The new Southern Rail timetable which comes into force on 20 May sees extra trains, new carriages, new connections and other welcome improvements to train services for commuters. The good news seems to be spread right across the country – except in Lewes, which loses out under the new timetable.
The Liberal Democrats on East Sussex County Council are campaigning to save East Sussex Music Service, which will be debated on Monday (30 April) at the meeting with the Lead Member for Education and Inclusion, Special Educational Needs and Disability.
Lib Dem campaigners and Newhaven residents are furious that Conservative and Labour County councillors have ignored pleas from residents and Lib Dem councillors and have voted to allow a new asphalt and concrete batching plant to be built in Newhaven.
Hundreds of residents wrote to object to the plans, on the grounds that Newhaven's congested road network simply cannot cope with an additional 45,000 lorry movements and that with air pollution already at dangerous levels, a polluting industrial plant with so many polluting vehicle movements will simply put residents’ health at risk.
Darren Grover, Lib Dem County Councillor for Newhaven, Denton, South Heighton & Bishopstone, said “Lib dems campaigners in Newhaven have led the fight against this proposal since we first heard of it last year”.
He added: “At this week’s East Sussex County Council Planning Committee meeting, I spoke and voted against the proposals, because I have very serious concerns about how it will impact on our already congested roads, the impact on our air quality, and that it simply does not fit in with the Enterprise Zone's promise of Clean, Green and Marine developments".
Sarah Osborne, Lib Dem County Councillor for Newhaven Valley added: “I am appalled that Conservative and Labour councillors have yet again ignored the very serious concerns of Newhaven residents and dumped on us what they don’t want in their own areas – they don’t seem to have learnt from the incinerator shambles that they must listen to residents".
Newhaven Town Council, South Heighton Parish Council, Lewes District Council and the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership also objected to the plans on the grounds that this development does not meet their criteria for clean development, that it is not a port-related activity and so is a waste of rare water-side space, and that the space could be used to create many more jobs than this development will provide.
Councillor Grover added: “Despite all of these objections from residents, local councils and regeneration experts, Labour and Conservative councillors have nodded through yet another unwanted and harmful development in Newhaven. This is a backward step in the regeneration of our town and just demonstrates how little those Labour and Conservative councillors care about Neahaven and its residents".
Liberal Democrats in Seaford have launched a campaign to keep Warwick House services open in Seaford.
The facility, part of the £6 million development on Warwick Road which includes the Library, was announced as being consulted on for closure this week by the Conservative led Council.
The facility homes several people with learning disabilities as well as providing vital day services for people with dementia and mental health problems.
Lib Dem Campaigner Morag Everden launched a petition to save the facility, saying; “This is the result of more Conservative cuts to our adult social care.
Seaford has an elderly population, many of whom rely on services at Warwick House to support them. To propose to remove it is unacceptable.”
Lewes Liberal Democrats are proud to be part of the Plastic Free Lewes Campaign and were glad to take an active role in Friday night’s debate about recycling in the District. After a long campaign by the Lib Dems, it is good to see a renewed focus on this issue at the District Council with the roll-out of a new scheme which will include simpler recycling for a much wider range of plastics.
Our joint work on reducing plastic use is making headlines all around the district at the moment and we are delighted to announce the next 'Plastic Free Lewes' event on 9th March at Lewes Town Hall- 'What really happens to our rubbish?'
Lib Dem leader Sarah Osborne (centre) arriving at the LDC budget meeting on Monday night with some of her fellow councillors L to R: Will Elliott, Steve Saunders, Sarah Osborne, Olivia Honeyman, Graham Amy
Budget success for the Liberal Democrats and their leader Sarah Osborne at Lewes district council. All five of Lewes District Council Liberal Democrat Leader Sarah Osborne’s amendments to the Lewes District Council budget were approved with cross-party support this week. Measures include:
1) Special fund of £2.2 million to provide new temporary accommodation for homeless people
2) Introduction of on-street recycling bins
3) Feasibility study to create a trade waste recycling service for small businesses
4) A major environmental initiative to develop new standards in relation to new planning applications and building regulations which will include a range of sustainability measures such as renewable energy for new developments and 'green corridors'
5) A series of events during 2018 to celebrate the Representation of the Peoples Act 1918 where women began to get the vote for the first time. The events would also promote equality and diversity in our society.
Councillor Osborne said: “Punch and Judy politics doesn't achieve anything for the people who elected us. All Councils face huge financial and social challenges, so we must work together where we can to deliver more housing and a cleaner environment and deliver the services our residents rightly expect from us."
Dave Twaits and Matthew Milligan have been selected as the Lib Dem Town Council candidates for Newhaven and Peacehaven Town Councils in by-elections set for 8th March; and are already out knocking on doors. In a busy weekend of campaigning, local volunteers joined the candidates to speak to residents and share key priorities.
A bumper crop of Liberal Democrat amendments will be tabled for the budget on Monday, 19 February (next week) at Lewes District Council. Deputy Leader of the Lib Dem group, Steve Saunders said, “Our leader, Sarah Osborne, has put together an excellent package of proposals on housing and the environment."