Update on Chinese Garage Beckenham

The long awaited Planning Appeal took place on 4th April, with former Lib Dem Councillor Jane Green in attendance.  The decision of the Inspector is not expected for some weeks.

Residents will be surprised to know that not one local ward Councillor attended to speak on behalf of local people and businesses at the appeal, nor did they they attend the public gallery to report on events.  This was surprising given the high profile nature of this development and the record number of objections received from local residents.

There were two parts to the appeal, the first appeal was for amendments to the conditions relating to hours of opening (and servicing) for the already approved planning permission for change of use from the Garage to retail, the second concerning the hoardings around the site.   

 

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Leavers and Remainers at Put it to the People Event

Local Lib Dem campaigner Andrew Coleman was at the People's Vote rally today (9th April) and had this to say about the event:

"The high point of today’s ‘Put it to the People’ event in Westminster today was the speech by Huw Merriman (Conservative MP for Bexhill and Battle) who, as a Brexiteer, has made a brave decision today to demand a confirmatory referendum in spite of being threatened to be sacked from his Treasury job as PPS to Philip Hammond."

 

"Merriman voted for May’s deal on three occasions and says he will still campaign in any new vote in favour of Brexit. Nonetheless he implored his 200 colleagues in the Conservative party who supported May’s deal to do the same and ask for a People’s Vote. The event was a Who’s Who of opposition to Brexit, with  speeches from Vince Cable, Anna Soubry, Dominic Grieve,  David Lammy and Caroline Lucas. The message is that a People’s Vote has never been nearer...let’s keep the pressure growing."

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Bromley Liberal Democrats Join 1 Million on March Against Brexit

Members, supporters and friends of Bromley Liberal Democrats got together to join more than 1 million people marching for a People’s Vote through central London on Saturday.  

“We were joined by people who had never marched before and members who remembered the march against the Iraq war, by new members who had just joined and by long serving member,” said Rich Wilsher, Chair of Bromley Lib Dems. 

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Lifelong Learning Fund for Everyone

A "new era of learning throughout life" is a step nearer today.  The Independent Commission on Lifelong Learning have today set out their vision for education including proposals for government grants of up to £9,000.

The grants, which would be invested into universal Personal Education and Skills Accounts (PESA), are designed to encourage and support everyone who undertakes education and training throughout their life.

The plans which have been launched by the Chairman of the Commission on Lifelong Learning, Rajay Naik - and backed by the Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Vince Cable - would see the Government make three contributions each worth £3,000 to the accounts when individuals turn 25, 40 and 55. 

Giving opportunities to access education and training which continue throughout adulthood, is a vital part of ensuring we have a highly skilled workforce, and that individuals are able to access fulfilling employment throughout their lives. 

Liberal Democrats have always been committed to ensuring that education is accessible to all and we welcome the fact that these reforms would ensure that no one, irrespective of their background, is restricted in their opportunities to succeed.

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High Rise School Blocked

Plans for a high rise school for 1200 pupils on one of the Borough’s busiest junctions at Bromley South have been refused by the National Planning Inspector who upheld the Council’s earlier decision to refuse planning permission.


We applaud the tireless and determined campaign by the local residents’ opposition group. A victory for them, the community and common sense. There is a desperate need for new schools to meet growing demand but this site has to rank as one of the most unsuitable in the borough.



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Lib Dems win fight to ban ‘upskirting’

Back in June last year, a Private Members’ Bill brought by Liberal Democrat MP Wera Hobhouse, making upskirting a specific criminal offence, was shamefully kicked out of Parliament by a backbench Conservative for no good reason. But we didn’t give up.

We kept campaigning and forced the Government to bring back the Liberal Democrat Bill.

The bill has progressed all the way through Parliament, and this week it became law.  

It gives people who wear skirts the strong legal protection they deserve. For too long this heinous, invasive practice was not considered a criminal offence, meaning that victims were unable to seek justice or protection. We are proud to have changed this.

 

It's a victory for women across the country, and a victory for progressive, forward-looking politics. 


Huge victory for renters’ rights

For too long, landlords have been able to impose huge unfair charges on renters with little government oversight.

Three years ago, the Lib Dems introduced a bill into Parliament to ban letting agents from charging excessive admin fees and protect tenants from rogue landlords.

This bill was left unfinished when the snap election was held in 2017, but we have continued to fight for renters’ rights.

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The beginning of the end of Brexit?

"This is the beginning of the end of Brexit. With Parliament in deadlock, it is time to go back to the public."  So said Lib Dem leader, Vince Cable.   After one of the most fraught parliamentary weeks many of us can remember, no one is sure what will happen next, but the prospect of a people's vote is becoming closer than it's ever been.

Now Labour's no confidence vote has been lost, and the prospect of a General Election has all but disappeared, we must now all of us work to persuade Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party to follow the recommendations of their own party conference and support a People's Vote. 

Bromley Lib Dem Spokesperson Rich Wilsher said "Bromley voted in favour of remaining in the EU in the 2016 referendum, and the results of our public canvassing over the last two weeks shows that the number of people in favour of a people's vote in Bromley is higher than ever.  We urge the representatives of the Labour Party in Bromley to send a clear message to their leaders."

Take our survey and share your views on what you think should happen next.  

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Paddy Ashdown

Bromley Liberal Democrats share the sadness of the whole LibDem family at the news yesterday (22 Dec) of the death of Paddy Ashdown following a short illness.   

Vince Cable spoke for all of us when he said "This is a hugely sad day for the Liberal Democrats and for the very many people across political and public life who had immense affection and respect for Paddy."

Former leader Tim Farron said Paddy Ashdown had "saved and revived the Liberal Democrats at our lowest ebb ... we owe him our very existence".  

Tributes to Paddy have poured in from across the political divide and beyond.   As a party we owe him a huge debt, individually we all have our personal recollections of an energetic, inspiring and remarkable man who loved his country and was committed to serving it to the very end.    The voice of liberalism has just become slightly quieter.   

The party have set up an online book of condolences - you can add your name and comments here: www.libdems.org.uk/book-of-condolence-paddy-ashdown


Bullers Wood for Boys gets Planning Approval!

So pleased to hear that Bullers Wood School for Boys has won their appeal against Bromley Council’s decision to revoke their planning permission - the school will now be built on St Hugh’s playing fields, Bickley. A huge personal thanks and congrats to the core parent #BWSFB campaign team who worked tirelessly to achieve this result, never taking no for an answer despite the many bureaucratic and often unnecessary obstacles put in their way. Many questions about the financial and human cost of this drawn out process remain (the school first applied in July 2016), but for now, this news is a very welcome early Christmas Present to many. 

You can read the Planning Inspector's decision in full here.

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