Author Archives: Monroe Palmer

Lord Monroe Palmer writes…The Government has back-pedalled and tenants have won

This week the Housing Bill has continued in its long worn out path through the Lords. The Liberal Democrats have been battling to make changes to a Bill which will currently only worsen the housing crisis, reducing the availability of housing and moving the first rung of the housing ladder even further out of reach.

Across the past fortnight, facing the threat of multiple humiliating defeats at the hands of opposing peers, the Government have been forced to back pedal on a number of measures. This week they made a significant concession on protections for tenants at the hands of rogue letting agents. An amendment with my name on it had been put forward which ensured that money belonging to tenants for use as holding fees, deposits, rent, or service charges by letting agents, was protected.

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Monroe Palmer writes: Reform of the complaints system for the Armed Forces

British soldiers on a training mission in Afghanistan -  Some rights reserved by AN HONORABLE GERMANThe Armed Forces (Service Complaints and Financial Assistance) Bill, currently going through report stage in the Lords, has a non-snappy title clearly not dreamt up with Public Relations in mind. It is however important as it includes creation of a Service Complaints Ombudsman and reform of Service complaints system.

As we move into Report stage the Liberal Democrat team, including the valuable contributions of my Lib Dem colleague Martin Thomas (Lord Thomas of Gresford), concentrated on two amendments. One to ensure that a complaint does not disappear if the complainant dies. The second is to carry out an investigation of any allegations of systemic abuse or injustice if it appears to her/him to be in the public interest and that there should be compelling circumstances.

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Lord Monroe Palmer writes…Armed Forces Bill is a step towards a fairer society

090103-M-6058R-012This week saw the Second Reading in The Lords of a Bill welcomed by the Liberal Democrats. It bears the unattractive title ‘Armed Forces (Service Complaints and Financial Assistance) Bill’ but builds towards our manifesto pledge to create a fair deal for our service personnel. A promise that has particular significance ahead of Armed Forces Day on Saturday.

The Bill deals with three matters: the creation of a Service Complaints Ombudsman; the reform of the service complaints system; and ensuring financial assistance to charities and other organisations which support the Armed Forces …

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European voters can be important to electoral success in local elections

As part of a 3-year London-wide initiative Liberal Democrats sought to connect with European voters who do not have a vote in UK General Elections. The European Voter Initiative (EUVI) was organised mainly by Dinti Batstone running up to the last European elections. On the back of specific fund-raising there was a vibrant contacting of European, non-UK, voters thus increasing the Liberal Democrat turnout in certain geographical areas for the European Elections. At the end of that campaign, out of funds that were available, a prize of £500 was offered to the local party which put together a specific campaign …

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