secretary@essexlibdems.org.uk
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  • Books
    Article: Jun 22, 2019

    Lib Dem Councillor David Kendall (Brentwood) has asked the Essex CC Cabinet Member for Customer and Communities for an update on which communities have offered to run the libraries under threat of closure.

    David questioned when members will be given detail of the offers and arrangements.

    Reply from the Cabinet Member for Customer and Communities:

  • Article: Jun 22, 2019
    By Isabelle Parasram

    Since 2018, we've celebrated Windrush Day to honour the British Caribbean community. Read Lib Dem Vice President Isabelle Parasram's thoughts.

    Please be advised that this article contains language that some may find offensive

    As a child of the Windrush generation, Windrush Day is hugely important to me. I'm so glad that we, as a society, are marking it.

    The term 'the Windrush Generation' stems from the arrival, on June 22, 1948, of the ship The Empire Windrush at Tilbury Docks, just east of London, bringing with it the first immigrants from the Caribbean.

    It denotes the large-scale influx of Caribbean immigrants during the years that followed.

    There's been a lot of press about the terrible treatment of people who came here from the Caribbean in the late 1940s and onwards, who now find that their very official existence has been denied.

    There's been a lot of press about the terrible treatment of people who came here from the Caribbean in the late 1940s and onwards, who now find that their very official existence has been denied.

    There's also much discussion about the poor treatment of those Caribbean immigrants upon their arrival in the UK to date.

    But there are also some positive stories and memories mixed in with those experiences.

    I've recorded an 8-minute audio interview with someone who came to this country in 1962. She shared with me some of her memories and they were both good and bad.

    The memories they shared included these:

    'I came to the UK after a one month journey from Trinidad by ship with my young stepson and my new baby boy. When we arrived it was the coldest winter they'd had in a long time and we only had summer clothes.'

    'I remember having no furniture, no heating, no washing machine, no fridge, no winter clothes. We had to try to stay warm in one room using a paraffin burner. Then, on Christmas Day, someone gave us a bed for my stepson. I was so happy!'

    Since 2018, we've celebrated Windrush Day to honour the British Caribbean community.

    'It was hard to find a job because no black people were allowed. The British people didn't want immigrants - "…no black people", they said.'

    'I remember a bus driver saying to the passengers that '…all these Pakis had come over here to go on the dole. I pointed out to him that not everyone with Asian skin was from Pakistan and that we were all desperate to work.'

    'We had so little money for food that I had to work at a sweet factory in the evenings just so we could eat. I know it was illegal, but I left my young stepson in charge of my toddler and my baby and, one day, I came home to find the baby under the kitchen table. But I had no choice.'

    'Eventually, I got a job in local Government. I was the only black woman working in my department for the Council. They treated me well and helped me to get promotions.'

    And so, the stories continue.

    Since 2018, we've celebrated Windrush Day to honour the British Caribbean community.

    Listening to the person I interviewed who spoke about how hard it was to find work, it's ironic to note that, following the losses of World War II, Britain was in dire need of labourers. This prompted a campaign to entice people from the countries of the British Empire and Commonwealth to immigrate to the UK.

    Yet, when they arrived, it seems that they weren't exactly welcomed.

    I've read the 'official lines' that state, for posterity that '…the Windrush Generation and their descendants are honoured for their immense contributions to British society following the trauma of the Second World War'. However, this does not entirely reflect the British Caribbean community's experience - certainly not those with whom I've come into contact.

    When Caribbean immigrants first arrived, there were met with extreme intolerance from large parts of the white population.

    Having initially been encouraged to settle in the UK and take up employment to revive the labour market, many early immigrants were denied access to private employment and accommodation on account of their skin colour. Afro-Caribbean and Indo-Caribbean people were also banished from many pubs, clubs, and even churches.

    From today's perspective, the arrival of The Empire Windrush is considered a major landmark not only for the country's recovery from the turmoil of war but also for the establishment of modern British multicultural society.

    As Liberal Democrats, we must continue to fight for justice for those members of the Windrush Generation whose paperwork - destroyed by The Home Office - means that they have to face a costly, lengthy and sometimes unwinnable battle to establish their right to remain in the UK

    Windrush Day is a way of encouraging communities across the country to celebrate the contribution of the Windrush Generation and their descendants - I guess that would include me!

    But, it also serves as a reminder that, as Liberal Democrats, we must continue to fight for justice for those members of the the Windrush Generation whose paperwork - destroyed by The Home Office - means that they have to face a costly, lengthy and sometimes unwinnable battle to establish their right to remain in the UK, even if this is the only home they've ever known.

    So, join me on Tuesday 25th June 2019 at an event organised by 'The Hackney Heroine', Pauline Pearce, the driving force behind Motion F5 from last Autumn's Conference 'Righting Wrongs: Restoring the Rights of the Windrush Generation'.

    Alongside former Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year, Kaweh Beheshtizadeh and Professor Paul Reynolds (both key figures within the Liberal Democrats), I will be discussing the issues surrounding the Windrush Scandal and what we, as Liberal Democrats, can do about it.

  • New North House Brentwood
    Article: Jun 20, 2019

    Cllr Philip Mynott (Brentwood North) will table the following motion at full council on 26 June 2019:

    In 19th December 2017 Lichfields, the Brentwood Council consultants who had produced the Economic Futures Study in support of the Local Plan, advised the council to consider gaining an Article 4 direction "to stop the conversion of offices to residential uses through permitted development rights". The clear object of this advice was to prevent the worrying erosion of town centre unemployment uses.

  • Marie Goldman and Stephen Robinson
    Article: Jun 17, 2019

    The Lib Dems took control of Chelmsford Council on 22nd May. Stephen Robinson was elected Leader of the Council and Marie Goldman Deputy Leader. The Lib Dem Group made proposals to reform the Cabinet structure to reflect Lib Dem priorities, as set out in the election manifesto.

    The new Cabinet posts are:

  • Article: Jun 14, 2019

    Cllr Barry Aspinell (Pilgrims Hatch) will table the following motion at full council on 26 June 2019,

    This Council resolves to review access for day time and night time car parking within the town centre.

    Struggling shops in Brentwood are further impeded by parking restrictions and fees for their customers, whilst night time outlets benefit from less stringent fees as well as lack of enforcement of these with cars parked freely along double yellow lines and pavements.

  • Robin Hood road
    Article: Jun 14, 2019

    Cllr Alison Fulcher (Brentwood North) will table the following motion at full council on 26 June 2019, following the direct action she has previously taken:

    This Council resolves to commission a report from a suitably qualified organisation to carry out a study of HGV journeys to and from local businesses and to explore what beneficial changes could be made to improve weight restriction enforcement and to report on the environmental and commercial benefits from any potential changes.

  • Join The Lib Dems
    Article: Jun 13, 2019
  • Priests Lane
    Article: Jun 13, 2019

    Cllr Andy Fryd (Shenfield) will table the following motion at full council on 26 June 2019:

    This Council resolves to remove the Authority's preferred site of 75 houses in Priests Lane from our submission of our Local Development Plan and allocate this number of dwellings to an alternative site within the borough such as the Dunton Hills development. The Priests Lane site would then be changed to a conservation and wildlife area. The benefit of this status would aid the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions from an already over polluted and heavily traffic congested area.

  • Electric car charging
    Article: Jun 13, 2019

    Cllr Barry Aspinell will table the following at the ordinary council meeting on 26 June 2019:

    This Council resolves to investigate the possibility of installing electric charging stations for electric powered vehicles at various strategic positions within the Borough.

    We would suggest the ideal sites for these could be the major junctions with the M25 (A12 / A127).

  • Women in politics
    Article: Jun 13, 2019

    We are actively seeking women candidates for the 2020 council elections. Currently, four of our thirteen borough councillors are female (Karen Chilvers, Sarah Cloke, Vicky Davies and Alison Fulcher) and we aim to increase that to 50% next year when there are 12 seats up for election.

    To be a great councillor you need to have drive, enthusiasm, an interest in your local community and the confidence to speak up for others. We will, of course, offer training, mentoring and encouragement. You would be expected to take part in activity in your ward and attend evening council meetings.There is an allowance payment to cover expenses, if elected, of £6,000pa. This is subject to tax and national insurance but does not affect Universal Credit.

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