PRESS RELEASE – LIB DEMS BACK CALL FOR VOTES AT AGE 16!

We need to stop denying our young people their rights

Local Lib Dem Focus Team campaigner Bob Sullivan says:

I regularly meet lots of the young people in Waltham Forest. They’re passionate about such a wide range of issues – from the cost of local buses and their education, to climate change and international affairs.

The time has now come to give 16 and 17-year-olds a say on the issues that affect their lives.

We often hear people say they don’t understand politics. But this can’t be said of the younger generation, who are the first to receive a proper education in citizenship and democracy.

They understand what’s at stake. We’re teaching them how to be a full and active citizen but not letting them take part.

Most of us are quite happy to allow a 16 year old to serve us in a shop or to help protect us in the Army. We allow them to get married, have sex, pay taxes and drive cars.

Yet we are stopping them from having a say in how their taxes are spent or what direction our country goes in. Imagine how frustrated and angry you’d be if you were denied the same rights.

In the next two years we are going to decide whether Britain stays or leaves in the EU. This decision matters – it matters to our jobs and prosperity, and its impact will be felt for decades.

It would be so wrong to prevent the 6,021 young people in Waltham Forest whose future we are talking about from having a say in this decision.

Last year, 16 and 17 year olds were allowed for the first time to vote in the Scottish Independence Referendum. Three-quarters of them did.

This proves young people can and will engage when given the opportunity. That’s why I am pleased Liberal Democrat MPs voted to amend the bill on the EU referendum to give 16 and 17 year olds the vote.

Liberal Democrats have actively supported changing the law on this issue for over ten years. Now there is growing support throughout Parliament and the Conservative Government must listen to us and stop denying young people a voice. 

You can show your support by signing the online petition at: http://change.libdems.org.uk/votes-for-16-year-olds

PRESS RELEASE: MEMBERSHIP SURGE – JOIN TODAY

More than 10,000 new members since polling day

Since polls closed last Thursday, more than 10,000 new members have joined the Liberal Democrats.

The surge continues as Liberal Democrats across the country have been fighting back and making the case for liberal values of freedom, liberty and change.

key_10000-members.jpg

We’re recruiting people who have never joined a party in the past but want to stand together against the things this Conservative government is already promising to do.

Liberal Democrat President Baroness Sal Brinton said:

Something quite extraordinary is happening across the country and our party membership has never grown faster. Events are taking place all over the country and we are delighted so many new people are joining the liberal fight back. 

People were devastated by the results last week, but rather than sit back and lick their wounds, people have been invigorated and inspired.

They are coming together to rebuild a strong, Liberal Democrat party, showing that the politics of hope and tolerance can thrive in the face of the politics of grievance and fear.

To join this growing party, or for more information, please contact:

John Howard – leytonstonelibdems@yahoo.co.uk

or online at:

http://www.libdems.org.uk/fightback?splash=1

NEWSFLASH – 31 May

The number of new members joining the Liberal Democrats since the General Election has now reached 14,928

POLLING DAY – A MOST IMPORTANT DECISION!

Voters face the biggest political decision of their lives

On the penultimate day of the election campaign, Nick Clegg said “you face the biggest political decision of your life”.

With the polls neck-and-neck and no party likely to hold a majority in parliament, voters face the prospect of a new government lurching to the extreme left, the extreme right, or breaking up the country unless they vote Liberal Democrat to anchor Britain to the centre ground.

Nick Clegg said only the Liberal Democrats will provide “stability, unity and decency” after Polling Day, highlighting six ‘red lines’ which must be agreed to as part of any coalition negotiations in the next government. These key policies will benefit millions of people across the country by creating a stronger economy and fairer society with opportunity for everyone.

The Liberal Democrats outlined six ‘red lines’ during the election campaign covering: education, the economy, tax, health, public sector pay and the environment:

  1. Invest an extra £2.5bn in education – benefitting 11.5 million pupils aged 2-19
  2. Invest £8bn a year by 2020 in the NHS – benefitting 53.9 million people in England
  3. £2.7bn of pay rises for public sector workers – benefitting 5.4 million workers
  4. Cut taxes by £400 for working people – benefitting 30 million individuals
  5. Introduce a ‘stability budget’ in the first 50 days – benefitting the entire UK population
  6. Fight climate change and protect nature – benefitting the entire UK population

Nick said:

Tomorrow, you face the biggest political decision of your life. Our economic stability, our decent British values of openness, generosity and tolerance and the unity of our United Kingdom are all at stake.

Without Liberal Democrats to keep the next Government safe, stable and fair, Labour or the Conservatives will be left to run a messy and unstable minority Government, dependent on the SNP on the one hand or UKIP and the DUP on the other.

The Liberal Democrats will give a heart to a Conservative Government and a brain to a Labour one. Every Liberal Democrat MP makes Labour’s reckless borrowing and the Conservatives’ ideological cuts less likely. And every Liberal Democrat MP is a barrier between Nigel Farage and Alex Salmond and the door to 10 Downing Street.

We face a second election before Christmas without the Liberal Democrats in Coalition

Britain faces a second General Election before Christmas without Liberal Democrats to provide stability in coalition, Nick has warned.

The Liberal Democrat leader said it would be impossible for a minority government to pass key legislation without signing off controversial concessions to the nationalists and Nigel Farage.

It means a Labour or Tory-minority would collapse if they failed to offer ‘sweeteners’ to the SNP, UKIP or the DUP – or their own backbenchers rejected these backroom deals.

This makes a second General Election in 2015 election almost inevitable without more Lib Dem MPs in parliament.

The warning comes as party analysis reveals:

  • A minority Labour government would not be able to pass a Queen’s speech without conceding full fiscal autonomy to the SNP.
  • A minority Labour government would not be able to pass a Spending Review if reliant upon SNP “ending austerity” votes, without conceding on their plans to make savings in the first year from departmental budgets and welfare cuts.
  • A minority Conservative government would have to find an additional £1bn for Northern Ireland to buy DUP votes to support a Spending Review.
  • A minority Conservative government would have to slash funding for international aid to buy off UKIP and Right Wing Tories.
  • A minority Conservative government would not be able to pass a Queen’s Speech without conceding to UKIP’s demands to hold an EU referendum this year – undermining Cameron’s claims he wants to stay in Europe after negotiating a new settlement.
  • A minority Labour government would not be able to pass key budgetary votes as the SNP have stated they will vote against estimates if they include the cost of Trident.

Nick said:

The last thing Britain needs is a second election before Christmas. But that is exactly what will happen if Ed Miliband and David Cameron put their own political interest ahead of the national interest.

The only party that will ensure stability is the Liberal Democrats.

THE GENERAL ELECTION – WHAT THE PAPERS SAY!

National Press recognises that the Liberal Democrats, in the Coalition Government, has been a good successful moderating influence.

Local campaigner Bob Sullivan writes:

There are only two days to go.

Having been in finance for all of my working life it amazes me to hear the Labour Party and other parties trying to make out that the only way to get out of debt is to borrow more, and for the Tories way out of debt is to cut benefits for the poor and disabled but not ask for a penny from the rich.

The only sensible party is the Lib Dems – I hear you saying ‘He would say that’.  Having seen the debates and the media coverage the Lib Dems would stop the Tories taking from the poor and Labour spending again money we do not have. But don’t believe what I say:

Please see below what the National papers are now saying about the Lib Dems.  Seems a bit hypocritical as most of the time they have never missed a chance in trying to rubbish Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats.  They have finally come to their senses in recognising that the people need to vote for the Lib Dems to bring about a stable Government and a fairer society.

Newspapers from across the political divide are united in their belief Liberal Democrats have been a force for good in government.

In their editorials, national titles recognise the Liberal Democrats achievements in Government and the stability the party has brought to the country in the last five years.

The newspapers also acknowledge that in the inevitability of a hung parliament, the Liberal Democrats will anchor Britain in the centre ground and stop a lurch to the right or the left.

Endorsements include:

The Independent

Many of the Government’s achievements are owed to the Liberal Democrats. The party has been “a force for progress”. The Coalition deserves another chance.

The Financial Times

The country would benefit from Liberal Democrat “moderation” in Westminster” – in seats where the Lib Dems are challenging “we would vote tactically for them.”

The Times

The best hope for the country is for the Conservatives to team up with the Liberal Democrats again. Vote for Nick Clegg in Sheffield Hallam.

The Guardian 

…the next Commons would be enhanced by the presence of Lib Dem MPs.” Vote for the Liberal Democrats in Tory-facing seats.

Sunday Times

Nick Clegg and his Lib Dem colleagues deserve to stay. Tory supporters in Labour-Lib Dem marginals “may wish to vote for the Lib Dem candidate”.

The Sun

Where only the Lib Dems can beat Labour, “give the Lib Dems your vote this time”.

The Economist

The best hope for Britain is with a continuation of the Coalition

The People

Lib Dems tempered Tory excess and delivered the last government’s greatest success with a tax-free allowance worth £800.

Deputy Prime Minister and Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg said:

As we enter the final stretch of the campaign, more and more people are recognising that only the Liberal Democrats can keep Britain safe, stable and fair.

Everybody knows that no one will win the election outright, so the big question you face is: who do you want influencing the next Government?

Do you want an unstable minority government with either UKIP or the SNP dragging Britain off to the extremes of left and right, or do you want the Liberal Democrats to keep
Britain in the stable centre-ground?

Our party has put the country first and shown that coalitions can be strong and stable.

It’s wonderful that even our harshest critics now acknowledge the Liberal Democrats have been, and will be, a force for good in British public life.

Thank you for taking an interest

Bob Sullivan Lib Dem Focus Team

Tel: 020 8556 8335/07922 011 434

PADDY POWER WINS APPEAL

Paddy Power appeal victory paves way for sixth bookies in high street despite public outcry

7:00am Thursday 23rd April 2015 – Waltham Forest E-Guardian

Paddy Power has won the right to open a sixth betting shop in a high street despite public opposition.

The company was successful in appealing against a decision by Waltham Forest council’s planning committee to deny a change of use at 620 High Road, Leytonstone.

Paddy Power was granted a premises licence in October despite more than 1,200 people signing a petition against the move.

Yesterday, a planning inspector, appointed by the Secretary of State for Communities, ruled in the betting giants favour in a move a council spokesman described as “another example of an inspector not supporting local concerns regarding the clustering of betting shops.”

The betting shop will operate under the condition that it will not be open to customers after 10pm on any day of the week and CCTV is installed to deter criminal activity.

The inspector approved the application despite it adding an ‘obvious’ third betting shop to the immediate vicinity.

Following the closure of Leytonstone police station, the inspector also heard local concerns that the police presence in the area had been reduced, but said “The Metropolitan Police’s crime prevention officer did not raise this as a concern when consulted.”

The inspector continued:

I do not consider that an additional betting office within the immediate area would result in a significant alteration to the balance [of being a retail-led high street], or result in a clustering effect that would be detrimental to the retail attraction of the immediate area or wider centre.

The appellant operates a chain of betting offices, and although the use would not make a large contribution to local regeneration or have a significantly positive effect in tackling social deprivation, its corporate responsibility policies are clear and links with the local community are encouraged.

The FOCUS Team says:

Local people will be wondering what is the point of the Council spending time and resources securing changes to planning regulations, if they are going to be over-ruled by inspectors who choose to ignore local opinion.

GENERAL ELECTION MANIFESTO

The following are quotes from independent organisations following publication of the Liberal Democrat Manifesto:

EEF, The Manufacturers’ Organisation

“Business will welcome the clear emphasis on economic growth and a skilled workforce to deliver it. The fact this is at the heart of the (Liberal Democrat) manifesto shows a clear grasp of what the UK economy needs to propel it forwards.”

Nuffield Trust
“Taken with the party’s welcome commitment to increase funding on the NHS by a total of £8bn by 2020 and their ambitious pledges on public health, the (Lib Dem) manifesto sets an encouraging tone for how the NHS and social care will be treated in any coalition negotiations.”

National Union of Teachers
“We welcome the Liberal Democrats’ prioritisation of education funding. We also welcome the Liberal Democrats’ commitment to putting a qualified teacher in every classroom.”

Institute for Fiscal Studies

  • The Liberal Democrats are committed to protecting a larger part of education spending than are the Conservatives
  • The Liberal Democrat education spending plans are “more generous than …… the Labour and Conservative commitments”

Malcolm Trobe, Deputy General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders
“We very much welcome the Liberal Democrats’ commitment to increasing real terms funding for education during the next parliament and that they have pledged to do so on the basis of per pupil spending. This is essential in ensuring that funding keeps pace with the forecast increase in the number of pupils.”

Doug Parr, Greenpeace Chief Scientist
“If many of these (Liberal Democrat)pledges on energy and nature protection were to be enacted it would be a huge win for the environment.”

The Kings Fund

  • The Liberal Democrats have set out a very clear and detailed prospectus for the NHS in their election manifesto.
  • At the heart of this is a clear commitment to deliver integrated care, including a pledge to transfer responsibility for social care to the Department of Health and a target date of 2018 to pool NHS and social care budgets locally.
  • The Liberal Democrats have led the way in pushing mental health up the agenda.

Vicky Pryce, Chief Economic Adviser at Centre for Economics & Business Research
“There is much here to woo female voters. [The Liberal Democrats’] plan to make [free hours of childcare] available for all 2 year olds too and to extend it to all working parents from the end of their paid parental leave when their child is nine months old is the strongest of the three main parties. They also make the clearest pledge of all parties to directly address the gender pay gap.”

Brian Berry, Federation of Master Builders
“The Liberal Democrat pledge to only borrow for capital spending that enhances economic growth or financial stability, will not only boost the economy, it will also help address the housing shortfall. Also the Party’s commitment to ensure that investment in infrastructure, including in housing and energy efficiency, continues to rise both in absolute terms and as a share of the economy is much-needed and welcome.

Alistair MacDonald QC, Bar Council Chair
“In a week of manifesto launches, today feels like it is third time lucky. Promises were long over-due on reversing the hike in up-front court fees, reviewing tribunal fees, ensuring legal aid is available to those who need it and re-introducing legal aid for judicial review. But today they were delivered. The commitment to maintaining a viable, competitive and diverse market of legal aid providers is also one we can fully support.”

Christian Aid
“Today’s Liberal Democrat manifesto offers a vision of a fair and sustainable future for all, including the world’s poorest people. Christian Aid welcomes the Liberal Democrats’ ambitious proposals which would see this country continuing to lead the world on the most vital matters over the next five years. The party’s policies for promoting the UK’s low-carbon economy and dealing with global environmental problems amount to a coherent package which would be a strong opening gambit in any negotiations with other parties. We are also really pleased to see the party’s recognition that helping people living in poverty requires commitment across many UK government departments – it cannot be left to just one.”

Liberal Democrats Manifesto

VOTE LIBERAL DEMOCRAT ON 7 MAY

Carl Quilliam outside Leyton Fire Station

Five reasons Liberal Democrats’ Carl Quilliam wants your vote in Leyton and Wanstead

Waltham Forest E-Guardian – Wednesday 15th April 2015

The Guardian Series has asked each parliamentary candidate to list five reasons why they should become an MP at the General Election on May 7.

Here the Liberal Democrat candidate for Leyton and Wanstead, Carl Quilliam, explains why you should vote for him.

  1. I’m a Liberal Democrat

Over the past 5 years Lib Dems have cut taxes by over £800 for 23 million people and taken over 3 million low paid workers out of tax all together. We’ve delivered the highest ever increase in the state pension and invested an extra £2.5 billion in education to close the attainment gap between the richest and poorest children.

Having more Lib Dems in parliament can make a difference and locally we have been the main opposition to the Labour party for decades. If you elect me in May I will be a strong voice in parliament for pensioners, the low paid, families and everyone in Leyton and Wanstead who needs someone to stand up for them.

  1. I want to ensure better NHS services for mental health

Mental health services have been seen as a Cinderella service for too long. Lib Dems have delivered the first waiting time standards for mental health services and enshrined in law the principle that mental and physical health should be treated equally.

Mental health services need more investment and proper integration between care services and the NHS. As a Lib Dem MP I’ll campaign for more investment in services locally and make sure the recent problems exposed at Whipps Cross are tackled and not swept under the carpet.

  1. I want to ensure we build enough homes for the next generation

For years not enough affordable homes have been built to meet what we need. In government the Lib Dems have allowed local councils to build council houses again for the first time in decades but there is much more to do.

I will push for more council housing to be built for local people to help tackle the long waiting lists. I’ll support more homes for sale and rent that are truly affordable. And I’ll fight for more rights for private renters, building on the local Lib Dems’ campaign for landlord licensing and ensuring renters get a fair deal.

  1. I want to tackle youth unemployment in our area

Youth unemployment has been too high for too long in Leyton and Wanstead. Locally Lib Dems have created 2,580 apprenticeships, given £459,212 in start-up loans, supported 7,000 new businesses and increased the number of women in work by 24,800.

But there is much more to do to ensure we keep building a stronger local economy and tackle youth employment. If I’m elected in May I will campaign for more apprenticeships and better training and jobs for young people locally.

  1. I will fight for more funding for local schools and more school places

Lib Dems have helped to deliver opportunity for all by investing £14 million in schools to make sure each and every disadvantaged child has a good start to their education. On top of that 3,800 local children have benefited from having a free school meal.

Lib Dems in government have also helped deliver millions more investment in our school buildings – and without Labour’s expensive PFI deals – to create much needed school places. But we still need more places for local kids and if I’m elected I’ll make more places and more investment a priority as your MP.