99% of homes in Tower Hamlets could be eligible for sale to meet Theresa May’s so-called 'dementia tax', according to research by the Liberal Democrats.
The Poplar & Limehouse candidate, Elaine Bagshaw, and Bethnal Green & Bow candidate, Will Dyer, are urging Tower Hamlets’ residents, whatever their party affiliation, to join a campaign to stop Conservative social care plans that would saddle those with long-term illnesses with crippling care costs after their death.
"Caring for our elderly should be above party politics and that is why we want to urge anyone who opposes these plans to come together to stop them,” Bagshaw says. “We’ve seen a lot of Conservative policy proposals that would hit Tower Hamlets harder than anyone else, but this one is especially outrageous, because it would see almost every home in the borough put at risk.”
The Liberal Democrats are calling for a penny on income tax to boost funding for the NHS and social care by £6bn a year, as well as a £72,000 cap to protect people from crippling care costs.
“Every elderly person who needs care should receive it in the best place for them. People shouldn't have to worry about losing everything they've worked hard for over their whole lives to pay for crippling care costs,” says Dyer. "Together we can stop the so-called ‘Dementia Tax’ and put in place a cap on the cost of care."
Liberal Democrats in Tower Hamlets say it’s fitting the national party chose to launch its 2017 General Election manifesto here, given the the number of policy proposals that directly affect local residents.
Lib Dem Leader, Tim Farron, and party members from Tower Hamlets and around the country, packed the Oval Space in Bethnal Green last week for the launch.
“I’m very proud to campaign on this manifesto,” says Bethnal Green and Bow Lib Dem candidate, Will Dyer. “It’s full of policy proposals that tackle the most pressing issues Tower Hamlets’ residents are facing every day.”
Elaine Bagshaw, the Lib Dem candidate in Poplar & Limehouse, added: “Tower Hamlets is a perfect location to launch a manifesto that has solutions for Brexit, housing shortages, child poverty and the NHS.”
The Liberal Democrats propose to invest an additional £7 billion per year into education for children, tripling the Early Years Pupil Premium to £1,000.
“The Pupil Premium specifically aims to give extra help to children from disadvantaged backgrounds, and we have the highest rate of child poverty in the country,” Bagshaw says. “Tripling it, as Liberal Democrats propose to do, will give an important boost to schoolchildren in Tower Hamlets earlier in their education. That’s key to giving them the best possible opportunities in life.
Bagshaw and Dyer also highlight Lib Dem manifesto commitments to reach a housebuilding target of 300,000 homes a year by 2022 and putting a penny in the pound on income tax as proposals that would especially improve life in Tower Hamlets.
“Labour has represented Tower Hamlets, both locally and at Westminster, for decades--and in after all that time we still have housing shortages and a chronically high child poverty rate,” says Bagshaw. “That’s why launching our national manifesto here is an appropriate signal. We’re serious about policy that gets results on these local issues.”
We have moved into our new office. We now have a space for all members to come and visit Elaine and the campaign team, and to find out about the different ways in which you can volunteer. Come and join us for a cup of tea and a biscuit, and help our campaign activities, between the hours of 10am and 8pm daily.
Our address is Bellerive House, 3 Muirfield Crescent, E14 9SZ. The nearest station is Crossharbour DLR.
Each week we will have 'Telephone Tuesdays', where we offer training on phone canvassing, and support our Parliamentary candidates across London. Come and join us from 6pm.
We still need more help to deliver leaflets this week and next, so please let us know if you are available. Just drop in to the office or email us at email@example.com - the office number is 020 3475 4226.
Liberal Democrats in Tower Hamlets officially kicked off their General Election campaigns today, with candidates Elaine Bagshaw and Will Dyer laying out their three main priorities if elected: fighting a Hard Brexit, protecting local NHS services and tackling the crisis in affordable housing.
The local party has tripled its membership since the EU referendum last year, recently surpassing 700 members. It also raised more than £3,000 in the week of the snap election call.
Furious Wapping residents were left in frustration last night as Tower Hamlets Police were unable to give assurance on how the rising level of crime and anti-social behaviour in the area will be tackled.
More than 100 residents packed into the St George Town Hall, to quiz Borough Commander Sue Williams on rising levels of crime and ASB. Attendees stressed that, while the small metal canisters discarded by people inhaling nitrous oxide are viewed as simply a litter problem, they are also linked to harder drug use and dealing, intimidation, prostitution, and car racing.
Local campaigner Stephen O’Shea attended the meeting and said: “The current levels of anti-social behaviour and racing in Wapping need to be fixed now. Local residents are concerned to walk their dogs at night, and although the Police and Council have promised action, nothing has been delivered yet. We refuse to wait until someone is killed or seriously injured”
This car racing issue dominated the discussion last night, with residents standing up to report their issues and fears. Commander Williams listened to our concerns, but had little concrete to say in response. Their resources are stretched, and they focus on the North of the Borough, which they consider more of a problem. This is understandable, but the lack of focus on Wapping is leading to a massive increase in crime, and we made sure that Commander Williams was made aware of that.
The Police promised to increase surveillance in the evenings (when speeding is likely to occur), make more use of speed cameras and to bring in road traffic police to assess what can be built in to reduce the problem. They called for residents to report any speeding, but there were shouts of anger when it was suggested that “there has not been enough evidence of speeding to date”. We have all been reporting these events frequently for months.
The Lib Dems welcome the Borough Commander’s promise to increase action on car racing, but are concerned that this is the same information heard from the Police at every meeting in the last two years. Also, the Council has done worryingly little to support the Police with work on the roads, and providing activities for youths to keep them off the streets.
The Lib Dems call on the Police and the Council to present a plan on what will be done in the next six months to fix the issue of car racing, and ASB in general, and will hold them to this plan.
In the meantime, you can help in three ways:
• If you witness any speeding, drug use or other ASB, report it at http://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/lgnl/community_and_living/community_safety__crime_preve/anti-social_behaviour/reporting_asb_online.aspx or phone 101
• Join the Wapping Safer Neighbourhood Panel – they set the priorities for Wapping police to follow
• Join up the Online Watch Link (OWL) at https://www.owl.co.uk/met/ . It’s a new online version of Neighbourhood Watch
On a final note: as we returned home from the meeting last night, there was another car crash on the corner of Thomas More St. Luckily no-one was hurt. We have made sure that this was reported, to add to the Police's data file!
Tower Hamlets Liberal Democrats are prepared to hit the ground running for the snap election sought by Prime Minister Theresa May in an announcement this morning and expected to be backed by the House of Commons in a vote tomorrow.
The two constituencies in the borough will be fought by experienced local campaigners, with Elaine Bagshaw standing for Poplar and Limehouse and Will Dyer running in Bethnal Green and Bow.
A damning report from Ofsted released today shows that children most at risk of harm are being failed by the local Labour Council. Children’s services and safeguarding were rated inadequate overall, with particular concern expressed that “Insufficient scrutiny by the chief executive, the Director of Children’s Services (DCS) and politicians has meant that they did not know about the extent of the failures to protect children until this inspection.”
Tower Hamlets Liberal Democrat members attended the party's Spring conference in York last week, voting with other party members for motions calling on the Government to provide emergency financial assistance to the National Health Service, create an 'NHS Passport' for the 59,000 EU citizens working for the NHS and reinstate the 'Dubs' scheme to provide sanctuary to unaccompanied child refugees stranded in Europe.
As you may be aware, a planning application has been submitted for King Henry’s Wharf and Phoenix Wharf and the Construction Management Plan for the development is currently open for comments. These buildings are beautiful parts of our Wapping community, and it is a shame that they been have left unused for so long. However, the plan to re-develop them will cause a great amount of disruption to traffic in Wapping.
Please look at the Construction Management Plan here, and comment by 23 March at the latest. You can email comments or concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We appreciate the need for housing across Tower Hamlets, and would love to see these beautiful areas developed. However, the disruption to our lives during this time would only be worthwhile if we see significant commitment to social/affordable housing, and an improvement to local services:
- What is the commitment to social and affordable housing in this development?
- What is the commitment to sustainable development: parking and services to support the additional number of properties?
- What will be the impact on the 100 bus service and other road transport?
- What other options have been considered, which would avoid so much disruption to Wapping High Street
- Will the Council respond to our comments with a consultation before approving this plan?
We believe in the sustainable development of good, affordable housing in Tower Hamlets. But we should not accept major disruption to Wapping residents without sufficient local benefit.
This weekend, our friends at Community Solutions will once again be holding a mini-marathon around the Shadwell Basin.
Community Solutions is an important part of our local community, and works with local groups to provide services and help raise funds. They help with lots of services including "Helping Hands" supporting at-need people in the community, and "Trumpers Jumpers" giving fun activities for children.
Please come along on Saturday if you can, at the Shadwell Basin from 11.00-16.00. If you can't make it in person, you can donate on the JustGiving page here.