Oli Henman has been selected as the Liberal Democrat Candidate for Lewes Bridge Ward for the Town Council by-election on December 7. He was a County Council candidate this May and is an experienced campaigner for an open democracy, social justice and environmental sustainability.
East Sussex County Council met this week on Tuesday 17th of October and discussed cuts across the board to council services but amidst all this there was a proposal to give the Conservative leader of the council a pay rise of £9000!
Liberal Democrat County Councillor Sarah Osborne spoke out against handing out this pay rise whilst the county council are implementing cuts to their services. Cllr Sarah Osborne said “it’s ridiculous that the Conservatives should be putting forward a pay rise for their own leader at the same time as cutting services. I could not bring myself to vote for this motion whilst at the same time the county council are cutting funding for home to school transport."Read more
Parking in the Malling area of Lewes has been a growing challenge in recent months; it's time to find a solution that works for all residents. Local Lib Dem County Councillor, Philip Daniel sets out the key issues.
Building on their work to improve public transport in the area, at the recent full Council meeting of the Lewes District Council, the Liberal Democrat group were successful in modifying a motion, to call for continued support for the redevelopment of the Lewes to Uckfield railway line. Liberal Democrat District Council Transport & Environment spokesman Councillor Vic Ient said, “the Lib Dems wanted to strengthen the motion to ensure action will be carried through after the council meeting”.Read more
Pressure increases on the County Council to reconsider its decision to close local libraries, with the presentation of a petition signed by more than 200 people to save Ringmer Library. Local Liberal Democrat campaigner, James Gardiner, and local member Rob Parsons handed in the petition, with Lib Dem County Councillor Philip Daniel in attendance.
James Gardiner said, “It is quite clear that the Council has miscalculated on this. Ringmer Library is well used, and provides services at a local level that cannot be replaced by inviting people to attend main libraries miles away from where they live. The savings involved in closing Ringmer Library are tiny, and the cost to the local community will be huge. The County Council encouraged the village to build a new library. It was even opened by the council chair, and now, no more than 17 months later, they want to close it.”
The Liberal Democrat group on the Lewes District Council were successful in getting a motion passed at the recent (Mon 9th Oct) full Council meeting which called for ‘new build’ planning applications to have electric car charging points included in the design. Despite Conservative councillors saying that ‘hydrogen cars might be the future rather than electric cars’ and ‘driverless cars might make electric cars obsolete within 10 years’ the Liberal Democrats were successful in getting their motion passed by a majority of one (17 voted for the motion, 16 voted against and there were 4 abstentions). The motion says:
“That from 1 January 2018 all new housing, new or replacement domestic garages and business/commercial planning applications to Lewes District Council include the provision of an 'electric vehicle charging scheme'; and that any such scheme would not become binding on the applicant unless included by the local planning authority as a condition of any planning permission granted”.
In his speech to members the Liberal Democrat District Council Transport & Environment spokesman Councillor Vic Ient said, “Michael Gove, the Conservative Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, has announced a government plan to ban the sale of all petrol and diesel cars by 2040. What Michael Gove was doing was reacting to the research which has proven the high levels of air pollution caused by diesel and petrol vehicles. In the introduction to the government’s policy paper on air quality, issued in July 2017, it states:
‘We pledge to be the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than we inherited it. Clean air is one of the most basic requirements of a healthy environment for us all to live, work, and bring up families’ . I support this move by the government but without the provision for electric car charging points in the district the government will find it hard to force through the implementation of the ban on diesel and petrol cars”.
The Liberal Democrat group on the Lewes District Council only needed one more vote to get a motion passed at Monday’s (Oct) full Council meeting which called for ‘new build’ planning applications to have a renewable energy scheme included in the planning application.
The controlling Conservative party voted the motion down by one vote (17 voted for the motion, 17 voted against and there were 2 abstentions).Read more
On Sunday 24th September Lewes Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson Kelly-Marie Blundell took part in a march for Europe in Brighton. It started at The Level, headed to the pier, past the Brighton Centre (Home of the Labour Conference) and ended at Hove Lawns.Read more
Kelly-Marie Blundell, Lib Dem Prospective Parliamentary Spokesperson for Lewes, who was
narrowly beaten by Conservative Maria Caulfield, has called on the Government to do more to
address Universal Credit failings.
Vince Cable joined Kelly-Marie Blundell at Liberal Democrat Conference in Bournemouth this week to challenge devastating business rate changes on small high street businesses and pubs. The paper calls for pub rate increases to be capped by 12.5% as they are in Scotland.
Pubs in Lewes have been hit by vast increases in rates, as the Conservatives make changes to rateable values. Some pubs in the town centre of Lewes have seen increases of up to 200%. Kelly-Marie Blundell, who worked with Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable and the Local Government Association to write the policy, has challenged the proposals since meeting with landlords in Lewes.