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Welcome to the website of Southend Liberal Democrats

Campaigning for Southend and district, all year round.

Your Liberal Democrat Councillors hold regular Surgeries locally. Please check the Local Events Calendar in the Menu above to find the next date. However if the matter is urgent, you can always contact them by phone or email.

For any information please contact us via the e-mail address above or via our Contact Us page.

You can join the Liberal Democrats via the Join Us page. Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to be kept up to date on all local and national Liberal Democrat matters.

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TAKING SOUTHEND TO A BRIGHTER FUTURE

SOUTHEND LIBERAL DEMOCRAT MANIFESTO 2019

Click here to download the full Southend manifesto.

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What do Liberal Democrats believe? You can also read the Lib Dems national manifesto

Click here to read the Liberal Democrats national manifesto

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Recent updates

  • Article: Jun 25, 2019
    By Stephen Robinson
    Marie Goldman and Stephen Robinson

    Leader of Chelmsford Council Stephen Robinson and Deputy Leader Marie Goldman

    The Lib Dems took control of Chelmsford Council on 22nd May. Stephen Robinson was elected Leader of the Council and Marie Goldman Deputy Leader. The Lib Dem Group made proposals to reform the Cabinet structure to reflect Lib Dem priorities, as set out in the election manifesto.

  • Eastwood Park Surgeries ()
    Event: Jul 27, 2019 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    The Oakwood, 564 Rayleigh Road, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex SS9 5HX
  • Event: Sep 28, 2019 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    The Oakwood, 564 Rayleigh Road, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex SS9 5HX

    Every fourth Saturday morning (except August) Councilor Paul Collins will be here to meet you. Come and share a coffee.

  • Event: Sep 14, 2019 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Kent Elms Library, 1 Rayleigh Road, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex SS9 5UU

    Every second Saturday morning (except August) Councilor Paul Collins will be here to meet you. Come and share a coffee.

  • Eastwood Park Surgeries ()
    Event: Jul 13, 2019 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Kent Elms Library, 1 Rayleigh Road, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex SS9 5UU
  • Article: Jun 22, 2019
    By Isabelle Parasram

    Since 2018, we've celebrated Windrush Day to honour the British Caribbean community. Read Lib Dem Vice President Isabelle Parasram's thoughts.

    Please be advised that this article contains language that some may find offensive

    As a child of the Windrush generation, Windrush Day is hugely important to me. I'm so glad that we, as a society, are marking it.

    The term 'the Windrush Generation' stems from the arrival, on June 22, 1948, of the ship The Empire Windrush at Tilbury Docks, just east of London, bringing with it the first immigrants from the Caribbean.

    It denotes the large-scale influx of Caribbean immigrants during the years that followed.

    There's been a lot of press about the terrible treatment of people who came here from the Caribbean in the late 1940s and onwards, who now find that their very official existence has been denied.

    There's been a lot of press about the terrible treatment of people who came here from the Caribbean in the late 1940s and onwards, who now find that their very official existence has been denied.

    There's also much discussion about the poor treatment of those Caribbean immigrants upon their arrival in the UK to date.

    But there are also some positive stories and memories mixed in with those experiences.

    I've recorded an 8-minute audio interview with someone who came to this country in 1962. She shared with me some of her memories and they were both good and bad.

    The memories they shared included these:

    'I came to the UK after a one month journey from Trinidad by ship with my young stepson and my new baby boy. When we arrived it was the coldest winter they'd had in a long time and we only had summer clothes.'

    'I remember having no furniture, no heating, no washing machine, no fridge, no winter clothes. We had to try to stay warm in one room using a paraffin burner. Then, on Christmas Day, someone gave us a bed for my stepson. I was so happy!'

    Since 2018, we've celebrated Windrush Day to honour the British Caribbean community.

    'It was hard to find a job because no black people were allowed. The British people didn't want immigrants - "…no black people", they said.'

    'I remember a bus driver saying to the passengers that '…all these Pakis had come over here to go on the dole. I pointed out to him that not everyone with Asian skin was from Pakistan and that we were all desperate to work.'

    'We had so little money for food that I had to work at a sweet factory in the evenings just so we could eat. I know it was illegal, but I left my young stepson in charge of my toddler and my baby and, one day, I came home to find the baby under the kitchen table. But I had no choice.'

    'Eventually, I got a job in local Government. I was the only black woman working in my department for the Council. They treated me well and helped me to get promotions.'

    And so, the stories continue.

    Since 2018, we've celebrated Windrush Day to honour the British Caribbean community.

    Listening to the person I interviewed who spoke about how hard it was to find work, it's ironic to note that, following the losses of World War II, Britain was in dire need of labourers. This prompted a campaign to entice people from the countries of the British Empire and Commonwealth to immigrate to the UK.

    Yet, when they arrived, it seems that they weren't exactly welcomed.

    I've read the 'official lines' that state, for posterity that '…the Windrush Generation and their descendants are honoured for their immense contributions to British society following the trauma of the Second World War'. However, this does not entirely reflect the British Caribbean community's experience - certainly not those with whom I've come into contact.

    When Caribbean immigrants first arrived, there were met with extreme intolerance from large parts of the white population.

    Having initially been encouraged to settle in the UK and take up employment to revive the labour market, many early immigrants were denied access to private employment and accommodation on account of their skin colour. Afro-Caribbean and Indo-Caribbean people were also banished from many pubs, clubs, and even churches.

    From today's perspective, the arrival of The Empire Windrush is considered a major landmark not only for the country's recovery from the turmoil of war but also for the establishment of modern British multicultural society.

    As Liberal Democrats, we must continue to fight for justice for those members of the Windrush Generation whose paperwork - destroyed by The Home Office - means that they have to face a costly, lengthy and sometimes unwinnable battle to establish their right to remain in the UK

    Windrush Day is a way of encouraging communities across the country to celebrate the contribution of the Windrush Generation and their descendants - I guess that would include me!

    But, it also serves as a reminder that, as Liberal Democrats, we must continue to fight for justice for those members of the the Windrush Generation whose paperwork - destroyed by The Home Office - means that they have to face a costly, lengthy and sometimes unwinnable battle to establish their right to remain in the UK, even if this is the only home they've ever known.

    So, join me on Tuesday 25th June 2019 at an event organised by 'The Hackney Heroine', Pauline Pearce, the driving force behind Motion F5 from last Autumn's Conference 'Righting Wrongs: Restoring the Rights of the Windrush Generation'.

    Alongside former Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year, Kaweh Beheshtizadeh and Professor Paul Reynolds (both key figures within the Liberal Democrats), I will be discussing the issues surrounding the Windrush Scandal and what we, as Liberal Democrats, can do about it.

  • Article: Jun 15, 2019
    By Tom Brake, Liberal Democrat spokesperson on Exiting the European Union and International Trade. MP for Carshalton and Wallington

    It's been 3 years since the EU referendum - and we're closer than ever to stopping Brexit.

    The flags of EU countries flying.

    Three years on from the 2016 referendum and we are still in the EU.

    This in itself is a huge achievement. It is also a fact that I find myself reminding journalists and political figures of fairly frequently. In three years we have come a long way. On the devastating morning after the referendum, I was numb. It felt like it was a foregone conclusion that Brexit would happen, and our country would inevitably have to undergo the associated irreparable damage. Very quickly it became clear that wasn't the case.

    The day after that referendum, then Liberal Democrat Leader Tim Farron announced that our party would campaign to give the people the final say on whatever deal came out of the Brexit negotiations. This final say would ensure that people were happy with the deal and that if they weren't, we could stay in the EU. Since then we have campaigned tirelessly to secure that people's vote. Our growing number of members and supporters have been passionate and inspirational in their resolve. Our party is unapologetically pro-EU and we have fought tooth and nail for the last three years to keep the UK's place in Europe.

    It felt like it was a foregone conclusion that Brexit would happen. Very quickly it became clear that wasn't the case.

    We have knocked on doors, set up street stalls, taken part in local debates. We have had a huge presence at one of the largest marches the UK has ever seen. At every stage of the arduous Parliamentary process, we have tabled amendments for a people's vote. Liberal Democrat MPs have at times marched through the voting lobbies alone, defiant, knowing that we cannot bear to look back and feel we could have done more.

    Increasingly, our voices have been heard. More and more parliamentarians from all parties have joined us. The last people's vote amendment received more votes in favour of it than any other option ever had - including the Prime Minister's deal. This momentum is huge and it's growing all the time.

    It's become clear that Brexit is not what we were promised.

    It's become clear that Brexit is not what we were promised. The process has been messy, costly, and long. The deal we were presented with was shoddy. Now potential new Prime Ministers are suggesting that the best option is to crash out of the EU. Something no one was advocating in 2016. Liberal Democrats remain certain that the UK belongs at the heart of the EU.

    We have been unwavering in this belief for three years and longer. We have always been internationalist, open, democratic. We have always believed we should be tearing down walls, not building them. In the recent Local and European Elections, Liberal Democrats shouted this message loud and clear. Bollocks to Brexit was in bold across our EU manifesto. It paid off. We secured incredible results in both elections and now have a strong base of new members, Councillors, and MEPs ready to keep fighting the good fight.

    We are closer than ever to stopping Brexit and Liberal Democrats will not rest until we do.

    The immediate battle in Westminster is now focused on stopping Conservative efforts to crash the UK out of the EU without a deal. We know how catastrophic this would be for our NHS, jobs and the environment. We will block the dangerous antics of the likes of Boris Johnson, Dominic Raab and Esther McVey and meanwhile the fight to give the people the final say continues.

    We are closer than ever to stopping Brexit and Liberal Democrats will not rest until we do. Three years on from that 2016 referendum, we are still in the EU and our voices are growing stronger and louder as each day passes. Liberal Democrats won't let up until we have won this battle for the heart and future of our country.

    Want an exit from Brexit? Click here to add your name today and join our campaign

  • Article: Jun 8, 2019

    Click here to meet the candidates

    Deadline for voting 3pm on 23rd July 2019

  • Article: Jun 2, 2019

    MOVING TOWARDS A BETTER SOUTHEND

    The Labour, Independent and Liberal Democrat groups on Southend-on-Sea Borough Council have reached an agreement to form a joint administration, and give the borough the stable leadership that it needs.

    Following the Appointments Council on 16 May, where the Conservative minority administration lost every contested position and it was made clear that Cllr Tony Cox cannot command a stable majority, and the Independent Group calling an extraordinary meeting of the Council, negotiations between the three groups continued. The result is an agreement to work together for the good of Southend, to provide the bold and radical change in direction that residents voted for at the local elections.

Join the Lib Dems