Liberal Democrats have won both the District Council and the Town Council Lewes Bridge by-elections in a hard fought contest. Local voters picked up on our message that the Lib Dems were the team that gets things done for Lewes Bridge.
Will Elliott held the District Council seat with 543 votes (44.4% of the total) and Janet Baah held the Town Council seat with 498 votes (39.8% of the total). You can see the full results for the District Council seat here and the results for the Town Council seat here.
Will said: "I'd like to say a big 'thank you' to everyone who voted for us and who helped in our campaign". Janet added her appreciation and said: "The Lib Dem team will continue with our record of action for Lewes Bridge and getting things done for local people".
Lib Dem candidates Will Elliott and Janet Baah have issued a final message to voters in Lewes Bridge ward in advance of Polling Day on Thursday June 2nd. They write:
"Our town is changing faster than ever before and we know how hard we have to fight to keep its character and protect vital services.
Locally, Lewes Liberal Democrats are the official opposition to the Tories. After months of campaigning we forced them to stop their bodged attempts to sell-off the '49 sites' and to apologise for wasting £600,000 of tax-payers money. We also secured their backing for our plan to ring-fence £50,000 to help businesses in the Phoenix Estate relocate locally. As the official opposition, a vote for us is a vote to challenge the local Tories and hold them to account.
Lewes Lib Dems have chosen their candidates for the Lewes Bridge Ward District and Town Council by-election on June 2nd - Will Elliott and Janet Baah. They are campaigning to support our local library and post office, to ensure local people's views are heard over planning issues.
Will Elliott is standing for District Council. He currently serves on the Town Council and has successfully campaigned to reinstate late bus services back from Brighton to Lewes.
Will is involved with the campaign to save the Crown Post Office, and opposes plans to build on the Old Malling Farm site.
Will and his partner Huw are both pub managers with a keen interest in environmental issues and live on Albion Street.
Janet Baah is standing to be on the Town Council and wants to make sure the people of Lewes get the representation they deserve. Janet knows the area well having lived in Malling since 2001.
Janet has been a member of Adult Social Care's Inclusion Advisory Group since 2009, and a non executive Director of Breaking Down Barriers' CIC for the past 3 years. She is currently studying for a PhD in Education focusing on access to education for slum dwellers in Ghana.
Will and Janet want to see more affordable housing locally, especially for key workers in Lewes and the surrounding area.
Lib Dem County Councillor Carla Butler defends local school and wins!
At the full Council meeting of East Sussex County Council, Lib Dem County Councillor Carla Butler won the Council's backing to halt the closure of Rodmell Primary School and Pells Primary School.
Carla says “The parents, governing body, staff and protesters should be proud of their achievement of running an excellent campaign."
Cllr Butler successfully called for the schools to stay open and to stop the plans to close them at the end of the consultation period.
Carla Butler opened her speech by quoting Ofsted on Rodmell school “Rodmell Primary is a welcoming, inclusive community. Pupils of different ages get on well, happily playing and learning together.” She accused the Conservative Council of wanting to close a school that was rated as 'Good' in all areas by Ofsted. She went on to support the governors who had said that the county council has put into the public domain information which is biased and misleading. Carla said the governors and school have not been fairly represented.
She said “I am disappointed that the final consultation document was not shared with the school prior to going out in the public domain as some of the information could have challenged before”. She supported the governors in her speech saying that the school was now rated as good school moving towards outstanding!
Thursday’s election is your chance to vote to cut crime in our part of Sussex and to ensure our local communities receive the support they deserve.
That’s why more and more local people are saying they will back James Walsh to be our new local Police and Crime Commissioner.
With more than 40 years experience as a Sussex Councillor as well as having served as Chairman of the Police Authority, James is the best choice to keep our towns and villages safe.
Please give James your first preference vote at Thursday’s crucial election and together we can make Sussex an even safer place to live, work and to raise a family.
You can see more information on James' campaign here.
Published and promoted by D. Purchese on behalf of J. Walsh (Liberal Democrats), all at 32 The Street,
Rustington, W Sussex, BN16 3NX. Printed [hosted by] NationBuilder
In a vote on Monday night most Conservative MPs rejected the idea of taking in 3000 refugee children. An amendment supported by Lib Dem MPs and Peers and proposed by Lord Dubs, who himself arrived in this country as a refugee child, was lost by just 18 votes. The amendment would have committed the UK to take only five children per constituency.
Our Tory MP, Maria Caulfield, let the people of Lewes down on Monday night by showing no compassion and voting against the idea of taking in only that small number.
"These are children from Syria who have fled the most horrible circumstances, and are now on their own in Europe", Will Elliott, candidate for Lewes Bridge district council seat said. "We owe them a duty of compassion, but once again our MP has voted with the government but without compassion. The Liberal Democrats stand up for decency and charity, but our Tory MP has let us down again."
Dr James Walsh, Lib Dem Police and Crime Commissioner Candidate has launched a campaign against Conservative cuts to policing here in Sussex. James said: "The Conservatives have cut £65m from Sussex Police over the last four years. Worse still, Sussex Police faces millions more in cuts in the years ahead.
"That's the same as about 700 frontline police officers who could be working to make our communities safer!
But it doesn’t stop there. Conservative failures mean police are all too often tied up in red tape and stuck behind desks on their computers.
A petition containing hundreds of signatures calling for compensation for local businesses and the local community for the months of delay caused by the closure of the level crossing in Plumpton has been taken all the way to Steve Knight, Area Director at Network Rail's offices in London.
Sarah was joined by local Plumpton residents and Baroness Jenny Randerson, who speaks on transport issues in the House of Lords.
Plumpton's District Councillor Sarah Osborne, who, alongside other local residents launched the petition, said: "Our message is very clear. Both the local community and local businesses have been badly affected by this and Network Rail must do more than just say the right words - they must back this up with some action". And the government must provide political leadership on this issue".
In a letter to the Sussex Express published today (18th March 2016), Norman Baker, former Lib Dem MP for Lewes, has rebutted the attacks made on him by the Conservative MP for the area and has called for action to improve the local rail service.
"Dear Sussex Express
My attention has been drawn to some gratuitously insulting comments Maria Caulfield made about me in your paper regarding rail travel.
She refers in particular to the campaign to reopen the Lewes-Uckfield railway line. This is something I pursued for many years, often in the teeth of opposition from her Conservative colleagues. Had the Tories been more supportive, the line would by now have been reopened.
I would also point out that the only reason that this matter is currently being re-examined at all is because I persuaded Danny Alexander, then the Lib Dem Chief Secretary to the Treasury, to include £100,000 for a further study in the 2014 Autumn Statement.
More generally, I note with dismay, not least as a commuter, that since the General Election, the rail service from Lewes to London has gone to pot, and punctuality has fallen through the floor. Now plans are progressing seemingly without high level opposition to all but close the ticket offices in Lewes and Polegate, something I firmly stopped while a rail minister. I suppose Southern now think they can get away with it.
I also note the fiasco at Plumpton which led to the village being cut off for months. Just before the election I was very close to reaching an amicable arrangement with Network Rail through my contacts there that would have avoided any closure. I passed the ball to Maria in front of the goal but it seems she couldn't get it in the back of the net.
I have retired from front-line politics and do not wish to re-engage but I am not going to stand by and have my record trashed in this inaccurate and gratuitous way. I would advise Maria that people in greenhouses should not throw stones and rather than throwing insults at me, she would be better turning her attention to the fast-deteriorating train service that local people are having to endure and that she seems powerless to do anything about.
“The Tory Council can’t be allowed to axe our community school”, says Shirley Sains, Lib Dem candidate in the Castle by-election for Lewes Town Council.
“I’m really concerned by news that East Sussex County Council plan to close Pells School in August 2017. I and many others are outraged by this and I will fight to try and make sure this much needed school stays open. My three children went to Pells School and having lived in Lewes as a Landport resident for 49 years I know how much people on Landport value this school.”