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Colour rosette Vince Cable Liberal democrats Norman Lamb at LD Conference 2017 Exit from Brexit

Please donate to East Suffolk Liberal Democrats, to help us to undertake activities such as running this website, campaigning in elections and printing Focus leaflets.

The Party is currently planning the campaign for the next District Council elections on May 2nd 2019. We are largely dependent upon our members and supporters for the funds to fight these elections. The more funds that we have available, the more effective we can be.

You can find the donation link here.

Recent updates

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.

  • May Deal Cost Dec 2018 (by Liberal Democrats)
    Article: Dec 14, 2018

    NEBULOUS: indistinct, indefinite, unclear, vague, hazy, cloudy, fuzzy, misty, lacking definition, blurred, blurry, out of focus, foggy, faint, shadowy, dim, obscure, shapeless, formless, unformed, amorphous; rarenebulose "the figure was still nebulous - she couldn't quite see it"

    Example: One's memory of a long-past event, for example, will often be nebulous; a teenager might give a nebulous

  • Empty Homes
    Article: Dec 12, 2018

    NEW COUNCIL TAX MUST BE USED TO BRING EMPTY HOMES BACK INTO USE
    New rules brought in by the Government last month have given councils the powers to ramp up the Council Tax on homes which have been empty for more than two years. It is increasingly felt that substantially increasing Council Tax will hopefully encourage owners to either bring the properties up to date and into use, or sell them if they cannot afford any necessary repairs and renovations.

    Under the change in the law which came into force on 1st November, councils will be able to charge more council tax for long term empty properties. Currently, it is believed there are 200,000 properties standing empty in England.

    There is a national housing crisis with 1.6 million families on waiting lists for what was used to call council housing however the future East Suffolk District Council is proposing to add just 50% to the full charge for properties empty for 2 years or more but only after 2 years.

    Compare this with Teignbridge in Devon where there is a proposal for a Quadruple Council Tax levied on long-term empty homes. Teignbridge proposals include doubling Council Tax from next April for homes empty for more than two years. In 2020, that would rise to triple council tax for homes empty more than five years and from 2021, homes left vacant for more than 10 years would pay four times the standard Council Tax rate for the property. Some exemptions from the new rules would apply. In cases where the person is the sole or main resident in armed forces accommodation they would not be charged extra.

    "Under schemes run by councils like Teignbridge, help and support can be provided to bring houses back into use and lift the burden the owners' shoulders. 'Sometimes people inherit a property and may not be in a position to manage it. said Lib Dem Councillor Connett. An extra £68,500 next year, rising to £153,600 in three years time could be raised in Teignbridge who would in turn would keep around 10 per cent of the extra money it collected. "Personally, I would like to see any extra money from the empty homes Council Tax put into local housing support services such as tackling homelessness and bringing empty homes back into use" said Cllr Connett.

    Against this background apparently the joint authority meeting of East Suffolk DC recently passed the following policy regarding Council Tax as follows

    Empty and unfurnished properties 100% discount for two weeks then full payment

    Empty and uninhabitable properties 25% discount for 12 months then full payment

    Long term empty more than 6 months and less than 2 years 100% charge no discount

    Long term empty 2 years or more additional 50% added after 2 years

    Second homes no discount 100% charge

    EMPTY PROPERTIES NOTES

    1. Since 1 April 2013, local authorities in England have been able to charge a premium of 50% on the full council tax charge, and that a further change to the law has now been made to allow councils to raise this premium.
    2. The legislation allowing this to happen became law on 1 November 2018 and is contained in the Rating (Property in Common Occupation) and Council Tax (Empty Dwellings) Act 2018. A key intention of this is to encourage owners of empty properties to bring their properties back into use.
    3. Empty properties attract squatters, vandalism and anti-social behaviour; can be a blight on the local community; and can affect the value of the properties around them.
    4. 1.6 million households are on social housing waiting lists, long-term empty properties are a wasted resource.
    5. An empty property for council tax purpose is defined as a property that is 'unoccupied and substantially unfurnished'.
    6. Currently there are just over 200,000 long-term empty dwellings in England compared to 300,000 in 2010. The number has reduced since 2013, when councils were given powers to charge a 50% premium under the Coalition Government - so applying a premium has been a successful incentive in tackling empty homes.
    7. The law introduced incremental increases that can be applied to reflect the length of time that properties have been empty. From April 2019 properties that have been empty for more than 2 years can be charged a 100% council tax premium. By April 2021, properties empty for more than 10 years will be liable for a 300% council tax premium.

    END

  • Brexit banners (East Suffolk Lib Dems)
    Article: Dec 10, 2018

    THE LIB DEMS STEP UP THEIR CAMPAIGN FOR A PEOPLES VOTE ACROSS THE REGION

    As the shambolic negotiations by HM Government reach a crisis point and businesses pull their hair out in utter desperation at further vacillation by a Prime Minister out of control, 54% of people* said that they would stay in the EU if the 2016 Referendum were held now.. the Liberal Democrats step up their campaign for a People's Vote with Action Days and Roadside Banners across Suffolk and the Region.

  • Human Rights Day
    Article: Dec 7, 2018

    HUMAN RIGHTS DAY IS ON MONDAY 10TH DECEMBER

    Human Rights Day is 10th December 2018 and this year is the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    As Lib Dems we know that we have to be vigilant to ensure that our own human rights are not put at risk and we know there's still a way to go to get many countries to comply with the vital charter.

  • Nursing home Norway Bjørkan CC BY-SA 3.0 (Thomas Bjørkan CC BY-SA 3.0)
    Article: Dec 4, 2018

    Our experience as carers looking after a family member in Suffolk

    Following our recent feature on the Carer's Rights Day at the end of November we received the following response from one of our readers...

    "No matter how many carers rights days or other days, the role of the family carer is totally mis-understood, underfunded and in general ignored by the government. This is particularly so when the person cared for has mental health problems.

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 held on the third Wednesday of the month, at The Old Mariner in Woodbridge.

Southwold & Reydon meet for a Lib Dem Pint at the Southwold Sailing Club starting in May 2018

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

NOTE: Councillor Caroline Page apologises, but after a major operation, she will be out of contact for several weeks.Please contact your Woodbridge Town or District Councillor in the first instance.

Woodbridge & District

Woodbridge & District Lib Dem Pint

Wednesday 19th December, 7 p.m. onwards The Old Mariner, 26 New Street, Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 1DX


Liberal Democrat news from outside East Suffolk Party