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Brighton and Hove Liberal Democrats

  • Carrie Hynds presenst housing petition to the council 2017-12-14
    Article: Dec 15, 2017
    By Carrie Hynds, PPC for Hove

    On Thursday 14th December I presented our petition "Where's the 40%? We call upon Brighton & Hove City Council to meet their own affordable housing targets and make developers provide 40% affordable homes on sites of 15+ units." to the full council meeting at Hove Town Hall.

    Thank you to the 1,095 people who signed: councillors who had been only half paying attention to the proceedings of the meeting literally sat up straight in their chairs as affordable homes came on the agenda.

    In the three minutes we were allocated for a handover speech, I said:
    "Brighton & Hove City Council has been repeatedly missing its 40% affordable homes target, which is worsening our city's housing crisis.

    We have recently seen approval of schemes on sites such as the old Sackville Hotel at 17% affordable, the old Astoria cinema at 0% affordable and 121-123 Davigdor Road at 0% affordable. The loss of these homes is not being compensated because the 40% figure is not being exceeded elsewhere. The Liberal Democrats call upon the Council to implement its own 40% target more vigorously.

    On 9th November, The Argus reported that councillors were "pleased" with the outcome of the Sackville Hotel site with 10 affordable units out of 60. This is because the developers initially applied with only 5 out of 60 affordable. But the 40% affordable figure would have been 24. Rather than look at the increase from 5 to 10, look at the decrease from 24 to 10. That is how those struggling to afford to live in our city will always see it and we need the council to be on our side.

    In the course of gathering signatures for this petition, I've spoken to people spending over half their income on rent, people living long-term in temporary emergency accommodation and people who have been shocked to see the same housing and homelessness issues here as in London. Quite simply, for every development that misses affordable housing targets, the housing crisis in our city deepens.

    The definition of "affordable" has already been squeezed to breaking point, with 80% market rate already out of reach for many of those who live and work in our city. We need elected councillors to make the most of the power they have and give clear instructions to council officers that 40% is a serious requirement.

    Developers often use viability assessments to argue they cannot provide the required number of affordable homes and still turn a profit. The Liberal Democrats call for more transparency and therefore scrutiny. If all councillors and members of the public could see these viability assessments, they could be compared with the final profit actually made on the site.

    We need councillors to be determined to stand up for 40% affordable both in council meetings and in the media. The homes delivered through New Homes for Neighbourhoods and the proposed joint venture are not enough and should not be presented as the whole solution. Above all, developers should not be praised by councillors for delivering less than 40% affordable housing.

    Transparency, scrutiny and relentless focus are all needed to truly deliver on the 40%. Several people signing this petition warned me that in delivering it today I'd be banging my head against a brick wall. My challenge to you is to prove them wrong."

    I handed over the signatures in a bright yellow folder to the Mayor, to great applause from the public gallery (with thanks to several local party members for giving up their afternoons to be there!). The Mayor thanked me and said that the petition will now go forward to the Tourism, Development & Culture Committee on 11th January 2018. (Answers on a postcard if you know why this was deemed to be the most relevant committee!)

  • Finishing off campaigning in Whitehawk, Brighton.
    Article: Dec 14, 2017

    Brighton & Hove Lib Dems are passionate about our city, and working hard with local residents to improve it. Want to let us know your views? Please fill in this short survey to let us know the issues you'd like to see your local Lib Dem working on.

  • Vince Cable
    Article: Dec 11, 2017

    Responding to the news a Brexit deal has been agreed by Theresa May and the EU in Brussels, Liberal Democrat Leader Vince Cable said:

    "This agreement is welcome as it reduces the risk of a catastrophic No Deal Brexit. It also includes a role for the EU Court of Justice for eight years, a notable concession.

    "But how long will this deal last before it is torn apart by Theresa May's own MPs? And what will happen next, seeing as the Cabinet hasn't even discussed yet what the final Brexit outcome should look like?

    "There are still two opposing views in government, those who want a close arrangement with the EU and those who want to tear apart decades of work building ties with our closest trading partner.

    "And there is still no solution over how to prevent a border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. The biggest obstacle to the government's Brexit plans is being kicked into the long grass.

    "The government is still a long way from a final deal, and even further from delivering on what the Brexiters promised.

    "At the end of this process it is the British people, not Tory MPs and the DUP, who should get to decide whether the deal is good enough."

  • Nick Clegg
    Article: Dec 4, 2017
    By Dorian Lynskey in The Guardian

    The former deputy PM and the Nobel prize winner discuss the EU, business and Trump

    Richard Thaler was awarded the Nobel prize for economics in October, for work that has "built a bridge between the economic and psychological analyses of individual decision-making". While traditional economics assumes that people are rational actors, Thaler explores the consequences of irrationality, bias and error, and proposes ways that governments, through mechanisms as simple as changing the phrasing on a form, can encourage, or "nudge", smarter decision-making. Nudge, the 2008 bestseller he wrote with Cass Sunstein, introduced the influential concept of "choice architecture", while his 2015 book Misbehaving was a personal history of behavioural economics. As the author Michael Lewis put it, he's "the economist who realised how crazy we are".

  • Article: Dec 3, 2017

    Four council by-elections this cold week, all in southern England. They come with the neat simplicity of one defence each for Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats and Ukip. A neat simplicity of results too: all won by the Liberal Democrats in the party's best council by-election night for a long time.

    Westway (Tandridge) result:

    LDEM: 53.5% (+17.5)
    CON: 26.5% (-2.5)
    LAB: 13.1% (-2.8)
    UKIP: 6.9% (-12.2)

    Liberal Democrat HOLD. Congratulations to Helen Rujbally and the team for such a comfortable win in a ward where the six previous contests have three times gone Lib Dem and three times Conservative.

  • Article: Nov 30, 2017
    By Carrie Hynds, Lib Dem Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Hove

    Yesterday (Wed 29th Nov) I attended the first seminar hosted by RentSmart, which has been set up by Brighton & Hove City Council as a one-stop hub of advice and support for renters in our city.

    The keynote speech was delivered by Poppy Terry from homelessness charity Shelter. She gave a thorough and excellent presentation which gave an overview of the current housing crisis, challenges and potential solutions.

  • Article: Nov 30, 2017

    The Brexit divorce bill will just be the down-payment on an economically disastrous extreme Brexit that would take us out of the single market and customs union.

    Around £45 billion would appear to be the price Johnson and Gove et al are willing to pay for a deluded vision of an imperial Britain post-Brexit.

    This vision already sees the UK with higher inflation and debt, falling investment and less influence in the world.

    And this acrimonious divorce settlement will merely be the down payment.

    The hit to the UK economy of pulling out of the single market and customs threatens to dwarf this £45bn, with falling tax revenues and companies leaving the UK.

    Only the Lib Dems are fighting to save Britain's free trade with its largest market and to give the people a say on the final deal.

  • Article: Nov 29, 2017

    The government's refusal to publish its Brexit impact assessments is "completely untenable". Speaker John Bercow said he will respond promptly to any allegations of contempt of Parliament.

    This whole farce has descended into a scene straight out of Yes Minister.

    After David Davis repeatedly stated there were 57 detailed impact assessments, ministers now claim these reports never even existed in this form.

    Editing these reports is a breach of the agreement reached with MPs, meaning action over contempt of Parliament now looms.

    If the government really believes in its own Brexit plans, why are they so scared of publishing these reports in full?

    The public deserve to know what Brexit means for their jobs, incomes and communities. They must then be offered a vote on the deal with a chance to exit from Brexit.

  • Article: Nov 27, 2017

    Speaking on the Today programme, Australian trade minister Steve Cobbio criticised the government's post-Brexit trade plans to split food import quotas between the UK and the EU.

    Listen to the report:

    Yet again the government has been warned that isolating ourselves from the EU is not the straightforward panacea dreamt of by Brextremists.

    There are real concerns that the UK is going to struggle to strike any deals that come remotely close to the benefits we enjoy as a member of the EU.

    This is another reason why the British public must have a vote on the terms of this messy divorce, including the option of an Exit from Brexit.

  • Vince Cable (Chris McAndrew [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)
    Article: Nov 23, 2017
    By Vince Cable MP in Sky News

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    .

  • Vince Cable (Chris McAndrew [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)
    Article: Nov 22, 2017
    By Vince Cable MP in The Guardian

    Urgent cash is needed for our ailing health service and those affected by corrosive benefit cuts. We have a plan which doesn't rely on a magic money tree

    There is a risk that this week's budget will be drowned out by Brexit and ministerial mishaps. But it really matters because the economy is in a precarious position.

  • Article: Nov 21, 2017

    Today we mark Transgender Day of Remembrance. LGBT+ Lib Dems condemn all violence, but particularly and especially today the violence that takes so many innocent trans people from us before their time.

    It is the 20th year of TDoR this year, and LGBT+ LDs extend our love and sorrow to all the people on this year's list, their friends, families and loved ones, and the lists for all the previous 19 years too.

  • Vince Cable
    Article: Nov 18, 2017

    The Liberal Democrat leader, Vince Cable, has set out the alternative Liberal Democrat approach to the budget and the problems with the Conservative one.

    A Liberal Democrat budget would commit to the following:

    • Increase capital spending, particularly on transport infrastructure and large-scale housebuilding. Borrowing to finance productive investment at very low-interest rates is financially responsible and good for the economy.
    • Put a penny on each pound included for income tax to raise £6bn a year for the NHS
    • Introduce a lifelong learning endowment to enable every 18 year old to fund their own training and professional development
    • Reform business tax and clampdown on tax havens; including through a public register of beneficial ownership for Overseas Territories
  • Article: Nov 16, 2017
    By Stephen Lloyd

    From the newsletter of Stephen Lloyd, Lib Dem MP for Eastbourne. Stephen writes:

    I had a meeting with the Child Poverty Action Group in Parliament to explore a recent report they've produced on the impact of recent and proposed government cuts on family incomes and poverty. I have to say that some of the figures are shockingly bad.

  • Article: Nov 15, 2017

    On the face of it, this seems like a major concession. But the reality is it simply isn't good enough.

    First of all, David Davis has said that even if Parliament votes down the deal, the UK will still leave the EU. This means MPs are essentially being told to take it or leave it.

    Secondly, the government is agreeing to give MPs a say on the final Brexit deal but not the public.

  • Article: Nov 14, 2017

    The Government's majority is wafer thin - and if MPs from all parties work together, there's a real chance we can defeat them and at the very least, stop them from pursuing a hard Brexit.

    That's why we're asking you to contact your MP and ask them to support four amendments (you can find out more about the amendments below).

  • Sal Brinton
    Article: Nov 13, 2017
    By Sal Brinton in Liberal Democrat Voice

    The Federal Board of the Liberal Democrats has met to discuss the concerns expressed by members of the party over the last few days. We considered what action should be taken to address these concerns, and also to let members know about changes that are in progress already.

    I want to start by thanking everybody who has spoken up about harassment and sexual assault over the last few days. I know, from personal experience in the media when I was younger, that it is insidious, pervasive and demeaning and the effects never really leave you. Vince Cable and I remain very clear that there is no place for harassment and sexual assault inside the Liberal Democrats and we must have a zero tolerance approach to it.

  • Article: Nov 8, 2017

    Talking about periods apparently is still taboo. In fact we have had to wait until this month, in 2017 for the first ad ever in the UK to show a hand pouring a test-tube of blood-coloured liquid onto a sanitary towel, in lieu of the standard sterile-blue.

    The advert, which forms part of a new campaign called 'Blood Normal', attempts to get rid of the embarrassment around the 'Aunt Flo' after a recent survey found that nine out of ten women attempt to hide the fact they are on their period, and 56% of girls said they would rather be bullied at school than talk to their parents about periods.

  • Article: Nov 7, 2017

    The Liberal Democrats have agreed to cross party proposals which will see an independent grievance process, improved HR support, and the establishment of a cross-party working group to implement these changes.

    Following the meeting Vince Cable, Leader of the Liberal Democrats said:

    "These are the right first cross-party steps to address harassment and abuse in Westminster. There needs to be a robust, independent complaints system across Parliament that offers victims a safe, non-partisan procedure."

  • Tom Brake (By Chris McAndrew - https://api20170418155059.azure-api.net/photo/bhDYT87s.jpeg?crop=CU_1:1&quality=80&download=trueGallery: https://beta.parliament.uk/media/bhDYT87s, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=61321850)
    Article: Nov 6, 2017
    By Tom Brake in Liberal Democrat Voice

    When people voted in the EU referendum last year, nobody really knew what a future deal with the European Union might look like.

    16 months on it is now clearer than ever that no deal will be anywhere near as good a deal as the one we have now. To top that off, a catastrophic "no deal" scenario is becoming likelier than ever.

  • Vince Cable (Chris McAndrew [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)
    Article: Oct 31, 2017
    By The Voice in Liberal Democrat Voice

    Vince Cable has backed Theresa May's calls for new grievance procedures in Parliament following allegations of sexual harassment of staff by MPs.

    The Prime Minister set out proposed reforms in a letter to Commons Speaker John Bercow, copying in the other party leaders.

    Liberal Democrat Leader Vince Cable said:

  • Article: Oct 28, 2017

    New research by the LSE's Centre for Economic Performance and the Liberal Democrats has revealed just how damaging a no deal Brexit will be to our City.

    A no deal Brexit will mean an economic hit of £1.96 billion to over the first five years after we fall out of the EU.

    David Davis and other members of the cabinet have recently been talking up a no deal Brexit, but this data shows that the country simply couldn't afford it.

    If the UK exits the EU in March 2019 without a deal, Britain's economic output (gross value added) in the five years after Brexit would be reduced by 5.3%, or £430 billion.

    Even if the UK agreed to a Norway style arrangement with full single market access, this would still result in a reduction to five-year economic output of 2.9%, or £235 billion.

    Local LibDem Parliamentary Candidate Carrie Hynds said:

    "These figures are a real indictment of the government's strategy. David Davis is still talking up the possibility of a no-deal Brexit, yet these figures suggest that would cost Brighton and Hove a ruinous £1.96 billion over five years. Even a relatively soft Brexit could cost the City over £1 billion in lost economic activity.

    "The government must rule out a no-deal to end the uncertainty and confirm its commitment to stay in the single market and customs union.

  • Sir Vince Cable
    Article: Oct 26, 2017
    By Tom Burgess in Liberal Democrat Voice

    Our nation is at a crossroads, if we take the wrong path we could fall off the cliff. Britain lacks strong leadership, there is no clear vision and there is certainly no plan. Our country is confused, our people are perplexed and our neighbours think we are crazy.

    And above all our governments have consistently neglected the prosperity of our people, the millions who everyday are struggling with unnecessary financial hardship; Promises have been made but there has been no follow through. We have been sold austerity as inevitable when prosperity is possible.

  • Article: Oct 22, 2017
    By Paul Chandler, 2017 election agent for Brighton and Hove LibDems.

    There was recently an interesting article in the Financial Times based around an Ipsos Mori opinion poll on why people voted the way they did in the EU Referendum. The poll took the temperature among 4,000 voters.

    They have discerned six types of voter in the EU Referendum. Here they are with the percentage of the electorate they represent:

  • Article: Oct 21, 2017

    "The Prime Minister cannot say one thing in Brussels and another in Britain. She needs to face down the right-wing Brexiteers in her party in order to guarantee the talks actually move forward. Above all she still needs to protect citizens' rights to ensure they are not a casualty of a no-deal Brexit, and the European Union must also do more to make this happen.

  • Article: Oct 18, 2017

    Rising food prices made a large contribution to the change, with an increase of 0.8% between August and September 2017, compared to a 0.4% fall last year.

    It comes as analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies has found the benefits freeze is expected to leave over 10 million families an average of £450 a year worse off in real terms by 2020.