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  • Peter Wexham - warned of need for sprinklers four years ago
    Article: Jul 10, 2017
    In Leigh & West Leigh Focus: July 2017

    Back in 2013 Lib Dem Councillor Peter Wexham moved a motion in Southend Council calling for all planning permissions for new flats to require sprinklers to be fitted.

    Peter represented Southend on the Essex Fire Authority and he was reflecting the advice of fire brigade chiefs across the country.

    Although Peter's resolution was seconded by two Tory Councillors and received all-party support, the Cabinet's response was that without Government backing, this planning rule would be unenforceable, so nothing was done.

  • Grenfell
    Article: Jul 10, 2017
    By Carole Mulroney in Kursaal Focus: July 2017

    Council's urgent checks after horror blaze

    By Carole Mulroney Lib Dem Council Group Leader

    We watched in absolute horror at the tragic fire in Grenfell Tower.

    Our hearts naturally go out to those who lost loved-ones or whose own lives have been devastated by this horrific event.

    The emergency services were, as usual, magnificent. They must get all the support they need.

  • Peter Gwizdala at Save Southend A&E rally.
    Article: May 30, 2017
    By Adam Hutchins

    It is without doubt that our accident and emergency department is in danger.

    Southend Lib Dems originally looked at the proposals for Southend's A&E from a clinical perspective and concerns regarding infrastructure.

    However, the published proposals by STP are deeply flawed, and so we are now supporting the Save Southend A&E campaign 100%. You can follow their progress on Facebook.

  • Carol Mulroney Echo Letter 17th May 2017
    Article: May 17, 2017
    By Carole Mulroney in Southend Echo

    A letter from Cllr Carole Mulroney to the Echo:

    Dear Sir
    I too attended the meeting at Westcliff last week, because like everyone else in Southend should be I am appalled at what is proposed.
    The Success Regime is all about saving money, so it is not just a fight for our A & E, but a fight to prevent the inevitable domino effect of reducing our local services at the hospital.
  • Lucy V Salek
    Article: May 11, 2017

    Lib Dems will invest £38m to protect school funding in Southend on Sea

    The Liberal Democrats have announced that they will invest £38 million more in schools and colleges in Southend-on-Sea over the next parliament.

    The funding for Southend would reverse cuts to frontline school and college budgets, protect per pupil funding in real terms and ensure no school loses out from changes to funding arrangements.

  • Lucy V. Salek
    Article: May 6, 2017

    Lib Dems penny for NHS would raise extra £26m for Southend, Castle Point and Rochford

    The Liberal Democrats have announced they would plug funding gaps for the NHS and social care by putting a penny on income tax, in their first major manifesto commitment of the election campaign.

    The tax would raise an additional £130million for the NHS and £59million for social care in Essex, with £14m going to the NHS in Southend, £12m for Castle Point and Rochford and £6.2m for social care Southend each year.

  • Lucy V. Salek
    Article: May 3, 2017

    Southend Liberal Democrats today announced their Parliamentary Candidates for the 2017 snap General Election.

    Humanitarian worker Lucy Salek will take the fight to David Amess in Southend West and businessman Peter Gwizdala will build on his 2015 campaign in Rochford and Southend East.

    The party is set to capitalise on its recent surge in membership, with activists ready to fight a positive and passionate campaign. Chairman Bob Howes believes their message of economic stability over Hard Brexit and more money to vital services will be popular on the doorstep:

  • Peter Gwizdala
    Article: Apr 30, 2017
    In Shoeburyness Focus: April/May 2017

    (if you're over the age of 70 or know someone who is)

    Some 900 adult social care workers a day quit their jobs last year.

    This is yet another sign that under this Government, our NHS and Social Care system are lurching from one crisis to the next.

    "And yet the Conservative Government stumble on blindly ignoring all the warning signs." said Peter Gwizdala, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate for Rochford and Southend East. "We knew years ago that the average age of the British population was getting older but successive Labour and Conservative Governments did too little about it."
    He continued, "If you are over the age of 70 or know someone who is, this issue is very likely going to affect you in the next decade. The time bomb is ticking and the Government's response is to put their fingers in their ears."

  • Shoeburyness High School
    Article: Apr 30, 2017
    In Shoeburyness Focus: April/May 2017

    Local schools are facing a quadruple whammy of budget cuts

    • Government will cut funds to schools in towns like Southend and give the money instead
      to other towns.
    • Government is cutting the grant to Southend Council for supporting schools' ICT equipment, music etc.
    • Government is not giving grants to cover unavoidable higher costs such as increased National Insurance and a tax to pay for apprenticeships.
    • Government funding has not taken account of the increasing number of children going through our schools.
  • Peter Gwizdala
    Article: Apr 20, 2017

    Voters in Rochford and Southend East should vote for the Liberal Democrats to change the direction of the country and ensure Britain has a decent opposition, the party's local candidate has said today.

    Parliament has overwhelmingly accepted Theresa May's call for a snap General Election to be held on 8th June.

    Liberal Democrat candidate for Rochford and Southend East, Peter Gwizdala commented:

    "This election is a huge opportunity for voters in Rochford and Southend East to change the direction of our country and ensure Britain has a decent opposition."

    "People in Rochford and Southend East may have voted to leave the EU, but many did not vote for the extreme form of Brexit that Theresa May has imposed on us after being backed by Labour. For all those who want to protect our local economy and local jobs by staying in the Single Market and ensure the people have the final say over what comes next, this is your chance."

    "The Liberal Democrats are the real opposition to the Conservative Brexit Government and the only party fighting for a Britain that is open, tolerant and united."

  • logo
    Article: Apr 19, 2017

    The Liberal Democrat General Election campaign is off to a flying start, with over 5,000 new members joining in the short time since the snap election was called. They are now part of the fastest growing political party in Britain, one that has doubled in size since May 2015.

    Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said: "This election is a chance to change the direction of our country and thousands are joining our fight. If you want to avoid a disastrous Hard Brexit. If you want to keep Britain in the Single Market. If you want a Britain that is open, tolerant and united, this is your chance. Thousands of people up and down the country are joining the Liberal Democrats so that we can send a message to Theresa May and the Conservative Brexit Government that we do not want a hard Brexit. In this General Election it is clear that only the Liberal Democrats can prevent a Conservative majority."

    Speaking to the Southend Lib Dem website, Membership Development Officer Kathy Loades said, "Within hours of Theresa May's snap election being called, thousands had joined the Liberal Democrats and I'm delighted to report a surge here in Southend. This election is our chance to express the outrage we feel at the lies and hidden agendas of the referendum campaign, the price rises that are already starting to bite, the lack of a plan for our economy and to get a government that really will provide more money for our NHS and schools - not just slap a slogan on the side of a bus. We will be contacting all our new members shortly to welcome them to the local party but I would urge anyone who wants to fight against a hard Brexit and for our NHS and services, to join the Liberal Democrats today. We'll be delighted to have you."

  • Article: Apr 10, 2017

    This article was released prior to further details being released and our support for the Save Southend A&E campaign is 100%

    But for the interest of complete transparency here is the original article from 10th April.

    A revised statement is available here: Support Saving Southend A&E

    Original Article

  • Carol Mulroney Echo Letter 4th April 2017
    Article: Apr 6, 2017
    In Southend Echo

    Carole Mulroney responds to a letter from Mark Smith in the Southend Echo

    Following a letter to the Southend Echo, Carol Mulroney responded:

    Lib Dems are party on the rise

    Mark Smith ponders the point of the Liberal Democrats. Well ponder this.

    Since the General Election, the Lib Dems have doubled their membership to 87,000, the highest for 20 years, with 5,000 joining in March alone. And since the EU referendum the Lib Dems have seen a surge of support in council byelections and, of course, we won Richmond from the Tories.

  • Panorama pre-march
    Article: Mar 29, 2017

    Southend Lib Dems were out in force for the Unite for Europe March in London at the weekend. This may be a surprise to some as there was a definite silence in some areas of the press, most noticeably the BBC.

    With estimates of between 25-100,000 attendees, not one arrest was made as the march passed peacefully, joyously and above all respectably. Respect much needed after the events that preceded the march - an attack on the UK's democracy, what better way to answer this attack than a march?!

    Southend Liberal Democrats followed up their attendance at September's March with numbers into double figures.

  • Southend and Chelmsford Lib Dems at Spring Conference 2017
    Article: Mar 27, 2017

    Southend Liberal Democrats attend Spring National Conference in York

    Some of our members, Katherine and Ben Loades, Adam Hutchins and John Batch have just returned from the National Spring Conference in York.

    Adam and John are pictured here with some of our colleagues from Chelmsford Liberal Democrats (L-R: Edward Longford, Andrew Sosin, Marie Goldman, Giovanni Sechi, Adam and John).

  • Councillor Carole Mulroney wants clarity on section 106 agreements
    Article: Mar 12, 2017
    In Leigh & West Leigh Focus: February 2017

    Public outrage whenever bungalows are demolished and replaced with pairs of houses or even blocks of flats led Southend Council to promote a planning policy to protect bungalows. The Council argued that there was a need to preserve the town's stock of low-level housing for elderly or disabled people who have trouble with stairs. With an ageing population the need is greater than ever.

  • Herschell House
    Article: Mar 11, 2017
    In Leigh & West Leigh Focus: February 2017

    Preserving Leigh's Historic Heritage Needs Constant Vigilance

    Herschell House is an early nineteenth century Grade II Listed Building on Leigh Hill in a Conservation Area. It is named after the Rev. Ridley Herschell who lived there when he was school master for the Lady of the Manor and left a lasting impression on Leigh.

  • Wallmarkings
    Article: Mar 10, 2017
    In Leigh & West Leigh Focus: February 2017

    For over 100 years there has been a viewing platform on Cliff Parade overlooking the estuary. It stands above the disused public conveniences in Cliff Gardens. Access to the area from Cliff Parade has been fenced off as it was a danger.

    The viewing area is a little gem of Leigh's history as the coping stones to the edges of the platform contain hundreds of pieces of graffiti dating back to before the Great War.

  • Ashley Thompson with Fence
    Article: Mar 10, 2017
    In Leigh & West Leigh Focus: February 2017

    When it is a hoarding, apparently!

    Our photo shows the tall "fence" that has been put up on private land just below Leigh Library Gardens. It blocks the views across the estuary which park users have enjoyed for over 150 years. But a fence over 2 metres high needs planning permission which this "fence" does not have - and which many residents would probably object to. But the owner argues that this is not a fence but a temporary hoarding around the property he is building, and therefore not subject to planning permission or the 2 metre rule.

  • Peter Wexham One-way Street
    Article: Mar 10, 2017
    In Leigh & West Leigh Focus: February 2017

    Some local roads are so heavily parked on both sides that there is not enough room for two cars to pass each other.

    When two motorists meet, one has to back up and sometimes tempers flare.

    Or motorists zoom down the road hoping to get through before someone else starts coming the other way.

    When local residents demand it, Southend Council can solve the problem by making the roads one-way. In recent weeks the Council has agreed to make Cliffsea Grove, Leighvillle Grove and Lansdowne Avenue one-way.

  • Cllr Carole Mulroney in front of a Leigh new build
    Article: Mar 9, 2017
    In Leigh & West Leigh Focus: February 2017

    Alongside the NHS, policing and social care, the lack of low cost housing is one of this country's most pressing problems. So Councils often try to make developers provide some affordable housing in their schemes, or pay for it to be built elsewhere.

    But in 2013 the then Minister in charge of planning, Eric Pickles, said that developers could walk away from their promises if they could show their development would not make enough money if affordable housing was included.

  • Campaigner Bob Howes - Delighted to see Council is investing in library which was threatened with closure.
    Article: Mar 6, 2017
    In Prittlewell Focus: March 2017

    When the Tories were last in power in Southend they threatened to close Westcliff Library to save money. Public protests at their library plans was one reason they fell from power. Now they are back they seem to have learnt something from their mistakes and are investing in a major refurbishment of the library. Local Lib Dem campaigner Bob Howes said "I am delighted by this dramatic u-turn. It shows that when the public speak out, even the Tories have to listen."

  • Priory Park Gates, apparently in need of a £35000 paint job?!
    Article: Mar 3, 2017
    In Prittlewell Focus: March 2017

    Southend Council is in a cash crisis, struggling to find money to support the elderly and disadvantaged children. Our roads are full of potholes, and traffic congestion and parking problems are left on the back-burner for years. Yet the Tories running Southend Council plan to spend £35,000 refurbishing the gates at Priory Park. Yes, that is the right figure, £35,000 when most people think a good coat of paint is all they need.

  • Adam checking traffic on Carlton
    Article: Mar 3, 2017
    By Adam Hutchins in Prittlewell Focus: March 2017

    Excessive speeding in the area appears to have increased, and driving around the area has become more and more dangerous. We've all seen cars that have been hit whilst they have been parked, usually in roads where there is plenty of space. I recently saw a car on Southbourne Grove that had been hit in this way - imagine finding your own car in this condition, potentially un-roadworthy? Incredibly distressing. The use of these 'rat runs' is far too common.

  • Earls Hall
    Article: Mar 2, 2017
    In Prittlewell Focus: March 2017

    Local schools are facing a quadruple whammy of budget cuts:

    • Government will cut funds to schools in towns like Southend and give the money instead to other towns
    • Government is cutting the grant to Southend Council for supporting schools' ICT equipment, music etc
    • Government is not giving grants to cover unavoidable higher costs such as increased National Insurance and a tax to pay for apprenticeships
    • Government funding has not taken account of the increasing number of children going through our schools.