Today we launched the fully-costed Lib Dem election Manifesto - here it is!
The one thing? We think this is a manifesto that puts freedom and opportunity at its heart.
We think the highlights are:
- Extra investment for apprenticeships
- £7bn more for education - key to boosting opportunities in life
- A plan to help more people own their own homes through rent-to-buy.
But don't take our word for it, have a look yourself here.
We know that Labour and Conservative plans just don't stack up because they're leading us to a hard Brexit. Nothing is more important to our children’s future than Brexit.
A bad Brexit deal, with Britain outside the Single Market, will damage that future for our children. We must support the trade, jobs and taxes that keep our health and social care systems running.
We'd love to hear what you think about our manifesto, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you can help us fight for this, please sign up to the campaign here.
The Liberal Democrats have announced they will invest £28,919,151 more in schools and colleges in Merton over the next parliament.
The funding would reverse cuts to front-line school and college budgets, protect per pupil funding in real terms and ensure no school loses out from changes to funding arrangements.
£1.2 million of the funding would be spent on protecting the Pupil Premium, introduced by the Liberal Democrats to support schools in helping children from the least well-off families.
Labour has no Wimbledon candidate with just a few weeks until the General Election.
Labour has yet to find anyone willing to stand in Wimbledon with the General Election just weeks away. The news has been revealed by the Liberal Democrats, who say that it shows Labour has “given up”, even in seats like Wimbledon, where it has previously had an MP.
There are over 340 constituencies Labour has still not selected for in England, including 28 in London.
In contrast the Liberal Democrats have selected 92% of their candidates in England.
Liberal Democrat candidate Carl Quilliam said:
“It seems that Labour have simply given up on places like Wimbledon.
“This election is now clearly a two-horse race between the Liberal Democrats and the hard Brexit Conservatives.
“Labour claimed to be prepared for a General Election, but many of their approved candidates are simply refusing to run under Jeremy Corbyn's banner. Labour's candidate in Wimbledon for the last two elections told The Guardian newspaper: "It is obvious from my experience that the policies espoused by Jeremy Corbyn only appeal to a small minority of the electorate." I agree with him!
“By backing the Tories on Brexit, making the UK poorer, Labour are letting us down on the NHS, local services and education.
“Every Government needs to be held to account and the Liberal Democrats are the real voice of opposition - nationally and here in Merton.
“If you want to ensure our country has a real opposition, the Liberal Democrats are the only choice in Wimbledon."
In a joint statement, the Lib Dem parliamentary team for Wimbledon and Mitcham & Morden have said that only the Liberal Democrats can prevent a hard Brexit and protect the local economy.
The Prime Minister today [Tuesday] called a snap General Election to be held on the 8th June.
The Liberal Democrats are standing on a clear platform to prevent a hard Brexit by staying in the Single Market, and to give the British people the final say on the Brexit deal through a referendum.
Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Wimbledon, Carl Quilliam commented:
“This election is a huge opportunity for voters in Merton to change the direction of our country and prevent a disastrous hard Brexit.
“People across Merton - and Wimbledon particularly - voted decisively to remain in the EU. They certainly did not vote for the extreme form of Brexit that Theresa May has imposed on us after being backed by Labour. The amazing Lib Dem victory in the Richmond Park by-election in December shows that people do not want this and will vote against it.
“In Wimbledon, our Conservative MP has left his "Remain" voting constituents voiceless - voting against our membership of the Single Market & against the rights of EU citizens living & working here.
"The Liberal Democrats are the real opposition to the Conservative Hard Brexit Government and the only party fighting for a Britain that is open, tolerant and united."
Claire Mathys, Parliamentary spokesperson for Mitcham & Morden added:
“For all those who want to protect our local economy by staying in the Single Market and ensure the people have the final say over what comes next, this is your chance.
"Britain needs an Opposition that will really stand up to the Tories. Labour is simply not up to the job."
Because of the new scheme for charging diesel owners more for their parking permits (the diesel levy), Merton Council is asking existing permit holders to follow the “new application” process when renewing their permits after 1 April 2017.
This is so they can re-check proof of ownership documents. New applications attract normally a £25 administration fee, but you shouldn’t have to pay this if you’re renewing.
The organisation that runs Merton's NHS (the Clinical Commissioning Group, or CCG) is expected to need to find additional savings of at least £13 million in the 2017/18 financial year.
As such are consulting on proposed changes to services in Merton. Areas they are looking for residents' views on include:
- Prescriptions for gluten free foods
- Prescriptions for self-care medications
- IVF and specialised fertility services
- Supporting patients to be surgery ready
The consultation is available online here with a closing date of Monday 20th March 2017
Merton Council's role in the decision to close the Wilson Health Centre has been questioned, after a top councillor admitted the Council "shares the concerns of residents" about the decision.
The Wilson GP surgery and walk-in centre in Mitcham is set to close at the end of March when the contract ends with the current NHS provider.
NHS bosses initially refused to confirm that a replacement walk-in service would be provided, but have since backtracked.
In an open letter to local NHS boss Dr Andrew Murray, Lib Dem health campaigners Claire Mathys and Carl Quilliam have today joined calls for the closure to be halted, whilst significant issues remain outstanding.
As at the time of writing, we are expecting a strike by Tube station workers - starting Sunday evening at 6pm and continuing through the whole of Monday.
Transport for London (TfL) advise that many stations will be entirely closed. Buses, DLR and Overground will run as normal, but are likely to be even more crowded than usual.
See below for some useful info/resources -
Crossrail 2 is a plan for a new railway connecting Southwest and Northeast London, via Wimbledon. It will involve years of building work through large parts of the borough.
Following residents’ opposition, Transport for London has said it’s considering three other options to reduce disruption in the area (see below). Their revised plans were originally going to be published later this year, but it's been announced today, 1 November, that this will be put back until mid-2017, to allow TfL to provide an updated business case.
Lib Dems question Hammond on EU citizens and attacks on foreign workers
The Lib Dems have this week written to Wimbledon's MP, Stephen Hammond, to clarify his position on a range of policy statements made by his colleagues at the recent Conservative Party conference.
Mr Hammond has so far remained largely silent while other senior MPs have criticised the likes of Trade Secretary Liam Fox for his crass comments about EU citizens being the ‘main card’ in Brexit negotiations.