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).
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.
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.
Vince Cable opened his speech with a stark warning on Brexit...
In the real world, we have yet to experience the full impact of leaving Europe. But we have a taste of what is to come in the fall of the value of the pound.
Foreign exchange dealers are not point scoring politicians. Their cold, hard, unsentimental judgement has been, quite simply, that Brexit Britain will be poorer and weaker after Brexit than if we had decided to stay in Europe.
Brexit was described by the Brexit Secretary himself as an operation of such technical complexity that it makes the moon landing look simple.
..And hit out at the Labour party under Jeremy Corbyn...
We might have expected better from Labour. Many people got behind them in June, expecting a better politics and a better future from him. They are already being betrayed.
Today’s Labour Party isn’t into problem solving; let alone governing. Jeremy Corbyn’s acolytes are focused on how to maximise the contradictions of capitalism.
You don’t qualify for the Shadow Cabinet these days unless you have studied the Venezuelan guide on how to bankrupt a rich economy.
No wonder they back Brexit. No wonder they lined up behind Theresa May, maximising the chance of chaos and disruption.
If Jeremy Corbyn sits on the fence any longer, he is in danger of being sliced up the middle by the serrated edge.
He would do better to get off the fence and refurbish his revolutionary credentials. Jeremy – join us in the Anti Brexit People’s Liberation Front!
...and then continued onto what Britain really needs...
What the people want. What the country now desperately needs is some political adults.
There are sensible grown-ups in the Conservative party and the Labour Party and the Greens. And beyond them are millions of people deeply worried about what is happening.
We have to put aside tribal differences and work alongside like-minded people to keep the Single Market and Customs Union, essential for trade and jobs;
Europe’s high environmental and social standards; shared research; help for our poorer regions; cooperation over policing and terrorism.
Europe, of course, needs reform but you don’t achieve reform by walking away.
...and called on Theresa May to FINALLY do the right thing...
Our position is clear: the Liberal Democrats are the party of Remain.
So I have some advice for Theresa May now. Take the issue of EU nationals in the UK and UK nationals in Europe out of these negotiations.
Using them as bargaining chips is not merely morally wrong but utterly counter-productive. Put the lives of 4 million people first not the posturing internal politics of the Conservative Party. No ifs, no buts.
The government should declare a Right to Remain – now.
...he continued on to how we secure an #ExitFromBrexit...
At the end of these tortuous divorce negotiations, the British public must be given a vote on the outcome.
Let me be clear. This is not a call for a re-run – a second referendum – on Brexit.
It is a call for a first referendum on the facts: when we know what Brexit means. We know that our call will, of course, be resented by the Brexit fundamentalists.
We will be denounced as traitors and saboteurs. I’m half prepared for a spell in a cell with Supreme Court judges, Gina Miller, Ken Clarke, and the governors of the BBC.
But if the definition of sabotage is fighting to protect British jobs, public services, the environment and civil liberties, then I am a proud saboteur.
Brexiteers will say: “we have already voted to leave. How dare you flout democracy.”
It is actually quite difficult to follow the argument. It seems to go that consulting the public - having a vote – is undemocratic.
Why? What are they afraid of? Are they afraid that the claims of £350m a week for the NHS won’t wash any more?
That claim has rightly been dismissed by the UK Statistics Authority. No wonder Boris and the Brexiteers are so afraid of the people, and the facts.
They now believe in the slogan of dictators everywhere: “one person, one vote, once.
We believe the public have a right to change their mind.
...and finished with a note of hope - and ambition.
Only the Liberal Democrats have the ideas, the experience and the commitment to transform the fortunes of our country.
An exit from Brexit.
A grown-up approach to the economy.
And bold ideas to strengthen our society through the 21st century.
I am ready to take our message out to the country…
…and I ask you to join me on the journey as we, together, take the Liberal Democrats…
…back to Government.
The Conservatives have announced that their road maintenance contractor is proposing to build a tarmac plant, concrete batching plant and gully waste plant along North Quay in Newhaven – just along from the Incinerator they dumped on us.
Your local Liberal Democrats and South Heighton Parish Council have strongly opposed the proposals.
Lib Dem campaigner, James Gardiner said: “These plans will create over 45,000 additional heavy lorry movements a year, the majority of these would use the A26 and A27. The A26 is already crumbling from current levels of use and the people in Newhaven are already suffering from an almost permanently congested road network”.
The road chaos is set to be made even worse as the proposed plant will be serviced by 40 ship visits a year, equating to 80 bridge openings.
The plans outline that some parts of the huge structure will be operational all day and night, causing noise, smells and traffic continuously. We know from the Conservatives’ incinerator that despite what they say about how carefully noise, smells and dust will be handled that they are a major problem for many people.
Lib Dem County Councillor for South Heighton Darren Grover said: “The Conservatives are continuing to treat Newhaven, and by extension Denton and South Heighton, as a dumping ground. They want us to live with these smelly, noisy and dirty developments that they don’t want in their villages.
“The air quality in our area is already very poor because of the traffic congestion and the incinerator, this is simply unacceptable and will only be made worse by these plans. These proposals do not reflect the ‘clean, green and marine’ businesses we were promised and that would help to revitalise the area”.
There has been anger and disappointment when it was recently revealed that the Conservative run District Council had failed to put fire sprinklers in newly built Lewes District Council owned properties.
It was back in October 2013 when the Liberal Democrats introduced a Council motion for all District Council housing to be fitted with sprinkler systems. Whilst the Lib Dems wanted to see fire sprinklers introduced for all Council owned properties, the Conservatives only agreed to put them in any new properties built after October 2013.
However after Lib Dem Councillors raised the issue at a recent council meeting it was revealed that out of the 20 plus new properties which had been built and should have been fitted with a sprinkler, to date not one of them had been.
Thanks to pressure from the Lib Dems an apology has been made, and it has been agreed that all these new properties will have sprinklers retrofitted, though this will cost about twice as much as fitting them during construction.
James Gardiner who is standing in the Ringmer by-election said, “This is a disgrace, not only have the Tories failed to keep their promise on protecting properties from fires but they have ended up wasting money from our council taxes by only fitting them after the buildings were completed.
“It is thanks to the Lib Dems that this has come to light and shows how only the Lib Dems can be a strong opposition to the Conservative District Council. If elected I will call for sprinklers in all council properties. Sprinklers are by far the best way of dealing with fires, and we should fit them where we can, especially where the vulnerable live.”
On September 7th residents will have a chance to choose a District Councillor for Ouse Valley and Ringer who will work hard for them on the issues they care about and knows what it means to be a part of this community.
James Gardiner is standing for the Lib Dems and cares passionately about making sure local residents get the representation they deserve.
James has lived in the Ringmer area for most of his life. He is a qualified teacher and used to teach at Laughton school. As many parents will know, through his Ringmer based company James has worked with many local schools to increase children’s school day activity, which is known to help mental abilities and help deal with obesity.
James is also passionate about green issues from recycling to climate change and will work to protect our environment. James says, “Having lived in the area for many years I know how great the communities of Ringmer, Glynde, Firle and Beddingham are and I am very much looking forward to working with my fellow Lib Dems and local residents to keep it that way.”