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Lib Dem group with Vince Cable - narrow format

  • Lendy Memorial, Walled Garden, Sunbury-on-Thames (Photo by Jim Linwood on Flickr used under a Creative Commons licence)
    Article: Jun 14, 2020

    Our solution to reopen the Walled Garden in Sunbury-on-Thames

    Spelthorne Borough Council has closed the Walled Garden in Sunbury for an indefinite period in response to the inclusion of the Lendy memorial in a list of potential targets on the ToppleTheRacists website. In the light of the protests in Bristol, London and elsewhere we can understand why a shot-term closure might be both pragmatic and in the best interests of public safety.

    The memorial commemorates two young Sunbury residents who died in Southern Africa late in the 19th century. Both were serving in the armed forces and were actively involved in what we now consider to be colonialist wars.

    Local Liberal Democrat councillors were not informed or consulted about the closure of the Walled Garden. We questioned the decision when we discovered it had been made and are pushing for the reopening of this important public space as soon as it is safe to do so.

    Local Liberal Democrats see the monument as an integral part of Lower Sunbury. It does not present an image of an individual nor does it seek to glorify colonialism. In order to reflect the inequalities that the latest Black Lives Matter protests have highlighted, we would like to see a new plaque added to provide a more modern context.

    Sunbury East councillor, Kathy Grant said "Racism has no place in our society and the Liberal Democrats as a party continue to strive to build a fairer, society without prejudice. We cannot ignore our colonial legacy. If we are to look towards a better future, we have to recognise it as part of our national history. Removing this memorial to two local young men would do nothing to promote racial equality, but we all need to accept that we have to engage properly about some of the difficult narratives of our past. An updated plaque or similar acknowledgement shows that we can be part of this important dialogue."

  • Queues at Charlton Lane Eco Park (Tom Fidler, Spelthorne Liberal Democrats)
    Article: Jun 10, 2020

    No response yet from Surrey County Council to our letter

    The queues for Charlton Lane Eco Park are intolerable. Your local borough representatives, inc LibDem Cllr Tom Fidler, sent several messages to Suez and Surrey CC. We have gone back to Suez to get some more understanding but silence from Surrey who are not leading by example.

  • Front Door (Spelthorne Liberal Democrats)
    Article: Jun 9, 2020

    Conservative infighting is disappointing; but we'll continue to fight for you

    The Spelthorne Liberal Democrats are disappointed that Conservative infighting has come to a head again during a time when we are all trying to pull together. Far from the inclusive and positive effort that we have contributed and supported during this crisis, we now find ourselves in a situation that distracts from key issues. Nonetheless, as the Council moves into No Overall Control for the first time in its history, it is right that we as the Liberal Democrats, the main opposition party look to ensure stability and an optimistic outcome that puts residents first.

  • Spelthorne secret planning decision (Photo by Michel Paz on Unsplash)
    Article: Jun 8, 2020

    Many councillors were left in the dark

    Spelthorne Liberal Democrats have major concerns about Spelthorne Borough Council's announcement regarding the plan to develop the Bridge Street Car Park and Hanover House site as a Hotel-led mix use development. The Council has announced that, following a competitive tendering process, the Arora Group have been awarded the development contract. The procurement approach and the outcome were unanimously approved with minimal discussion by the ruling Party Cabinet. It would appear that very few, if any, other Councillors outside the Cabinet had been involved, so were unaware of just how advanced this proposal was and that the process was now completed.

  • Spelthorne Liberal Democrat Councillor Chris Bateson (Spelthorne Borough Council)
    Article: Jun 4, 2020

    Liberal Democrat Councillor Chris Bateson reviews his first year representing residents in Staines South Ward

    How time flies!

    First success

    A year ago, in May 2019, along with my colleague Nichola Cornes, we were privileged to be the first Liberal Democrats to be elected in Staines in history. We worked hard - not just at election time, but for over two years before the election communicating our message about why we wanted the Council to be run differently. We were rewarded with a huge vote of confidence from residents in our Staines South Ward attaining 44% of the total vote.
  • Housing under construction (Lawrence Nichols)
    Article: Jun 3, 2020

    Spelthorne has a growing demand for genuinely affordable housing

    The new Spelthorne Housing Strategy for 2020 to 2025 has been published. It is full of high aspirations and uplifting statements of intent, but on closer examination it shows a record of underachievement.

    The strategy is clear that nowhere near enough social housing has been provided in Spelthorne and the situation is getting worse - "Spelthorne has a growing demand for genuinely affordable housing". The Council has failed to deliver and this strategy will not resolve the situation.

  • Graph showing last 7 days CV19 cases
    Article: May 31, 2020

    Here is the science to back that up

    We all want the country to return to somewhere close to normal life again after 10 weeks of restrictions, but we cannot ignore the risks, and must all take great care in the way we behave.

    We are starting unlocking when the number of cases is nowhere near as low as in other European countries and several members of the SAGE group of top academic advisors are very worried that we are relaxing controls too early.

  • Office block (Unsplash)
    Article: May 28, 2020

    A DIRECT result of unwise borrowing by our council

    Read the rest of the story: https://spelthornelibdems.org.uk/en/page/focus-on-borrowing-gamble

    The Treasury has issued a consultation document about the future of the Public Works Loans Board (PWLB). The PWLB is the government body that makes loans to Local Councils and from which Spelthorne has borrowed over £1bn since 2016.

  • Spelthorne Borough Council lockdown meeting (Spelthorne Borough Council)
    Article: May 24, 2020

    Delivered by Sandra Dunn, Group Leader of the SpelthoRne Liberal Democrats

    As shown in the picture, this was the first virtual Council meeting and only Council Officers and the Mayor were present in the Chamber

    The full report can be found here: https://democracy.spelthorne.gov.uk/documents/s27114/Report%20on%20emergency%20response%20to%20COVID-19.pdf

  • Spelthorne Borrowing Gamble (Photo by Jason Lam on Unsplash)
    Article: May 22, 2020

    Spelthorne Council was behaving outside of the spirit of the guidance

    Public Accounts Committee hear more evidence about excessive borrowing

    The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) held a second hearing into Local Authority commercial investments on 15th May, with Spelthorne very much in the minds of the committee members and all the witnesses. With £1bn of borrowing, Spelthorne stands out from other councils and the committee and the witnesses did not view this as a good thing.

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