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High COVID alert - please stay safe. County elections are still planned for May 2021 - considering using a postal vote by applying here.

The Epsom & Ewell Liberal Democrats are local residents who work to promote a fair, free and open society. We raise our funds without any subsidy from governments, unions or businesses.

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  • Paul Kennedy outside Guildford Police Station
    Article: Jan 15, 2021

    Cllr Paul Kennedy, Liberal Democrat Candidate for Surrey's Police and Crime Commissioner, is urging residents to respond to the latest proposal by incumbent David Munro for a 5.54% increase in the police element of council tax, and is calling for better value for money for taxpayers.

    The proposal corresponds to an annual increase of £10 for Band A households, £15 for Band D, and £30 for Band H properties, on top of any increases by Surrey's local councils. The increase is the maximum permitted without requiring a local referendum of Surrey residents.

  • Document: Jan 12, 2021
    10.63 MiB drawing or desktop publishing document
  • Article: Jan 8, 2021

    Dear friends, welcome to our first update of 2021. We hope you and your loved ones are in good health and have managed to have some rest over the holiday period. It looks like 2021 is starting off no better than 2020 but let's keep trying to make things better. In an attempt to do so, here are our key bits of information since our last update:

  • Article: Dec 17, 2020

    Dear friends, here is our latest update covering the period since our last message on 20 November. We had wanted to include comments on the final arrangements on Brexit but we shall just have to wait further to see exactly how much damage will be done. In the meantime:

    COVID - local and national:

    • As you know, from Saturday we will join most of the rest of England in Tier 3. You are all sensible people so will be well versed in what this means, but if you want the government source it is here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tier-3-very-high-alert
    • The reasons for the change are the continued poor experience across Surrey, and in our Borough as per: https://tinyurl.com/SurreyCovidStats which is showing lots of worrying red arrows.
    • On the vaccine front, on 16th December the Racecourse started to deliver vaccines under the remit of Surrey Heartlands. There is a national priority list for who receives the first batches. In the first 6 days of the Surrey Heartlands programme 1,600 vaccinations were given.
    • Although many other Western countries are struggling with the pandemic, we do seem to be world-beaters in the failures around the Tracing part of Test & Trace, and in the lack of control over purchase of PPE.
    • The former has cost £22bn so far and has failed to reach 40% of the contacts, with local authorities now trying to help as the private sector struggles. The latest National Audit Office report is here https://tinyurl.com/NAOreportTandT
    • Estimates for amounts wasted on PPE have now reached £10bn. The latest National Audit Office report is here https://tinyurl.com/NAOreportPPE
    • For any sceptics still out there who doubt who nasty the effects of the virus can be one of our loyal readers has asked us to share this story https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-55332206
  • Fresh food with a caption that says:
    Article: Dec 8, 2020

    Today the Tory administration at Surrey County Council used its own amendment to vote down a Lib Dem motion that would have prioritised child food poverty in Surrey. If approved, the original proposed by Cllr Fiona White and seconded by Cllr Will Forster, would have committed the Council to taking the small, albeit valuable steps of ensuring the availability of breakfast clubs at Surrey schools as well as to lobbying central government for changes to the welfare system.

  • Article: Dec 3, 2020

    Full report here:

    Foreword from Layla Moran MP

    The coronavirus crisis has touched every aspect of our lives. While it was not something we were expecting, it is now clear that we should have been much better prepared. I formed the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Coronavirus, with members from all political parties and both Houses, because this pandemic has had a devastating impact on our country. An independent public inquiry had been spoken about but not started, and our concern was that there seemed to be no vehicle to provide constructive criticism and learn the lessons from the first wave to avoid the second. This report covers the work of our rapid inquiry from July to October 2020. It is published at the zenith of the second wave we were all hoping to avoid.

    The central objective of the APPG on Coronavirus is to save lives but, as is laid bare in this report, to save lives is to save livelihoods. To do that, the Government must listen and adapt. We write this report with the sincere hope that, by working cross-party with scientists, civil society and individuals, we can help the Government to do what we need it to do at this time of national crisis: succeed.

    It was also becoming apparent that the voices of ordinary people, especially those suffering with Long Covid, frontline workers and the bereaved were not being heard loudly enough. We hope this serves to amplify their contributions and remind policy makers of the real human consequences of their decisions.

    The report contains 71 key findings, which inform 44 recommendations. This is especially important now, as the UK government is gambling with the UK's future by relaxing restrictions over the Christmas period and returning to a tier system which we know has not worked before. The recommendations range from the very specific (on Long Covid recognition and support) to the operational (highlighting the need for the Isolate part of Test, Trace, Isolate to be financially compensated more generously) and the strategic (the lack of a coherent exit strategy).

    Our topmost recommendation is that we urgently need a UK-wide exit strategy that acknowledges that by saving people's lives, we in turn safeguard their jobs and the economy. We challenge the UK Government's core argument that there is a 'balance' to be found between the health and wealth of the UK, and instead advocate an approach closer to those nations that have successfully 'beaten' the virus. This includes strong initial restrictions to get case numbers extremely low everywhere, a TTI system that is locally led and nationally resourced that pays people to stay at home if they need to and aggressive testing at the borders, turning our island geography into a powerful advantage. We are concerned that the Government's approach so far has not worked and has left the UK mourning among the highest number of lives lost to the pandemic, while at the same time bracing for one of the deepest recessions in its aftermath. The vaccine may be around the corner, and that is brilliant news, but the logistical challenges and uncertainty make it almost certain that we have months, if not years, of aftermath to contend with.

    I would like to thank all officers and members of the APPG on Coronavirus for their tireless work and input in numerous oral evidence sessions held since the summer, and for their work behind the scenes too. They have put party politics aside and worked with colleagues from across Parliament's political spectrum.

    But most of all, I would like to thank everyone who has submitted evidence orally or in writing, especially those who have shared their personal stories. We have all been touched by their bravery and passion. This report is for them.

    Layla Moran MP
    Chair of the APPG on Coronavirus
    Member of Parliament for Oxford West and Abingdon

  • Graph showing positive outcomes from high harm crimes in Surrey
    Article: Dec 3, 2020

    Paul Kennedy, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Surrey's next Police and Crime Commissioner, has described as "very worrying" the continuing decline in positive outcomes for victims of high harm crimes such as rape and serious sexual offences, domestic abuse, child abuse and hate crime. He praised the efforts of domestic abuse and other victims' organisations to highlight the issue.

  • Fresh food with a caption that says:
    Article: Nov 30, 2020

    We have all become more aware of the need for free school meals in the last few months, but child food poverty did not start with Covid19. Surrey Lib Dems have called on the Surrey County Council administration to take steps to address this growing problem across the county.

    Surrey is a comparatively wealthy county, but this generalisation hides a number of uncomfortable truths about the level of poverty experienced by those living in some of its poorer areas. Some families are already struggling to put food on the table for children in a county where housing costs are four times less affordable than the national average and are amongst the highest in the country.

  • Article: Nov 26, 2020
  • Hand holding by various people
    Article: Nov 26, 2020

    The Surrey Lib Dems are asking people across the county who care for relatives to get in touch and share their story - to mark national Carers Rights Day.

    Lib Dem Party Leader Ed Davey has said he wants the party wants to be a "strong voice" for the millions across the country - including the 97,691 people in Surrey who care for those who need it.

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