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    • Covanta Incinerator Construction Vehicle blocking the road at Green Lane
      Article: May 22, 2020

      A local Councillor has hit out at Covanta over the 'appalling disruption' its incinerator development is causing for local residents and road users.

      The US waste giant is constructing a controversial 600,000 tonne per year waste incinerator just outside the village of Stewartby, after it was given approval nationally despite local opposition.

    • Article: May 22, 2020

      It has been confirmed that Beijing is introducing a resolution that would bypass Hong Kong local law-making processes in order to impose a new 'national security law' on the territory.

      We cannot sit back and watch this violation of rights and freedoms.

      It is clear that China no longer cares for the 'one country, two systems' agreement made between the UK and China during the Handover.

    • Article: May 22, 2020

      Welcome to the Weekly Whip. Your one-stop shop for Lib Dem Parliamentary updates, covering the week that was and the week to come.

      For up to date information from the Lib Dem Whips Office, follow us on Twitter: @LibWhips

      Weekly Whip w/c 18th April

      Monday 18th May

      Monday started with Ministerial Questions to the Treasury and the Department for Transport. Where Munira Wilson questioned the government on what they are doing to protect the aviation industry and prevent the loss of jobs in that sector.

    • Oliver Holmes
      Article: May 22, 2020
      By Oliver Holmes

      Ipswich Borough Council has just announced that it has purchased a business park in Peterborough for £22.5 million. This has been acquired through their property company, Ipswich Borough Assets (IBA), and is financed by a loan from the Public Works Loan Board.

      IBC do these deals to obtain a profit which can then be used to replace funds lost by major reductions in funding from the central government. But borrowing money to invest and get a profit would be unlawful for IBC and doing it through a separate property company, such as IBA, has been discouraged since the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government tightened guidelines two years ago. Essex County Council "paused" all their purchases after this change, for example.

    • Vestager and Breton
      Article: May 21, 2020

      As the COVID-19 pandemic hit Europe earlier this year, many governments adopted extraordinary measures to contain the virus. These measures had an effect on many sectors and industries, including tourism and travel industry which was severely impacted by the closure of borders.

      But now, governments across Europe have presented their strategies to exit lockdowns and lift some of the implemented restrictions. In this context, on 13 May, European Commission Executive Vice-President for A Europe Fit for the Digital Age Margrethe Vestager and Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton presented a package with guidelines and recommendations to safely resume travel and reboot Europe's tourism industry while respecting the necessary health precautions.

    • Article: May 21, 2020

      The latest Immigration Statistics, published this morning, show that 51,906 people are waiting for an initial decision on their asylum claims, an increase of 33% since last year. 31,516 have been waiting for more than six months, a 68% increase.

      People who've come to the UK having fled war or persecution should welcomed, not trapped for months on just £5.39 a day

    • Article: May 21, 2020

      HQ press release

      Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey has today called on the Government to extend the transition period and reverse damaging immigration polices because of the impact of the coronavirus crisis on business.

      The call comes in response to figures released by the ONS today which reveal 61% of businesses reported a decrease in turnover outside of normal range in England, compared with 66% in Wales, 65% in Scotland and 63% in Northern Ireland between 20 April and 3 May 2020.

    • Article: May 21, 2020

      HQ press release, 21 May 2020

      The Liberal Democrats have called on the Government to scrap the June 2021 deadline for EU citizens to apply for the right to stay in the UK, as new Home Office figures reveal a big drop in the number of Settled Status applications and grants last month.

      Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Christine Jardine has called on the Government to take up her European Citizens' Rights Bill, which would give EU citizens in the UK before Brexit the automatic right to stay, with no deadline.

      The latest EU Settlement Scheme statistics, published this morning, show that just 41,600 people were granted Settled Status in April, down from 77,800 in March and 157,000 in January. The number of applications to the scheme has also fallen sharply, from 351,800 in January to 125,000 in March and 67,300 in April.

      In total, only half of the estimated 3.6 million EU citizens in the UK before Brexit have been granted Settled Status, despite the Prime Minister's repeated promise that all of them would automatically be given the right to stay.

      Today's figures show a backlog of 315,900 people still waiting for a decision on their application. A further 1.3 million people have been granted only the temporary Pre-Settled Status, meaning they will have to reapply within five years or lose the right to stay.

      Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

      "The coronavirus crisis has shone a spotlight on the enormous contributions EU citizens make to our public services, our economy and our society. They must have the right to stay.

      "No one ever seriously believed the Home Office would be able to ensure every EU citizen had Settled Status by June next year, but the coronavirus crisis makes it impossible.

      "It's completely understandable that Settled Status applications and grants have dropped so dramatically as people focus on the devastating impact of this pandemic. Ministers must adapt to this new reality and scrap their arbitrary deadline.

      "Liberal Democrats are fighting for the rights of EU citizens. I urge the Prime Minister to honour his promise to give them the automatic right to stay in the UK and take up my Bill which would do just that."


      Notes to editors

      The EU Settlement Scheme statistics, April 2020, published today by the Home Office, are available here.

      Christine Jardine tabled the European Citizens' Rights Bill on 26th February 2020. It is due to have its Second Reading in the House of Commons on 10th July. More details are available here.

    • Article: May 20, 2020

      Today we have introduced a Bill to require the Government to seek a two-year extension to the Brexit transition period, in light of the Coronavirus pandemic.

      To choose a No Deal Brexit and crash out, when the option to extend the transition is possible, would be an act of national self-harm - especially when our NHS, economy and food supply chains are already stretched and struggling.

    • Mayor Dave Hodgson Green Bins Video Message Still
      Article: May 20, 2020

      From tomorrow, Thursday 21 May, you will be able to dispose of more types of waste at the Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) on Barkers Lane.

      With more onward disposal sites for waste collected at the HWRC starting to open and the success of the new system at the Barkers Lane site to facilitate social distancing, the Council are now able to allow more types of waste to be disposed of.