Vince Cable, the new leader of the Liberal Democrats, has made tackling the housing crisis a top priority.
Vince believes the Government should allow local councils to borrow to invest in new, affordable housing. He also wants tax penalties on the purchase of property for investment purposes, by overseas residents, which has led to soaring prices in London. Vince says, “Homes are to live in; they’re not pieces on a Monopoly board”.
Local resident, Jill Fraser, who lives in the West Kentish Town estate, welcomed the Lib Dem commitment to affordable, good quality housing. Jill said, “It’s so difficult for young people in our area to buy or rent a decent home. The Tory Government is out of touch – they must fund the building of new homes to give people a fair start in life.”
Camden Lib Dems are stepping up the fight against the disastrous and chaotic Hard Brexit that the Conservatives are pursuing, with the support of Corbyn’s Labour party.
Prices are rising, investment is falling, and economic growth is slowing. There has also been a sharp fall in the numbers of nurses from EU countries registering to work in the NHS, adding further pressure to our health service.
Stephen Crosher speaking at the Lib Dem conference said, “The world I want my three daughters to grow up in is not one of splendid isolation but of magnificent connection, with all the benefits membership brings.”
We are now six months into Camden Council’s new waste collections scheme and, as predicted, there have been many complaints.
Liberal Democrats firmly believe in the principle of increased recycling and cutting down on the amount of rubbish sent to landfill.
However, Camden Labour have made a real mess of these changes. We have asked why the changes were not piloted in one area to start with, so some of the problems could have been sorted out in advance.
Lib Dem Cllr Flick Rea secured a 30% discount for elderly and disadvantaged people on the much-hated garden waste charge. However, Camden is so mean that it has given this no publicity in the hope that everyone will pay the full charge. So if you are entitled to the discount, claim it now by contacting Veolia on 020 7812 5000.
Local resident Matthew Kirk says, “Labour have made a real mess of their rubbish collection service. It’s time they conducted a thorough review of what’s gone wrong, and pushed their contractors to do a better job.”
Labour councillor quits Gospel Oak... again
One of the Labour councillors in Gospel Oak is quitting. He is leaving his important role here to take up a well-paid job working for the Mayor of London.
Judith Rogerson and other Camden Liberal Democrats joined the People’s March for Europe on 9th September...
We’ve got to stop this hard Brexit
Our party leader, Vince Cable spoke to the assembled crowd before the march began. Vince said, “We’ve got to absolutely stop the Brexit which this rather incompetent, dysfunctional, disunited government are trying to force upon us.” He listed the damaging effects of Brexit that we can already see. Valuable non-UK EU nationals are starting to leave the country, living standards are squeezed, the currency has been devalued and companies are beginning to stop investing. He said, “There is a lot of uncertainty, and this can be stopped if we stop the process of Brexit.”
The crowd swelled to an estimated 50,000 people and we all marched on to Parliament Square. There was a range of speakers reflecting a variety of local and religious community groups, people from the EU whose right to remain in the UK is threatened and pro-European groups that have sprung up around the country. Lib Dem MPs Ed Davey and Tom Brake made speeches as well as other politicians from across the spectrum.
This is the most important issue facing the UK and Liberal Democrats are the only major party standing up against the worst excesses of a disastrous decision
Negotiations have just started between the EU and Tory Brexit teams. Some are saying “let’s just get on with it!” but as it becomes clearer that Brexit is going to be a disaster the Liberal Democrats are renewing their campaign to stay in the Single Market and the Customs Union.
The implications of the threat of Hard Brexit are already being seen – in reduced access to grants for research; EU trained nurses, overseas students, and seasonal workers disappearing; less inward investment; and rises in food and petrol prices caused by the drop in the pound.
Liberal Democrats believe that the best place for Britain is at the centre of Europe. Exiting the Single Market would mean massive constitutional change and disruption and see the country facing long-term chaos and uncertainty.
Vince Cable and the Liberal Democrats are leading the fight against a Brexit Coalition of Chaos between the Tories and Labour. The Labour party are supporting Tory plans for a Hard Brexit and betraying all those young people, here in Camden and across the country, who voted for a better future.
Polls are showing a growing appetite for a review by the public of the terms of the deal, if and when it’s made. Liberal Democrats will stand up for the people’s right to choose.
On 10 July a major fire ripped through Camden Market. This is not the first time in recent years this iconic area has been devastated.
Camden Market is part of the character of Camden and the Liberal Democrats are determined that better safety should be built in to any replacement while retaining its unique spirit.
Serious doubts are emerging over the Council’s health & safety enforcement: two market fires; fire doors and unsafe gas installation at Chalcots; pavement encroachment in Queen’s Crescent; to name just a few.
Local Liberal Democrat Jill Fraser said, “The market’s owner has said it may not be possible to save parts of the building. Any replacements should retain the character of the original market. We want to keep hold of what makes Camden special.”
Local Lib Dems are opposing yet more cuts to social care. The Labour-run Council has pushed through new transport charges for the elderly and the disabled. They are also closing the Netherwood Centre in West Hampstead, the only specialist day centre for people with dementia.
In the general election, the Lib Dems proposed we should all pay 1% more in income tax to tackle the funding gap for care services and the NHS. By contrast, the Conservatives are planning a ‘dementia tax’, which will put much greater burden on the families of those who suffer from dementia to pay for their care.
Rubbish complaints keep coming in, including missed collections and bins being left on the pavement.Local councillor Flick Rea has now asked Camden Council to consider whether
Local councillor Flick Rea has now asked Camden Council to consider whether failure to put bins back is a breach of contract and Camden are taking this up with Veolia, the contractors.
There are also concerns about the cost of garden waste, which has led to the recycling centre at Regis Road being inundated with garden waste. Camden Liberal Democrats are committed to a thorough review of this policy.
Camden’s air pollution is close to the worst in Europe, and it’s a killer. Air pollution contributes 40,000 premature deaths in the UK a year and costs the NHS £15 billion. This year, London exceeded its annual air pollution target in just five days. The Government announced on Wednesday 26 July their latest proposals, but instead added to their long list of failures to act to protect the people of Camden, London and the UK.
We urgently need a Green Transport Act, a new Air Quality Act, a diesel scrappage scheme and in addition to incentivise low polluting vehicles via fuel duties and modernising vehicle taxation. Locally, we also must introduce an Air Quality Action Plan, that picks off those issues, where local authorities can make a difference, one by one. The council needs a plan, a plan that is more than a glossy document, one that is actually acted upon and then enforced.
The UK must have the ambition to create the next generation of ultra low-emission vehicles, which would generate jobs and new industries.
Stephen Crosher, Camden’s Liberal Democrat spokesperson on energy & climate said:
“I’m excited about one of my current projects, that seeks to create the next generation of ultra low emission construction vehicles. Construction sites are a major source of the problem we face in Camden and its only going to get worse with HS2”
“However, despite hundreds of organisations, including our local Camden Air Action, actively involved in finding ways of reducing air pollution, we see yet another attempt by this Government to U-turn on their promises to tackle the crisis”
“Air pollution is damaging our children, but the Government plans allows three more generations of children to be poisoned by allowing diesel cars to be sold until 2040, which in turn means polluting diesel on our streets until 2055. It is yet another example of a despicable and uncaring government failure, that is imposed on future generations.”
“A bold move, putting UK industry at the forefront of change, would be to end all new diesel sales by 2025.”
“Its now hard to imagine any parent, prospective parent, or grandparent in Camden voting for a Tory government after this announcement.”