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Ashford Liberal Democrats

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  1. Priti Patel says refugees should come to the UK through safe and legal routes, and is threatening to punish any who don’t.

    And what about the people who do come to the UK seeking sanctuary, having left their homes fleeing war or prosecution? They should be welcomed with compassion, not kept in limbo for months while their claims are processed.

    Those same statistics reveal that 50,084 asylum seekers have been waiting more than six months for a decision from the Home Office – a number that has doubled on Priti Patel’s watch. That’s the scandal she should be tackling, but none of her endless series of cruel proposals will actually help solve it. In fact, they’ll just cause even longer delays.

    The Home Office is clearly not fit for purpose. So instead of making it harder for refugees to claim asylum, let’s take these decisions away from the Home Office altogether.

    A new arms-length, non-political agency should take over, with the staff, training and resources to process applications quickly, decide cases fairly, and get them right first time. And let’s finally lift the ban and give asylum seekers the right to work. They should be enabled to contribute to our society, not trapped for months on just £5.66 a day.

    Liberal Democrats are fighting to fix the broken asylum system, so that everyone can have confidence in it, and everyone’s rights and dignity are respected.

  2. Ed Davey does not hesitate when asked whether it is harder to be a cabinet minister or a carer. Caring is "way harder".
  3. People looking after their loved ones too often feel forgotten.

  4. Imagine what it must be like to be a child refugee alone in the UK. Forced to flee your home to escape war, conflict or persecution. Separated from your parents and the rest of your family. Trying to start again in a strange new land, where you don’t know anyone.
  5. Figure climbs to nearly half among 18 to 24 year olds who say they care for family members or friends.
  6. key_It’s fantastic that Oxford has been chosen to host the G7 health ministers this week. Our city and county are a hub of innovation and expertise, and I’m glad our life sciences sector will get the opportunity to speak to the delegations. I’ve written to every G7 health minister because these meetings are a crucial opportunity to make real progress and tackle vaccine inequity around the world.

    Layla Moran has urged G7 health ministers to donate vaccines to close the coronavirus vaccine gap, support intellectual property and technology sharing and protect health aid spending as they begin two days of talks in the city from Thursday 3 June.

    In a letter to the health ministers of each G7 nation, including Matt Hancock, Layla said that the Oxford health meetings “could mark a turning point in the global fight against coronavirus”, urging them to “seize this opportunity” and take steps to help vaccinate people in developing nations.


  7. Pride Month is a time of LGBTQ+ celebration, activism and commemoration.

  8. key_Ministers should always follow the Ministerial Code and obey the law and be transparent about that. Using the pandemic as an excuse flies in the face of what the public expect from their elected representatives.Layla Moran made it clear to Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove that “even if a minister does have a difficult job, they should follow both the Ministerial Code and obey the law”, during Cabinet Office questions in the Commons chamber yesterday morning. It comes after Home Secretary Priti Patel told the Andrew Marr show last weekend that “I think at this stage this isn’t about breaking codes and things of that nature, we’re all just getting on in Government doing very difficult jobs actually."

  9. The Conservatives' Environment Bill will fail to protect British nature and our beautiful landscapes.

    We are already living in one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world. Our waterways are in a poor condition with just 14% in good condition. More than 40% of native species are in decline.

    This is an embarrassment - as the Government claims to be increasing ambition and pushing for nature-based solutions in the run-up to both COP26 and the Convention on Biological Diversity, we're failing to get our own house in order.

    We should have expected nothing less from a party which has taken over £11 million in donations from developers.

    That's why I tabled an amendment to stop reckless developments harming nature and reducing biodiversity.

    My amendment would give real teeth to the currently toothless Environment Bill and arm Councils with the power to protect wildlife and green spaces. The Conservatives voted against giving communities extra power to protect nature and improve biodiversity.


  10. Federal Conference Committee met on 25th May 2021 to consider the feedback from Spring Conference. It was an overflow meeting to deal with the business that could not be considered at the last meeting, which was constricted to facilitate campaigning for the Local Elections.

    We discussed the feedback that we received from Spring Conference. We were very happy with it overall. We had attendees from 26 countries. The average person spent 15 hours at conference. In total, there were over 13,000 votes cast and over 17,500 chat messages. We came within 3% of our record attendance for a Spring Conference.

    When asked whether they had had a good time, expressed as a mark out of five, over 88% marked conference as 3 or above, 66.5% as 4 or 5. 72% rated Hopin as good or very good and 92% of people had no major technical issues. 92% liked the balance of debates and speeches and 84% thought the auditorium experience was good or very good. 71% thought the fringe sessions were good or very good. 82% thought the registration price was about right and 95% were more proud or had the same feelings of pride about the party after conference as before. We were grateful to all of those who took the time and trouble to let us know their views. We have taken them on board.

    The experiences of the exhibition were a lot more mixed. We recognise that it is very difficult, if not impossible, to recreate the experience of a physical exhibition online. We talked about ways to improve the exhibition experience. We talked about playing more exhibitor videos in the auditorium (and we are making those free for Autumn Conference), extending the sessions for the exhibition so that some overlap with the auditorium as at a physical conference, and encouraging exhibitors to use the chat feature to make their stalls more dynamic.

    Turning to motions, it was proposed that we discontinue the practice of name blind selections. It was suggested that knowing from where prospective motions derived would allow the committee to take positive steps to select an agenda from more diverse sources, allowing us to counter the inbuilt bias towards motions written by those more familiar with the process, such as parliamentarians or FPC members. For example, a motion from a Local Party or an SAO could be preferred to one from a spokesperson on the same subject (given that many motions are regularly submitted from the Parliamentary Party).  It was also observed that many people place their motions in the public domain anyway, which can defeat the object.  On the other hand, name blind submissions can counter unconscious bias. The committee had a full discussion and there were many contributions. The vote was very tight. Overall, the majority was persuaded that ending name blind submissions would make for an agenda more likely to represent a wider range of more diverse sources of ideas in the party, and that was something that the committee wanted to encourage.

    We decided that we would reserve speaking slots for guest speakers from the European Union and/or other European nations. We considered a number of really good suggestions from the International Office. Watch this space for further details.

    Planning for Autumn Conference 2021 will now get underway in earnest. The deadline for drafting advice is 16th June and for motions, 30th June; both at 1pm. FCC will meet in July to select the agenda.

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