Wimbledon police station closure - Merton Lib Dem consultation response

Wimbledon police station petition handed in to London's MayorMerton Liberal Democrats' submission to the Met police consultation regarding the proposed closure of Wimbledon Police station.

"Whilst we recognise that the Mayor of London is not responsible for the Conservative Government’s decision to withdraw some £1 billion of funding from the Metropolitan Police budget, we believe his current proposal to close Wimbledon Police Station to help address this shortfall to be absolutely wrong. It is our firm view that the planned closure represents a short sighted and unimaginative response to the problem, which underestimates our police station’s practical and symbolic role at the heart of our community."

Our petition (www.SaveWimbledonPoliceStation.org.uk) is around 2000 strong - paper and online copies combined - and still rising.

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Wimbledon police station consultation meeting

Wimbledon resident and local campaigner Paul Kohler gives a summary of the public meeting on Tuesday 26 September:

 

"I just wanted to write to you with some info from tonight’s public meeting about the plans from the Mayor of London to close Wimbledon Police Station.

Under the proposals around half London's police stations - including Wimbledon's - would be shut down and the land sold off. This would mean there was no 24 hour base for police in Wimbledon town centre.

Tonight there was a consultation on “public access to the police”, held in Wimbledon Chase Primary School.

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Fight to save Ridgway Stables continues

Lib Cems Carl Quilliam & Hugo Forshaw with Julia HardyFight to save Ridgway Stables only just beginning, local community vows

As Ridgway Stables officially closes its doors today (28 September) local community campaigners have vowed that the fight to save the stables 'is only just beginning'.

Ridgway Stables is closing after almost a century, following a decision by the landlords to evict the tenants.

Ridgway Stables has long been a fixture of the Wimbledon Village community, offering affordable and accessible riding lessons for children across Wimbledon.

Stables manager Julia Hardy, who has run the business for 37 years, has devoted her career to making riding accessible to all, especially underprivileged young people in the local area. As well as offering lessons, the stables runs a number of programmes to widen participation in the sport, in partnership with Merton Council, Camp Beaumont and several local schools.

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Plans to close Wimbledon police station a "false economy"

Carl Quilliam & Brian Paddick at Wimbledon Police StationResidents have been shocked by London Mayor Sadiq Khan's plans to close Wimbledon Police Station.

Under the proposals around half London's police stations - including Wimbledon's - would be shut down and the land sold off. The police station on Queens Road is currently home to the only 24/7 police "front desk" in the borough.

This latest move comes on the back of over £600 million worth of cuts to London's police services by Conservatives in Government since 2010. This has seen front-line services in Wimbledon, and across the capital, stretched to the limit.

After seeing the plans, Carl Quilliam, Lib Dem Parliamentary spokesman for Wimbledon, said:

"The London Mayor's plan to shut down Wimbledon Police Station is totally unacceptable. Funding for local police services has been consistently cut by administration after administration, while residents in Wimbledon are being put at risk.

"The station promotes visible community policing and makes reporting crime easier.

"The Lib Dems will lead the fight to protect our vital local police and public services from the savage cuts of a Tory Government in Westminster and Labour's London Mayor."

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Government's plans for EU nationals' rights - our thoughts

Rights of people living/working in the UK who happen to be EU nationals

The Government has recently announced that all 3 million EU citizens resident in Britain will have to apply for inclusion on a “settled status” register if they want to stay in the country after Brexit.

Those living in the UK for at least five years will have two years to apply for “settled status”. Any EU citizens who arrived before the cut-off point will be given “blanket permission” to stay for around 2 years, and then will be able to gain “settled status” when they’ve been here for 5 years in total. During that two year “blanket permission” period, they will need to apply for a temporary residence document from the Home Office, and then again for "settled status" when they've been here for 5 years.

We say: this offers little in the way of reassurance to EU citizens who have made Britain their home, and continues to use them as bargaining chips. It also risks the rights of Brits abroad.

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St Helier by-election on 20 July

key_geoff_stall.jpgLocal Liberal Democrats are backing Geoff Cooper in the St Helier Ward by-election on 20 July.

The by-election was called after the resignation of a Labour councillor who is under investigation by the Solicitors Regulation Authority due to "suspicion of dishonesty".

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General Election 2017 – Wimbledon Lib Dems increase vote by over 1,300

Count.jpgAcross the country the Lib Dems went forward, increasing their number of MPs to 12. In South West London the Lib Dems returned 3 MPs, including Vince Cable who is expected to take up the role of party leader over the Summer.

Lib Dems also narrowly lost out on returning by-election winner Sarah Olney to parliament in Richmond Park, with just 45 votes in it.

Locally, in Wimbledon the Lib Dems, Carl Quilliam increased the total number of votes and the overall percentage, securing double the Lib Dems’ national vote share and achieving one of the best results for the party in London.

In Mitcham & Morden, the total number of votes and the vote share were up, with Claire Mathys, the party's candidate moving up to 3rd.

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Demential tax would hit 98% of Merton homes

Lib Dems campaign to scrap dementia tax which would hit 98% of homes in Merton

98% of homes in Merton could be eligible for sale to meet Theresa May’s so-called 'dementia tax', research by the Liberal Democrats has revealed.

Responding to Theresa May's announcement today on social care, in which she said "nothing has changed," Lib Dem parliamentary candidates Carl Quilliam and Claire Mathys have urged Merton residents, irrespective of their party affiliation, to join a campaign to stop the Conservative social care plans which would saddle those with long-term illnesses with crippling care costs after their death.

The Liberal Democrats are calling for a penny on income tax to boost funding for the NHS and social care by £6bn a year, as well as a £72,000 cap to protect people from crippling care costs. In contrast, the Tories have lived up to Theresa May's own description of themselves, as the "nasty party", by cynically refusing to reveal the level of any cap they might introduce until after the election.

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Lib Dem manifesto - one thing you should know

Today we launched the fully-costed Lib Dem election Manifesto - here it is!

key_manifesto.jpg

CarlGroup.jpgThe 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 hello@mertonlibdems.org.uk. And if you can help us fight for this, please sign up to the campaign here.


Lib Dems will invest nearly £29 million to protect school funding across our area

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.

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