Lib Dems say Southern Full Timetable Restored is a Farce

Lib Dems say Southern Full Timetable Restored is a Farce

Much has been said about the ending of the strikes by rail union ASLEF which has led to Southern Rail declaring a full time table restored. However, local Liberal Democrats have denounced this claim, calling it a farce in light of more delays, cancellations and problems on the rail network.

Kelly-Marie Blundell, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Lewes and resident in Seaford, has been without trains since 3rd December 2016. While trains to the coastal town have been reintroduced today, the UK Trains Performance Measure shows Govia Thameslink, who run Southern Rail as having the highest number of delays and cancellations out of all the train services.

The live reporting feature, which looks at rolling stock and trains for all networks across the UK, shows at 11:30am on Tuesday 24th January 2016 that Govia has had 83 cancellations and 339 delayed trains so far.

This goes to highlight that the problems created by Unions striking was simply the tip of the iceberg for a service that is being poorly run, and it is passengers suffering as a result.”

says Kelly-Marie Blundell, who commutes into London.

Over 30% of trains in the Govia network have been delayed today, when there is meant to be a full service. When will the Government stand up and recognise that this rail service is not being delivered?”

The Government hold the contract with Govia, they should strip them of that contract and put the network into special measures, so we can have the trains running on time.”

Lib Dems accuse Maria Caulfield of "betrayal" of constituents after voting for Article 50

Maria Caulfield has been accused of a "clear betrayal" of her constituents after voting in favour of triggering Article 50 this week without giving the public the final say on the Brexit deal.

Lewes constituency voted by a clear majority to remain in the EU referendum, and the Liberal Democrats have said it should be represented by someone who also opposes a damaging hard Brexit.

The Liberal Democrats tabled an amendment in Parliament this week to give the public the final say on the Government's Brexit deal, with the option of accepting it or remaining in the EU. However this was defeated after MPs including Ms Caulfield against it.

The Liberal Democrats have seen a huge surge in membership in the South East since the EU referendum, with many new members joining the party due to its strong stance against an economically damaging exit from the Single Market. This week figures by the respected Institute for Fiscal studies predicted the UK economy will be 3% smaller by 2030 as a result of hard Brexit, with years more austerity and tax increases expected.

Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate Kelly-Marie Blundell commented:

"Maria Caulfield has betrayed her constituents this week by voting through a hard Brexit without giving the people the final say on the deal.

"Our area deserves an MP that will stand up against a reckless exit from the Single Market that would mean higher taxes, less funding for public services and huge damage to our local economy.

"The Liberal Democrats have seen a huge surge of new members who are worried about the direction our country is going in and want to do something about it.

"Both the Conservatives and Labour are now holding hands towards a hard Brexit.

"We will be the rallying point for all those in the Lewes constituency who want to hold this government to account and keep Britain open, tolerant and united."

We're recruiting

Lewes Liberal Democrats are looking for a full time Campaign Manager in Lewes to support the ongoing work of our County, District and Town Councillors as well as our Prospective Parliamentary Candidate Kelly-Marie Blundell. 

The post is initially for four months but we may have the opportunity to extend it. 

Read more here 

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Tory Tax Rises Risk Killing off Small Businesses

Many small businesses in Lewes District face crippling rises in business rates from April this year. Pubs, shops, and many businesses are set to see their rates more than double over the next few years. Business owners report the large tax increases could make their businesses completely unviable.

Cllr Sarah Osborne, Group Leader of the Lib Dems at Lewes District Council, is calling for the "antiquated" system to be overhauled and says,

“This tax on businesses is a fundamentally flawed, regressive tax because it has no link with ability to pay.” 

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Anger as Lib Dem plan to stop Tory neglect is blocked

Conservative Councillors have voted down Lib Dem proposals which would have helped protect care services for both elderly people and children, as well as investing more in tackling potholes and improving local roads.

The Lib Dem opposition tabled plans at East Sussex County Council to reduce the most damaging Conservative cuts, putting millions back into Adult Social Care and Children’s Services. It would also have meant more money to tackle poorly maintained roads and potholes. Finally it would have made sure both towns and villages got a fair deal in funding from the county council.

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Caulfield and Conservatives turn their backs on child refugees

There are unprecendented numbers of people fleeing wartorn countries to settle in mainland Europe and the UK. In April 2016, Parliament supported proposals put forward by Lord Alf Dubbs, himself a refugee to England fleeing Germany during the Second World War. However, on Thursday 9th February Amber Rudd, Home Secretary, announced the scheme to home child refugees was coming to a close with just 350 children taken in by the UK.

The scheme, legislated on in April 2016, called for the UK to rehome 3,000 children, those left without families, or indeed with family members in Britain with whom they could reunite. Despite pressure from constituents in Lewes keen to see these children helped, Conservative MP Maria Caulfield has flipped and flopped over the proposal, first voting against the Amendment, then supporting the bill as amended.

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Parking restrictions in Malling will improve safety but police need to act too

Lewes Liberal Democrats welcome additional parking restrictions along Old Malling Way proposed by East Sussex County Council.

The Council is consulting residents on plans to introduce additional ‘No Waiting at Any Time’ restrictions in the ‘New Malling’ estate. Residents have until January 26 to make their views known to the council.

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Lewes Lib Dems vow to keep Britain in Single Market

Following Prime Minister Theresa May's announcement she would push for Britain to leave the Single Market of the European Union, Lewes Lib Dems have announced their commitment to keeping Britain in.

Theresa May set out twelve objectives for her negotiations with the European Union, including controlling the UK's borders and leaving the Single Market. The Prime Minister argued for the 'greatest possible' access to the free market, but did not provide details or timelines. 

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Ghost buses

Liberal Democrats have branded as "farcical" the situation faced by Plumpton commuters during the rail strike on 11th January. For the first time Southern put on rail replacement buses for the village on an official strike day to go to Haywards Heath - something which has not happened before. But the company failed to tell anyone about them on their strike information page!

Kelly-Marie Blundell, Lib Dem Parliamentary Campaigner said: "Of course we all want to see the situation on Southern Rail resolved and the strikes called off. But it is crazy that if there are replacement buses for Plumpton to Haywards Heath no information about them is put on their website or on the national rail information page".


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Farmers set to suffer from Brexit

The release of a government report today reveals how farmers will be hit badly by any withdrawal from the single market, resulting in significant import and export tariffs.  

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