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Welcome to the website of Southend Liberal Democrats

Campaigning for Southend and district, all year round.

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Chris Bailey

It is with great sadness that Southend Liberal Democrats announce the death of Chris Bailey, who died from natural causes whilst sailing in Scotland on 1st July 2019. Chris was someone for whom the expression 'stalwart' was invented. He joined the Liberal Party in 1965, when he was 16. He has worked continuously and tirelessly for the Liberals and their successors, the Liberal Democrats, since that date. In the 1970s he was Councillor for the then Prittlewell Ward and was Borough Councillor for Leigh Ward for a period in the 1980s.

Chris was leading member of the Party, both locally and nationally, including acting as adviser to the current Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Sir Vince Cable.

Chris will be greatly missed by the whole community.

A service to remember the life of Chris Bailey will be held at Southend Crematorium on Wednesday 24th July at 12pm.

CLICK HERE FOR FULL DETAILS.

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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

  • 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.

  • Article: Jun 22, 2019
    By Isabelle Parasram in www.libdems.org.uk

    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 17, 2019
    By Stephen Robinson in www.chelmsford-libdems.org.uk
    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.

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

    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.

  • Article: Jun 1, 2019
    By Wera Hobhouse, Lib Dem MP for Bath in www.libdems.org.uk

    We can do more to protect the mental health of new mothers.

    This Global Day of Parents, let's make that happen.

    Wera Hobouse.

    Today is Global Day of Parents - a day proclaimed by the UN to honour parents throughout the world. The birth of a child is a life-changing event. For many mothers, this will be the happiest time of their lives, but this is never the whole story. New mothers can often experience mental health problems before and after birth, cope with the trauma of pregnancy and birth, and struggle with societal expectations of motherhood.

    On International Women's Day in March, I presented my second Private Members Bill to Parliament. This bill seeks to enshrine a mother's right to mental health checks into legislation - demanding that all mothers in the UK be given a six-week post-natal mental health check.

    Research from the National Childbirth Institute shows that 60% of new mothers feel unable to talk to a health professional about their emotional state.

    Research from the National Childbirth Institute shows that 60% of new mothers feel unable to talk to a health professional about their emotional state. Some said they were embarrassed, ashamed, or worried that medical staff would think they couldn't look after their own baby. And 22% of new mothers were never asked about their emotional wellbeing at all.

    Since 2004, the six-week baby check has been included as a mandatory requirement in the General Medical Services (GMS) contract. Yet the mother's mental health and wellbeing check was omitted from the contract - despite being advised by NICE guidelines. This has led to a postcode lottery, where some women receive a thorough mental health check while others can find check-ups rushed or even skipped.

    With around one in five women experiencing a mental health problem during pregnancy or in the year after birth, it is vital that we ensure mothers are supported. Not only is this important for the future health of the mother, but by ensuring appropriate and early mental health support is provided for mothers the impact of mental illness on babies and young children can be reduced or removed completely.

    The wider conversation around parity of esteem argues that without mental health, the physical health of a person suffers.

    The Conservative Government has said it is committed to supporting mental health services for people across the country. However, their lack of action calls this claim into doubt - mental health services cannot exist in a vacuum and support must be threaded through our health service.

    The Liberal Democrats have long championed improving mental health support. The wider conversation around parity of esteem argues that without mental health, the physical health of a person suffers. This is plainly obvious in the case of a mother and her new-born child.

    Motherhood and birth have too long been the remit of myth and common misconception. This Global Day of Parents we need honest conversations with mothers about what they should expect and how they may be feeling. To allow mental health to be side-lined is a dereliction of duty of care to new mothers and their babies.

  • Article: May 31, 2019
    In www.libdems.org.uk

    We're in the middle of a huge surge in membership! Find out more now 🎉

    11,000. Yep, that's 5 digits.

    That's how many people have joined the Liberal Democrats since the start of May. 🤯

    To put that in perspective, that's enough people to fill:

    🔶 Almost 86 double-decker buses 🚌

    🔶 Blackpool Tower ballroom - 5 and a half times 💃🏻

    🔶 Wimbledon's No.1 Court 🎾

    Image result for vince cable ballroom gif

    And in fact, by the time you're reading this, it could well be 12,000 - we'd had 600 new signups by lunchtime today alone!

    We've been fighting to give you the final say on Brexit for almost 3 years now - and we're winning. More and more people are becoming Lib Dem voters, supporters and members - many for the first time. We are the party of Remain.

    There's never been a better time to be a Liberal Democrat - so why not join us too?

    Our message is clear - we want to stop Brexit. Every vote, every new supporter, every new member is another step towards that. There's never been a better time to be a Liberal Democrat - so why not join us too?

    And if you do, you don't just become part of the biggest, most united Remain party, getting a say on our policy and direction. If you join by 7th June you'll get a vote on choosing who'll succeed Sir Vince Cable as Lib Dem leader. It's a really exciting time to get involved!

    Membership starts at just £1 a month and it only takes 5 minutes to get signed up. Become part of the biggest liberal, pro-EU family in the UK. Become a Liberal Democrat today.

  • Article: May 27, 2019
    By Jo Swinson MP in www.libdems.org.uk

    The Liberal Democrats, the Greens, the SNP, Change UK and Plaid Cymru won 40% of the vote compared to 35% for the Brexit Party and UKIP.

    Clearly, there is no mandate for Nigel Farage's terrifying vision of crashing out of the EU with no deal. But there is real danger ahead. Farage has reinserted himself back into our politics. And the Conservative Party looks likely to elect a new leader who will seek to emulate him by steering a course towards a no deal crash-out.

  • Article: May 23, 2019

    The opinion polls all tell the same story: the Liberal Democrats are the biggest and strongest Remain party in the East of England. Use your vote today to support the Lib Dems and stop the Brexit Party gaining a further seat.

Join the Lib Dems