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EAST SUFFOLK LIBERAL DEMOCRATS PRIORITIES FOR 2020 AND BEYOND

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Recent updates from the East Suffolk Liberal Democrats

The opening lines of our five most recent articles are shown here. Click on the item heading in each case to view the full text.

  • Boris Johnson demeans the office he holds
    Article: Aug 6, 2020

    Lib Dems say 'we don't need rhetoric' as thousands of planning applications are sitting there without a brick being laid.

    "Build, Build Build" says Johnson who dismisses opposition to planning reforms as "nimbyism"

    "Developers to be permitted to build on top of existing blocks of flats up to 5 storeys" says Baroness Jenny Randerson

    The Government have announced a planning 'revolution' that will force local authorities to allocate land for developments that will then not have to go through the full planning process. Under the new process, land will be designated in one of three zoning categories: 'for growth, for renewal or for protection'.

    In the first two categories there will be a new legal 'permission in principle' approach for new buildings, it is understood. Areas of outstanding natural beauty and the green belt will come under the protection category where most new buildings will be automatically banned.

    The reforms will be published in a paper entitled Planning for the Future and follow an extension of permitted development rights announced earlier this summer.

    Critics including the RIBA, the Local Government Association and the charity Shelter have already said that the move would lead to poor-quality new houses being built in areas without adequate public services and would lessen democratic accountability.

    Reported in the Architects Journal, RIBA President Alan Jones said. 'deregulation would not deliver new homes and called for the government to 'urgently reconsider'.

    Baroness Jenny Randerson said: "I have spoken out in the Lords against Conservative Government regulations which will allow developers to build on top of existing blocks of flats up to 5 storeys. We had 5 Lib Dem speakers all fiercely opposed to this. This is going to be a major issue for local planning authorities".

    LGA Liberal Democrat Group Leader Councillor Howard Sykes said: "The prime minister has promised 'the most radical reforms of our planning system since the end of the Second World War'. Not again please. Will the Government wake up to the FACT that councils aren't the problem with getting homes built nor is the planning system?

    He added: "How many times do we have to say that councils approve nine in 10 applications? The Government conveniently forgets the thousands of planning applications that are sitting there without a brick being laid. Hundreds of thousands of homes lay unbuilt. We need powers to force developers to build these out. Don't demonise us and point the finger again at local government blaming us. We don't need rhetoric - we need partnership".

    Liberal Democrat MHCLG Spokesperson Tim Farron MP added:

    "The announcement to reform England's planning laws today reveals that once again Ministers are not serious about solving the housing crisis. It is not the lack of planning permission that prevents new, genuinely affordable, homes being built, but this Government's refusal to properly invest in social housing.
    "Rather than tinkering with planning laws, what Robert Jenrick should be doing is unveiling a huge housebuilding program of social homes for rent. We have already lost thousands of social rented homes as a result of the Government's permitted developed changes to date.

    "The Liberal Democrats want to see 100,000 new social homes to be built every year, as well as giving local authorities the ability to suspend the right to buy in their own areas, so that we can finally start tackling the crisis that's crippling the UK's housing market."

    LINKS:

    Lib Dem Lords speak out against planning changes Baroness Jenny Randerson ". A link to the speech can be found here:

    https://hansard.parliament.uk/Lords/2020-07-29/debates/04DC3EE5-E933-41CA-BD17-02795ADD6A24/TownAndCountryPlanning(FeesForApplicationsDeemedApplicationsRequestsAndSiteVisits)(England)(Amendment)Regulations2020#contribution-5A475532-D6FE-4BC5-B9BF-117E9EFBA0DD

    Architects Journal: Sweeping reforms will give new schemes 'automatic' planning permission 3 AUGUST, 2020 BY WILL HURST

    https://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/news/sweeping-reforms-will-give-new-schemes-automatic-planning-permission/10047761.article

    A major planning overhaul in England will allow 'automatic' planning permission for new homes, hospitals, schools, shops and offices

  • Lowestoft High Street Trevor King -Share Alike 2.0 Generic (Trevor King / Lowestoft High Street / CC BY-SA 2.0)
    Article: Aug 5, 2020

    North Lowestoft Heritage Action Zone Design Guide Published

    In May 2019, Historic England launched a multi-million pound fund to revive historic English high streets through a High Streets Heritage Action Zones scheme. Working with partners, 69 high streets across England were selected to receive a share of the £95 million fund to find new ways to unleash the potential of the historic environment, create economic growth, improve quality of life and champion and revive high streets. Lowestoft is one of seven towns in the east of England to benefit. Other towns include, Great Yarmouth, King's Lynn, North Walsham & Swaffham.

  • Boris Johnson Broke the Law (Chatham House London)
    Article: Jul 31, 2020

    Focus on Poverty in Britain

    The lies, falsehoods and misrepresentations of Boris Johnson and his government are well documented. Boris' own dossier of lies over many years continues to grow by the the day. Death, hunger, poverty the subject of his lies are endless - nothing phases Boris Johnson.

    Whether it is his claims about protecting care homes during the early days of the pandemic, feigning ignorance about a footballer's campaign about the free school meal voucher scheme or claiming that child poverty levels have come down under his government, Boris Johnson simply cannot help telling lies. There is a medical term for the condition of pathological lying; it is known as mythomania. The trouble is that the public perception of politicians and a largely friendly Press means he keeps telling lies and getting away with them

    Asked to comment by the BBC, Downing Street pointed to a previous statement made by the PM, in which he said that "as of December" there were "740,000 fewer children living in a household where no one works".

    The Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR) however said some of the figures he has quoted to back this claim up are incorrect. The OSR, which is the regulatory arm of the UK Statistics Authority watchdog, was responding to a complaint from the End Child Poverty Coalition.

    The Coalition highlighted three instances when the prime minister made what it described as "misleading" statements.

    These were:

    • Mr Johnson's claim on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show on 1 December 2019 that there "are 400,000 fewer children in poverty than there were in 2010"

    • His statement at PMQs on 17 June that "absolute poverty and relative poverty have both declined under this government" and "there are hundreds of thousands, I think 400,000, fewer families living in poverty now than there were in 2010"

    • Mr Johnson's claim at PMQs on 24 June, in which he said that "there are 100,000 fewer children in absolute poverty and 500,000 fewer children falling below thresholds of low income and material deprivation".

      In a letter to the OSR, the End Child Poverty Coalition chairwoman Anna Feuchtwang said: "It cannot be right that official figures on something as fundamental as how many children are in poverty continue to be used selectively, inaccurately and, ultimately, misleadingly." She added, "It is deeply insulting to the children and families swept into poverty when data about them is used selectively and misleadingly at the whim of politicians". 'The simple fact is that by any measures child poverty is rising but instead of tackling the problem the government risks obscuring the issue and misinforming the public. "The lives of real people are at stake and we need consistent use of information and urgent action."

      Responding to the complaints set out in the letter, Ed Humpherson, director-general for regulation at the statistics authority, said: "Our team has investigated the statements which you highlight (and has reached the same conclusion that these statements are incorrect)."

  • Caregiver - St John of God Hauora Trust CC BY-SA 4.0 (* CC BY-SA 4.0 * File:St John of God Hauora Trust.jpg)
    Article: Jul 28, 2020

    One year ago Boris Johnson pledged to fix the social care crisis

    A year later and with over 22,000 Covid-19 deaths* in the community and care homes we still await his 'oven ready' detailed plan

    Including social care among a string of domestic pledges, Johnson said at the time "My job is to protect you or your parents or grandparents from the fear of having to sell your home to pay for the cost of care. And so I am announcing on the steps of Downing Street that we will fix the crisis in social care once and for all with a clear plan we have prepared to give every older person the dignity and security they deserve."

  • brak (Thanks to Rocco Dipoppa for sharing their work on Unsplash.)
    Article: Jul 21, 2020

    British Retail Consortium (BRC) warns shoppers face higher prices if no EU trade deal

    "Government must put consumers first and agree a deal that avoids tariffs and minimises the impact of non-tariff barriers" says BRC Director

    Reuters Business News report that the retail industry have urged UK and European negotiators to reach a post-Brexit trade deal, warning that without tariff-free trade, consumers face higher prices from next year.

You are invited...

Want to discuss a political topic? Interested in the Liberal Democrats? Or would you just like to have a pleasant get-together with a drink and a chat (politics optional)? Please come along to an informal meet-up with members of our local groups & branches. All welcome - the more, the merrier.

The Woodbridge & District Lib Dem Pint is NORMALLY held on the third Wednesday of the month, at The Old Mariner in Woodbridge. During the Coronavirus outbreaks these meetings have been cancelled.

Felixstowe & Martlesham Branch hold regular social events which are advertised in Events

Halesworth and Framlingham area members social and political events are advertised in Events

If you need help with Suffolk Services, or if you are concerned about local issues, do come along and talk to Caroline Page, Liberal Democrat County Councillor for Woodbridge, who holds a regular monthly surgery on the third Saturday of the month, at Woodbridge Library. (Please note that Caroline does not hold a surgery in August.) You can also contact Caroline by email on caroline.page@suffolk.gov.uk or by telephone on 07545 423837.


Caroline Page

Woodbridge County Councillor Surgery with Caroline Page (Lib Dem)

Woodbridge Library, New Street, Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 1DT

SURGERY CANCELLED DURING THE PERIOD OF THE CORONAVIRUS

Lib Dem Pint

Woodbridge & District Lib Dem Pint

The Old Mariner, 26 New Street, Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 1DX

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