Tag Archives: south east

South East Liberal Democrats back dynamic ideas for “People’s Advocate” in planning issues and bigger role for chambers of commerce in local economic development

Liberal Democrats from across the south east of England gathered in Canterbury on 17thNovember for their annual regional conference. Held at the city’s Spires Academy, the conference heard from MPs Stephen Lloyd (Eastbourne), Ed Davey (Kingston) and Tom Brake (Carshalton and Wallington) as well as Baroness Judith Jolly and the Leader of the Opposition on Kent County Council, Cllr Rob Bird. 

Canterbury and Coastal Liberal Democrats proposed two motions. Both were endorsed by the conference by overwhelmingly majorities.  They will now be considered at national level.

The first idea proposed is in response to the widely held feeling in communities across the country that ordinary people don’t get a proper hearing on planning matters. 

In cities, towns and villages across the South East ordinary voters feel the cards are stacked against them. They see developers hiring expensive lawyers, planning consultants and PR firms that dominate the process and shut out objections. 

The Liberal Democrat idea is that communities will be able to able to apply for a match funded grant of up to £5,000 from their local council. With money from their own resources added to the council grant, a community will be able to hire a legal, planning or public relations expert, known as “A People’s Advocate,”  to guide them and help them shape their campaign. 

Posted in News and Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged , and | 36 Comments

Opinion: A south coast main line railway

The deadline for policy motions to the party’s Spring Conference in Liverpool has now passed.

As always, it will be up to the Federal Conference Committee (newly elected at the end of last year), to select the motions to be debated on the Conference floor, and no doubt the imperative of the General Election will focus minds as to which motions to pick; and there may even be a little direction from HQ as to which motions best suit the messaging!

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 20 Comments

South East UKIP Euro candidate says businesses should have right not to serve women and gay people

On the day that Nick Clegg has pointed out how, well, useless UKIP MEPs are, I had a look back 5 years to a post I wrote two days before the 2009 European election in which I pointed out why they are really bad news. I could have written it today. Nothing really has changed.

And over that 5 years, we’ve had a stream of UKIP councillors and parliamentary hopefuls say silly things. We’ve had the floods being related to equal marriage and Godfrey Bloom’s fridgegate. Not to mention one of their major donors describe women wearing

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 13 Comments

Opinion: Regional planning – it mattered not one jot

It is a general rule of life that the longer a document is, the less it matters. I have just read all 1,374 pages of the Strategic Environmental Assessment for the revocation of the South East Plan, published last week. Does this document matter? Not one jot, except for one important lesson, which I’ll come to in a moment.

Everything regional is out of favour at the moment. Quite rightly, too. When I lived in Oxfordshire I did not feel that I belonged to “the South East”. Now I live in Shropshire, I do not for a moment

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 11 Comments
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