Monthly Archives: September 2013

Shropshire Liberal Democrats back Vote to Scrap ‘Bedroom Tax’

Shropshire’s Liberal Democrats have backed a Party vote to scrap the bedroom tax. At the Party Conference in Glasgow delegates voted overwhelmingly their opposition to this ‘very damaging’ tax.

 

Cllr Bob Welch, Chair of Ludlow Liberal Democrats, said, ’’I am pleased that the Party has come out so strongly against this poorly conceived tax. Especially in rural areas, such as ours, there is a severe shortage of social housing, so there is little or no smaller accommodation into which to transfer. The Liberal Democrat alternative is to invest in social housing and to raise the tax thresholds further to help the least well off with their housing costs.”

Dr Charles West, Chair of Shrewsbury Liberal Democrats, said, ’’This policy was ill-thought out and hastily applied; this became quite clear from the outset when a whole raft of exemptions was rapidly announced. “Emergency funds’’ were given to councils to help reduce the impact – but the Tax should go.  The Labour Party bears a heavy responsibility since it was they who introduced the idea in the first place, applying it to tenants of private landlords.’’

Cllr Heather Kidd, a nationally recognised authority on Housing matters, asserted that the fundamental need is for the building of more social housing, of all types and sizes.

“There is no future in trying to shunt people around when there is for most of them no alternative. Steve Webb [the LD Minister in DWP] is a listening minister. When he visited Shropshire in April the strength of feeling as very clear, he had already managed to have exemptions put in place, as Charles says. I am sure that he will take seriously the Party’s message that when we are in a position to do so, we will repeal it.”

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Pictured in Aston-on-Clun in April from left: Cllr Nigel Hartin (Clun), Cllr Heather Kidd (Chirbury & Worthen), Steve Webb MP, Cllr Charlotte Barnes (Bishop’s Castle),

 

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Local Lib Dems Oppose Syria Strike

A ‘random’ survey of Liberal Democrats in Shropshire has shown no support for a missile strike against Syria. There was strong support for the stance of Midlands MP(Solihull) Loreley Burt, who refused to support the government.

‘I emailed members of my local Branch,’ said Bishops Castle LD Chair, Peter Phillips, ’and there was no support for the Government’s stance. While members recognised the complexity of the issue,their opposition was very much influenced by humanitarian considerations…and, of course,the Party wholly opposed the Iraq adventure.’

Mr Phillips circulated Lorely Burt’s statement(in the Solihull Observer) and there was no feedback comment favouring military action.

Feedback typically expressed concern such as ‘letting the genie out of the bottle can have long term consequences’……’War always throws up unexpected consequences and inevitably even in restricted military assignments there will be critical collateral damage’…

‘’Priority should be to stop the many countries supplying arms to all sides in the conflict,send humanitarian aid and get diplomatic processes going..’’

‘It was just a random survey,’smiled Mr Phillips, but the opinion was clear. On this occasion, while acknowledging that the Party leadership was in a tough position, one notes that only 30 of our 57 MPs went through the government lobbies.