better way and we need urgent action in some important areas.

Suffolk Lib Dems’ SIX priorities for local people

  1. Provide a £5m boost to adult social care
  2. Invest in the infrastructure to support new housing – roads, schools and doctor’s surgeries
  3. Fund a county-wide mental health programme in schools
  4.  Fix our roads and pavements
  5. Invest in local bus services and make park and ride buses more frequent
  6. Protect our libraries

And there’s more. Read our full manifesto here

And here is the EADT’s angle on it

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LibDems are standing for the 48%

48Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron has pledged to fight the next General Election on a platform taking Britain back into Europe.

Since Britain voted for Brexit on Thursday thousands of people have joined the Liberal Democrats and all Suffolk Lib Dem groups are seeing a share of this surge.

The economic uncertainty following the Brexit vote  will affect jobs, people’s homes and livelihoods.  While accepting the result of the referendum, the Liberal Democrats plan to make the case for us to rejoin the heart of Europe.

“For many millions of people, this was not just a vote about Europe. It was a howl of anger at politicians and institutions who they felt they were out of touch and had let them down,” said  Tim .

“The British people deserve the chance not to be stuck with the appalling consequences of a Leave campaign that stoked that anger with the lies of Farage, Johnson and Gove.

“The Liberal Democrats will fight the next election on a clear promise to restore British prosperity and role in the world, with the UK in the European Union, not out.

If you agree with us, join us to make this happen.”

You can join the LibDems here

Caroline Page

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Europe: The Benefits of Staying IN

Prosperity:

Remaining in works for Britain. Britain is already stronger and better off trading and working with Europe. We are part of the world’s largest single market, allowing British businesses to grow and prosper.

Peace:

After decades of brutal conflict, European nations came together in cooperation. To this day, neighbours and allies support each other in what remains the world’s most successful project in peace.

Opportunity:

British people have more opportunities to work, travel and learn than ever before. Staying in Europe gives our children and grandchildren greater prospects, and the best chance to succeed.

Environment:

Protecting the natural environment remains one of the planet’s biggest challenges, for health, for food stocks and for climate change. These problems are tackled better when we all come together.

Security:

Together we are stronger against terrorists who despise our liberal and modern way of life. And together we can break the criminal gangs who threaten our country with the illegal drugs trade, weapons and human trafficking.

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What does the EU do for you?

Ensure Your Safety

European Arrest Warrant:          criminal suspects can be easily extradited from EU countries back to the UK, putting an end to the days of the “Costa del Crime”.

Europol:            The EU’s crime-fighting body, helps British police exchange crucial information and coordinate investigations including Operation Rescue which smashed the world’s largest paedophile network.

Counter-Terrorism:           Close coordination across EU is vital in the fight against terrorism. The EU is stepping up cooperation between national governments to tackle the financing of terrorism, crack down on the trafficking of firearms and exchange information on known terrorist threats.

Create Your Opportunities

Freedom:         Around 2.2 m people live, work or study abroad with no need for visas and 15,000 British students take advantage of Erasmus each year.

Investment in research:      British universities receive millions in research funding each year – more than any other EU country.

Saving You Money:                From cheaper flights to lower roaming charges the single market saves the average household £3,000 each year.

Protect Your Environment

Biodiversity:            Endangered species in the UK such as the golden eagle and otter are given strong protections through EU laws.

Energy Efficiency:       EU energy and fuel efficiency laws are good for the planet and cut bills. EU energy efficiency legislation will save consumers £500/ year by 2020.

Air Pollution:            EU limits are crucial to reduce air pollution, which causes at least 29,000 early deaths in the UK/ each year. Over one third of the most harmful pollutants in the UK come from abroad.

Secure Your Peace

The EU’s original foundations can be found in peace-keeping among European countries.

By working with fellow international bodies such as the UN, the EU has played a leading role in promoting peace worldwide.

Defend Your Rights

Anti-Discrimination:      EU laws prevent you from being unfairly discriminated on the grounds of ethnicity, disability, age or sexuality.

Workers’ rights:       Employees are given a minimum of 4 weeks paid leave a year and cannot be forced to work more than 48 a week.

Victims’ rights:        UK citizens who fall victim to a crime when travelling in the EU are guaranteed a set of minimum rights thanks to EU law, including translation, protection and compensation.

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Europe: Keep Britain IN

InIn Europe, Britain can thrive. Together we will be a stronger and more prosperous nation, creating opportunity for future generations, respected all over the world.

Together we created the world’s largest free trade area, we delivered peace, and we gave the British people the opportunity to live, work and travel freely. History shows that Britain is better when it is united with Europe.

Together we are stronger in the fight against the global problems that don’t stop at borders. We can stop international crime, we can fight climate change, and together we will provide hope and opportunity for the future.

It is not the time to turn our backs on Europe, leaving us isolated, sidelined and alone.

By voting to remain in, Britain can thrive.

Together we show the world an open, outward-facing Britain we can all be proud of.

Join the Liberal Democrat campaign today, to remain in together, and to stand up for the type of Britain you think we should be.

www.libdems.org.uk/europe

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How the EU Works

European Parliament

765 members (MEPs)
from 28 Member States

Directly elected
by EU citizens every 5 years

Approves the EU budget, legislation and suggests changes to the Law

 

 

 

⇐WORK⇒ TOGETHER

Council of the EU

Heads of State (EU Council) and Ministers from National Governments

Responsible for the Common Foreign and Security Policy

Sets EU agenda

Approves EU budgets and legislation

                        
PROPOSES LEGISLATION

European Commission

(EU Civil Service)

28 Commissioners appointed for 5 years from each member country

Proposes Legislation

Makes Sure EU Laws are implemented

Manages EU Budget

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Suffolk’s Law Courts Under Threat – Lobby or Lose Them!

Suffolk LibDems  have joined in cross-party unanimity to condemn government proposals to close all law courts in Bury St Edmunds and Lowestoft leaving the county with just the courts in Ipswich.

In brief, the Ministry of Justice proposes that:

a) Lowestoft Magistrates’ Court, County Court and Family Court is closed and the civil hearing work move to Great Yarmouth(Magistrates’ Court and Family Court), the family hearing work to Ipswich (Magistrates’ Court and Family Court)., and the criminal work move to Great Yarmouth (Magistrates’ Court and Family Court) and Norwich (Magistrates’ Court and Family Court).

b) that Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court and Family Court and Bury St Edmunds Crown Court are closed, and the existing magistrates’ and family workload  be moved to Ipswich (Magistrates’ Court and Family Court) and Norwich (Magistrates’ Court and Family Court). It is also proposed that victim and witness facilities will be installed at Bury St. Edmunds County Court and Tribunals which would enable court users, in suitable matters, to give evidence by video link!

All to save £600,000 a year. Truly this government knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. Continue reading Suffolk’s Law Courts Under Threat – Lobby or Lose Them!

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Liberal Democrats call on MPs to reject Right to Buy for Housing Associations

Lib Dems are opposing the government decision to allow the tenants of Housing Associations the right to buy the homes they rent so the Mid Suffolk group are putting the following to the council

Motion to Mid Suffolk district council  “This council supports the housing charity “Shelter” in its campaign to persuade the Tory government that its plan to introduce the right to buy to housing association properties is ill conceived. The council therefore resolves to lobby all Suffolk MPs and government ministers to reject this policy as the council is concerned at the loss of such social housing for future generations”

This council has one of its strategic priorities, housing, to ensure there is enough good quality, environmentally efficient homes, with appropriate tenures in the right location.

To have a policy of extending the right to buy to housing associations will not improve the housing crisis it will exacerbate it.

Even the National Housing Federation chief executive has publicly stated “this will have a serious and long lasting consequence for future generations. It will not solve the housing crisis :  it will make it worse” Continue reading Liberal Democrats call on MPs to reject Right to Buy for Housing Associations

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Blah blah blah – Local Government Conference at Harrogate

Harrosmall
Local Government Conference (John Pienaar speaking)

Attended my first Local Government Association Conference last week in Harrogate. As you can imagine there was a great deal of blah, blah, blah but a few interesting speakers. Jeremy Hunt, the Health minister, put forward his ideas on how they were going to reduce demand on the NHS. It appears as though it’s all my fault – overweight, a bit of a smoker and I live on my own. So if I give up drinking, smoking and eating the NHS should be safe. Then all of us retired people should move back in with our children to reduce care costs and free up some housing – great in theory but it presumes that you have to got rid of your kids in the first place!

John Pienaar gave us his views on the state of the parties after the election – it looks like we could be in for a long spell of Tory rule. Mind you it was interesting watching the ‘group’ of Tories from Suffolk County Council spend 3 days trying to avoid each other. It is a worry for the residents of Suffolk because I just don’t see the quality of Cabinet member required to deliver the services with reduced funds. In two years time, with the Tory Government delivering the peak level of austerity cuts, the County Council elections could deliver a mixed colour administration.

I hope that the many Council CEOs that were there spent more time talking with the many exhibitors who seem to have already come up with some innovative solutions – my favourite was the rubbish bin that has its own built-in compactor thus reducing the emptying frequency.

Dave Busby
County Councillor, Belstead Brook
Spokesman, Audit and FInance

Continue reading Blah blah blah – Local Government Conference at Harrogate

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LIB DEMS SUPPORT “SHELTER” CAMPAIGN TO STOP SALE OF HOUSING ASSOCIATION HOMES

Suffolk Liberal Democrats are supporting the campaign by the housing charity “SHELTER” to stop the new Tory government selling housing association homes. Housing Associations are “not for profit” organisations set up to provide social housing, often using land given at no cost by local councils. Selling these homes will just make the housing crisis worse NOT improve it!!

Penny Otton
Spokesperson for Education, Skills, Young People and Localities

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