For World Environment Day, we want to highlight some of the work being done by Cheltenham Liberal Democrats to tackle the Climate Emergency.
When Cllr Guy Maughfling felt chest pains on Tuesday night, he was taken to hospital in an ambulance. He reveals his experience here and tells us why it’s important we return to a full A&E at Cheltenham General Hospital. On July 1, the A&E will reopen to its pre-pandemic service - not a full 24/7 A&E department.
The Liberal Democrats are calling for all EU citizens in the UK to be given the automatic right to stay, as new figures reveal that 360 living in Cheltenham are still waiting for the Home Office to process their applications – with just five weeks to go before the Government’s deadline.
Cheltenham Liberal Democrats have selected a new leadership team to deliver on the commitments made in the party’s local election manifesto.
At the Cheltenham Borough Council Meeting of 22 March, a Climate & Ecological Emergency Bill motion was passed, proposed by Cllr Martin Horwood and seconded by Cllr Angie Boyes.
The motion was voted in favour by Liberal Democrats, but the Conservative Councillors abstained.
The climate emergency is the biggest threat to humanity. We have to act fast. Rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes are required in all aspects of society.
As the world slowly starts to recover from the Global pandemic, which has and will have long lasting and deep impacts especially on the most disadvantaged in the world, climate change and ecological renewal must be at the centre of the recovery.
This week sees an exciting step in the Minster Exchange Project that I have been working on, the council has entered into a pioneering joint venture between the public and private sector, with a group of local entrepreneurs, who brought forward the concept of a modular construction to provide a workshop space to support small business, over the last two years this has evolved into something altogether bigger.
Alex Chalk slammed for backing “dangerous & draconian” Police Bill The Cheltenham Liberal Democrats have called for the bill which takes away our freedoms to be stopped in its tracks.
In a letter to Alex Chalk, Liberal Democrat spokesperson Max Wilkinson for Cheltenham urge the Conservative MP to “stop the dangerous and draconian Bill in its tracks”
1% pay rise is an insult to our NHS heroes says Lib Dems.
Liberal Democrats have slammed the Conservative Government's insulting pay offer to NHS workers.
Our town’s response to the pandemic is something we can all be proud of. Our NHS staff, teachers, key workers and volunteers have put in so much effort and helped so many. It’s right that Cheltenham remembers this – so much compassion deserves a lasting legacy.
510 EU citizens in Cheltenham are stuck in limbo as ‘Settled Status’ backlog soars.
These are hard times. Anyone who is furloughed and unable to work because of Covid restrictions, or who has been made redundant or is on a reduced income will be finding it tough right now. Things are not going to get easier for some while.
It can also be particularly hard if you are home-schooling children or looking after elderly relatives.
That is why organisations across Cheltenham have come together to help those who are finding life really hard at the moment. #FeedCheltenham and our community food banks and pantries, along with Cheltenham Borough Council, Churches and Cheltenham Borough Homes, and yes, even local supermarkets are all here to help.
Funding worth £3million secured by Cheltenham Borough Council to develop 200 town centre homes on the site of Portland Street car park will have to be handed back to Homes England as the plans have fallen through.
The funding was secured to help facilitate the delivery of around 200 homes, 40% of which would have been affordable, on the site of the town centre car park - which would not have happened without this funding due to the potential additional costs of developing on this site.
But after the developer who owns the site, MF Freeman, put the site back on the market as a car park and little prospect of work beginning before the funding deadline of March 2022, we had to withdraw from the agreement and give the money back because the conditions attached to the funding could no longer be met.
This is a disappointing result for what looked to be an ambitious scheme to transform this part of the town centre and provide much needed affordable housing in a popular location.
A new Foodbank has been launched to help struggling residents across the south side of Cheltenham.
We all rely on utility companies for Water, Electricity and Gas, but the winter weather reminds us that some people are more vulnerable than others, and may need extra help or support, especially if there is a supply interruption.
Did you know that this support is there via the Priority Services Register?
If your household is eligible, you just need to sign-up.
This May, directly elected mayors, police commissioners and councillors across England are up for re-election. In Cheltenham, we’ll be electing all our county councillors and half our borough councillors.
When this happens, it’s really important that the records of the individuals involved and their parties are put under scrutiny. And it’s also an important test of how people think the government is doing too. And for that scrutiny to be applied, candidates and incumbents need to be able to campaign. It’s a democratic tradition going back hundreds of years in this country and we are rightly proud of it.
This year, however, the Conservatives are doing everything they can to put the mockers on a free and fair election.
One of the few bright points of the recent difficult times is the obvious strength we have in our communities.
We can all be proud of how our town has pulled together to look after our most vulnerable neighbours.
Whether it’s been community efforts to provide food for struggling families when the government failed to step up, or neighbours looking in on one another, we all know moving stories about local generosity. We have watched friends and families pulling together, neighbours and whole streets supporting each other.
So many people are doing all that can be done to support and protect our most vulnerable residents.
The Liberal Democrats have condemned the Chancellor for failing to introduce a comprehensive plan to save jobs after it was revealed that 3450 people in Cheltenham are currently on Universal Credit.
Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Christine Jardine criticised Rishi Sunak's "constant chop-and-change approach", urging him to put in place a proper plan to protect jobs as the Government still struggles to get a grip over rising cases of coronavirus.
The figures revealed that 5.2% of people of working age in Cheltenham are on Universal Credit.
Following this, Liberal Democrats urged local Conservative MP Alex Chalk to join their calls for the Chancellor to ensure the furlough scheme remains in place until at least June 2021, as well as overturning their decision to ignore the 3 million individuals still locked out of any Government coronavirus support schemes.
This follows the Liberal Democrats' call for the Prime Minister to negotiate a 6 month Adjustment Period for businesses, giving them crucial breathing space once the UK leaves the transition period.
The Cheltenham Liberal Democrat-run Borough council is working with local schools to involve young people in the town in taking positive climate action by planting trees on school land.
The borough council declared a climate emergency earlier this year and has an ambitious target of becoming a carbon-neutral town by 2030.
As part of this, a huge effort is underway to plant more trees, and the council is urging schools to gain support from The Woodland Trust’s Trees for Schools scheme and help children to get involved.
Naunton Park Primary School has already signed up and has started planting 150 trees at its school in Leckhampton; Warden Hill School’s Eco Committee pupils and teachers planted around 200 trees on 8 December; Holy Apostles School is planting trees in the coming weeks, and Rowanfield Junior School is also planting 400 trees as part of its forest school sessions.
Cllr Max Wilkinson, cabinet member for climate and communities, said: "I’m inspired by all the children and teachers at schools across our town who are taking part in tree-planting to help draw attention to the climate emergency.
"Some of my earliest memories are of attending tree-planting projects. I know that it instilled in me a lifelong commitment to the environment and I hope it will do the same for pupils in Cheltenham schools.
"Our Carbon Neutral Cheltenham report highlights tree planting as one of the ways we can offset carbon emissions, everybody should have a chance to play their part, not least the children who are the future custodians of our town and our planet.
“It would be lovely to see trees being planted at every school in our borough, no matter what space is available. We’d like to support every school to sign up to the Woodland Trust’s scheme and our expert officers can give advice on tree-planting if support is needed.
For more information on the Lib Dem council’s climate emergency work visit the council’s website: www.cheltenham.gov.uk/climate-emergency.