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  • Article: Jan 23, 2019

    Brexit latest

    Following the Prime Minister's crushing defeat, there was a no confidence debate on Wednesday initiated by Labour. This was predictably defeated as Tory and DUP MPs all came dutifully into line. "No to Mr Corbyn". The most memorable bit of the debate (I exclude my own five minutes - the maximum allowed) were the concluding speeches. Tom Watson was excellent: measured and intelligently critical - everything his party leader wasn't. Michael Gove was barnstorming: eloquent, funny (including at my expense) and cruelly hard-hitting against Corbyn. Could we have been witnessing the next Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition in action?

  • Event: Jan 26, 2019
    Punnetts Town Community Hall TN21 9DH

    Our Burns Night will be held on Saturday 26th January 2019 at Punnets Town community hall. We will be serving a 3 course traditional Burns night dinner, starring the Grand Haggis (with a vegetarian Haggis alternative), and a wee dram of whisky. We have a professional piper, Jon Bartholomew, who did an amazing job last year conducting the proceedings who will "pipe in" the Haggis. The traditional festivities will continue with the address to the Haggis, the toast the Lasses with a reply to the Laddies. There also will be a rousing speech from a prominent Lib Dem speaker (watch this space). All this for just £20! Last year was great fun and many of those who came last year have already put their names down for Burns Night 2019. Space is limited, so please let Wendy or Fraser know early if you plan to attend. What a great way to lighten up a cold, dark January!

  • Article: Jan 21, 2019

    Last Tuesday night Theresa May lost the vote on her Brexit deal by 432 votes to 202. It's the biggest defeat by a Prime Minister in Commons history.

    The next day, Jeremy Corbyn called a no-confidence vote in the Government. It failed.

    Now, Theresa May wants MPs to vote on a deal that's barely different to the one we already rejected.

  • Stephen Hardy Salehurst
    Article: Jan 21, 2019
    By Stephen Hardy MBE
    A recent report has highlighted the dubious relationship between house builders and the Conservative party. It is undeniable that amongst the largest donors to the Conservatives are house builders and their fat cat directors. House builders have constantly argued to Government to 'release' more public land for house building, and successive Conservative administrations have pressured both local and central government to give land to developers - remember the many furores about selling off school playing fields.
    We are talking about land owned by the public but which we, the public, have never been asked if we want to sell.
    One reason why the property sector is so successful in persuading the Government to sell off land is that it is the property sector itself which advises Government to do this. The worst example of this fox being encouraged to go into the henhouse of public land is the so-called Expert Panel set up in 2012 to advise the Government on delivering new homes through the disposal of 'surplus' public sector sites. The person who chaired this panel was the chairman of Berkeley Homes, one of the UK's largest house builders and a personal Tory party donor.
    The report contained three case studies of 'land released from the public sector which has successfully developed new homes'. One was Woodberry Down in London, where in the face of massive community protest, some 2000 council homes were demolished and replaced by 5500 new homes, some 'affordable' but the majority sold on the open market. Some are still for sale - at up to £1.25 million for a three bed flat. If you want to rent however, the same could be yours for just in excess of £3000 per month. The developer was, no surprise here, Berkeley Homes.
    And how much had Berkeley paid for the land? Nothing at all. Little wonder then that in 2014, Berkeley's profits rose sufficiently to pay the Chairman £23 million in cash and shares.
    None of this should be acceptable in our society. The Government should not be taking advice from those with such obvious vested interests. Nor should the ruling party in Government be taking donations from the same people who advise them. If money continues to pollute the politics of land the way it currently does, then we can only expect a rotten stench in our body politic.
    Yours faithfully,
    Stephen Hardy
    CPRE Sussex Trustee
    6 George Close
    Robertsbridge
  • Article: Jan 18, 2019

    What times we live in. The SODEM team led by Steve have been outside my office with their cries of "Stop Brexit!" for the last two and a half years and earlier this week we came closer to doing that very thing. The vote was the biggest loss by a government ever and you, our members, contributed to that immensely. Each and every time we've asked you to get involved in the Brexit campaign over those last two and a half years you've stepped up to the plate and exceeded expectations. When the history of Brexit is written (if Tim Shipman isn't already writing it!) the Liberal Democrats will be at the heart of it as having led the way from start to finish for a people's vote and that's because of YOU.

  • Article: Jan 17, 2019

    All 11 Lib Dem MPs voted against this shambolic Conservative Government in last night's vote of no confidence.

    In the aftermath, Theresa May invited me to discuss the next steps. I accepted, but in our discussion, I was clear.

    There will be no progress until no deal is off the table. We won't vote for this needlessly destructive Brexit. We need a people's vote.

  • Article: Jan 15, 2019

    Theresa May's Brexit deal just lost in the Commons by 230 votes. This is huge - she's failed to convince her party, failed to convince Parliament and failed in her attempt to scaremonger MPs into backing her. It's the biggest loss in the Commons by a Government - ever.

    Brexit is a national embarrassment.

  • Article: Jan 15, 2019

    Theresa May's botched Brexit deal goes to the Commons tomorrow night, and its chances are looking slim.

    A Lords motion regretting the damage Brexit would do and rejecting no deal has passed by a stonking 169 votes.

  • Article: Jan 15, 2019

    The media's been laser focused on Theresa May's sinking Brexit deal. But today, 3 crucial bills have gone through the Lords, with significant Lib Dem input. We're fighting to:

    • Protect the privacy of people who wear skirts
    • Outlaw exploitative letting fees
    • Allow people to go about their lives without the Government butting in
  • Article: Jan 14, 2019

    We all remember waking up to that awful result two and a half years ago. We were all braced for uncertainty. But nobody could have predicted how disastrously the wheels came off the Brexit wagon.

    Warnings of food and medicine shortages. Tearing up vital environmental laws. Becoming rule takers, not rule makers.