Today the government had an opportunity to ensure that water companies take all reasonable steps to ensure untreated sewage is not discharged into our rivers, but once again the government have ignored the millions of people who demanded action.
We needed to see legislation with real teeth today which gave water companies hard deadlines and targets, instead, the government have merely voted for a flimsy law which won't be strong enough to hold water companies to account.
Liberal Democrats have a plan to support our natural environment and tackle the climate crisis, and we won’t stand for the continuing pollution of our precious rivers.
You can read more about our plan below.
READ OUR PLAN
Fylde parliamentary spokesperson, Mark Jewell, has expressed concerns with the government sharing our medical histories with commercial third parties.
"My concerns are not related to using this data to plan for and provision for our NHS and social care requirements. However, we need to better understand why they would be shared with commercial third parties, such as surveillance and US pharmaceutical companies. The government need to explain why medical records would be sold/shared with commercial third parties. Individuals could then make a more informed decision as to whether they want their records sharing.
"With a deep mistrust in the current government, people are seeking reassurance about how the NHS and other bodies might use their information".
The deadline for opting out has been extended to September 1st (although it is advisable to get the form to your GP at least a week before this date) and can be done by patients completing a form and giving it to their family doctor.
Details on how to opt out are provided at How to opt out | medConfidential
(Image courtesy of Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash)
St Annes Town Councillor Joanne Gardner writes:
"After 5 days of encampment, the Travellers have finally left the fields on Blackpool Road North.
As advised in my updates on the Friends of Blackpool Road North Playing Fields Facebook page, Fylde Borough Council had asked residents to report any instances of anti-social behaviour to the police via 101, and it is understood that this information was used in court when the Travellers fought the eviction order. Ultimately the court found in favour of Fylde Borough Council and the Travellers were given 24 hours to vacate the site."
Fylde Borough Council have now visited the site to clear up the rubbish left, and are now discussing additional security for the fields."
Thank you once again to all those residents who helped with this process and for your patience and understanding over the last week."
As you may already be aware, a group of Travellers have again made an unauthorised encampment on the Blackpool Road North Playing Field.
St Annes Town Councillor Joanne Gardner has been in touch with Fylde Borough Council and has been informed today (Tuesday 18th May) that the statutory Welfare Assessment has been completed and, based on the impact on the local community, a decision to evict has been made.
The Direction to Leave was issued for 4pm today but the Travellers failed to leave, and consequently a summons for a hearing at 10am on Thursday has been made.
The summons will be issued to the Travellers tomorrow (Wednesday 19th May) and if the court finds in favour of Fylde Borough Council, then the Travellers will be given 24 hours to leave.
We will keep you updated as this situation develops.
Did you know that if you spot a problem with the roads or pavements you can report it directly to Lancashire County Council?
The role of your local Councillor (please see Contact Us) is to help residents when they have a problem or an issue which they can’t solve, but you can also report things directly to Lancashire County Council if you spot something whilst out and about.
Whether its a faulty street light, blocked drain or a damaged pavement or road, you can report it and also track its progress at: www.lancashire.gov.uk/roads-parking-and-travel/report-it/
(image courtesy of Lancashire County Council)
Cllr Joanne Gardner and Cllr Karen Henshaw, as Committee members of the Friends of Blackpool Road North Playing Field, welcome Fylde Borough Council's decision to provide the funding to replace the drain on the Field.
Work will include the replacement of the existing “culverted” drain down the side of the Field with a new “French Drain”, together with an additional stretch across the Field to assist in drainage.
This will make a huge difference to members of St Annes Football Club, who celebrate their 50 years anniversary next year. The Friends Group have campaigned for many years now for improvements to this long-neglected area of St Annes. It is understood that Fylde Borough Council are also planning to replace the worn-out Children's Playground - not before time!
Let's look forward to a New Year and a New Playing Field!
Councillor Mark Jewell calls on more Support for Carers.
Almost 1,000 people across Preston are entitled to a Carer's Allowance but are not claiming it.
Cllr Mark Jewell and Cllr John Potter have highlighted this and are asking the Council to promote this benefit within the Council Tax documentation that will be sent out in the coming weeks.
They are also asking the Council to write to the government to increase the Carer’s Allowance from £67.25 a week to £87.25 per week in line with the increase in Universal Credit at the start of this pandemic.
Cllr Mark Jewell, who represents the Ingol and Cottam Ward commented, “We all know someone who has needed some care in their lives, whether for a parent or partner towards the end of their life, for a disabled child, or a debilitating illness of a loved one. The Government's own figures show that 79% of claimants entitled to Carer’s Allowance, but not receiving it, are aged 66 or over”.
Cllr John Potter added, “Carers do a remarkable and important job. The challenges they face every day have been made even harder by the COVID-19 pandemic and they deserve our support. They are the most forgotten and ignored champions in our communities. As such, Liberal Democrats want unpaid carers to get an extra £20 a week for this benefit, in line with the increase for Universal Credit. Such an increase would help with many Carers struggling financially.”
The Carer’s Allowance is a benefit for full time unpaid Carers. You must be 16 years old or over, spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone in receipt of a qualifying disability benefit, and earn less than £128 a week after tax and NI contributions. It isn’t means tested, but it is taxable.
In Preston, figures show that almost a 1000 people, 983 out of the 3443 that are eligible, are not claiming this allowance.
For those who do claim this allowance, they get £67.25 per week. That's £3,500 per year
Cllr Mark Jewell further commented that “Throughout this pandemic many Carers have been left isolated, not able to access even a little respite. Many will feel lonely and quite frankly exhausted and struggling financially. There are some using the foodbank at Share IT in Ingol and many others across Preston using foodbanks, who are also caring for a loved one. They are at the frontline and need some support and help themselves.
It is for all these reasons that we are making the case for the Carer's Allowance to be increased and for the Council to promote this benefit so that everyone entitled to it can claim it.”
If you feel you qualify for Carer's Allowance, and you live in Preston, you can contact Preston Council’s Welfare line on 01772 906363 or e-mail them at [email protected], or if you live in the Fylde, you can contact Carers Lancashire on 0345 688 7113.
STOP PRESS: After a brilliant speech by Lib Dem Cllr Mark Jewell, Preston Council has now voted through a motion calling for more help for carers in the city. Well done Mark!
Cllr Mark Jewell represents the Ingol and Cottam Ward on Preston City Council. Cottam is within the Fylde constituency.
Cllr Mark Jewell contact: 07758 151618, [email protected]
Cllr Joanne Gardner had a tremendous response from the residents of Lytham St Annes for her call to reject Lancashire County Council's proposal for the introduction of parking charges on the Prom, and also collected over 350 signatures in just 8 days, which was absolutely fantastic!
The petition was sent to LCC on the 20th November 2020 and is now with the officer responsible for the proposal to be taken into consideration during the review.
At a meeting of LCC highways officials, it was reported that there had been “an unbelievable number of comments and feedback” to the parking proposals along St Annes Promenade, and that “nothing will be done in the immediate future” as they will need to spend a significant amount of time reading and assessing all the responses submitted.
Indeed, it has recently been reported that the total number of responses to the proposal had approached 600!
The proposal is currently due to be decided upon at the LCC Cabinet meeting on Thursday 10th June at 2PM.
We will of course be keeping a close eye on proceedings, and will keep you informed of any developments!
The Fylde Lib Dems have started up two new social media channels within Facebook.
First off, we now have a FaceBook Page where you can see not only messages from the National Party, but also messages from your local party on topics that you have told us that you are concerned about. You can check out our FaceBook page below, and if you like it, please give us a "Like"!
Fylde Lib Dems Facebook Page
Secondly, we have started up a Fylde Lib Dem Community Group on Facebook. This is a bit different from the Page described above as it is a Private Group for local members and friends of the Fylde Lib Dems who wish to virtually meet in a welcoming online environment to chat about local or national politics, raise issues that others may be interested in, or just to have a natter with likeminded people!
Since we started only a few weeks ago it has fostered many discussions on the issues of the day, safe in the knowledge that all discussions can only be seen by members of the Group who have all themselves agreed, on entry, to conduct themselves in accordance with the code of conduct of the Liberal Democrats to ensure it is a safe place to be. Please consider joining us via the Link below:
Fylde Lib Dems Community Facebook Group
Fylde's Lib Dem spokesperson, Cllr Mark Jewell, has criticised the local MP and the government for reneging on manifesto promises made before the election in December 2019.
Fears have been raised as government promises for post-Brexit food and environmental standards have been removed from the Agriculture Bill.
Cllr Mark Jewell explained that during a husting at Lytham St Annes High School he asked Fylde’s MP, Mark Menzies, whether, post Brexit, he supported protecting our current food standards. In response Mark Menzies said our standards would be better and cited the French propensity for foie-gras.
In reality, Fylde’s MP has voted against protections of minimum food standards and safeguards for Britain’s farmers. Cllr Mark Jewell added, “In the event of no trade deal with the EU over the coming months this crucial omission to the Agriculture Bill will open the flood gates to cheap food imports into the UK from around the world. This food may not have been produced to the same standards consistently achieved by farmers across the Fylde.
This matters because Fylde's farmers would be undermined by cheap imports, whilst still trying to serve their biggest market within the EU.
Cllr Mark Jewell acknowledged that the government have since said, that they will establish a new Trade and Agriculture Commission. However, he commented, “This new body must be a watchdog with teeth that will prevent the Conservatives undermining Fylde's farmers, instead of being a lapdog that provides cover for the Tories to sell us out in future trade deals”.
Cllr Mark Jewell has signed the NFU’s ‘Food Standards Petition’ and Fylde residents can also sign it by visiting the Back British Farming website.
Cllr Mark Jewell is the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Fylde and stood in the 2019 election. He is a Preston City Councillor representing the Fylde area of Cottam.
Contact details are: [email protected], 07758 151618
NFU’s Food Standards Petition https://www.nfuonline.com/back-british-farming/campaign-news/food-standards-petition/
Stalled talks with EU threaten climate action, Liberal Democrats warn
The Liberal Democrats have called on the Government to join the EU Emission Trading Scheme as part of a package of policies to “build a green recovery and tackle the climate emergency.”
The proposal, agreed as part of the Green Recovery motion at the Party’s Autumn conference, come as talks between the EU and the UK on a free trade agreement failed to make progress with environmental standards cited as a major stumbling block.
Liberal Democrat Climate Action Spokesperson Sarah Olney has warned Conservative Ministers struggling to cut deals with the EU are “risking that recovery and abandoning the duty on all of us to tackle the climate emergency.”
The Liberal Democrats are arguing that the UK should open talks to secure post-Brexit entry to the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, the European Union’s climate change policy tool to help industries cut their CO2 emissions in a cost-effective way.
Other proposals agreed by the Liberal Democrats include a legally binding commitment to reduce emissions tied into coronavirus related support packages and major investment to encourage active travel through walking and cycling, which recent official figures show has stagnated.
Liberal Democrat Climate Action Spokesperson Sarah Olney:
As we look at how we create jobs and get our economy moving following the pandemic, the Government must take a climate-first approach.
With Conservative Ministers struggling to cut deals with the EU, they are risking that recovery and abandoning the duty on all of us to tackle the climate emergency.
People and the planet deserve better. Liberal Democrats are unequivocally clear that reducing emissions must be a cornerstone for both business and government.
That means radical action from investing in active travel to putting aside party politics and working with our closest international partners to build a green recovery and tackle the climate emergency.