Remembering HRH The Duke of Edinburgh

We join the nation in mourning the passing of His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh. Our first thoughts are with his beloved wife, our Queen, and other members of the Royal Family who will feel the loss most keenly, especially in the months and years ahead. They will certainly be going through a painful grieving process.

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Vote to back a Liberal Democrat local champion in May

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey has officially launched the Liberal Democrats Local Elections campaign in England. He has called on voters to back a Liberal Democrat local champion in May.

Liberal Democrats have announced plans for a fairer, greener more caring country where there is opportunity for all. The party announced plans for a locally-led green transition, backed by £48bn pounds of investment. Leader Ed Davey also called on the government to help struggling small businesses by slashing national insurance contributions (NICs) for small firms by quadrupling the employment allowance from £4,000 to £16,000.

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Lib Dems fight to stop Govt gutting fuel poverty scheme

Seventy-one Liberal Democrats MPs, Peers and Council Group Leaders have written to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to oppose the Government's plans to gut a critical scheme allowing energy inefficient homes to access grants. 

The Government is poised to remove social housing and rented accommodation from eligibility for the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme and impose prescriptive measures on how improvements must be carried out. This means that even fewer homes are likely to be upgraded, particularly given the failure of the Green Homes Grant.

The Liberal Democrats are calling for the cancellation of these changes to ensure that those most in need of help do not lose the opportunity to access these grants.

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Update on Wilderness Lane submission by HIMOR

As many residents in the area are aware, we have received information about the significance of the archaeological remains under the Peak House Farm land off Wilderness Lane. The developer would have to pay for the cost of any archaeological investigation of the site, if Sandwell Council made it a condition of any planning application. (People should remember that at the moment HIMOR have not submitted a planning application, just submitted a request that the land be considered for housing as part of the Black Country Plan, and Sandwell's planning officers have said it is unlikely to be included in the plan. However, they also then seem to expect the developer to appeal to the Secretary of State, despite it being a protected site.)

Sign the petition

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1% ‘Slap in the face’ for NHS staff

1% pay rise is an insult to our NHS heroes say Lib Dems

Liberal Democrats have slammed the Conservative Government’s insulting pay offer to nurses.
Local Lib Dem campaigner Nigel Fearn said: “In our country’s hour of need, our NHS nurses and doctors have been there for us. A decent pay rise is the least we can do for them in return.

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Open Letter to Andy Street and Nicola Richards

Former Mayor and local campaigners call on West Midland Mayor and local MP to urge property developer to withdraw their outrageous submission for a development on protected land off Wilderness Lane

Dear Mr Street and Ms Richards,

We welcome your recent call for Sandwell Council to prioritize use of brownfield sites for housing developments. A strategy we have long believed in. However, it does not address the problem of a property developer who has entered a planning submission (ID 10115), to develop on land protected by national legislation and also designated as a Site of Interest for Nature Conservation (SINC) by Sandwell Council. They would be able to appeal to the Secretary of State for Housing if Sandwell Council’s planning officers do not include it in the Draft Black Country Plan, as they have said is likely.

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Myanmar refugee crisis more uncertain and perilous

Reacting to the military arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs Layla Moran MP urges focus on human rights and refugee crisis:

"Myanmar's military must step back from the brink, end this coup and release all civilian leaders immediately. Democracy and the rule of law need to be respected.

"The Foreign Secretary should use this pivotal moment to urge the international community to secure democratic and human rights of all citizens in Myanmar. Today’s developments are yet another disturbing chapter in Myanmar’s recent history of political unrest, which has already caused a refugee crisis forcing hundreds of thousands of Rohingya people to flee the country. Their future now looks even more uncertain and perilous.
 
"It is time for the UK to step up and lead the world in shining a spotlight on the plight of democracy and human rights in Myanmar, and seek peaceful resolution for all its people."

Hands off Wilderness Lane (and other Green Belt land)!

Local residents have contacted us concerned about the land off Wilderness Lane, between Peak House Road and Q3 Academy. They have asked us why no one knows about these plans? This is because there are not plans, yet. However, this does not mean there is no danger of houses being built on this land and as many people as possible should make their voice heard about this. Sign our petition and join the campaign to save this and other green belt land from Labour mismanagement and the Tory power grab over planning decisions. You can sign the petition here.

Although the Mayor of the West Midlands has said this land is under threat from developers who want to build hundreds of houses on it, the reason nobody in the area has heard it is because there has not been a planning application submitted to build on this land.  And indeed, since the Council has not only designated this land NOT SUITABLE FOR HOUSING, and have also said it is important for nature conservation, we would expect our Planning Officers to recommend refusal of any such application, if one comes forward. If there is a planning application submitted for this land, the Council will write to all residents of Wilderness Lane and Peak House Road, and I suspect most of the other roads nearby.

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Lib Dems attempt to put Parliament “in the driving seat” on future relationship

The Liberal Democrats have tabled a series of amendments to the European Union (Future Relationship) Bill that demand the Government protect British businesses, the rights of UK nationals and ensure Parliament has proper scrutiny over the future relationship agreement.

Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey, who has said his Party will vote against the deal, warned the Government has committed an “affront to our democracy” by allowing Parliament just a few hours to debate the trade deal.

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Court of Appeal ruling exposes Johnson's broken promise to EU citizens

Responding to the Court of Appeal’s ruling that the Government has unlawfully discriminated against EU citizens with Pre-Settled Status by excluding them from Universal Credit, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael said:

“Denying people the financial support they desperately need during this pandemic is an appalling way to treat the EU citizens who are our families and friends, our colleagues and carers.

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