Tag Archives: southwark

If Liberal Democrats are serious about Housing, we will fix ‘Right to Buy’

Right to Buy is back in the news after it emerged Labour Deputy Leader Angela Rayner made a £48,500 profit on her ex-council house using the scheme. Whatever you think about this, I do agree with Angela that housing aspiration isn’t the issue – it’s failing to replace homes that are sold off. Liberal Democrats need to lead the charge to reform Right to Buy.

Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government introduced the Right to Buy scheme in the United Kingdom, allowing council tenants to purchase their homes at discounted prices. At the time, it was hailed as revolutionary, promising social mobility and homeownership for the masses.

As the years have passed, it has become increasingly evident that Right to Buy has failed to live up to its lofty aspirations, exacerbating rather than alleviating the housing crisis in the UK.

By allowing tenants to buy their council homes at discounted rates, the government inadvertently depleted the stock of affordable housing available for those in need. This has created a vicious cycle where the demand for social housing far exceeds the supply, leading to skyrocketing rents and homelessness. The cost of building new homes is simply not covered by the receipts from Right to Buy.

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Aylesbury – the estate that took the crown

The Netflix series “The Crown” Series 4 Episode 5. The camera pans across what appear to be desolate tower blocks and an inner-city, high-rise wasteland with little hope. It’s the home of Michael Fagan, the intruder who so famously gained entry to Buckingham Palace and sat on the Queen’s bed.

In the episode in question the Queen (Olivia Colman) gathers herself after the shock of the appearance of Fagan (Tom Brooke) in her bedroom. She rallies her famous small talk and asks: “and where do you live?” answer: “King’s Cross.” “Is it nice?” “Not really.”

But the setting is not King’s Cross. In fact, the glimpses we see of Fagan’s world are South of the river. It’s the Aylesbury estate in Walworth, Southwark. The Aylesbury, home to Wendover, the longest tower block in Europe and part of Faraday ward, at one time one of the most deprived wards in the UK.

I knew it well as one of the Lib Dem councillors for the estate in the nineties and noughties.

The Aylesbury is the edgy setting for many a TV show. The towers feature on a Madonna video and countless episodes of the Bill. As a young woman I experienced plenty of frightening times on the estate. Walking back from a meeting on Wendover late at night I was followed by two men in a car which sped off once the occupants had had the fun of seeing my terror close up.

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1 July 2022 – today’s press releases

  • VAT cut: Ministers need to stop dithering and act now
  • Suspending Chris Pincher should never have taken this long
  • Concern Over Cardiff Council Plans to Tackle Begging
  • Southwark Liberal Democrats Demand More Ambition in Plans to Tackle Air Pollution

VAT cut: Ministers need to stop dithering and act now

Responding to reports the government is considering cutting VAT, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

Families across the UK are facing a cost-of-living emergency. Ministers need to stop dithering and act now.

Liberal Democrats have been calling for an emergency VAT cut for months. It was a key part of our successful by-election campaign in Tiverton and Honiton. Families need it, businesses need it, and voters clearly support it. So why haven’t Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak done it already?

The sad truth is that we have a Government has no plan and a Prime Minister too busy fighting with his own party to help the British people.

Suspending Chris Pincher should never have taken this long

Responding to the news Chris Pincher has had the Conservative whip suspended, Liberal Democrat Chief Whip Wendy Chamberlain MP said:

It should never have taken Boris Johnson this long to act and withdraw the whip.

Once again it seems Johnson has had to be forced into doing the right thing

There can be no more cover ups or excuses. If this investigation confirms these serious allegations, Chris Pincher will surely have to resign.

The Liberal Democrat Voice team have recently started to receive more press releases from Council Groups around the country, perhaps a sign of greater confidence and ambition, and we’ll try to publish some of them going forward…

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George Dunk’s memorial service to take place this Saturday

George Dunk was a much-loved presence on the Lib Dem scene for decades. I first knew him through his wife, Sandra, who was the Party’s fantastic candidates officer. She died very suddenly in 2004. He was such a kind and funny man who always had a story to tell and he is incredibly missed. He died at the end of April.

This Saturday, his memorial service will take place at St James Church, Bermondsey, Thurland Road, SE16 4AA at 11:30 am. It’s just off Jamaica Road, and three minutes from Bermondsey tube station.  There will be a gathering in a local pub …

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Lib Dems wins three seats on Southwark Borough Council in delayed election


Many congratulations to Humaira Ali, William Houngbo and Damian O’Brien on being elected to Southwark Borough Council in the new London Bridge & West Bermondsey Ward. This election yesterday was delayed from 3rd May following the sad death of Conservative candidate Toby Eckersley. Well done to the local Southwark team on achieving this great result while also helping in our very strong showing in the Lewisham East by-election. This result means that, overall in Southwark, we made a net gain in seats for this year’s elections.

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#LibDemFightback campaigners busy on the streets this weekend

There are some fantastic, smiling action photos coming out from Lib Dem campaigners this weekend!

Victor Chamberlain has been out twice, campaigning for Simon Hughes with colleagues at the Elephant and Castle:


…and at Borough and Bankside:

Tim Farron visited Leeds – and Leeds Young Liberals captured their excitement at the leader’s arrival:

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Wonderful photo from the Faraday by-election

Last Thursday, after an energetic campaign, 18 year old Liberal Democrat candidate Lauren Pemberton-Nelson achieved an 8.2% rise in our vote share, more than doubling it to 14.5%.

One theme that came across from the campaign was how brilliant a candidate she was. Tom Brake had this to say about her when he went to help:

We’ve been sent one special photo by regular LDV contributor Ruth Bright who represented the Faraday ward on Southwark Council before Lauren was born.

Here she is with Lauren on the Aylesbury Estate where Lauren has lived for most of her life.

Ruth Bright and Lauren Pemberton-Nelson

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The condescension of Camila

Two years ago I was in acting charge of a London day care setting for the elderly not a million miles away from the fabled Kids Company. My young colleague put together a craft afternoon for our clients. She sent off for £20 of glass beads on Ebay. A lot of elderly people with dementia had a lovely time making jewellery thanks to her. The £20 was authorised by my manager beforehand and accounted for afterwards. Of course it would have been nice to give handouts to our clients, many of them in great need, but we had to vouch for every penny spent.

It was therefore utterly bewildering to watch former head of Kids Company Camila Batmanghelidjh give evidence to a select committee yesterday and admit that large sums were handed to young people just because she and her colleagues deemed them vulnerable.

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LibLink: Nick Clegg… AV got the Mayor elected – now he’s voting against it

Nick Clegg wrote an article for the Evening Standard yesterday aimed at London voters, who’ll only be voting in the AV referendum on May 5th as London does not have council elections* this year.

As well as outlining the reasons for voting Yes to Fairer Votes, “I believe most Londoners want a new way of electing MPs that cleans up politics, makes MPs work harder and makes every vote count,” Nick busts the myths about AV: “vote-counting machines that don’t exist and won’t be needed. Claims that the alternative vote is too complex for the British people to understand, as …

Posted in London and News | Also tagged , , , , , and | 24 Comments

Labour in legal hot water over poll cards

Dating back to times when unscrupulous campaigns issues fake poll cards directly people to the wrong places to vote, the law says:

No person shall for the purpose of promoting or procuring the election of any candidate at a parliamentary election issue any poll card or document so closely resembling an official poll card as to be calculated to deceive (1983 Representation of the People Act)

Although the original motivation for that legislation is now long in the past, it’s still the law in force – and so the law campaigns have to follow. As The Times has pointed out, using …

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Peckham Labour councillor quits party

This in from Peckham Liberal Democrats:

Labour Councillor for Peckham Ward, Ola Oyewunmi has sensationally quit the party and applied to join the Liberal Democrats. In her letter of resignation she accused Labour of ‘running out of ideas, energy and time.’

Ola had been a member of the Labour party for more than 10 years and was elected as a councillor in 2006. Ola has worked with people with mental health problems for many years and it was a combination of Labour closing the emergency clinic at the Maudsley hospital and Nick Clegg’s commitment to a fairer deal for

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Former Labour defecter defects back to Labour

Andy Mayer has a very good take on a recent defection from the Liberal Democrat group in Southwark.

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Recent Comments

  • David Le Grice
    Why the hell do we only get two questions? We got more than half the seats and votes that the Tories got, if they get a whopping six then we should get at least...
  • Peter Davies
    @Paul Yes. Most organised areas do tallying....
  • Peter Davies
    "even in London we have no councillors (and so no councillor tithes) in 19 of the 32 Boroughs" it's not really 'even'. London Boroughs have the highest proporti...
  • Paul Culloty
    Is there much tradition of "tallying" in UK constituencies - generally, when an Irish GE or local election occurs, the boxes in the constituency (each one accou...
  • Ruth Bright
    Are there rules on hugs at polling stations? On "my" polling station in East Hants hugged a nun who taught me 40 years ago, a friend whose daughter's graduat...