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  • Housing
    Article: Jan 4, 2018

    Over 11,000 homes across the country have been sitting empty for ten years or more.

    At a time when the homelessness crisis is worsening and more and more people are sleeping out in the cold on our streets, it is a national scandal that thousands of homes across the country are sitting empty.

    The figures, uncovered through Freedom of Information responses from 276 local councils, show that there are over 216,000 homes across the country that have been empty for six months or more.

    Of these, 60,000 had been empty for two years or more, 23,000 for five years or more, and over 11,000 have stood empty for at least ten years.

    The research also shows that just one in thirteen councils are making use of Empty Dwelling Management Orders (EDMO), powers used by local authorities to take over properties that have been empty for at least six months.

    Only 19 of the 247 councils in England and Wales that responded (the powers do not apply in Scotland) had used an EDMO in the past five years.

    Of these only six had used one in the past year.

    In total, councils returned around 23,000 empty homes back into use, including through direct action and the work of empty home teams.

    These homes could be turned into affordable places to live for some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

    The Government needs to urgently review the current system which is clearly not working.

    Councils need to be given the powers and resources to bring empty homes back into use.

    This must form part of a wider package to tackle the housing crisis, including building more homes on unused public sector land and clamping down on land-banking.

  • NHS Logo
    Article: Jan 4, 2018

    The NHS crisis is worsening.

    The latest figures show that hospitals are facing the highest pressures so far this winter.

    16,900 patients faced waits of half-an-hour or more in ambulances outside A&E in the week to 31st December, 4,700 of them delays of over 60 minutes. These are the worst figures for ambulance delays for a single week so far this winter.

    There were 39 A&E diverts in the week to 31 December, the highest number so far this winter.

    Thousands of patients being stuck in ambulances outside A&Es and many hospitals suffering from a severe lack of beds.

    There were 480,400 calls to the NHS 111 service in the week to 31 December - the highest number of calls in a single week to NHS 111 since the service was created.

    Liberal Democrat analysis showed that in the week from 25th to 31st December, 12 of 137 NHS trusts were 100% full on at least one day, while 57 were at least 99% full on at least one day.

    In total 71,000 patients have faced delays of a half-an hour or more this winter, over 12,000 of them for an hour or more.

    These figures show the NHS crisis is worsening, with thousands of patients being stuck in ambulances outside A&Es and many hospitals suffering from a severe lack of beds.

    Every day seems to bring yet more bad news about the state of the health service. The blame lies firmly at the government's door.

    Ministers refused to provide the funding top NHS officials said was necessary and now patients are paying the price.

    It's time to give the NHS and care the extra cash they desperately need, by putting a penny on income tax to raise an extra £6bn a year.

  • Article: Dec 14, 2017
    By Liberal Democrats

    "Last night, Parliament took back control.

    "MPs insisted on a meaningful vote and dismissed Ministers' eleventh hour attempts to buy off the rebels.

    "This is a momentous day for Parliament and a humiliating defeat for Theresa May.

    "Now that MPs are to have a meaningful vote on the deal, the British people should get one too.

  • Article: Dec 7, 2017
    By Tim Farron MP

    The government has carried out impact assessments on policies ranging from songs from ice cream trucks to drain standards to the use of parody in comedy yet still hasn't produced any on Brexit, Liberal Democrat research has revealed.

    This is quite literally beyond parody.

    These revelations come after David Davis yesterday admitted that the 58 Brexit impact assessments he claimed his department was working never existed.

  • Chris Botten
    Article: Dec 1, 2017

    Commenting on the letter published by OFSTED today, Councillor Chris Botten, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Children & Families, said:

    "These are very serious criticisms of Surrey County Council, 3 years after the County Council's Children's Services were inspected by OFSTED and subsequently rated as "inadequate". There is a long list of failings that have been identified: the poor quality of social work, weaknesses in managerial oversight, children not receiving the right help at the right time and, in some cases, children being at risk of harm.

  • Angela Goodwin & Chris Botten
    Article: Dec 1, 2017

    Liberal Democrats have called upon Surrey County Council to improve and expand its provision of services to children with Special Educational Needs & Disabilities (SEND). The County Council spends a total of £237 million on SEND services for children and young people, educates 822 SEND students outside of the county, and spends nearly £27 million on travel costs for SEND students. Liberal Democrat county councillors have tabled a motion, to be discussed at Council next week, calling for the Conservative-administration to invest in more SEND provision within Surrey, in order to reduce the number of placements outside of the county, as well as reducing travel costs and times for children and parents alike.

  • Wasting your money
    Article: Dec 1, 2017

    The highly respected Centre for Economic Performance, based at the London School of Economics, has published research that estimates the cost of BREXIT so far at £404 per household. The researchers, four top UK academics, sought to put a cash value on the impact on individuals of Brexit.

    According to the research, the nearly 10% currency depreciation is responsible for an increase in inflation of 1.7% - equivalent to £404 pa or £7.74 per week - THIS IS WHAT HAS ALREADY HAPPENED.

  • Article: Nov 29, 2017

    The Brexit divorce bill will just be the down-payment on an economically disastrous extreme Brexit that would take us out of the single market and customs union.

    Around £45 billion would appear to be the price Johnson and Gove et al are willing to pay for a deluded vision of an imperial Britain post-Brexit.

  • Brexit Map
    Article: Nov 29, 2017

    David Davis has written to the Brexit Committee admitting the impact assessments they are being provided with, won't contain anything that might be commercially sensitive.

    Liberal Democrat MP Wera Hobhouse, who sits on the Brexit Committee, commented:

    "The government is still trying to pull the wool over the eyes of Parliament and the British people.

    "Ministers were ordered by MPs three weeks ago to publish these reports, but are still trying to hide the full impact of Brexit from the public.

    "There is a fine line between what is commercially sensitive and what is simply politically embarrassing for the government.

    "It should be up to MPs on the Brexit Committee, not David Davis, to make that call."

    Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson Tom Brake said:

    "It is right that the government has given these Brexit studies to MPs, but I am deeply concerned by reports they may not be complete and leave out key information on the damage Brexit will do to our economy and services. Not giving the full facts could be contempt of parliament.

    "The Liberal Democrats want people to be given the facts, so they can decide what they think of the Conservatives' Brexit deal, with the public having the right to exit from Brexit if it is a bad deal. The government shouldn't be allowed to keep secret the damage their plans may do."

  • Article: Nov 28, 2017

    Liam Fox has accused British companies of not wanting to export their goods around the globe, in an interview with the House Magazine.

    I can agree as many trade agreements as I like, but if British business doesn't want to export, then that doesn't do us any good.

    Liam Fox, International Trade Secretary

The Liberal Democrat Plan for Britain in Europe

Brexit - LD statementLib Dems want a further referendum on BREXIT terms


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