Max Wilkinson, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Cheltenham, has called on local Conservative MP and justice minister Alex Chalk to “pledge to defend the rule of law against any attempts by Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings to undermine it."
It follows the Conservative Government’s announcement of an Independent Review of Administrative Law, with the aim of restricting the ability of individuals to seek judicial review of government actions.
This could prevent people challenging the Government in the courts, as they did when the Ministry of Defence sent soldiers into combat in Iraq without the proper equipment; when excessive Home Office fees denied children their rights as citizens; and when patients died from substandard care at Stafford Hospital.
Cllr Rowena Hay, Cheltenham Borough Council cabinet member for finance and Liberal Democrat councillor for Oakley ward, discusses the financial state of Cheltenham Borough Council, and how we'll work hard to keep services running in the face of government cuts and the Coronavirus in our latest update on life in our local council.
Most people like playing or watching sport of one sort or another. Usually there are a huge number to choose from with something for virtually everybody. Then suddenly a few weeks ago there seemed to be no sport happening anywhere around the world and many people were missing it. Now so many sports have been getting under way again that it has been difficult to keep up.
It’s easy to take Cheltenham’s parks and gardens for granted, but the last few months have shown again just how valuable they are.
If you carry on doing things like you’ve always done them and expect a different outcome, then you’re fooling yourself.
Many more shops have now reopened and it is good to see that the High Street is gradually coming back to life.
The Liberal Democrat Group on Cheltenham Borough Council have voted to suspend the group membership of Dennis Parsons, effective immediately.
During a debate on racial bias in an online Cheltenham Borough Council meeting on the 15th of June, Lib Dem councillor for Pittville - Dennis Parsons, repeatedly used a racist word when recalling an anecdote from his childhood.
The use of that word and related statements were completely unacceptable, and I immediately received a number of complaints from fellow Lib Dem councillors. I spoke to Dennis on Monday evening and discussed the incident in detail. Dennis has subsequently issued an apology.
While I accept that Dennis did not set out to cause offence, that in itself is not enough to excuse the use of such language, and as Liberal Democrats we expect our members and councillors to behave with the utmost sensitivity to racial and cultural issues.
When institutional and unconscious bias is a daily reality for the black community, along with the appalling incidents of overt racism and violence that continue to blight society on both sides of the Atlantic, we all have a duty to choose our words with care and sensitivity at all
Senior figures within the local Party have requested that Dennis consider his position and resign. He has not chosen to follow that path, and as a result complaints procedures have been initiated locally within the Cheltenham Liberal Democrat party and council group, and in parallel, a separate complaint has also been lodged with the national party HQ.
I will be working closely with relevant bodies to ensure that these complaints are dealt with fairly and as a matter of urgency.
Chair, Cheltenham Liberal Democrats
The death of George Floyd happened thousands of miles away in Minneapolis but has had a big impact here in and in many places round the world.