What happened at Liberal Democrat conference, and why does it matter?

The Liberal Democrats are almost unique among UK parties in the sense that we are membership led, this means that it isn’t the leadership who decide everything, it is normal people like you and me.

This can be transformative, for example the Equal Marriage Act that enables LGBT+ people to marry who they love originated as a Liberal Democrat idea.

At our conference in September 2019 the Liberal Democrats called for an end to unstable employment, this is especially prevalent in Clacton which has high seasonal employment.

We also called for a new approach to policing that involved building up community policing teams that have disappeared in recent years and invest in fighting scammers and cyber crime.

Using my professional experience, I did an event with Lib Dem Lawyers on the gig economy, this was written about in the Law Society Gazette here

By-election in Clacton East

Upon the resignation of Councillor Colin Sargeant, there is a by-election in the County Council seat of Clacton East. In this election, 6 candidates are vying for your vote to represent the community at Essex County Council.

The Conservatives are running Councillor Chris Amos, Labour are running Geoff Ely, the Greens are running Chris Southall, Mark Stephenson is running as an independent, KT King is running for the Holland Residents Association.

Finally, I am delighted to have been selected by the local Liberal Democrats to run as our candidate.

From my professional dealings with Essex County Council, I am frustrated at the distance between them and us, we seem to be excluded from decision making. The decisions are being made in Chelmsford, which is 40 miles away and has no clue to the needs and desires of our community.

The Liberal Democrats have always been a party of the community and community politics. Standing up for everyone and ensuring everyone has a voice at every level. I want to bring decision making back to Clacton, because I think local people are best placed to make local decisions.

What we are standing for in this election:

  • Fight for an accountable children’s services department.

For too long, we have faced cuts to front line services, this means that younger and vulnerable parents lose the initial support they would previously have. Consequently, too many children are ending up in care despite it being avoidable

  • Fight to ensure our library services are protected

Essex County is trying to save money, one of the ways they are doing this is reducing library costs by handing libraries over to volunteers and hoping for the best. I don’t think that this is good enough. I recognise that we need to transform how we deliver the service, but that cannot come at the cost of a professional service.

Therefore my plan is as follows:

  • Get the libraries signed up to renewable energy sources (short term investment, long term makes money)
  • Get every library to have a community cafe where it brings in some vital funds to help meet the cost of running the libraries
  • Transform the buildings into not just libraries, but community hubs where the community is championed
  • Fight to get Essex County Council to take our pothole situation seriously
Image may contain: 1 person, sitting, shoes and outdoor
Me, expressing my immense displeasure with the pothole situation on Wyndham Crescent

Over 400 people have been killed or seriously injured by potholes in the past ten years, the state of these roads is an accident waiting to happen.