Bromley Liberal Democrats have announced their candidates for Beckenham, Bromley and Chislehurst and Orpington constituencies in the forthcoming General Election.
In Beckenham popular campaigner Chloe-Jane Ross will stand against Bob Stewart, the current Conservative MP who has held the seat since 2010 and who as a member of the Conservative right-wing ERG is well known for his strong pro-Brexit views.
Chloe-Jane said “Beckenham is a remain voting constituency, and I meet so many people who like me don’t think the Conservatives represent them on Brexit and other issues. It’s time for a change in parliament and we need a different type of MP in Beckenham.” Chloe-Jane has become well known as a champion for local issues. She’s chair of one of the biggest residents’ associations in the area, and has organised several popular local community events.
Bromley Council Environment Committee met on Tuesday evening (28th Aug) and agreed to begin an education and enforcement programme to encourage car drivers to turn off their engines when stationary. A welcome initiative which was marred by the council refusing to let members of the public ask questions that had already been submitted and accepted, and when members of Extinction Rebellion stood up to make their case anyway the council suspended the meeting and all councillors (apart from Ian Dunn) left the room.
Bromley Council spent over £90,000 on Consultants' Fees for the planning application and appeals for Bullers Wood School for Boys, it has been revealed today.
The Council have once again refused to divulge the amount of money they spent on legal fees, stating that the Queens Counsel they used has objected to the disclosure of his fees, but we estimate these would be at least double the consultants' costs, possibly considerably more.
The information about the Consultants' Fees was acquired by the Liberal Democrats only after a request under the Freedom of Information Act - it took more than 5 months for the council to reply, despite several reminders and the fact that they are legally obliged to respond within 20 working days of the request. Bromley Council were recently found to be the third worst in London for delaying responses to Freedom of Information requests.
The background to this information is that Bromley Council refused planning permission to build a new school on St Hugh's playing fields in Bickley in January 2018, This decision was then appealed to the Planning Inspector which was heard in November 2018. The school had massive support amongst parents and residents in the borough, and there were several public demonstrations as thousands walked through Bromley during the period of the planning process to protest at the Council's decision. The school did finally open on a temporary site in September 2018, and is due to move to temporary buildings on their permanent site in September 2019.
Membership of Bromley Liberal Democrats has soared since the party won the European Elections in London - an increase of 40% which has taken the membership to a record level. Nationally, the party’s membership now tops 115,000. Each of the three constituencies in the Bromley borough party – Beckenham, Bromley & Chislehurst and Orpington - have benefited from this surge.
Chloe-Jane Ross, an activist in Beckenham said: "The growth in membership is phenomenal - our new members are sick of Brexit, sick of our country being run into the ground and are joining from Labour and the Tories or as first time members of a party because they want to stop Brexit and fight for the liberal values our country needs. "
The party is benefiting from its success in the European elections, when it won in London, its best ever council election results, and victory in the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election. The recent election of Jo Swinson as the party's new leader, as well as a reaction to Boris Johnson's arrival in no. 10 have all brought extra membership. Julie Ireland, Lib Dem activist in Bromley and Chislehurst said: "Each new member has a story to tell, what brings them to the Lib Dems, why they think now is the time to step up and become a member, and almost always it is a reaction to the reckless way the Conservatives are handling Brexit and their lurch towards a no-deal, combined with a genuine desire to protect the liberal values our country is so proud of."
If you would like to join the Liberal Democrats you can do so using this link.
Jo Swinson is the new leader of the Liberal Democrats, and immediately declared that her first priority is - as it is for all of us - to Stop Brexit! "We're at a pivotal moment, our country needs a strong, liberal movement more than ever. This is only the country of Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson if we let it be. We all know that Britain deserves better than both of them. Only the Liberal Democrats have the values, the ideas and the sheer bloody determination to stand up to those who are doing so much to damage our country. This is our time."