Tag Archives: stephen lloyd

And Music Services continue to be cut…

Lib Dem MP Stephen Lloyd is supporting a campaign to save the East Sussex Music Service. He wrote in his newsletter:

Sadly the budget cuts just keep rolling in from East Sussex County Council, and they’re now planning severe reductions to our music services.

The absolutely brilliant East Sussex Music Service (ESMS) are celebrating their 84th year; they deliver music lessons to around 7000 children in schools across the county per annum and 1000 children, aged between 4 and 18, attend area music centres each week. Despite this success, the county council have announced plans are being made to close the music instrumental service by 2019. This will result in the loss of valued music provision for many and destroy a service which has introduced thousands of Eastbourne children to music over the decades.

I believe such proposals are unnecessary, wrong and shortsighted. I’ve also been told that staff believe savings can be made without slashing such a much loved music service. We need County Hall to pause, listen to the people they serve and go back to the music staff to ask them how the funding circle can be squared, rather than just propose a decimation of the entire instrument teaching provision. A decision which if it goes through, will be horrendously difficult to reverse. Please join me in opposing this cut by signing the online petition here.

I remember being amazed when studying the music systems of Albania under Enver Hoxha’s regime, that every child, from nursery onwards, was taught music. By the age of four, those showing talent were given individual lessons. By the age of six, some children were learning two instruments. Music was a celebrated part of culture, not a sideline. I wondered why we didn’t do the same.

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Lloyd: Government must delay “horror” changes to mortgage support

Support for Mortgage Interest is a benefit given to people claiming Universal Credit or certain other income-related benefits who have a mortgage or who have taken out loans to make repairs to their home. It pays for the cost of interest on up to £200,000 of a person’s mortgage in order to prevent claimants from defaulting on their mortgage.

From next month, SMI will be replaced by a loan of the same value, which is repaid (with interest) when the property is sold.

It’s pretty cheap, as benefits go, costing the Government around £300 million a year. It is certainly about 3.5 times cheaper than letting someone’s home be repossessed and then having to pay housing benefit to put that household in the rented sector.

Apart from the whole principle being flawed, the implementation seems to have been botched as only around 10,000 of the eligible families have taken up the loan. Some people haven’t even been sent the information about it so that they can make an informed choice about whether to take the loan.

Our Work and Pensions spokesperson Stephen Lloyd said the whole thing was a horror and called for implementation to be delayed.

Every month we seem to be hearing yet more examples of this Conservative government being both mean-spirited and unintelligent; this mortgage interest benefit change is a classic example. It will force some homeowners into even more debt, and will force others to sell their homes putting themselves at the mercy (and cost) of their local council’s housing department. Which, naturally, will cost the taxpayer more in housing benefit than keeping them in their own house by paying mortgage interest payments. An absolutely ridiculous decision.

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Lib Dems secure major victory to limit cold calling

Those amazing  Lib Dem peers have been at it again – winning crucial changes to legislation.

As the Financial Guidance and Claims Bill completes its stages in the Upper House, the Liberal Democrats have secured a significant victory following the government’s acceptance of crucial Liberal Democrats amendments.

Led by John Sharkey, we campaigned in the House of Lords to end  cold-calling in relation to pensions, claims management and other financial services.

The Government have now committed to a total ban on pensions cold-calling, as well as prohibitions on other forms of cold-calling if these are shown to be detrimental.

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Work and Pensions Secretary agrees with Lib Dem pension proposal

This week, the government agreed to bring forward plans to review the current rules concerning the priority of pensioners when a company fails following pressure from the Liberal Democrats.

Responding to calls from Stephen Lloyd, our Spokesperson for the Department for Work & Pensions,  new DWP Secretary of State Esther McVey agreed that a review into the current rules – past and current – after companies go bust is “something that needs to be brought forward”.

Stephen said:

Under current rules, pension obligations are unsecured – meaning that insolvent companies only fund their pension schemes once they have compensated their other supposedly more ‘important’ secured creditors.

Today I urged the new Secretary of State to review the rules and provide further protection for employees with private pensions by giving them greater priority when companies fail. I was delighted to hear the Minister agree that this is something ‘which needs to be brought forward’.

Then and only then will employees with private pensions be wholly protected when large companies collapse. I will be making sure that the Minister sticks to her word on this.

You can watch Stephen’s question here.

Now, warm words in the Commons Chamber doesn’t necessarily translate into action from the Government, but you can bet your life that Stephen will be pursuing this. 

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Stephen Lloyd on why Holocaust Memorial Day is so important

It’s not Holocaust Memorial Day until next week, but yesterday there was a debate in the Commons to mark the occasion. Here’s Stephen Lloyd’s contribution:

 

I thank the hon. Member for Brigg and Goole (Andrew Percy) for sponsoring the debate. It is a pleasure for me to co-sponsor it. This is the fifth or sixth time I have co-sponsored a debate on this important day. When I was first a Member of Parliament I was proud to do so, and now that I am back in the House, I am even more delighted.

Let me also congratulate the indomitable Karen Pollock, who is in the public Gallery and whom I have known for many years. Without her, I do not believe that this day, and the impact and reach that it has across the country, would be as strong. She really does deserve an enormous amount of credit.

The theme of Holocaust Memorial Day this year is the power of words. I was reminded of that when I read some words only earlier this morning from Anne Frank, that remarkable young girl who wrote so beautifully in Amsterdam all those years ago. She wrote:

“When I write I can shake off all my cares; my sorrow disappears; my spirits are revived.”

That is such a powerful set of words for such a dreadful time by a remarkable young woman.

That comment and the power of words brings me to my own constituent. Eastbourne does not have a large Jewish community; in fact, it is fairly minuscule—probably only 40 or 50. Like everyone else in the Chamber and many across the country, however, I am here because we know that what happened was so wicked—as was what has happened so many times since in the different genocides from Rwanda to Cambodia and the rest—that if we do not emphasise and talk about this day, there is the constant danger that it will happen again. Indeed, it is depressing that when I last spoke on this day in the House the Yazidis were perfectly safe in Iraq and Syria. Two years later they have almost been destroyed as a people. I therefore profoundly believe that the commemoration and remembrance on this day must never stop.

I have an extraordinary constituent in the small Jewish community in Eastbourne called Dorit Oliver-Wolff. She is a survivor, and she recently wrote an autobiography called “From Yellow Star to Pop Star.” She was born in Yugoslavia. When the Nazis invaded, she and her mother moved to Budapest when she was only five or six years old, and they somehow survived through the four or five years of the war from hand to mouth, travelling from place to place, creating new identities. It was when she was in Budapest that she first realised she was Jewish: she was only five years old and a woman spat at her in the street and called her “A stinking Jew”. Can anyone imagine anything more utterly incomprehensible than that to a five-year-old?

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Lib Dems step up attack on Universal Credit

Liberal Democrats have played their part in making sure that the inadequacies of Universal Credit have been highlighted. In the debate on Wednesday,  Christine Jardine said:

We hear that, instead of it helping, as many as 1 million children could be pushed into poverty by 2020. That surely cannot be the legacy that my Conservative colleagues would want to leave for future generations. They surely cannot be content with what they are hearing in this Chamber from constituents and even their own Back Benchers: that families are facing rent arrears and the threat of losing their homes; that there is anxiety about missed payments; and that people are choosing between making those payments or feeding their families.

Citizens Advice Scotland has already seen more than 100,000 people, one in five of whom have waited more than six weeks for payments—and only 14 areas in Scotland have UC. We stand at an important crossroads: the Government have the opportunity to pause UC, address its many flaws and say to those coping with the cruel reality of this botched benefit reform, “We hear you. We recognise the problem and we will fix it.”

Stephen Lloyd caught Iain Duncan Smith out one of those economic with the truth moments:

Secondly, the right hon. Member for Chingford and Woodford Green (Mr Duncan Smith), a former Secretary of State, said that the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has supported universal credit. I was a bit surprised by that, so I did a quick check. The JRF actually said that it would support universal credit if it was properly funded—I just mentioned the £3 billion—and if payment and waiting times were reduced, which is exactly what many people have been saying today.

The media reports yesterday that the Government is ready to make changes on the amount of time people are waiting for money, but that isn’t the only problem with Universal Credit. It’s interesting that Labour now accepts the principles behind Universal Credit – that it should end the poverty trap. Until the Tories got a majority, that’s exactly what it would have done. There was enough money in there to ensure that people could move into work and not lose their benefits. Then May 2015 happened and George Osborne took billions out of the system.

So, our Work and Pensions Spokesperson Stephen Lloyd and Leader Vince Cable have written to the the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to ask him to sort this out in the budget. They said:

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Stephen Lloyd’s hilarious Christmas card

Former Lib Dem MP for Eastbourne Stephen Lloyd has one of the funniest Christmas cards this year.

Stephen Lloyd Alpaca

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Inside a Liberal Democrat Action day – with Stephen Lloyd and the Eastbourne team

Ever wondered what happens on a Lib Dem action day? Lots of phoning voters, leafletting, delivering and stuffing envelopes. Eastbourne Liberal Demcorat candidate and MP till Parliament was dissolved Stephen Lloyd produced this video of an action day last month. It’s full of people who talk about why they have come along to help.

He’s holding more tomorrow and Sunday. If you are near Eastbourne and can make it, please sign up here or go along at 10 am.

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Stephen Lloyd resigns as PPS over underinvestment in A27

The Eastbourne Herald is reporting that Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd has resigned as PPS to Ed Davey over the £75m proposed for investment in the A27 in the Autumn statement.

Stephen is quoted

After all the work and cross-community effort by so many local residents and businesses in Eastbourne and Willingdon, I am profoundly disappointed by the proposal put forward by the Department of Transport. Instead, there is a vague promise for some time in the future. This isn’t jam tomorrow, but more like the possibility of jam sometime, if we’re lucky, in a few years.

He said, “Ever since I

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Stephen Lloyd MP writes… A better future for our coastal communities and inshore waters

imageFor the past few years in my role as MP for Eastbourne, I have been working with residents and councillors from across the political spectrum on an outstanding, £80million redevelopment plan for Eastbourne’s harbour. Together we have drawn up plans which aim to bring 1,500 jobs, new and affordable housing, as well as leisure activities to the community.

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Ashcroft’s poll of Lib Dem battleground seats: incumbency is alive and well but 2015 will be a survival election for the party

Tory peer and pollster Lord Ashcroft has published his latest set of constituency findings. He polled some of the key Lib Dem / Tory and Lib Dem / Labour battlegrounds in the summer – he’s now followed that up by looking at a further 22 seats. Of these, 2 are Lib Dem targets, 15 the party is defending against the Tories, and 5 against Labour. You can see the full results here .

Here are the headline findings:

  • Of the 20 Lib Dem-held seats polled, the Lib Dems would retain just 6.
  • The Tories would gain 7 and Labour would gain 4. The other 2 would be a tie (though actually a further 5 are statistical ties within the margin of error).
  • The Lib Dems would win neither of their two targets.
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    Stephen Lloyd on the Eastbourne pier fire: “I am as shocked and heartbroken as everyone”

    Eastbourne pier on fireStephen Lloyd, Lib Dem MP for Eastbourne, has posted the following message on his Facebook page to update people on what action is being after the fire which ravaged the town’s pier:

    Dear all,

    Thanks for the support posted here after the tragic fire at the pier yesterday. I am as shocked and heartbroken as everyone. The important thing now is to get this fixed; keep pushing out that Eastbourne is well and truly open for business and to do what we can to help the Pier owners and the folk who had concessions on the Pier. Some of the kiosk owners have lost their livelihood and it’s important we rally around.

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    The Lib Dem retreat to seat-by-seat campaigns. The right tactic, but not a long-term strategy

    Stephen LloydThe Guardian’s Rafael Behr has written of his experiences in Eastbourne, a seat won from the Tories by the Lib Dems’ Stephen Lloyd in 2010. His majority, 3,435, would need a swing of just 3.9% to be wiped out. The recent Lord Ashcroft poll of Tory / Lib Dem marginals indicated an average swing away from the Lib Dems to the Tories of 3.5%. This, then, is the kind of seat within the Tories’ reach and which they need to win if they are to gain an overall majority. …

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    Stephen Lloyd MP writes… The jobs agenda – a lot done, more still to do for single parents

    Budding Artists Create Holiday MasterpiecesIn my constituency of Eastbourne, one in four households with children is headed by a single parent. This mirrors the diversity of modern families across Britain, where families come in all shapes and sizes, and reinforces my commitment to support and promote policies which enable each and every one of these families to balance work with bringing up their kids.

    I am proud of the coalition government’s record on job creation and bringing down unemployment – reflected in the latest statistics out last week which showed that unemployment had fallen to its lowest level in nearly six years – but recognise that there is still more for us to do to ensure that everyone is able to benefit from the economic upturn.

    This week, single parent charity Gingerbread has published a new report, Paying the Price: The long road to recovery, which highlights single parents’ experiences in work and of finding work. In reading the report, I was struck by how motivated single parents are to work and support their families – indeed 60% of single parents are already in work – a fact which is reinforced by the stories I hear from the single parents I meet at my constituency surgeries.

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    Mike Thornton MP takes his seat in the Commons

    By-election winning Lib Dems Alan Beith, Simon Hughes, Mike Thornton, Sarah Teather, Mark Hunter and David Chidgey
    By-election winning Lib Dems. Photo by Helen Duffett, on Flickr.

    From the BBC:

    The newly elected Liberal Democrat MP Mike Thornton has taken his seat in the House of Commons after winning the Eastleigh by-election.

    He took his oath of allegiance to the Crown earlier.

    New MPs are not allowed to speak in debates, vote, or get paid,

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    Baroness Thomas writes… Getting Personal Independence Payments right

    This afternoon the Department of Work and Pensions announces a significant change on the new Personal Independent Payments following significant Lib Dem pressure. Celia Thomas, the Lib Dem peer who has campaigned tirelessly on the issue, explains why it’s a major win.

    Getting the rules governing Personal Independence Payments right is vital. The new benefit, which will begin to replace Disability Living Allowance later this year, will have a huge effect on disabled people up and down the country.

    I’m broadly in favour of the change to PIP, which seeks to clarify the eligibility of disabled people to this benefit, the purpose …

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    PMQs: My honourable friend makes an important point

    I think David Cameron broke his own record this week:

    (To Nicolas Soames) My right honourable Friend makes an important point.

    (To Julian Brazier) My honourable Friend makes two very important points.

    (To Duncan Hames) My honourable Friend raises an important point.

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    PMQs: Miliband hits barn door – twice

    Britain back in recession, embarrassing emails about government links to Murdoch. These are gifts to the opposition. The most open of open goals at this week’s Prime Minister’s Questions.

    I liked Miliband’s opening question:

    Today we had the catastrophic news that Britain is back in recession. I am sure that the Prime Minister has spent the past 24 hours thinking of an excuse as to why it is nothing to do with him, so what is his excuse

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    Opinion: Nick Clegg’s sixth language is Tory

    It’s important to find things to be cheerful about in these serious days. So I was pleased, last weekend, to be recognised publicly as an errant lefty by my good friend Stephen Lloyd, the MP for Eastbourne, in his speech to the South East Regional Conference in Whitstable.

    It’s been a difficult Coalition so far for many of us, particularly the social liberals (or left-leaning liberals as I am very happy to be known).

    At the time of the tuition fees debacle, a group of 104 of our 2010 general election slate got our 15 seconds of ‘media’ as we called for

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    PMQs: Nadine Dorries asks question. No-one dies.

    Today was the fiftieth anniversary of Prime Minister’s Questions. And it was a fairly typical session. As always, it was in two parts.

    Part one: Lots of jeering, cheering, knockabout, winding-up and prepared lines exchanged between the PM and opposition leader.

    Part Two: Generally hum-drum but important questions from various back-benchers, largely heard in earnest silence.

    The bit that most people will see will be the short bit on the telly, which will be a few seconds of ya-boo politics. In itself, that is a good piece of democracy in that it highlights the weaknesses of the government and the opposition. The longer …

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    The 7 Lib Dem MPs unaffected by the Boundary Commission proposals

    The last 24 hours’ political news has been dominated by the Boundary Commission for England’s proposals for new parliamentary constituencies — and in particular the reduction from 533 to 502 in accordance with the Coalition Agreement to reduce the size of the House of Commons.

    I’m a self-confessed politics geek, so I find this stuff interesting. But I was surprised that it should be the lead news item on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme this morning — does the public care as much as us anoraks? I doubt it.

    True, some members of the public will have particular concerns about …

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    End of term report for Lib Dem MPs’ Class of 2010

    As the House of Commons rises this Tuesday, the BBC’s Gavin Stamp gives new MPs of all parties his end-of-term report.

    Here’s what he has to say about the new Lib Dem intake:

    New entrants were small in number but still accounted for almost one in six of the Parliamentary party.

    No new MPs made it into the ranks of ministers or were asked to head up a series of backbench committees designed to help the party retain an independent voice on issues outside the coalition.

    However, Gordon Birtwhistle and Duncan Hames became parliamentary private secretaries, the latter also finding time to

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    Opinion: Our party must keep its Equitable pledge

    For a decade now I have been the general secretary of EMAG, the Equitable Members’ Action Group, a campaigning group for those who lost out because of maladministration and regulatory failure at the once venerable insurance firm Equitable Life. Our pursuit of justice for Equitable Life policyholders started in the summer of 2000. Shortly after, Vince Cable took up the cause and together we walked to Downing Street to deliver a protest letter to Gordon Brown on 6th August, 2001. It was the start of my personal politicisation and I became a Liberal Democrat Councillor in Camden in 2006. …

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    Opinion: Access to justice – why Liberal Democrats should not sit on the sidelines

    Next week the Government will announce legislation to reform legal aid, following a Green Paper published last November to which the Ministry of Justice received an unprecedented 5,000 responses. Whilst “legal aid reform” was in the Coalition Agreement, the scale of proposed changes has taken many aback – in order to cut the legal aid budget by £350million, Justice Ministers propose taking whole categories of law related problems out legal aid entitlement – housing and debt problems, welfare benefit issues, employment law issues, immigration cases, consumer law problems, education cases and private family law issues (eg divorce and …

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    Brooke, Horwood and Huppert join the list of Liberal Democrat co-chairs

    A news release from the party brings the news of the following three appointments:

    • Martin Horwood, co-chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party Committee for International Affairs (replacing Tim Farron, who has stood down on becoming President)
    • Julian Huppert, co-chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party Committee for Transport
    • Stephen Lloyd, co-chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party Committee for Northern Ireland
    • Annette Brooke, co-chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party Committee for Communities and Local Government (covering for Simon Hughes for six months during his tenure as the Government’s Advocate for Access to Education

    The full list of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party Committee …

    Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged , and | 1 Comment

    LDV survey: The new Lib Dem MPs who’ve impressed party members the most

    Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Over 660 party members have responded, and we’re currently publishing the full results.

    LDV asked: Which of the newly elected Lib Dem MPs has genuinely impressed you to date?

    Our sample of party members could tick as many (or few) of the 10 ‘newbie’ MPs as they liked. Here are the top five:

    • 45% – Julian Huppert, Cambridge
    • 17% – Tessa Munt, Wells
    • 17% – Duncan Hames, Chippenham

    Posted in LDV Members poll | Also tagged , , and | 7 Comments

    Stephen Lloyd MP writes… This government is working

    The last six months as the new Lib Dem MP for Eastbourne have been more of a rollercoaster than I could ever have imagined they would be! I’ve been pretty much just as flat out, albeit in a different way, as an MP as I was during the 6 months frenetic run up to the General Election.

    Much has gone on as you’ll all be aware but the two things I’d like to write about today show the upside of being in Government and the upside of having the privilege of influence all MPs enjoy.

    Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 32 Comments

    A day in the life of Stephen Lloyd MP

    There’s an interesting short video from the BBC’s Politics Show South East, featuring the new Liberal Democrat MP for Eastbourne, Stephen Lloyd.

    “Every single decision I take goes through the prism of Eastbourne,” says Stephen, as he shares his thoughts on coalition government and tuition fees.

    You can also read about a typical Westminster work day for Stephen:

    His Wednesday starts at 9 am with a two-hour long Work and Pensions select committee.

    He goes straight from there to Prime Minister’s Questions and the big topic of debate is the government’s decision to allow universities to charge tuition fees of up to £9,000.

    Posted in Parliament | Also tagged , , and | 3 Comments

    Lib Dem MP Stephen Lloyd to be sued by defeated Tory rival

    The BBC reports:

    Lawyers for Nigel Waterson, who was Eastbourne MP until 2010, confirmed he was to sue Stephen Lloyd for libel. The action is to centre on a leaflet produced by his Liberal Democrat successor during the 2010 general election campaign.

    The Corporation notes that “Mr Waterson was cleared of any wrong-doing over his expenses claims”, so let’s remind ourselves of his expenses record:

    Nigel Waterson claimed mortgage interest/rent payments and food bills at his second home in Beckenham, Kent. Also billed taxpayer £1,055 to paint house and garage

    And Mr Waterson also had problems retaining the support even

    Posted in News | Also tagged and | 15 Comments

    Ex-Tory MP pledges to back Lib Dem candidate in Eastbourne

    There’s good news for Lib Dem candidate Stephen Lloyd in his campaign to win the Tory seat of Eastbourne – one of his residents, a former Tory MP, has pledged to vote for Stephen declaring the Lib Dem “will prove to be a dedicated, open and hardworking member of parliament for the Eastbourne constituency”.

    The Rye and Battle Observer has the story:

    A FORMER Conservative MP and Eastbourne voter has publicly vowed not to vote for Tory Nigel Waterson at the forthcoming General election. Ernle Money, a Conservative MP for Ipswich in the 1970s who lives in Furness Road, said

    Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 1 Comment
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