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.
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.
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.
Article: May 3, 2020By 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.
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.
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.
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.
Article: Mar 18, 2020By 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 for the forseeable future, as we feel this is the correct decision under the circumstances. We are instead meeting online and will be in touch with our members and supporters via email to invite you to upcoming events.
Article: Dec 11, 2019By 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.
Article: Dec 11, 2019By 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.
Article: Oct 16, 2019By 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.
Article: Sep 18, 2019
Liberal Democrats have passed the "Music Venues" policy motion at Autumn Conference in Bournemouth.
The new policy, which was introduced by our very own Beatrice Bass, Parliamentary candidate for Hove and Portslade, will protect music venues from closures through legislative changes, listing them as Assets of Community Value and providing more funding. The Liberal Democrats will be collaborating with existing organisations such as UK Music, the Music Venue Trust and the Arts Council.
Commenting on this commitment, Liberal Democrat Shadow Culture Secretary Layla Moran said:
"Liberal Democrats are committed to supporting the creative industries. This is good news for all local areas that have a thriving music scene.
"Too many venues have been shut down over the years and we know how vital grassroots venues are in nurturing local talent. We will do anything we can to protect existing venues.
"We will ask local authorities to implement the Agent of Change principle in local planning law, so that landlords and developers have to provide soundproofing to keep developments next to existing venues noise free."
Beatrice Bass, who submitted the motion to Conference on Monday morning, added:
"I am absolutely delighted that Lib Dem members passed my policy motion to save our music venues. As a former professional musician I am deeply concerned that over 35% of music venues have been closed in the UK in the last decade.
"This policy will ensure that existing venues are protected so that young up-and-coming artists have the space and opportunity to develop into the Coldplays, Muses or Adeles of tomorrow. It demonstrates the Lib Dems' commitment to support the creative industries and our diverse music scene in the UK."
Article: May 31, 2019
So write our local members in the Evening Argus this week.
Rob Heale wrote:
The statistics tell the story... the Lib Dems tripled their share of the vote and number of seats here in the South East Region in the European elections. In Brighton & Hove, they secured an excellent 22.2% of the vote and are the second party in the City, probably for the first time in a century. People can now vote for a progressive, forward-thinking party in the knowledge that their vote really does count.
Article: May 29, 2019
The Liberal Democrats have secured the best ever European Election result in the party's history, returning 16 MEPs nationally and taking second place in vote share.
Lib Dems and Greens both beat the Brexit Party in Brighton and Hove and Labour came 4th.
Local election agent Paul Chandler said: "Many thanks to all in the city who voted Lib Dem today. We realise that for some people this is the first time they have voted Lib Dem. Please, don't make it the last!"
In the South East Region we have returned 3 MEPs on 26% of the vote, finishing in second place. We secured 8% in 2014 and our previous best result was 15.3%.
Article: May 10, 2019
We have a chance on May 23rd to send a very loud message to Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn.
They're trying to cobble together a deal to get Brexit over the line and we need to tell them that the "will of the people" has changed. A recent YouGov poll showed 61% of people would vote to remain versus May's deal - there is no longer a majority in the country for Brexit!
Article: Apr 30, 2019On Thursday 2nd May we will have 26 council candidates standing across Brighton & Hove.Vote for the Liberal Democrats for 1,500 new homes, improvements to local mental health services and cleaner air in our city. Vote for the Liberal Democrats to support trans rights, our city's vibrant music venues and more cycle lanes. Vote for the Liberal Democrats to stop Brexit, celebrate freedom of movement and embrace diversity.
Article: Apr 19, 2019By Vince Cable
The Liberal Democrats will fight these elections as an unapologetically pro-European Party campaigning hard for People's Vote with an option to remain in the the EU.
We will fight these elections on a clear message: a Liberal Democrat vote is a vote to stop Brexit.
Across the country, the strength of our membership of 100,000 is being deployed to prepare for both the European elections and for council elections. Please vote for our EU candidates in the South East Region on May 23rd:
Article: Mar 29, 2019
On Wednesday 27th March, Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust held the first hustings ahead of the local elections on 2nd May. Duncan Moore was our council candidate representative for the Liberal Democrats, and there is an excellent write-up of the event by Sarah Booker-Lewis of Brighton & Hove News.
Article: Mar 25, 2019By Duncan Moore
We have launched our local manifesto for the 2019 elections, packed with ideas to make our great city even better - by standing up for affordable housing, supporting Save Our Schools and, of course, opposing Brexit and advocating a People's Vote. Check out the web verison here or click on the image for a shareable, printable version. You can also find out who your local candidate is here (updated regularly).
Article: Feb 25, 2019
Why do people join the Lib Dems? Here's a piece by Duncan Stewart that gives you one new party member's thoughts.
The curse of living in interesting times is surely upon us and the major casualty of the recent completely unnecessary upheaval in our political scene is the virtual disappearance of the political centre ground. We have been forced, and may have been so again by the time you read this, to vote either 'in' or 'out' at the referendum when 'don't know' would have been a reasonable third option ahead of informed debate.
Article: Jan 6, 2019By Caroline Hynds
A year on from our Lib Dem housing campaign hitting the headlines, it seems a good time to take stock of Brighton & Hove City Council's track record on housing policy through 2018. What's gone well, what's gone badly, and what's the solution?
What's gone well
The year seemed to get off to a promising start, with the Tourism, Development and Culture Committee voting on 11 January 2018 to move to open-book policy. This means that if developers say that meeting affordable housing requirements make a scheme financially unviable, they have to now show their working.
Article: Dec 16, 2018
On Friday afternoon, the Bollocks to Brexit bus pulled up along Brighton seafront. Our local Lib Dem campaigners were there to greet them with flags and banners, and reporters from The Argus turned up to see what all the fuss was about. Read the news report here, with our own Caroline Brown getting her message across extremely well.
Article: Dec 3, 2018CORBYN, PROVE YOU'RE NOT MAY'S LAPDOG!Brighton & Hove Liberal Democrats have written to Jeremy Corbyn urging the opposition leader to do his job and hold the government to account on the EU Withdrawal Bill.During our final EU stall of 2018, we had three brave volunteers handing out window posters on a cold wet evening whilst the rest of the group set up camp indoors to write to the Labour party leader. Beatrice Bass wrote: "Now is the time to show true leadership by trusting the people of the UK. Don't be May's lapdog. Give power to the people with a People's Vote."Parliament is expected to hold its "meaningful vote" on Tuesday 11th December. Brighton & Hove Lib Dems believe that with the Prime Minister struggling to convince the few within her own government, now is the time to stand for the many asking to have the final say.