Energy bills set to skyrocket by up to £700 this year as price cap is raised

Residents are set to be hit hard by the lifting of the cap on energy bills, new figures have revealed. New figures unearthed by the Lib Dems show the average yearly bill for people in Dorset is set to skyrocket by up to £700 - almost £60 a month - once the new energy price cap comes into effect.

More misery looms on the horizon for residents in Dorset unless action is taken to help them with the cost of bills, with the price cap expected to increase to over £2,000 when it is revised again. The Liberal Democrats are calling for a one-off ‘Robin Hood’ tax on the super-profits of oil and gas giants, to fund an emergency package of support for local residents facing eye-watering increases to their heating bills.

The Liberal Democrats have set out a clear plan to give thousands of people in our area £300 each off their heating bills this year. Urgent action is needed now. It’s time Boris Johnson stopped taking our local communities for granted and offered families the support they need to cope with energy price hikes.

Parliamentary Spokesperson Vikki Slade said "This could not come at a worse possible time, hard-working families and retired pensioners have been stretched thin by a hard winter and rampant inflation. When you factor in the rise in National Insurance costing working people hundreds of pounds more, it starts to look like this Conservative government is actively inflicting misery on millions to protect their friends in industries that are recording unprecedented profits. It's time companies like Shell paid their fair share rather than passing the pain onto hard working people and vulnerable retirees."


MDNP Lib Dems hiring a new Constituency Organiser!

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a Campaign and Constituency Organiser to work for Mid Dorset and North Poole Liberal Democrats.

With 15 experienced Councillors and hundreds of local members, this is an exciting time to be involved in politics in MDNP.  We have vital elections in BCP during 2023 and in Dorset in 2024 in which we are seeking to make further gains and we also aim to restore a Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for this part of Dorset, whenever the next General Election is called.

You will play a central role within the local party supporting councillors and candidates and preparing for the next General Election. The role presents an opportunity to develop your own skills in a fast-paced political environment working alongside volunteers and neighbouring local party staff. 

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BCP beachgoers advised not to swim with mouth open as a result of sewage dumping

This week Wessex Water sent representatives to BCP Council to answer questions about the pollution of our water and the recent dumping of sewage into our waterways. However councillors of all political persuasions came away feeling more frustrated with the situation. 

 

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Follow up letter from Vikki Slade to Michael Tomlinson MP's lack of reply

Dear Michael, 

The behaviour we have seen from the Prime Minister, his staff and other members of the Conservative Government in recent weeks and months has given great cause for concern, but the revelations yesterday from William Wragg MP at the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee shocked me to the core.

I have seen the Conservative Whip in play locally so I am well used to the pressure that is put on members to attend meetings and to vote in a particular way, and I have seen plenty of examples where projects might be promised or positions granted in return for support.  I find this unsavoury but accept that it is the way that your Party operates.

However, the suggestion that projects that have already been granted funding would be under threat of withdrawal is utterly reprehensible.  I would have expected that those schemes will have been subject to funding bids and will have been assessed according to need and public benefit.  Assuming that they were granted appropriately, the suggestion that they might be withdrawn if a member failed to show loyalty for the party would be a gross betrayal of the residents of a community.  That money is for their benefit and comes from the public purse.

I understand that you are one of the Conservative Whips and I am writing to seek your written assurance that you have NEVER made such threats.  I accept that your loyalty to the Prime Minister is absolute but your integrity and honour must go deeper than this and I am calling on you to distance yourself from this appalling behaviour and call for the Prime Minister to go.  I can see no benefit to Mr Wragg for fabricating this allegation - after all it reflects badly on the whole of your political party - and if you stay silent about what you have witnessed, and the behaviour of the prime minister you will be damaged.  I would therefore ask you to consider your position as a Whip and speak publicly about what you intend to do to restore public faith in Parliament, and in particular the Government.

You will be fully aware that I am not a supporter of this Government and your Party, but I know that every scandal that emanates from Westminster will have a negative impact on voters, and therefore are damaging to democracy.  I know that, like me, you regard politics as an honourable profession and I am sure you would not want to cause further disillusionment.

I therefore look forward to hearing from you and would ask that you treat this urgently - every day that passes with your silence will cause more damage.

Kind Regards

Vikki


Wimborne Lib Dems pay tribute to Margery Ryan

"Margery has been such an important part of life in Wimborne over the last 50 years that it is almost impossible to think of Wimborne without her. There are so many groups in the town that have Margery to thank for the time, thought and action she gave so generously. She was a real pillar of the community. Even when she had to get around in her electric buggy she would make sure she attended events in the town and was well known for travelling at speed!

Margery played her part as a member of the Liberal Democrats with her usual dedication and enthusiasm. At election time she made sure she had the biggest banner outside her well positioned house which was always available for meetings and the garden was opened for fundraising parties. Margery was never one to just sit round a table for a meeting. If there was a job to do she would offer to do it, secretary, treasurer, fundraiser, writer, deliverer, refreshment provider etc etc. And all things done with generosity of spirit and a kind thoughtful heart. She really was one of the best who used her life to make things better for people both locally and further afield. I am so glad she was my friend." - Pat Hymers


Disabilities charity "slams" Dorset Council

 

The national disabilities equalities charity, Scope< has slammed Dorset Council recently over its poor distribution of energy vouchers to those in need. Currently residents will only be able to access the nationally funded scheme locally if they receives Universal Credit but not other forms of benefits. Unlike in other parts of the country, those on disability allowance will not be able to access this particular scheme. 

Like anyone else, disabled residents in Dorset have been hit hard by the sudden spike in energy prices and the cost of living crunch. Yet they cannot access the help they need thanks to a poorly thought out scheme run by an incompetent council. 

The fact that those on disability benefits or pension credit will not be able to receive any of these vouchers currently, means that many of Dorset's most vulnerable residents will once again fall through the cracks of this Conservative Council. 


Council to fund revamp of Pokesdown Station

The Liberal Democrats on BCP Council welcomed improved access for those with disabilities. However, this is a contractual obligation that is being failed by South Western Railway. Liberal Democrat Councillors questioned whether it should really be up to council taxpayers to step in and enable a financially insecure franchise to meet the requirements on which it was awarded the contract in 2019? Will it now be expected for residents to step in and fund much needed refurbishments of other train stations and improve accessibility such as Branksome?

An amendment was submitted by the Liberal Democrat Group, which would have withheld the funds from being released until the lifts had been installed, and that the new room that would be created was given over to the Pokesdown community. This financial prudence was voted down by the Conservatives rather than holding their corporate friends to account.

“Whilst we absolutely support access improvements at railway stations, reservations have been shared by many people about whether this should be funded through council tax, especially given BCP Council will need to borrow this money over more than 50 years. 

The intention of the amendment was to offer reassurance and protection that money could not be used for other purposes and that risk to the council taxpayer was limited.  We also hoped to secure additional space for the community.  It is disappointing that support for the motion was undermined by describing it as a wrecking motion as this was clearly not the intention, as the Lib Dems supported the proposal after our amendment was defeated.” Said Group Leader Vikki Slade.


Vikki Slade calls on Michael Tomlinson MP to challenge No 10's boozy lockdown breaches

Dear Michael,

I am writing to express my disgust at the behaviour of the Prime Minister, his staff and other government ministers and my extreme disappointment at your silence over the series of parties, inappropriate work meetings and disrespectful behaviour towards the lockdown regulations and the suffering of people across this country.

During May 2020 you will recall we were doing all we could to stop people travelling into Dorset to take advantage of the beaches, explaining to people that they could only mix with people from their own family and expecting people to work from home.  My daughter had a birthday just days before the Downing Street party and we had to take chairs into the front garden so that we could talk to grandparents who could not come onto the garden but sat on the pavement to ensure we did breach the rules.  We placed two pieces of cake on the wall and they brought a flask so that there was no risk of contamination.

In December 2020 we had another birthday, at that time we were only allowed to mix with two other households and so to ensure our child could enjoy their christmas birthday we stayed alone on Christmas Day so that godparents could sit in the garden - in december - eating pizza and hot chocolate.  We did not have work gatherings, we did not meet colleagues for coffee even when those people would normally have been in our office with us.

In April 2021, at the time of the most recent breach, we had still not seen my husband's parents and exchanged gifts.  Ironically, just 5 days before the death of Prince Philip, we travelled to Windsor as the half way point to their home.  It was snowing and because we are a family of 6 we could not go inside a cafe with the grandparents.  We had to sit on a park bench by the Thames so they could watch the children open their Christmas presents and pop back to the car to warm up every so often.  Whilst this was going on, the Prime Minister and his friends were partying.

But we were lucky.  We did not have to say goodbye to friends or family on an ipad.  We did not have to cancel a wedding, or miss a graduation.  We did not have to leave an elderly lady to sit alone at the funeral of her husband, watched by millions around the world.

And now, when it comes to making amends for their action, we hear a hollow apology followed by a backtracking in the tea room and today when restrictions suggest he should be working but carrying out a daily lateral flow test we hear Boris Johnson has decided to self isolate.  The Prime Minister is a coward, a liar and if you fail to call him out you will be judged no better.

The people have had enough.  You know that I am not a Conservative, and that I will do all I can to ensure that this seat and others are lost at the next possible opportunity but I would expect you to be speaking out on our behalf.  Please advise whether you have called for Boris Johnson's immediate resignation and what you are personally doing to establish whether there are any further damning revelations.

I know you are a patriotic man, and you must surely agree that this is damaging our reputation in the world at the very time that we need to be establishing ourselves as a leading nation.  I look forward to hearing from you 

Vikki

Vikki Slade
Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson - Mid Dorset & North Poole
BCP Council Councillor for Broadstone
Dorset Area Representative for Western Counties Liberal Democrats
01202 604191 / 07717 358330

Local Lib Dems back Clean Air campaign

 

1 in 4 pupils attend school in areas over air pollution limits. For more than a decade the UK Government has broken the rules on acceptable levels of air pollution, costing the NHS billions in treatment and harming the most vulnerable in our society.

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Lib Dems call for five-point plan to fix “heart-breaking” ambulance waiting times

 

BCP Lib Dems call for emergency five point plan as deadly ambulance delays grip local health services

BCP Liberal Democrats have today called on the Government to bring in the army to help drive ambulances in the area, as the latest figures reveal 50 patients were stuck for more than an hour in ambulances outside the local A&Es in the last week alone.

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