Tory’s plan to reduce Democracy – ‘Devolution’ White Paper proposes a reduction in representation

Tory’s plan to reduce Democracy – ‘Devolution’ White Paper proposes a reduction in representation.  The Leicestershire Unitary proposal would:

  1. Abolish the County elections of May 2021
  2. Abolish all District and Borough Councils
  3. Elect massive and remote County wide Unitary Authorities of up to a million people in May 2023.

Liberal Democrats believe that these proposals are fundamentally wrong in every respect. They would mean that all the Councils involved would spend the next two and a half years arguing over and concentrating on, the expensive business of large-scale closure, merger, defining and reapplying for jobs, redundancy and closing down sites. This is the last thing we need when tackling COVID-19 and its economic fall-out should be the number one priority.

The UK already has the lowest ratio of Councils and Cllrs per head of population of any Western European country. Abolishing all District and Borough Councils would make this democratic deficit even worse. Far from representing ‘Devolution’ these plans represent a huge centralising of roles and local responsibilities. District and Borough Councils are rooted in and represent the interests of their local communities in a way which large (in population and geographic area) Unitary Authorities cannot remotely do. Most recently this has been clearly shown during the Covid outbreak when the flexible, local knowledge and expertise of District and Borough Councils has provided the cutting edge of distributing local business support grants, delivering food parcels to the local Shielded population, advising their local retail businesses on social distancing strategies and much else.

Unitary Authorities in compact, geographically small areas with a clear community identity make good sense, as seen in our Cities and in a very small County like Rutland. Huge Unitary Authorities of up to a million people spread across a wide geographic area do not. Smaller Unitary Authorities that reflect actual communities work well across Europe and the USA but the UK Government has so far ruled this out. The financial problems of Local Government have been caused because the Government has cut 40% of their funding. The massive problems of Adult Social Care are a result of successive Governments failing to deal with the problem. The increasing expense and complexity of parts of Local Government is due to the Governments imposition of new and costly tiers, with Police and Crime Commissioners and Directly Elected Mayors.

We call upon the Government to reverse the cuts to the funding of Local Government, withdraw their so- called Devolution plans and consult on an effective form of community based Local Government. Devolution should mean moving power downwards not moving it up to large and remote bodies.


Save the old Western Park Golf course - Sign the petition

The Old Western golf course Is under threat of development by Leicester City Council. The proposal includes housing, industrial units and traveller pitches. The old golf course is a fantastic green space of around 129 acres of grassland, ponds and even ancient trees and host to all sorts of wildlife including badgers, buzzards, lots of other birds and even great created newts.

Tree

It is well used by city and county residents for walking, cycling, jogging, dog walking, as well as footpaths through to local areas and for children to play. During the pandemic footfall has increased and this are has been a great asset for the local communities to use and enjoy the fresh air and wildlife on the edge of the city without having to drive out to the countryside.  Many of whom have said it has helped their mental well-being during the lockdown period to be able to get out into open green space.

We want to try and save this green space and protect it for all the communities to enjoy and generations to come. Please help us to do this by signing the petition and objecting at www.consultations.leicester.gov.uk/


No-deal Brexit + Covid-19 = Economic Horror for UK?

For more than two years I have been trying to find reliable answers to various questions about the actions and decisions of our government. I have tried to get answers from my MP without success. I am not sure if that is because he cannot or will not respond. Therefore I have had done my own research using academic sources and reputable parts of the media. In particular I have researched the following question:
What is the probable damage to the UK economy by a combination of the Covid-19 pandemic and a No deal Brexit?

The results of my research are as follows.

  • The government has produced no public estimates for future economic output this year and the next planned Budget has been cancelled. The government forecast in 2018 that the GDP would fall by 7.6% after a no deal Brexit (or £2,400 per person). Perhaps the lack of an update is because the government has seen a draft update and is frightened of the reaction if it publishes an even greater loss.
  • The Bank of England has forecast that Covid-19 will reduce the GDP by 1.7% (or £600 per person) up to 2022. The likely effects of a no deal Brexit as predicted and published by reliable sources can be summarised as follows:
    • The economic cost of a no-deal Brexit could be several times as bad as the impact of Covid-19 and it would last for many years. It could significantly reduce the UK economic output for more than 20 years. The long term damages are because of delays at ports, restrictions on travel and tourism, the loss of clients and skilled staff, and curbs on immigration as well as the imposition of tariffs.
    • The combined long term effect on GDP is likely to be nearly 10% (ie. 8% for a no deal Brexit and 1.7% for Covid-19). That would result in millions of people being unemployed
      and a massive drop in living standards especially for the poorer members of society The effect may be even worse if the government breaks international law by implementing certain items in the recent Internal Market Bill. The Prime Minister appears to have signed the EU Withdrawal Agreement without understanding the implications and now wishes to change the
      agreement illegally. Perhaps he lacked competent advisers? More likely he was desperate to keep his promise to “Get Brexit done” regardless of the effect on the UK s reputation and citizens in Northern Ireland Now he is desperately trying to avoid upsetting Tory Brexiteers, the Republic of Ireland and the legislators in the USA. As a result, he is destroying the international reputation of the UK giving a terrible example to law abiding people in the U K and jeopardising peace in Northern Ireland.
  • The economic damage could have been limited, and pandemic management improved if the Brexit transition period had been extended so that more resources could have been used to handle the pandemic.
  • Source Information from:
    -Imperial College
    -The Economist
    -BBC
    -London School of Economics
    -The Guardian

Breaking International Law


The Internal markets Bill breaches an International Treaty and puts the Good Friday agreement in jeopardy. Many MPs and ministers interviewed recently seem unconcerned about the serious implications if this Government elects to break International Law. This is astonishing and worrying. This action would not only reduce trust in the UK and any of its negotiations for years to come, but would undermine respect for the Law by many citizens in the UK, at a time when compliance with the law is crucial to taking control of Covid-19. The bill could also pave the way for more conflict in northern Ireland as a hard border between the North and the South would need to be established.

The United Kingdom Internal Market Bill  has passed through its second stage in The  House of Commons recently, and the Committee stage is now being considered. In the light of a likely defeat associated with this particular issue in the Commons, the Government have made a deal with Conservative backbenchers to propose an amendment to the bill so that implementation of this particular legislation would require approval of Parliament.  The proposed law has been slammed by five former Prime Ministers and several government legal staff have resigned. Considerable opposition is expected when the bill goes to the Lords. The Loughborough and Charnwood Liberal Democrats oppose this legislation and call on all law abiding parliamentarians to oppose it. 


All-Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus

A new all-party parliamentary group has been set up with regards to the current coronavirus pandemic.

This has been set up to ensure that lessons are learned from the UK's handling of the coronavirus outbreak so that the UK's response and preparedness may be improved in future.

This cross-party group has Layla Moran MP as the Chair, March for Change as the group's secretariat and Clive Lewis MP as Vice-Chair. It will be taking evidence immediately. It is calling for evidence to be submitted to inform its recommendations to the UK Government If you have any relevant information the Group will be pleased to hear from you. It will hold meetings throughout the summer, regularly make evidence publicly available, and produce a summary report by the end of summer. You can find further details at https://appgcoronavirus.marchforchange.uk


John Storer House Food Bank

We have now made a total of £565 in donations to the Food Bank at John Storer House.

This includes money from local party funds and the balance collected from members either directly or via the wine tasting fund raiser. A huge thank you to everyone who has helped raise this magnificent sum. We thought it was something to shout about so look out for a press release coming out in the Loughborough Echo.


Welcome!

Welcome, members and visitors new and old, to the new Loughborough and Charnwood Liberal Democrats website.

As the times are changing so are the demands of the political landscape, hence a website upgrade is needed. We have a new host and new address but the same friendly team behind it! This has been a key goal of mine, to heavily improve and modernise the website, since I became the Party's Web Admin and I am incredibly proud of the steps we have been able to take, all thanks to the work of our various teams as well as the incredible donations made by our members and supporters to us.

As things start to return to normal I hope for this to become a centre of local news, issues and ways of helping people, written by myself, our team and our members. With this new update comes new campaigns as well. We currently have an 'I am a Lib Dem' campaign running over on our Instagram (@lborolibdems), on our Facebook (@LoughboroughCharnwoodLibDems) and on our Twitter (@lborolibdems), showing the reasons our team and members are with us and believe in our party being the future of our country. We welcome any submissions for the 'I am a Lib Dem' campaign as well as any articles for the website. Submit by emailing us at info@lclibdems.org.uk with a quote and picture for the 'I am a Lib Dem' campaign or an article for the website


Food Banks

As the coronavirus crisis continues, people are understandably becoming increasingly worried.

This is likely to be a tough and frightening time for many people. It is vital we all take this incredibly seriously, follow the advice being given, and pull together as a country and a community in this difficult period. As a local party we are taking the time to compile a selection of groups within our respective wards and constituencies which you are able will be able to volunteer in or seek help from.

Nextdoor

Nextdoor is a site and app that allows you to connect within your community and has seen surges in volunteers in the recent weeks.

https://nextdoor.co.uk/

Barrow Upon Soar

https://www.facebook.com/BarrowBaptist

Birstall

Birstall Catholic Church - Tuesday 10-11.30 (book by Sunday) - 07305093791

Loughborough

https://johnstorercharnwood.org.uk or 01509 631750 - Loughborough area home delivery service available

Mountsorrel

Mountsorrel Baptist Church - Tuesday 10-11.15 (book by Sunday afternoon) - 07395956777

Rothley

Rothley Baptist Church - Monday 11-12.45 - 07743765958

Syston

Wahm Essentials Collection Point - 07538416577 or https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Charity-Organization/Wamh-essentials-collection-point-103299697976594/

Hollis and Gamble Butchers (still open for business) - order via phone on 01162603300 or visit the shop

Scott and Cathy's Fruit and Veg Shop (still open for business) - order via phone on 07543976860 or visit the shop


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