The three South Gloucestershire Conservative MPs must sack law-breaking Boris Johnson

Johnson Party Graffiti

South Gloucestershire's Liberal Democrats have called on the three local Conservative MPs - Luke Hall, Jack Lopresti and Chris Skidmore - to sack Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak following the revelation that both are to be fined over lockdown-breaking parties at Number 10.

The Liberal Democrats are also calling for Parliament to be recalled immediately so MPs can hold a vote of no confidence in Boris Johnson as Prime Minister, following the revelation that both he and Rishi Sunak are to be fined over lockdown-breaking parties at Number 10.

Leader of the Liberal Democrat Opposition Group on South Gloucestershire Council, Claire Young, said:

“The Conservative MPs for our area cannot hide behind lame excuses any longer. It is time for Hall, Lopresti and Skidmore to sack Boris Johnson. No more ifs or buts. 

“Whilst people in South Gloucestershire made heartbreaking sacrifices during lockdowns, Boris Johnson and his team were partying in Downing Street.

“We all have painful memories of that lockdown, from not being able to see dying relatives, to being separated for months on end from our friends and family.  

“How on earth can Conservative MPs keep supporting a law-breaking Prime Minister and Chancellor?  Our country needs leadership right now, not a Government in chaos.”

Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

“The country cannot have criminals and liars leading our Government, especially at a time of national and international crisis.

“Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak took the country’s sacrifices for granted, while they broke the law to party in Downing Street. They are not fit to hold office. If they had a shred of decency, they would resign. 

“Parliament should be recalled immediately so that MPs can hold a vote of no confidence. Conservative MPs must do their patriotic duty and kick these criminals out of Government once and for all.”

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Lib Dem’s councillors promote a more Dementia friendly Yate Shopping Centre

Yate Shopping Centre Planter

Yate Town Council have worked in partnership with Yate Shopping Centre to make the area more dementia friendly. Lib Dem Cllrs Sandra Emms and Jane Price of Yate Town Council, and Shopping Centre Manager Andy Lowrey recognised that the shopping centre can be quite disorientating for people living with dementia, and there have been many examples of people leaving by the wrong exit route and then getting lost.

Each route in and out of the shopping centre is now marked with different coloured planters so people can use the colours to help identify their location and exit. The red planters are placed from Poundland to Lidl, with the purple planters marking out the route from Jimmy Deanes to the Leisure Centre, the green ones are from Iceland to Miss Millies and the Blue planters are marking the way from Pandora to Tesco.

This project is part of the Town Council’s wider project to ensure the town is accessible to all. Yate is one of the first towns in the country to be awarded Age Friendly status, in recognition of the work councillors have been doing with community groups to make the town a better place to grow older in.  A consultation with local residents has been undertaken focusing on what it is like getting older in the town and how sites and services can be improved. As a result of these changes, Yate won the national designation of Age Friendly town.

Yate Councillor Sandra Emms says:

“We have had a lot of stories from residents about family members living with dementia getting lost or confused in the Shopping Centre and struggling to find the right exit. People still want to have some independence, but we need to make sure they’re safe. If you or a member of your family is living with dementia, you can now find your way out of the shopping centre on the right route home by looking for the right colour planters and following them out. We also hope this will help young children identify routes, as well as those with disabilities who need visual markers.

“As well as our actions in the shopping centre, Yate Town councillors and council staff have also trained as dementia friends, and I have been providing dementia awareness sessions with community groups.”

Yate Councillor Jane Price says:

“We have been determined to ensure we make our town friendly for all age groups and are welcoming to all. Many older people want to maintain their independence and it is possible to make small adjustments to ensure this for many years. Our older people have a lot to give the community, indeed our community depends on them in many ways.

“This is a small step but will make a real difference so thank you to everyone who has been involved, especially Andy and the team at Yate Shopping Centre who have been really understanding and positive about the project.”

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South Gloucestershire to be hit by £50 million National Insurance bombshell as cost of living crisis bites

Piggy Bank

  • Typical family in South Gloucestershire set to pay an extra £170 in national insurance contributions (NICs) this year as cost of living crunch hits.

  • Local businesses are also set to feel the squeeze with £30 million tax hit.

  • Lib Dems demand emergency VAT tax cut to put money back in the pockets of struggling families.

Families and businesses in South Gloucestershire are facing a £50 million tax bombshell this year due to the Conservative hike to national insurance, research by the Liberal Democrats has revealed.

National Insurance payments went up today (April 6) from 12.5% to 13.25%, after Boris Johnson’s decision to break a Conservative manifesto promise and hike the tax.

The latest figures from the Office for Budget Responsibility predict that the country is facing a £10.9 billion tax hit this year from the move, with around 40% of this being paid by workers and the rest by businesses.

It means that families in the South Gloucestershire area are set to pay out an estimated £20 million more in National Insurance contributions, or an average of £170 each, at a time when families are already facing soaring heating bills.

The Conservatives’ broken promise is also set to hit the high street in South Gloucestershire hard, with a £30 million tax raid on local businesses including shops, restaurants and cafes.

South Gloucestershire Liberal Democrats have set out plans to “kill two birds with one stone,” by slashing the top rate of VAT to 17.5% this year. The move would save families an average of £600 and give businesses a boost by encouraging spending and keeping prices low. 

Leader of the Liberal Democrat Opposition Group on South Gloucestershire Council, Claire Young, said:

“Families in our area are being crippled by the worst cost of living crisis in a generation, struggling to put food on the table and afford sky-high energy bills.

“The last thing they need is an unfair tax raid. Yet the Conservatives are piling on the misery by breaking their promise not to hike up national insurance, in a move that will hit our community hard.

“This Conservative government is yet again taking South Gloucestershire residents for granted.

“The Liberal Democrats are fighting for a fair deal that would put money back into people’s pockets through an emergency tax cut. Our plans would kill two birds with one stone, helping those struggling to make ends meet while giving our treasured local businesses the shot in the arm they need.”

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Lib Dem’s call for end to the ‘blame game’ and more buses on our roads

This week local councillors and bus users met representatives of First Bus to discuss the cuts to services. Liberal Democrat councillors are now calling for a meeting with the West of England Mayor and bus operators to urgently find a way to restore the cancelled services and to find proper solutions to bring reliable and cost-effective bus services to the area.

The services will be cut from 24th April 2022 and will see the Y4 terminate at Yate Park and Ride rather than the town centre with frequency reduced to 90 minutes, and instead people will have to change buses to the Y1. The T2 from Thornbury to Bristol and the Y2 from Chipping Sodbury to Bristol will be cut altogether.  

Lib Dem councillors are also calling for the expansion of the bus network in South Glos, as originally planned in the local transport plan, which will give people the choice to leave their cars at home and travel more conveniently by bus.

The Liberal Democrats have started a petition calling for the West of England Mayor and Conservative Government to work together to reinstate the cancelled and reduced bus services across South Gloucestershire, and improve our bus network with more frequent, reliable and affordable services.

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Spring Statement: Families in South Gloucestershire to pay the price for Chancellor's failure

Cash

The Liberal Democrats have slammed the Spring Statement as a "massive missed opportunity" to help families in South Gloucestershire.

The party has called for the standard rate of VAT to be reduced from 20% to 17.5% for one year. It comes after the Chancellor's lacklustre Spring Statement failed to adequately protect local families from soaring bills and the Conservatives' worsening cost of living crisis.

The Lib Dem plans would support the economy by boosting spending on local high streets. The proposals would also be expected to keep inflation down by making the prices of everyday items lower than they would have been.

Leader of the Liberal Democrat Opposition Group on South Gloucestershire Council, Claire Young, said:

"People across our community were looking to Rishi Sunak today for a helping hand in facing this once in a generation cost of living crisis. Eye-watering price hikes are leaving many in South Gloucestershire struggling to make ends meet. 

"This was crunch time for the Chancellor and the Conservatives, and they haven't stepped up to the mark. It's families in South Gloucestershire who they have clobbered with unfair tax hikes who will pay the price for this massive missed opportunity.

"Rishi Sunak should stop putting his pride over people, scrap his punishing tax hikes, and back Liberal Democrat calls for an emergency cut to VAT. This would put £52 million back into the pockets of 87,400 in our area and support our local shops, cafes and restaurants."

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