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Brighton and Hove Liberal Democrats

  • Hilary Ellis - Westbourne Ward Organiser - Brighton and Hove Liberal Democrats
    Article: Mar 18, 2020
    By Hilary Ellis

    The situation regarding the coronavirus is changing daily.

    It is with regret that all Brighton & Hove Lib Dem face-to-face meetings and events have been cancelled until the end of June, as we feel this is the correct decision under the circumstances.

    Latest updates on the situation in Brighton & Hove can be found on the council website. Please take good care of yourselves and your families. If you are in the position to check in with elderly or vulnerable neighbours who may need some help with shopping, dog walking, collecting prescriptions, or if you can make a friendly phone call, please consider doing so.

  • Ben Thomas and Ed Davey
    Article: Jul 8, 2020
    By Greg Foster

    1. You'll get to vote for our new leader

    Until midnight on Thursday (9th July), if you join the Liberal Democrats you'll get a vote in our upcoming leadership election.

    This leadership election will decide our strategy, our messaging, and ultimately our chances of winning. The leader you choose will shape our movement for years to come. You won't want to miss out.

  • Join the Liberal Democrats today (Liberal Democrats)
    Article: Jul 6, 2020
    By Caroline Hynds

    Back in 2015, I joined the Liberal Democrats at a time when they had been trounced in the general election and were choosing their next party leader. I had never joined a political party before, and quite frankly I didn't even realise I cared about there being a liberal voice in UK politics - until it became clear that the Lib Dems' continued existence wasn't a given. Faced with the very real possibility that there would be no Lib Dem candidate to vote for in the next election because the party would no longer exist, I signed up and voted for my preferred leadership candidate.

  • London Pride 2015 - Liz Barker, Lynne Featherstone, Caroline Pidgeon and Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett
    Article: Jun 25, 2020

    Lockdown may mean that we can't march this Pride, but at London Lib Dems we're still determined to celebrate and get together for #PrideInside.

    On Saturday 27 June - the day that would have been the day of London Pride - please join us for our very own Pride Inside - open to Lib Dem members across the country.

  • Layla Moran
    Article: Jun 15, 2020

    Brighton and Hove Lib Dems welcome the announcement that the council has now amended its advice to schools to enable them to gradually open to students once again from today. In conjunction with the Lib Dems 5-point plan to reopen schools safely and fairly, Ben Thomas, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary spokesperson for Brighton Kemptown, encouraged the council to work constructively and collaboratively with the government and other parties to support schools in this endeavour.

  • Lib Dem spokesperson for Brighton Kemptown, Ben Thomas ()
    Article: Jun 14, 2020

    Ben Thomas, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Brighton Kemptown, was among the protesters marching in Brighton yesterday. He said:

    "It was inspiring to be amongst thousands of people marching in solidarity of Black Lives Matter in Brighton yesterday. Listening to the various speakers was truly moving and we have to make sure we seize upon this moment to deliver real, lasting change.

  • Pepe and Ed
    Article: Jun 14, 2020

    Responding to reports that the Government will ban conversion therapy, but has dropped plans to simplify the gender recognition process, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Hove & Portslade Beatrice Bass, said:

    "It is outrageous that the government is rowing back on their previous commitments to reform the Gender Recognition Act, in Pride Month of all months.

  • EU Flag
    Article: Jun 12, 2020

    Responding to reports the UK Government will tell the EU on Friday it is not going to seek an extension to the Brexit transition period, Brighton & Hove Lib Dems member Caroline Brown, who last month joined with Grassroots for Europe to write to Hilary Benn as chair of the Brexit Committee in the wake of Michael Gove's appearance before them, said:

  • Article: Jun 10, 2020

    Brighton & Hove Lib Dems have written a joint letter in conjunction with Grassroots to Europe, as follows:

    LETTER TO RT. HON. HILARY BENN, MP, CHAIR

    COMMITTEE ON THE FUTURE RELATIONSHIP WITH THE EUROPEAN UNION

    Dear Mr Benn

    GOVERNMENT'S NEGOTIATIONS WITH EUROPEAN UNION DURING TRANSITION PERIOD

    The Government's response of 23rd April 2020 to a petition, "Extend the transition; delay the negotiations until after the coronavirus outbreak", included an exchange of letters between you and Mr Gove after he had appeared before your select committee. We appreciate the hard work on this incredibly complex issue that you and your committee have undertaken and we should be grateful if you would kindly follow up on our behalf some of the points raised in that correspondence.

  • Black lives matter
    Article: Jun 1, 2020

    In the week since the death of George Floyd in the United States, the grief and anger of black communities in the US and closer to home has been clear.

    The Liberal Democrats extend our solidarity to the Black Lives Matter movement.

    Protests against the killing of black people by police have erupted everywhere from Floyd's home state of Minneapolis, USA, to the UK, Japan, and New Zealand. The world knows George Floyd's name, and his death has fuelled a movement to end police violence against black people.

  • Article: May 7, 2020
    By Liberal Democrats

    The Coronavirus crisis has left millions of families facing financial hardship, with unemployment rocketing up.Without the Jobs Retention Scheme, it would have been worse.

    That has enabled around 6 million employees to be "furloughed", staying at home, safely, with most of their wages paid by the Government.

    But the Government is now talking about ending the scheme. With the scheme due to end on 30th June, many businesses are set to start consulting on mass redundancies next week.

    And the Chancellor has yet to say what will happen next.

    If this support is stripped away overnight, millions more could become unemployed.

    That is why - working with businesses - Liberal Democrats have created a new plan to protect employees, their families and the businesses they work for.

    Our plan includes keeping some furlough payments as lockdown is eased so businesses can recover. The shadow of the lockdown will be long, and the 'new normal' will be challenging for businesses.

    The Liberal Democrat Job Protection Scheme will help businesses to rebuild, stop job losses and stop unnecessary damage to our communities.

    The plan includes:

    1. A "Safe to Return to Work Scheme" providing new wage subsidy for all employees coming off furlough, with:

    50% of salary paid during the first month in work, after furlough.

    40% of salary paid during the second month in work, after furlough.

    30% of salary paid during the third month in work, after furlough.

    The current £2,500 cap under the Job Retention Scheme would be reduced in line with these percentages.

    The scheme would begin from 1st July, or if lockdown ends later, as soon as it has been eased.

    If a company commits to employing the staff member for at least 6 months, this new 3 month wage subsidy could be paid upfront, to ease cashflow further.

  • Article: May 3, 2020
    By Andrew England

    Why are vital planning decisions being taken without proper scrutiny?

    A controversial planning application to build 148 new flats in three blocks up to 11 storeys high in Newtown Road, Hove, has been narrowly agreed by the council's Planning Committee virtual meeting. This scheme had just 22 per cent affordable housing and 54 per cent are one-bedroom flats. This follows the recent approval of 824 flats in the Moda scheme, in Sackville Road, Hove. The non-retirement element of the scheme includes just 10 per cent affordable housing and 45 per cent studio or one-bedroom flats.

    Liberal Democrats acknowledge the urgent need for more housing in Brighton. In particular, we need far more three-bedroom family homes than we are currently building. We need these to be at affordable prices, rather than continuing to build more and more one-bedroom flats at high rents. The council's own Objectively Assessed Need report from 2015, which is used as a reference to measure planning applications against, outlines the optimal housing mix required yet seems to be consistently ignored. Why is this?

    In the same area near Hove Station the New Wave scheme consisting of 65 flats has already been built, and the 200 flats at Hove Gardens development, south of the railway line, are soon to follow. In the Davigdor Road area the Artisan Flats development has been built. Approvals have been given for adjacent sites at 113-119 Davigdor Road and to build four new blocks at Lyon Close. Applications in course include one for a major development on the corner of Palmeira Avenue and Cromwell Road and another one to extend the overbearing P&H Building in Davigdor Road.

    Each of these plans have their merits and faults in isolation but who is looking at the cumulative effect of so much development in such a small area? Does the council really want to meet so much of the city housing target by building in Goldsmid ward?

    We are concerned that the objections of the Goldsmid Labour and Green councillors regarding over-development, affordability, housing mix, traffic gridlock and infrastructure are being ignored. Other councillors, representing wards not affected by these schemes, squeeze them through.

    Dubious decisions about the future development of our city are being taken in a hurry by exceedingly small margins. Can it be right that a slim majority of councillors can agree decisions that will cumulatively have a materially adverse impact on the local living environment for many years to come? The pressing need for more housing does not justify poor decision making.

    It is time for a fundamental look at the planning process in our city.

  • Beatrice Bass on stage
    Article: Apr 23, 2020

    Lib Dems celebrate success as Brighton & Hove planning law to be amended to protect music venues

    Brighton & Hove Lib Dems are delighted to note that council's proposed submission for the City Plan Part 2 has been updated to include provisions for the full adoption of the Agent of Change Principle, following a campaign led by former parliamentary candidate and now Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Hove & Portslade, Beatrice Bass.

  • Pepe and Ed
    Article: Apr 21, 2020

    Brighton and Hove Lib Dems welcome the publication of the council's Proposed Submission for the City Plan Part 2, focusing on new housing developments across the city up to 2030.

    We are delighted to hear the council talking of the need to deliver more genuinely affordable housing across the city, however we also note with frustration that the City Plan Part 1, adopted in 2016, committed to targeting 40% of affordable housing provisions in developments of over 15 dwellings and on this front they have consistently fallen a long, long way short. We urge the council to be more robust in their negotiations with developers, ensuring adequate provisions are consistently included.

  • Article: Apr 21, 2020

    Brighton & Hove Lib Dems welcome the publication of the council's Proposed Submission for the City Plan Part 2, to follow on from the adoption of the City Plan Part 1 in March 2016. All parties in Brighton & Hove are in total agreement that we have a significant housing shortage - in particular of affordable housing - in the city, which we need to take prompt action to address. However, we do have some concerns with approach and results the council has been achieving on housing which we believe must be addressed going forward.

  • Layla Moran
    Article: Apr 18, 2020

    The Liberal Democrats are calling for new measures to improve monitoring of coronavirus in BAME communities and to ensure scrutiny of the Government's recently announced review of the disproportionate impact of coronavirus on BAME groups.

    Citing the need for "swift and decisive action" which "will save lives" Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran, the first MP of Palestinian descent, and Munira Wilson, the party's Health spokesperson, are calling for immediate steps to tackle this pressing issue. In a letter to the Health Secretary and Equalities Minister they call for the Government to:

  • Ed Davey
    Article: Apr 15, 2020

    Responding to news that the UK Government is not seeking an extension to the Brexit transition period Ed Davey, Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats, said:

    "Right now, in their own words, the Government are 'straining every sinew' to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, and yet Ministers are still struggling to deliver on their promises on testing and protective equipment.

    "To press ahead with Brexit on the previous timetable - already recklessly fast - is just irresponsible and shows a fundamental disregard for the UK's national interest.

    "The Government must stop putting ideology before all else - including lives - and start working pragmatically with our European neighbours, some of whom the Government could clearly learn lessons from.

    "Surely even hardline Brexiteers want the negotiation process to succeed and to give it the attention it needs - and that just isn't possible during this dangerous and damaging pandemic."

  • Ben Thomas takes on Lloyd Russel Moyle Roedean hustings GE19 (Paul Chandler)
    Article: Apr 15, 2020

    Brighton & Hove Lib Dems are appalled by the reports of Brighton Kemptown MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle being alleged to have shared a link to an unredacted leaked report that is said to divulge confidential details of complainants of antisemitism, including those of minors. Russell-Moyle is also a signatory to a call from the Socialist Campaigns Group for the report to be released in full by the Labour Party.

  • Sir Ed Davey (UK Lib Dems)
    Article: Apr 14, 2020

    Following reports that the government is still collecting VAT on personal protective equipment for care homes, Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

    "VAT on PPE should be the same for care homes as for the NHS. Care homes look after some of our society's most vulnerable people and with the pressure of the coronavirus on care homes, the very least Ministers should do is to relieve them of this burden.

    "Throughout this crisis the Liberal Democrats have been clear that staff in the care sector are just as desperate for adequate personal protective equipment as NHS staff.

    "It cannot be right that the Government profits from care homes desperate to protect their staff and those who they look after, let alone leaving some wondering whether they can afford to continue.

    "There are too many workers on the front line looking after seriously ill people without proper protective equipment. Not removing VAT on PPE for care home staff now would be a huge mistake, adding to the government's failure to overhaul its approach to PPE given the crisis our frontline workers are facing."

  • NHS Cuts
    Article: Apr 13, 2020

    Responding to today's government press conference in which it was reported that 13.5% of care homes have had an outbreak of coronavirus, with 92 care homes declaring an outbreak in the past 24 hours alone, Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson Munira Wilson MP said:

    "Care homes provide a home for some of the most elderly and vulnerable people right across our country. Statistics showing that 13.5% of care homes have faced an outbreak of coronavirus are therefore incredibly worrying.

    "The Liberal Democrats have long been calling for the staff at care homes, along with NHS staff and social care workers, to be provided with adequate personal protective equipment as well as tests to diagnose if they have the virus.

    "These frontline workers are caring for the most vulnerable in our society. It's vital the government acts quickly before we see even more care homes fall into crisis.

    "With so many healthcare workers on the front line working without proper PPE or testing, these outbreaks may appear inevitable. The government needs to act and fast - to protect frontline staff as well as the most vulnerable in our society who they care for."

  • Coronavirus Mental Health
    Article: Apr 7, 2020
    By Liberal Democrats

    Social distancing means millions are now home alone, facing the prospect of only the most minimal contact with another soul for months. This isolation is likely to have a grave impact on their mental health.

    Millions more, without being completely isolated, will still be struggling with the rapid changes the coronavirus has wrought upon our way of life. People's anxiety will be further fueled by concern for the health of loved ones, or stress resulting from the impact of the pandemic on jobs and livelihoods.

  • Munira Wilson
    Article: Mar 10, 2020
    By Munira Wilson

    Making access to support services a right for victims of sexual violence and abuse a right was one of the recommendations of the 2018 APPG on Sexual Violence.

    Yet two years on, and throughout the UK survivors are still being told that they have to be added to shamefully long waiting lists, or that waiting lists are closed. The situation is abhorrent.

  • Hove canvassing GE 2019
    Article: Dec 11, 2019
    By Beatrice Bass

    The choice on the Brexit menu tomorrow is "Let's Get Brexit done" with Boris Johnson, "maybe Brexit, maybe not, for the many not the few, I just need to figure out which is which" with Jeremy Corbyn or "Stop Brexit and build a Brighter Future" with the Liberal Democrats. All three main parties have distinct messages (or at least a distinct lack thereof), which should make voting at this election a very straight forward exercise. However, campaign experience shows that for the average voter absolutely nothing is clear.

  • tech meme GE 2019
    Article: Dec 11, 2019
    By Beatrice Bass

    For three years, Brexit has been dominating the political agenda wasting a disproportionate amount of time, effort and resources. Meanwhile, our NHS and schools are struggling due to chronic underfunding, our economy is flagging with minimal growth and the climate emergency is left to be tackled by school children.

  • Brighton and Hove Lib Dems at Brighton Pride
    Article: Dec 11, 2019
    By Beatrice Bass

    As a Liberal Democrat I feel strongly about equality, diversity and inclusiveness and am proud that my party has a long tradition for fighting for these values and associated rights. By way of example, the Liberal Democrats abolished the horrible section 28 and we introduced equal marriage. We have still a long way to go to achieve equality and it saddens me to see discrimination and prejudice against transgender people.

  • Save Our Music Venues poster
    Article: Oct 16, 2019
    By Brighton & Hove Liberal Democrats

    In Brighton and Hove many music venues have shut in the last decade, including the Freebutt, Pressure Point, Blind Tiger Club and Sticky Mike's Frog Bar. These grassroots venues were vital in giving bands such as Blood Red Shoes, the Kooks and British Sea Power early opportunities to tour, as well as sustaining our city's vibrant music scene. Beatrice Bass, our Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate for Hove and Portslade, used to be a professional musician who started out at local venues before moving onto international tours. She wants to save our music venues and help keep Brighton and Hove a destination for live music.

    The Agent of Change principle in planning law puts an obligation on developers building near live music venues to soundproof new developments, protecting music venues from being shut down from noise complaints ‒ as happened with the Freebutt and Blind Tiger Club. This also applies to other public venues, like pubs or clubs. Thanks to previous campaigns the Agent of Change principle has been added to the National Planning Policy Framework. However many local councils, including Brighton and Hove, haven't fully adopted this and are leaving grassroots venues in danger.