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Lib Dems demand £1,000-a-year boost for the 7,880 carers in Bristol

The Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to raise Carer’s Allowance by £1,000 a year, to help support 7,880 unpaid carers in Bristol during the coronavirus pandemic.
The party’s leader, Ed Davey, who has promised to “be the voice of the 9 million carers in our country”, has written to the Prime Minister urging him to recognise the “challenges that have been made even harder by coronavirus.”
The Liberal Democrat proposals centre around increasing Carer’s Allowance from its current rate of £67.25 a week to £87.25, in line with the £20 a week uplift in Universal Credit announced at the start of the pandemic.
The latest government figures show that 5,667 unpaid carers in Bristol currently receive Carer’s Allowance.
However, the Liberal Democrats are also calling for the 2,213 people who are entitled to Carer’s Allowance but do not receive it due to overlapping benefits – mostly older carers on low incomes – to be given the extra £20 a week as well.
Launching the campaign, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:
“Unpaid carers face big challenges every single day; challenges that have been made even harder by coronavirus.
“Many carers are facing extreme financial hardship. They have been struggling for months, often relying on foodbanks to feed themselves and the people they care for.
“So Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to support carers by raising Carer’s Allowance by £1,000 a year, now.”
Cllr Tim Kent, Bristol Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Care in Bristol and Cllr for Hengrove & Whitchurch Park added:
“Unpaid carers in Bristol are doing a remarkable and important job in very difficult circumstances.
“Our wonderful carers deserve our support, but they are too often forgotten or ignored.
“Liberal Democrats will stand up for carers and lead the way to a more caring society.”

Mary Page stands down as Mayoral Candidate

The Bristol Lib Dems regretfully announce that Mayoral Candidate Mary Page has had to stand down for personal reasons.
 
The postponement of the election has caused disruption for many people but most particularly for candidates, who have had to put their lives on hold for a further twelve months.
 
Financial circumstances have forced Mary to seek a new employment and her employer does not support her active involvement in politics.
 
The Bristol Lib Dems have begun the process of selecting a new candidate. We will continue campaigning energetically. Our campaign to Scrap the Mayor has been gathering strong local support. We want to save Bristolians millions annually, restore council democracy, and increase involvement of local people by reinvigorating our neighbourhood councils.
 
Baroness Barbara Janke said ‘Due to changed personal circumstances Mary Page will no longer be the Lib Dem Mayoral candidate. We are sorry to lose her but recognise that the postponing of the election has caused her to reconsider her candidacy.
 
I know she found it a privilege and a pleasure to be our candidate.  Mary made great progress in promoting our campaign to Scrap the Bristol Mayoral position. We send her our thanks for her hard work and all good wishes for her future in her new job.”
You can back our campaign by signing our petition to Scrap the Mayor.

Bristol Lib Dems back End Our Cladding Scandal Campaign

The Bristol Liberal Democrats are fully supporting the ten demands of the End Our Cladding Scandal campaign, which is fighting for greater protections for leaseholders and tenants who are currently living in blocks with Grenfell style cladding or blocks that were previously certified as compliant and safe but which now fail new standards rushed in after Grenfell. We have launched a petition, and are putting forward a motion to Council to make Bristol City Council back the campaign. There are numerous buildings in Bristol that are affected, with residents numbering in the thousands. Fire safety is essential, yet the current system in place to identify and remediate cladding and fire safety issues including dangerous cladding is not only perilously slow, presenting significant safety risks but is also leaving thousands of leaseholders facing financial ruin.
Capricorn Place is just one of the many buildings affected

Bristol Lib Dems call on Mayor Rees to plug Government gap and provide funding for school meals

 

The Bristol Liberal Democrats have written to Mayor Marvin Rees imploring him to explore the possibility of Bristol City Council paying for free school meals for poorer families now that the government has voted down Marcus Rashford’s campaign to stop child holiday hunger.

 


Lib Dems in the West of England slam Govt’s planning proposals

The Liberal Democrats have condemned the Conservative Government’s plans to reform the planning system, arguing that proposed changes will do nothing to alleviate the housing crisis in the West of England.


Stephen Williams chosen as Lib Dem candidate for West of England Mayor - Bristol Liberal Democrats

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Local Liberal Democrats have chosen two-time MP for Bristol West, Stephen Williams, to contest the election next May for the important post of Mayor of the West of England.

In choosing such a strong candidate, the Lib Dems are sending a clear message that they are taking this election very seriously and they believe they can win.

Stephen Williams said "This election really matters to people's everyday lives because the mayor decides where a lot of money is spent to improve buses, cycling and other ways to get around, new housing and creating new jobs.  


Calling time on Colston Statue

Lib Dem candidate and equal rights activist Tara Murray said;

‘I want people to see beyond this statue being taken down by protesters. This statue was a symbol of how Bristol as a city still venerated a slave merchant that ruined tens of thousands of African lives and made his money off the backs of these slaves to step up the financial and aristocratic ladder of his time. The actions during his lifetime should’ve been rebuked and for a city with such vigour, multiculturalism and diversity it made no sense for us to still have him at the heart of our city. The people felt they needed to do something as there was a lot of uncertainty around this topic. The history will not be lost with him being removed, what happened is ingrained in the history of the slave trade and of the city but the removal of the statue signifies us as a community ending the acceptance of these matters and growing forward as a community. This act has now added a new chapter on the history of Bristol and will hopefully educate all that don’t know and will help more people understand the comparisons from late 17th century racism and racism in today’s world.'


15,780 EU nationals in Bristol left in limbo, Lib Dems warn

The Liberal Democrats are calling for EU citizens to be given the automatic right to stay in the UK, as new official figures show 15,780 EU nationals living in Bristol have not been granted permanent Settled Status to remain in the UK.

Pointing to the contribution of EU nationals working in the NHS during the Covid-19 crisis, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Christine Jardine urged the Government to “show its own support for the people’s heroes by extending the right to remain to all EU and foreign nationals, many of whom are fighting for our lives."

Of the 32,530 EU nationals across Bristol who have applied for permanent residency, only 16,430 have been granted settled status.

2,690 EU nationals living in Bristol have applied to the Home Office scheme but are still waiting for a final decision to be made. Another 13,090 have been given only temporary Pre-Settled Status, meaning they will have to reapply within five years or be forced to leave the UK.

Although the Home Office has announced a one-year visa extensions for certain health and care staff, the Liberal Democrats have secured cross-party support for their campaign to give all health and social care workers on the frontline of this crisis indefinite leave to remain.

Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

“The coronavirus crisis is an unprecedented threat. NHS staff, social care workers and other health professionals are putting themselves in harm’s way each and every day to keep us safe.
 
“The Government has a chance to show its own support for the people’s heroes by extending the right to remain to all EU and foreign nationals, many of whom are fighting for our lives during the Covid-19 pandemic."

Liberal Democrat Mayoral Candidate for Bristol, Mary Page added:

“Bristol is a dynamic, internationalist, modern city which so many people have made their home and added positive value to our cultural mix.  Too many EU nationals in Bristol are deeply anxious about their right to stay, like them I wasn't born here but equally like them I've made this wonderful city my home. With the uncertainty of both Covid 19 pandemic and Brexit, it is disgraceful to leave them in legal limbo like this.

“We are a city of sanctuary and have opened our heart and arms to welcome all, which we can see that with acts of Covid kindness to support everyone regardless of their status. Families and children must not be made to live under a cloud of uncertainty any longer. The Liberal Democrats will continue to stand up for EU citizens by fighting to guarantee their rights to live and work in the UK and make a positive contribution to our shared society.”

Bristol NHS & Care staff must receive more mental health support

The Liberal Democrats are today calling on the Government to ramp up mental health support for health and care staff to ensure “world-class” support for those tackling the virus head-on.


Labour's proposals a 'debt bomb' for Bristol renters

Labour's proposed policy of deferring rent payments has been criticised for unfairly punishing renters and creating new debt.
 
Bristol West MP Thangam Debbonaire today announced her first policy as Shadow Housing Secretary to lobby the government to implement a system whereby tenants who fall into rent arrears during the COVID-19 crisis will have to pay back the debt in full on top of their monthly rent payments.