This U-turn by the government shows a belated recognition of how wrong the Government were not giving these extra funds last month, as part of the local government finance settlement. East Sussex County Council would have had an earlier opportunity to properly plan how it would use these funds to the best effect. We must remember that the extra money is spread over three years. I believe there will still be a funding gap. Until we know how the extra funds will be used by East Sussex County Council we will not be sure that the problem will be properly addressed even in the short term. We also do not know what strings will be attached to the use of the monies. Until we know these things we will not know how far these funds will go towards addressing the crisis in Adult Social Care.
Independent organisation Eunity Lewes hosted a panel last night with politicians from all colours discussing Brexit- What Next?
The group were set up following the EU Referendum in June 2016 to look at the future and opportunities Brexit presents, and to make sure many of the controversial details did not go undiscussed.
The Spring Budget announced by the Conservative Government today included a £1,000 discount for public houses who are facing rapid rates increases. However, with some pubs in Lewes forcasted with a 200% rates rise (in excess of £40,000) this discount may not save our community pubs.
Lewes is renowned for it's small businesses and with thirteen pubs and a lively community based night life in the town, the pubs are well regarded as hubs in our community.
Kelly-Marie Blundell and Lewes Liberal Democrats have slammed the Government’s failure
to provide enough extra cash for the NHS in today’s budget, warning that local services
will struggle to cope with growing demand.
Cllr Sarah Osborne, Leader of the Lib Dem group at Lewes District Council has secured money at a recent meeting of Lewes District Council to fund a feasibility study into providing low cost affordable homes for local people on ‘easy access’ sites in the District. With modern materials and building techniques it is possible to ‘crane in’ self-contained modular homes that can be constructed in a very short timescale. These can be used for those in urgent need until more permanent solutions can be found. The study would look at where it would be feasible and uncontroversial to site these self-contained modular homes, that later can be removed or relocated once their use of the site has ended.
Cllr Sarah Osborne (who is also prospective County Council Candidate for Ouse Valley West) said: “There is no doubt that we are in the midst of a housing crisis, with more and more homeless families. At present we have to house them in bed and breakfasts outside the district, far from their place of work, schools, friends and family. So we need to be more imaginative and plan for other ways to provide both temporary and permanent accommodation. It is possible to provide quality homes at low cost. I hope that now that I have been promised the funds the administration gets on with the feasibility study so that we can house people decently close to where they need to be.”
Local Liberal Democrats have held a day of campaigning in Lewes urging Maria Caulfield to oppose the Government’s hard Brexit plans and to vote to give EU nationals living in the UK the right to stay, enshrining it in legislation.
Forty local campaigners spoke to dozens of local residents about the importance of remaining in the Single Market for the local economy, running a street stall in Lewes town centre and collecting more than 700 signatures for the rights of EU Nationals to be protected.
Liberal Democrats in East Sussex overwhelmingly reject Grammar Schools, after East Sussex County Council moved to introduce the practice into the county and Theresa May, Prime Minister, announced cash for Grammar Schools in tomorrow's budget.
The Liberal Democrats, who are the official opposition to the Conservatives on East Sussex County Council, put forward an amendment to Conservative proposals to embrace selective education to declare it a damaging move that would hit educational attainment.
Maria Caulfield MP, who represents Lewes Constituency, has turned her back on unaccompanied child refugees again, voting against a parliamentary motion to ensure the Government accepts 3,000 children seeking refuge instead of just 350.
The motion went to Parliament on Tuesday 7th March 2017, following outcry when Amber Rudd, Home Secretary, announced two weeks ago the scheme would only admit 350, not 3000 that had been campaigned for at the end of 2016.
The Liberal Democrats have called on Maria Caulfield to ensure thousands EU nationals living in Lewes are guaranteed the right to remain in Britain, as figures have revealed the extent to which local NHS services rely on EU nationals.
The news comes after the government was defeated in a historic vote in the House of Lords this week, after peers voted for an amendment to guarantee the right of EU citizens to remain in the UK. The issue will now be voted on by MPs, as pressure mounts on the government to change position.
Cllr Sarah Osborne, Leader of the Lib Dem group at Lewes District Council has secured cross party support at a recent Lewes District Council budget meeting to set up a local lottery to raise much needed funds for the voluntary sector and community groups in the area. Lewes District Council has agreed to fund the start-up costs and act as the custodian of a local lottery to provide funds that support local projects.
Cllr Sarah Osborne, (who is also prospective County Council Candidate for Ouse Valley West) said: "The voluntary and community sector plays a vital role in our district in these challenging times. The support given to individuals and groups is more important than ever yet funding for many local good causes has been drastically reduced by a combination of Government public sector cuts and a drop in donations over the last few years. I am so glad that councillors from all parties support me in my plans to give local projects the means to raise funds directly helping them to become more resilient."
It is anticipated that the local lottery will be online, with at least 60% of the proceeds going to good causes. Groups will be able to ‘sign-up’ to take part in the lottery and will be able to direct their share of the proceeds to their preferred good cause.