News

Ukraine: how we can help

Ukraine: how we can help

Parliamentary news
Many people have been asking how they can help the desperate situation in the Ukraine. At present, the best way people can help is by donating to the Disasters Emergency Committee Ukraine appeal here. The appeal, which was officially launched on Thursday (March 3), is officially backed by the UK Government, which is matching all donations made, up to £20m. The DEC’ brings together 15 leading aid charities to raise funds quickly and efficiently, getting help to where it is most needed. While we know many people are keen to donate items of clothing and essential goods, this is being discouraged by many charities, some of which have already closed their collections, due to the logistical problems this can create. The Government has also said that unsolicited donations of goods, although well-meant, can…
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Jeremy Hunt is too cowardly to say what everyone else in Britain is thinking

Jeremy Hunt is too cowardly to say what everyone else in Britain is thinking

Parliamentary news
Responding to Jeremy Hunt refusing to answer if Boris Johnson is an honest man, Liberal Democrat Business spokesperson Sarah Olney MP said: "Britain needs new leadership to get through this cost of living crisis yet all we have is unfair tax hikes and a Prime Minister who can't tell the truth. Jeremy Hunt is too cowardly to say what everyone else in Britain is thinking. Boris Johnson is a serial liar and not fit to govern this country. "It is time Jeremy Hunt carried out his patriotic duty and called time on Boris Johnson as Prime Minister." "As a Surrey MP Jeremy Hunt should know the sheer anger felt in former Conservative heartlands at this Government. From Chesham and Amersham to last week's local election results, it is clear the…
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No housing for social rent built in Oldham for seven years

No housing for social rent built in Oldham for seven years

Borough news, housing and development
After Oldham Council has accepted that no houses have been built for social rent in the borough in the last seven years, Shadow Cabinet Member for Housing Sam Al-Hamdani called it ‘a betrayal of the needs of the poor, and the Government’s claims about levelling up’. He said: “When people talk about what is needed in Oldham, they want housing that people can afford. Unfortunately, the Government has hijacked the term ‘affordable housing’, which they have defined as anything that is rented or sold at 20% below the market rate for that area. “What most people actually want to see more of are the homes defined as for ‘social rent’, in Government language, which in Oldham would normally be at around 50% of the market rate, and which is retained…
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Windfall tax “flip flopping” sign of a government in chaos

Windfall tax “flip flopping” sign of a government in chaos

Parliamentary news
Responding to Boris Johnson's latest comments on introducing a windfall tax on the profits of oil and gas companies, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said: "The mixed signals from Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak over a windfall tax are a sign of a government in chaos that is failing to act on the cost of living emergency. "People want to see decisive action now to help them with soaring energy bills. Instead we have day after day of contradictory statements, while energy companies rake in record profits and families can't afford to put food on the table. "It is a clear sign that Boris Johnson is simply not fit to lead us through this time of national crisis. We need strong leadership, not endless flip flopping."
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Protections for cash machines announced in Queen’s Speech

Protections for cash machines announced in Queen’s Speech

Borough news, Parliamentary news
Oldham Liberal Democrat Group Leader and Shaw councillor, Howard Sykes MBE has been campaigning against cash machine closures in recent years and has welcomed the recent Queen’s Speech announcement about cash machines (ATMs). According to analysis from consumer researchers at ‘Which?’, since 2015, almost half of the UK’s bank branch network has closed. In addition, a further 12,178 free-to-use cash machines have vanished since 2018. During yesterday’s Queen’s Speech, the government pledged to introduce a Financial Services and Markets Bill, which will contain measures to protect cash machines and keep them readily available to businesses and members of the public. “Access to cash is vital for businesses and individuals, even in today’s environment where so many transactions are cashless. We have already lost several cash machines in Shaw and Crompton.…
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NHS backlog: Health services ran into the ground by the Conservatives

NHS backlog: Health services ran into the ground by the Conservatives

Parliamentary news
Responding to new statistics that show the number of people in England waiting to start routine NHS hospital treatment has grown to a record high of 6.4 million and that A&E waiting times are the worst on record, Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson Daisy Cooper MP said: "Blaming this backlog solely on the pandemic is an excuse that just won't wash. The Conservatives' have been running health services into the ground for years. "After years of neglect, health services have been plunged into crisis, with cancer patients waiting months for treatment and families facing deadly delays for an ambulance in an emergency. “Years of driving the NHS into the ground and taking it for granted is putting patients lives at risk. It's high time the Government hatch a serious plan to…
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GDP figures: Cut VAT to boost businesses

GDP figures: Cut VAT to boost businesses

Parliamentary news
Responding to the latest GDP figures, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Christine Jardine MP said: "These are serious economic times which require serious leadership. Families and pensioners on the brink will never forgive this Conservative Government if they fail to act before it's too late. "The warning lights are flashing red for our economy but the Chancellor is nowhere to be found. If forecasts are correct then Britain is heading for a winter of discontent. "Now is the time to slash VAT to give families and businesses a lifeline. Instead we have a Government piling tax hikes and red tape on businesses which have barely survived the pandemic."
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Ambulance Crisis: Ignored for far too long

Ambulance Crisis: Ignored for far too long

Parliamentary news
Responding to the latest news on ambulance waiting times reported by the BBC, showing a 77% rise in serious incidents reported by paramedics, Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson Daisy Cooper MP said: “This Conservative government has ignored this crisis for far too long. Patients are being put in danger and ambulance staff are on the brink. “If the Government doesn't act now there will be more and more distressing stories of patients being left waiting for an ambulance so long that in some cases it will just be too late. “Liberal Democrats have been sounding the alarm for months, calling for an urgent investigation into England’s ambulance services and a review of ambulance station closures - but the Tory government keeps turning a blind eye." The BBC article stated that: "Doctors…
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Making democracy more accessible

Making democracy more accessible

Borough news, fairer council
Oldham Council chief executive Harry Catherall has agreed to a review of the arrangements for the counting of the election vote next year to ensure that all is being done to ensure it is accessible for people with varying disabilities. After local Liberal Democrat Councillor Sam Al-Hamdani wrote to him following this year’s count, highlighting some of the positive aspects, but also some of the weaknesses, he agreed to discuss what could be done next year to make it better. Sam said: “We want as many people as possible to be involved in politics, whether that is increasing the numbers of people voting, or making it easier for people to stand to be elected. “Making the process more accessible is just one of those steps.” Unlike many other counts, results…
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Heart attack patients facing hour wait in ambulance wait times crisis

Heart attack patients facing hour wait in ambulance wait times crisis

Parliamentary news
The Liberal Democrats have blasted the Conservative Government for presiding over an ambulance waiting time crisis “spiralling out of control”, as shocking new figures show that people across the country are facing increasingly dangerous delays for medical help. A Parliamentary Question tabled by the party’s health spokesperson Daisy Cooper has uncovered the shocking news that people up and down the country, in need of emergency medical attention, are waiting almost twenty minutes longer on average than they would have two years ago. The Liberal Democrats are calling for emergency action to be taken in the upcoming Queen’s Speech to address the crisis and give paramedics and handlers the support they need. This includes urgent investment in A&E departments and a new Community Ambulance Fund, as well as a review of…
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Liberal Democrat leadership team pledged to be Real Opposition to Labour on Oldham Council

Liberal Democrat leadership team pledged to be Real Opposition to Labour on Oldham Council

Borough news, environment, fairer council, road safety
At a Group meeting held on 7 May, the Oldham Borough Liberal Democrat Group elected councillor Howard Sykes MBE as their Leader and councillor Chris Gloster as their Deputy Leader. Councillor Howard Sykes said: “I am grateful once more to my colleagues for their support for my work as Group Leader and delighted that Chris will continue to serve as my Deputy. It was great to welcome newly elected councillor Alicia Marland from Saddleworth West and Lees to the team, and to welcome Dave Murphy and Hazel Gloster back for Crompton and Shaw Wards. After Friday’s results, the Liberal Democrats are up one to nine councillors and I know that all of us will continue to make a difference.” “Liberal Democrats will be the only real opposition party holding Labour…
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