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Monday, 11 November 2013

Andrew Stunnell MP visits Ealing

We were lucky to have Liberal Democrat MP, Andrew Stunnell at our 2013 AGM.

Andrew Stunnell MP
In his address, he spoke about a number of areas of local and national government including:
  • How Labour, in government, allowed a reduction in affordable or rented housing to occur. The Liberal Democrats in the coalition government have so far increased the number of affordable and social housing!
  • When the coalition government was being negotiated, the Labour party team appeared very disorganised and had not made preparations. Andrew Stunnell sadly got none of the limelight he deserved. I see him as a fifth Beatle.
  • In government we have raised the tax threshold, so many people who were paying tax are now not doing so. In addition, many millions of those paying some tax before now pay a lot less.
  • We introduced the Lib Dem idea of a Pupil premium which has added many millions to schools in Ealing so those most in need children will get a better outcome.
  • The coaltion re-linking the basic state pension to earnings to give pensioners a fairer deal.
  • 'Right to Buy' has been altered so that affordable homes will need to be built for each home bought.
  • In summary Andrew stated. "To deliver a fairer society, we need a stronger economy."
Councillor Gary Malcolm
I then went on to talk about how the Ealing Liberal Democrats, aims to stop the Council continuing their closures of day centres, which is affecting many vulnerable and disabled residents. Ealing Council has turned down millions of pounds of money from the coalition government which could have been used to stop these cuts. People talk of the 'nasty tories' but in Ealing many are saying that it is Labour who are being nasty.

Liberal Democrats believe that recycling should be free so that residents are not turned off from doing the right thing. Increasing recycling rates is about persuasion and targeting effort to those who are more likely to want to recycle.

Clearly Labour-run Ealing Council has managed so badly in trying to get its waste contractor to do the job they are paid to do (about £20 million a year). I think my dad would do a better job than Enterprise. They continue, week after week, to let thousands of residents down by missing collections and leaving litter to fly around in the wind.

A Liberal Democrat Council would be as firm as hell again contractors like this. We pay them money, if they do the job. If they fail they get no money. Simple.

I went on to talk about the recent bad news about Ealing Hospital and the other local hopsitals in the area. Clearly if a hospital does not have proper A&E and maternity wards then the are not what people I know would call a hospital.

Andrew Stunnell MP with Gary Busuttil (right)
Jon Ball, the Liberal Democrat Ealing Central & Acton parliamentary candidate is right when he said we welcomes the stay of execution for the A&E departments at Ealing and Charing Cross that Jeremy Hunt has announced, following the huge campaign from local residents and politicians.

However, in addition to the disappointment about the downgrades at Central Middlesex and Hammersmith, this announcement raises more questions than it answers.

Jeremy Hunt needs to spell out what the 'changes to the services' he mentioned in his statement are and the length of his commitment that the A&E departments will remain open before there will be any champagne corks popping in Ealing.

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