The Liberal Democrats have announced they would more than double spending on youth services in Bromley to £1.8 million to help tackle rising levels of crime/knife crime. This would form part of a total ring-fenced fund of £500 million for Local Authorities across England to spend on youth services, providing young people with positive, safe and healthy alternatives to gangs.
Under the Conservatives, council spending on youth services has been cut by £300 million - or 40 per cent - since 2015. Knife crime has risen by 80% over the same period, with a record high of 47,500 offences recorded in the year to June 2019. Research has also found the areas with the biggest cuts to youth services have seen some of the biggest increases in knife crime.
The Liberal Democrats would also take a public health approach to tackling youth violence, modelled on the successful approach taken by Scotland’s Violence Reduction Unit. This would involve identifying risk factors and treating them early on, with youth workers, police, teachers, health professionals and social services all working closely together to prevent young people falling into gangs and violence.
Julie Ireland, Liberal Democrat candidate for Bromley & Chislehurst commented:
“Too many people in Bromley feel unsafe walking down their own streets.
“But for years, Conservative and Labour Governments have been competing to seem tough on crime, without doing enough to actually prevent it.
“Liberal Democrats will build a brighter future for young people by doubling spending on youth services to £1.8 million a year in Bromley.
“With a Liberal Democrat government, young people will have the support and opportunities they deserve, our local communities will be stronger and people here will feel safer.”
Bromley Lib Dems welcome the general election being called as the best opportunity to Stop Brexit. We are ready to stand on a clear platform: a Liberal Democrat government would Revoke Article 50, retain Britain’s place in Europe and get on with tackling the issues that have been neglected for the last four years.
The Lib Dems won the European elections in the capital in May, topping the poll overall and winning outright in 16 boroughs, reflecting London’s liberal, open identity.
In the Bromley Borough our outstanding, diverse and committed candidates are ready to be the voice of reason for our local communities. “Local people are realising the LibDems represent their liberal, internationalist, open values more than any other party. And they're finding we have attractive policies on the vital issues they care about like the climate emergency, the NHS, education, housing and crime." said Bromley & Chislehurst Candidate Julie Ireland.
Chloe-Jane Ross is standing in Beckenham against Bob Stewart, a staunch pro-leave MP. "The Lib Dems have been the loudest, proudest voice for Remain for the last three years and a half years, tabling 17 bids for a People’s Vote - which Labour have failed to back, leaving a general election as the only way to exit Brexit. Beckenham is a Remain constituency and Beckenham needs an MP who reflects those views. "
Allan Tweddle is standing in Orpington, formally the seat of Jo Johnson. “Two Conservative Prime Ministers have incompetently tried to deliver Brexit, threatening our country’s future prosperity. Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party has failed to take up any clear position on the most important political issue of our time, and facilitated Tory Brexit attempts. We need to win this argument and win this election so we can cancel Brexit and get on with dealing with the real issues of today: the climate crisis, the strain on our NHS, the rise of knife crime and our education system being pushed to breaking point.”
We have the momentum. We have the candidates. And with your help, we have the winning campaign and we will Stop Brexit.
There's been some negative coverage about the Lib Dems' support for the NHS following our abstention on a Labour amendment to the Queen's Speech. So let's set the record straight.
The NHS is incredibly important, and at time when our health service is under massive threat from Brexit it is important that political parties act with great care. The people who work in and lead the NHS do not want the disruptive and unwanted NHS reorganisation that Corbyn is proposing. Labour’s plans are ideologically driven and would not be welcomed by the NHS. They are not evidence driven, would cause major disruption and likely cost billions which could instead be spent on improving our struggling mental health service and reducing waiting times.
Over half of GPs have an average waiting time for non-urgent appointments at their practice of over two weeks. More than half (55%) of British adults with a diagnosed mental health problem who sought NHS treatment say they had to wait more than 4 weeks to see a mental health specialist.
Liberal Democrats are supporting the proposals the NHS recommended to Parliament. We will support the legislative changes the NHS needs, following the extensive consultation between the NHS and the cross-party Health and Social Care Select Committee lead by Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Wollaston.
These proposals have widespread support from the NHS workforce and those working alongside them. The NHS proposals include:
- An NHS Bill to free up different parts of the NHS to work together more easily which would speed up the implementation of the 10-year NHS Long Term Plan.
- Specific reference to the “minimal appetite for primary legislation that would now trigger another wholesale administrative reorganisation of the NHS2 – exactly what Labour would do.
- The scrapping of section 75 which would end enforcement of competition law and competitive tendering.
The Liberal Democrats are listening to what the NHS and the public want. Instead of focusing on these problems, Labour is proposing to repeal a piece of legislation, without saying what they will replace it with. They cannot turn the clock, all they would achieve is creating a vacuum in the NHS.
Liberal Democrats have also lead in Parliament in defending the NHS from the prospect of it being opened up and sold off in international trade deals to countries such as the USA. This has only become a threat thanks to Brexit, which Labour have supported. If Labour really care about the NHS they must stop pursuing Brexit and instead support the Liberal Democrat demand to Stop Brexit.
Speaker Bercow has announced that he will not allow a re-run of Saturday's vote on the Brexit deal, which means the Government will now have to present their bill for the Withdrawal deal to both Houses of Parliament. This will give MPs and Lords much more time to scrutinise a complex and lengthy Bill that will change the face of our politics for generations.
So what are the plans of the Liberal Democrats over the next few crucial days?
In the next few days and weeks we are keen to continue to work cross-party to ensure a People’s Vote. We will consider all amendments and options. We know that there is no deal as good as the one we have in the EU. That is why we will continue to use every possible opportunity to ensure that the people are given the final say on this disastrous Brexit deal, with the option to stay in the EU.
The government has today released figures which reveal that the number of hate crimes that took place last year was a ten per cent increase on the previous year.
There were 103,379 hate crimes recorded by the police in England and Wales in 2018/19. The report states:
"While increases in hate crime over the last five years have been mainly driven by improvements in crime recording by the police, there has been spikes in hate crime following certain events such as the EU Referendum and the terrorist attacks in 2017.
You can view the report here.
Responding, Liberal Democrat Shadow Home Secretary Christine Jardine said:
“There can be no doubt that divisive, inflammatory rhetoric from right-wing, pro-Brexit politicians – including Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage – has contributed to this shocking rise in hate crime.
“All of us with a public platform must stand up to those whose language spreads hate – whether on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or anything else.
“Liberal Democrats will tackle the appalling rise in hate crimes by making them all ‘aggravated offences’, so that hate crimes against women, LGBT+ people or people with disabilities are treated as severely as those motivated by racial or religious hatred.
“We will give the police the resources and training they need to identify and prevent hate crimes, and condemn politicians who use inflammatory language.”