An Update from Bromley Council: Council Meeting 25th February, 2019
On Monday 25th February, Rich Wilsher and I went along to Bromley Council’s General Council meeting to listen to some of the current and pressing issues that we, as Bromley Liberal Democrats, are following and campaigning for across the borough.
First on the agenda are the oral questions from the public. Surprisingly, there was only one question this week and it came from me. I asked why the Council had undertaken no contingency planning in the face of Brexit, despite being the first council in London to debate and agree to Brexit. In response, Cllr. William Huntington-Thresher revealed that the council had undertaken “no independent analysis of the possible effects or otherwise of Brexit”.
This rather reckless response rustled a few feathers amongst the council and prompted Labour Cllr., Ian Dunn to cite a recent Ernest and Young report that Brexit has the potential adversely affect social care provisions and workforces. The Leader of the Council seemed to dismiss this question by asserting that the Conservative Council knew more about social services in Bromley that the authors of the audited report.
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.
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.
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.
Brexit paralysis continues in the House of Commons and seems likely to continue for a further fortnight. Key votes in the Commons this week on Thursday are unlikely to yield a Valentine's Day defeat for Theresa May.
Both sides of the chamber are reluctantly giving the PM and her negotiating team another two weeks to continue talks in Brussels to resolve the deadlock over the Irish backstop and attempt to find a workable solution which is acceptable to both a majority of MPs in the House of Commons and to the European Union. Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable has definitely not given up hope of MPs voting to take back control of the process if the deadlock cannot be broken soon. "Wresting control of the parliamentary timetable from government and making time to legislate so that Britain does not leave the EU without an agreement can be done, and it must now be done".