Blackberry Fair visitors are ready to demand better

Lib Dems at the Blackberry Fair to talk to voters

Liberal Democrat Candidate Helen Morgan says that support for the party is surging across North Shropshire

Helen, who was selected as the party’s candidate in August, was campaigning with a local team at the centre of the annual Blackberry Fair in Whitchurch on Saturday.

Former Councillor and Mayor of Whitchurch, Ray Hatton, backs Helen Morgan's campaign
Former District Councillor and Mayor of Whitchurch, Ray Hatton, supporting Helen Morgan’s campaign to become North Shropshire’s next MP. Ray said: “Helen will make an outstanding MP for North Shropshire and I urge everybody to back her in the looming General Election.”

The local party has seen a surge in interest, with membership more than doubling over the last six months, as the government’s Brexit strategy descends into chaos.

Helen said “Whitchurch residents have told us today that they are shocked by the Government’s disrespect for the law, that they are fed up of being lied to, that they are shocked by the behaviour of Tory MPs and that they want Brexit stopped.

“Local farmers and businessmen are increasingly anxious about the threat to their livelihoods from a no-deal Brexit”.

This is a pattern reflected across the constituency, with new members from all corners of North Shropshire. These new members and supporters have previously voted both Conservative and Labour, and Helen believes they have joined because the only party representing their values is the Liberal Democrats.

“Of course stopping Brexit is the priority for us, but our clear stance on fighting the climate emergency, putting a cash injection into the NHS and reversing Tory cuts to the school budget is proving really attractive to voters” Helen explained.

“The Liberal Democrats are the biggest party of Remain and following our brilliant results at the European elections, are the only party that can oust the Conservatives in North Shropshire at the next election.

“The response today at the Blackberry Fair has been fantastic. We’ve had a great day here enjoying the entertainment and the party atmosphere, and we feel real optimism about a general election in the next few months.”

Today Heidi Allen, a former Conservative MP, joined the Liberal Democrats putting the parliamentary team a 19 MP.

Outrage as North Shropshire MP accused of abuse of Parliamentary Standards

Helen Morgan selected as Lib Dem PPC for North Shropshire

Owen Paterson, the MP for North Shropshire, has been accused by The Guardian of lobbying on behalf of firms from which he also receives a salary.

Revealed: Owen Paterson lobbied for firms he was paid to advise

The Guardian newspaper claims it has seen documents revealing he had several meetings with officials and a minister, and that he also wrote letters asking them to take steps which would benefit healthcare firm Randox Laboratories and Lynn’s Country Foods Limited. Mr Paterson receives a salary of £100k per year for 16 hours a month from Randox, while Lynn’s Country Foods Limited pays him £12,000 per year for 24 hours work in total.

The newspaper also claims that Mr Paterson has twice used House of Commons notepaper to write to ministers in his capacity as a Randox employee, in breach of the rules. Furthermore, it alleges that Mr Paterson was involved in a sustained year-long lobbying campaign on behalf of Lynn’s Country Foods Limited in which the Company sought to persuade the Food Standards Agency to change its labelling requirements.

These allegations follow demands for an inquiry earlier this year into the source of funding for Mr Paterson’s overseas trips after £39,000 of donations were anonymously routed through a company of which he was the only director.

Speaking for North Shropshire Liberal Democrats, Prospective Parliamentary Candidate Helen Morgan said:

“If true, these allegations are hugely disappointing and add to the long list of scandals from this Government. The Tories don’t seem to care about ordinary people trying to make ends meet – they are only interested in making money for themselves and their billionaire backers.

“North Shropshire needs an MP that is honest and is working hard, full time, for the constituency, not using their public position to demand £500 an hour from private companies. If elected, I promise to work full time for a bright future for this beautiful part of the countryside.”

Helen Morgan selected as Lib Dem PPC for North Shropshire

Helen Morgan selected as Lib Dem PPC for North Shropshire

Helen Morgan selected as Lib Dem PPC (Prospective Parliamentary Candidate) for North Shropshire by Members at a packed meeting in Wem. Members at a well-attended meeting in Wem voted to select Helen as their PPC.

LIB DEMS CHOOSE DYNAMIC CANDIDATE TO FIGHT ELECTION

Helen Morgan, a Chartered Accountant, mother and community campaigner has been selected by local North Shropshire Liberal Democrat members as their candidate to fight the next General Election. Helen Morgan, who lives with her young family in Harmer Hill works for a prominent North Shropshire business as their accountant.

Helen Morgan selected as Lib Dem PPC for North Shropshire
Helen Morgan selected as Lib Dem PPC for North Shropshire

Speaking about her selection Helen said:

“I am delighted that members have selected me to be their Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the next General Election. The General Election could happen in a matter of weeks. Both the Conservative and Labour parties are gripped by crises and infighting.

“Not only is Brexit likely to be a disaster for North Shropshire, it has led to increasing extremism in British politcs, with trust in politicians at a historic low.  Many voters feel that the two main parties of the past century no longer reflect their values.

“We need politicians who will act in the interests of their constituency and country, whose standards of behaviour are civilised, whose motivations are not clouded by personal ambition or financial gain, and whose opinions withstand rational challenge. I can meet these standards, and with the positiive message of the Liberal Democrats, inspire voters of all ages, defend our liberal values and make a difference at a local and national level.

“Under Jo Swinson’s leadership, I believe that the Liberal Democrats are strongly placed to respond to the needs of the country and more locally in Shropshire. Britain rightly demands better than the mess we are in.”

David Walker, Chair of North Shropshire Liberal Democrats, said:

“The Liberal Democrats are surging nationally and locally with booming membership levels following our best ever Local Election and European Election results. In North Shropshire, our membership has grown by over 44% since the beginning of May. In Shropshire, we came 2nd in the European Elections and returned Phil Bennion to the European Parliament.

“In local council by-elections up and down the country Lib Dems are gaining seats with massive swings from the Conservatives. We were leading in one national opinion poll and are consistently now on a par with the old parties. The recent addition of Chuka Umunna and victory in Brecon and Radnorshire shows that the Liberal Democrats are also back in the game at Parliamentary level.

“We are overjoyed to have such a high calibre PPC as Helen to take on the Conservatives at the next General Election. For far too long the electors of North Shropshire have been taken for granted at local and parliamentary level. Helen will allow us to build upon our growth and campaign for the open and fair society we all need and demand.

“People are working hard, paying their taxes, doing their part, and yet, for far far too many people, they’re not able to get a fair wage, afford a home or generally build a good life. That’s not how it should be.

“We will be the voice for millions of voters who feel powerless and frustrated at the direction our country is taking. The Liberal Democrats demand better and will deliver real change. Helen will have a critical role to play in delivering that change.”

Phil Bennion MEP and Helen Morgan at a recent talk to members in Market Drayton
Phil Bennion MEP and Helen Morgan at a recent talk to members in Market Drayton

Farmer and MEP Dr Phil Bennion said:

“I am delighted by Helen’s selection as Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for North Shropshire.

“Brexit has caused the biggest crisis in our politics since the war and a general election this autumn is very possibly the only way we are going to break the impasse which is paralysing our government. Thousands of people who never thought of themselves as political before are now joining us, hundreds in Shropshire alone.

“Helen has experience and commitment and understands the perspective of ordinary North Shropshire people who do not buy into the extreme Brexit ideology for which their current MP has become a high priest.

“I am convinced that Owen Paterson’s faith in a no deal Brexit, which is not what he promised in the two debates I had with him during the referendum, is not shared by a majority of his constituents. They stand to lose so much from local disruption to agriculture and trade.

“With Labour hopelessly split, Helen offers a serious challenge as the leading candidate for Remain.”

Join Helen Morgan and the North Shropshire team and help us Demand Better for Shropshire and Britain or contact us for more information

Stop Brexit vote Lib Dems action day || Thanks for the help & support

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Over the last weekend, we have held an Action Weekend in Market Drayton. Spreading our message: to Stop Brexit vote Libdems.

Lib Dems waiting for Volunteers to arrive on Sunday for the 2nd Action Day. To Stop Brexit vote Libdems on May 23rd
Lib Dems waiting for Volunteers to arrive on Sunday for the 2nd Action Day. To Stop Brexit vote Libdems on May 23rd

We had helpers come from Stafford and Tipton. Indeed we also had a helper turn up, who wasn’t a member or a registered supporter. They were an ex-Labour member, who had gone out of their way to find our action day on the Liberal Democrats Local Events Page and had gotten in touch. They helped on Saturday and Sunday. Yesterday they decided to join the Liberal Democrats!

Thank you to everybody who came to help on both days. There is much more to do before the end of polling day. If you can help get in touch or make a donation.

The reception as we went around Market Drayton was very good. Mirroring the mood we are seeing nationally. The Conservatives and Labour are in freefall and have no answers to the biggest issue of the day. The Liberal Democrats are the strongest remain party and we are gathering momentum every day as 1000s of people joining the party – over 3,000 joined in the two weeks after the Local Elections.

Vote Labour means Vote Leave || To Stop Brexit vote Libdems

Latest Polling

The latest YouGov Westminster poll only a 6% spread between Labour, Conservatives, Brexit and Lib Dems
Labour: 24% (-16)
Conservatives: 24% (-18)
BREX: 18% (+18)
LiBDEMS: 18% (+11)
Green: 6% (+4)
CHUK: 2% (+2)
UKIP: 2% (-)

via @YouGov, 8 – 17 May
Chgs. w/ 2017 result.

European Parliament voting intention:

BREX: 34% (+34)
LIBDEMS: 17% (+10)
Labour: 15% (-10)
Green: 11% (+3)
Conservatives: 9% (-15)
CHUK: 4% (+4)
UKIP: 3% (-24)

via @YouGov, 8 – 17 May
Chgs. w/ 2014 result.

Amongst those who think remaining in the EU after all is the best eventual outcome, Lib Dems come top with 33%, 23% Labour 18% Greens. 8% Change UK. Remain needs to

These polls are our best for years and follow our best set of local election results ever! It is clear the Liberal Democrats have the momentum, that we are the strongest remain party and remainers need to back the Lib Dems to stop Brexit. The D’Hondt form of PR for the Euro Elections on May 23rd is biased towards big party blocks – effectively rounding works upwards rather than pure PR where seats are allocated based on the proportion of votes cast for each party. So the more people who support the Liberal Democrats the better. We can top the poll if people back us. Pledge your support here:
I’m Voting Liberal Democrats on the 23rd of May

Our messages are clear on simple ahead of polling day on Thursday 23rd of May

To Stop Brexit vote Libdems
and
Bollocks to Brexit

Stop Brexit

In these European elections our message is simple, clear and to the point. Just take a look 👇

Posted by Liberal Democrats on Friday, 10 May 2019

Remainers need to unite behind the Liberal Deomcrats to stop Brexit and Farage. To Stop Brexit vote Libdems

 

Shropshire Council return 1/2 of DHPs grant unspent branded a disgrace

Liberal Democrat County Councillor for Wem, Chris Mellings, labelled Shropshire Council’s poor use of Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) a disgrace.

Chris said: “Every year the Government awards Shropshire Council a grant for Discretionary Housing Payments to help people with short-term housing costs. Every year Shropshire Council sends Grant money back to the Government unspent. Every year for the last four years the proportion returned has gone up! All at a time when more people are feeling the financial pressure of austerity. This is a disgrace.”

The Conservative government has been good at increasing the level of DHPs grant. The failure of the Conservative-run council to deliver the grant money to the maximum number of people who could benefit is appalling.

Last year Shropshire Council received £531,974 yet Shropshire Council sent back £234,855  or 55.6%  of the grant to the Government unspent. In 2013/14 the amount returned to the government was £60,847 of which 21.9% was returned unspent.  

At the full council meeting in December 2013, Chris asked how much of the DHP grant wasn’t being spent and later chaired a task and finish group on the use of DHPs. “We argued in 2013 that more should be done to improve take-up by people in or seeking rented accommodation in council, social and private rental sectors. If you are struggling with your housing costs, then applying for some short-term relief through Discretionary Housing Payments may be of help.” Chris concluded: “These payments are designed to help stop people building up arrears and people becoming homeless. If you need help ask.”


Shropshire Council returned 5x more unspent DHP Grant to the Government in 2017/18 than it did in 2013/14


The proportion of unused Government DHP Grant returned each year has more than doubled in four years to 55.9%.

Shropshire Liberal Democrats are the largest opposition group on Shropshire Council. They would work harder to reverse the trend and make sure more of the allocated grant money reaches the people who need it the most.

Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs)

DHPs are additional payments for people currently receiving Housing Benefit or universal credit who require further financial assistance with their housing costs. Housing costs are not defined in the regulations. This gives Shropshire Council broad discretion to interpret the term. Payments can be made to Council, Social or Private tenants. DHP is paid for a time-limited period and is intended primarily as ‘transitional’ assistance. For example:

  • Alleviate hardship and help prevent homelessness;
  • Support vulnerable people in the community;
  • Help people through a family crisis or difficult life events.

In general, housing costs means rental liability; however, housing costs can be interpreted more widely to include:

  • rent in advance;
  • deposits;
  • and other lump sum costs associated with a housing need (such as removal costs).

Alternatively, the award can be used to assist with the cost of taking up a tenancy.

Where to find out more about and apply for Discretionary Housing Payments:

Shropshire Council’s DHP webpage
Shropshire Council’s DHP Policy

Many people struggle with housing costs when things are tight. Applying for some short-term help through Discretionary Housing Payments may offer some help
Many people struggle with housing costs when things are tight. Applying for some short-term help through Discretionary Housing Payments may offer some help

Advertiser Open Letter: Where are you Mr Paterson?

Dear Mr Paterson,

Possibly Leaving the European Union & Oswestry

I understand from the media you are visiting the United States and trying to promote the UK leaving the European Union.

Why are you not in the United Kingdom representing your constituents in North Shropshire?

The Government has both a Foreign Secretary and yet another Brexit Secretary, both employed to represent us on matters outside of the United Kingdom.

Meanwhile locally:

The National Health Service in both Shrewsbury and Telford are in crisis.

In Oswestry the local NHS dentist has only one dentist left.

Many of the local roads in North Shropshire are falling to bits.

Several street lamps do not work throughout the area.

There are an increasing number of people living/sleeping rough in the town of Oswestry.

Local Bus services being cut back.

You were elected to represent the people of your area in North Shropshire and not your own personal interests, why are you not here in the United Kingdom?

You should be in the area explaining to local people of your constancy the massive changes and impact that leaving the European Union will have on their lives.

Who is paying for your trip to the United States?

At the moment explanation of the United Kingdoms possible exit of the European Union is being done in Oswestry and elsewhere by volunteers from the “Peoples Vote Campaign”.  Who have regular street stalls in Oswestry and the local area.

These events are staggeringly popular, as people just do not know what is going on and look to these events for information.

But where are you?

It seems anywhere but in the local area or your constituency!

When will you be spending more time in the local area?

Clive Geary