Havering In Danger… But From Who?

Havering In Danger… But From Who?

Before last year’s local elections the local Conservative party published a newsletters that received a huge amount of national press after a senior member of their own party, MP Nick Boles, blasted it for being a ‘racist’ leaflet. You can see the leaflet and some of the comments it drew in the below link


At the time the now Havering Leader Cllr Damian White was quoted as saying that “the leaflet was originally cleared by Conservative HQ with no comments, and he stood by its content.” The leaflet was then finally withdrawn.

In the newsletter, amongst other things, it claimed Labour must be stopped and that if they were voted into the council Havering would face among other things:

  • Building on cherished open spaces
  • Huge Council Tax hikes
  • A London Crime wave with even less police

Well within the last week the following has happened under the Conservative run Havering Council.

Throughout this time the bickering continues between the Conservative run council and Government and the Labour London Mayor Sadiq Khan – both blaming each other for cuts to services – while the lies on who said what and when just continue to roll along.

Who are the victims in this all? It is the residents of Havering, who are left to pick up the pieces from these political clashes – trying to sift through the lies to discover the truth, trying to get on with their day-to-day lives with less money in their back pocket and, most devastatingly, now living in a society where, for some, they don’t feel safe to walk around their local streets.

The Havering Liberal Democrats want to stop the fighting between parties and to plan and implement measures to make Havering a better place:

These include:

  • Protecting and investing in our green spaces so they can be enjoyed by all generations
  • When passing the budget – no more brushing aside the views and voice of the Council Tax-paying public. Determine the real level of funding required for the services that we need and deserve. Be honest about the cost of what people want!
  • More community police officers, and a proper public health approach that brings together the police, youth services, schools and the NHS. Only a united effort like this can turn young people away from gangs and violence.

I urge you to take the time to question your own councillors and MPs over the above and start putting pressure on them to start acting in the appropriate manner so that Havering can be allowed to once again flourish.

This post was written by Tom Clarke, Membership Development Officer and Press Officer for the Havering Liberal Democrats

Contact him by emailing thomas.clarke@haveringlibdems.org.uk or Tweet him @tpc1981

Childhood Memories Being Sold Off And Neglected

Above: Upminster’s Hall Lane Miniature Golf Course

I must have been 9 years old when I first played a golf shot. I went to Upminster’s Hall Lane Miniature Golf Course with my father and a couple of my brothers and hacked my way around the place – my dad trying to give out golfing advice at the same time as making sure we didn’t kill each other or other golfers enjoying the course.

From that moment I have been hooked on golf and sport – so much that I have worked for Golf Monthly magazine for the past decade and been able to take my lack of golfing ability all around the world – even being fortunate enough to play Augusta National last year.

I was then upset to see the news on Tuesday that the very same golf course at Hall Lane looks set to have some 48 homes built on its once luscious fairways.

I had known that the once superb course had fallen into disrepair ever since the Council sold it off at the end of the 1990s – and it appears with no appetite from the council to keep this course running they are looking to make a quick buck instead.

Unfortunately this is not the only example of the community losing a once popular sport facility. There used to be several fantastic pitch and putt courses in the area including at Haynes Park and Harold Wood Park, all now long gone with easy to manage nature areas now in their place.

I am aware of the need for housing in the area, but we cannot forget the role our green spaces play in influencing the younger generations and creating life-long happy memories – like the ones I have – they can inspire people more than we can ever realise.

This post was written by Tom Clarke, Membership Development Officer and Press Officer for the Havering Liberal Democrats

Contact him by emailing thomas.clarke@haveringlibdems.org.uk or Tweet him @tpc1981

Give Our High Streets A Break

Give Our High Streets A Break

Whether it is increased business rates, or shoppers being charged to park in high streets and town centres the attack on our local shops continues at an alarming rate.

It is time to stop this unrelenting assault and to give our local businesses the shot in the arm they require – before it is too late.

A three-point plan could easily change the fortunes of our high street around.

1 An online sales tax, give our local shops a chance by charging those who sell online a simple and affordable tax. For every £100 that is spent on retail £20 is spent online – it is time that the people who are making their money through web portals to be properly taxed. This would help fund…

2 Lower Business rates – For too long businesses with brick and mortar premises have had to subsidise online shopping. An introduction of a Commercial Landowner Levy would tax only the land value of commercial sites, boosting investment and cutting taxes for businesses– this levy should then be be paid by owners rather than tenants.

3 Keep free parking around high streets and town centres – The announcement that the 30 minute free parking was to be abolished in Hornchurch and Upminster would have caused many local businesses to shudder. The introduction of these charges will undoubtedly cause struggling businesses to collapse and therefore the council will lose out on business rates income they would have got. Free parking means shoppers will still feel they can pop into their local shops to make purchases and not be lost to the free car parking in places such as big superstores and Lakeside.

Due to the austerity of the Conservative Government all councils in the UK are feeling the squeeze. It is time that they look to push back on their budgets back to the those in central power rather than look to squeeze more out of the local businesses and residents who use them.

Sign this petition Against Havering council scrapping 30 minute free parking and free Sunday parking http://chng.it/pdgKSGjHKR

This post was written by Tom Clarke, Membership Development Officer and Press Officer for the Havering Liberal Democrats

Contact him by emailing thomas.clarke@haveringlibdems.org.uk or Tweet him @tpc1981

Backing a More Liveable London

Backing a More Liveable London

Havering Liberal Democrats are proud to back Living Streets‘ and London Cycling Campaign‘s (LCC) joint campaign for a more Liveable London, something they call My Liveable London.

Shouldn’t we all be able to breath fresh air?  According to a World Health Organisation (WHO) report launched on 2nd May, London is reported as one of the UK’s most polluted cities where residents are exposed to levels of air pollution that exceed levels set by WHO.  Find the report on WHO’s website at www.who.int/airpollution/data/cities/en/

We feel so strongly about the My Liveable London campaign points that we have included in in our local Havering Manifesto – A Better Deal for Havering.

You can read more about the joint My Liveable London campaign at www.livingstreets.org.uk/what-you-can-do/campaigns/my-liveable-london

Find us on the London Cycling Campaign list of pledges at lcc.org.uk/pages/my-liveable-london-pledges

Protecting our Environment for Now and Our Future

Protecting our Environment for Now and Our Future

We understand how important our natural environment is and we always call out for its protection.  Being high on the list of London Boroughs in terms of natural green space, our wonderful local parks and public spaces are under constant threat from over-development.

The natural environment should be a key concern for all of us, all of the time, not just at election time.

Access to and the quality of our natural environment is important for our physical and mental health, as well as biodiversity and wildlife.

We proudly support the Campaign for Rural England‘s (CPRE) local election campaign and have gone as far as to include it within our manifesto – A Better Deal for Havering

There is a high demand for new local, genuinely affordable, housing, and we call upon the Council and developers to ensure that wherever possible, new developments make use of current brownfield sites before considering the permanent conversion of more of our beautiful green spaces in to concrete structures.

Ian Sanderson, candidate for Romford Town spoke to Romford Recorder’s Jon King and called for London to be awarded National Park City status to further protect our green spaces.  Read the full article on Romford Recorder’s site at www.romfordrecorder.co.uk/news/environment/local-elections-2018-parties-vow-protect-green-belt-havering-after-warning-from-campaign-to-protect-rural-england-1-5474330

Further to a email from a concerned local resident, we are running a survey to discover more about the our rubbish and recycling awareness and habits.  There are some worrying insights showing already.  Please spend 2 minutes completing our survey.

You can read more about CPRE London’s campaign to help make more parks more beautiful and tranquil here: www.cprelondon.org.uk/news/item/2389-local-elections-in-may-help-make-parks-more-beautiful-and-tranquil

Douze points goes to…? Yay for Eurovision Lisbon 2018

Douze points goes to…? Yay for Eurovision Lisbon 2018

Eurovision Lisbon 2018 is only days away!  Not just one, but two voting opportunities in May.

First it’s the local Havering Town Hall elections on Thursday 3rd May.

And then it’s the Eurovision Lisbon 2018 final on Saturday 12th May.

We caught up with the local Romford Town Liberal Democrat candidates in between campaigning to find out who they’re backing this year.

Thomas Clarke has loved watching Eurovision since childhood and fondly remember Terry Wogan’s dry wit, saying “the reason I love the Eurovision Song Contest is that it is loads of countries coming together to put all differences aside and just enjoy themselves.”  Tom will be supporting SuRie for the United Kingdom,

The Eurovision song contest is one of Kerrie Sait‘s favourite nights of the year;  “A true showcase of the best, and sometimes worst musical offerings around Europe, it’s often complete bonkersness and totally gripping. While there is some rivalry especially in scoring, there is also a lot of cross-country celebration. One of the few events I can get away with proudly supporting both sides of my heritage – the UK and Ireland – at the same time.”

For all of those refreshing their Eurovision history knowledge, Ian Sanderson has some great memories of the Eurovision and fondly remembers Katie Boyle presenting the song contest.  Ian’s enthusiasm for this year’s competition, and his family ties, has led him to “start with Czech, France, Ireland and the UK. Personally, the Czech one isn’t for me (a bit rappy and in English). Ireland wasn’t bad.  UK was a great effort, but for me, I preferred France with their interesting visuals. So I’ll go for France.”

Who will get your douze points?  Find all of the Eurovision Lisbon 2018 entries at eurovision.tv/participants

Make your choice and then drop us a line to tell us who you’re supporting!

Good luck Team United Kingdom and SuRie!!

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