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News from our Parliamentary Candidate

Email: ellen@swwiltslibdems.org.uk

South West Wiltshire Prospective Parliamentary Candidate - Ellen Nicholson

  • Article: Jun 23, 2020
    By Ellen Nicholson

    In a letter addressed to the local MP, Andrew Murrison, Liberal Democrat spokesperson Ellen Nicholson for South West Wiltshire said: "as the Prime Minister continues to refuse to rethink his position on accepting an extension to the transition period, it is time the facts were laid bare about what this will mean for our country."

    The intervention coincides with the fourth anniversary of the EU referendum result this week, the 23rd of June. Despite concerns, the Government formally rejected the option to extend the transition period earlier this month.

    Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

    "Even before coronavirus, the Government had a tight timetable for the Brexit talks. As the Prime Minister continues to oppose extending the transition period, he must at least be honest about what this means for our country.

    "By reviewing the impact assessments done last Autumn, as well as undertaking an economic assessment, the Government can be transparent with the public about the consequence of refusing to extend the transition period."

    Liberal Democrat spokesperson Ellen Nicholson for South West Wiltshire added:

    "Boris Johnson's refusal to even consider requesting an extension to the Brexit transition as we face a global health and economic crisis shows he is putting his Brexit ideology before the UK's national interest.

    "The pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on jobs, businesses and the wider UK economy. Tackling the coronavirus crisis must be the Conservative Government's priority, and people have a right to know to what extent a no deal puts this at risk.

    "In the interests of everyone living across South West Wiltshire, the Liberal Democrats are urging Andrew Murrison to join us in calling for this review."

  • Immigration Statistics (ONS) ()
    Article: Jun 23, 2020
    By Ellen Nicholson

    4 years ago today the U.K. voted for Brexit.
    It has not been as envisaged by either side.

    The U.K. left the European Union in January 2020 and currently in a holding zone of a transistion period until December 2020.

    There are few trade deals on the current horizon, and those offered by the US require the UK to downgrade its food and farming standards.

    Freedom of movement across the EU has altered for UK citizens. EU migration has fallen whilst non EU migration to the U.K. has risen, both have always been within the control of the U.K. government.

    Blue passports are now made in France, the irony.

    The government elected, have shown themselves to be inadequate and unprepared to dealing with a global pandemic and less than swift of foot dealing with trade negotiators. 'Taking back control' of fishing was sadly sold out long ago.

    Money wasted on ferry services, defunct test and trace apps, servo - the list of failed projects the tax payer funds feels endless.

    The Lords Brexit consultation paper makes sobering reading for the new normal in Britain.


    "Brexit has resulted in two new forms of EU-derived law operating in the UK, and a future relationship agreement with the EU could well add a third. This is not widely appreciated, but it is just one of the significant issues facing Parliament, the Government and the country in the months and years ahead. For those who were hoping, for whatever reason, that discussion of Brexit might cease, it may be disappointing to find that it is not yet at an end.

    This will not be a period of business as usual and #COVID-19 must not blind us to the challenges that Parliament will face in its scrutiny of Brexit. Indeed, Brexit and COVID-19 place into sharp focus the inadequacies of Parliament's capacity to hold the Government to account."

    It's sobering to realise four years have passed.
    Was it all really worth it is the question today?

  • Windrush day
    Article: Jun 22, 2020

    The Liberal Democrats are marking Windrush Day by renewing calls on the Government to give all NHS and social care workers who have worked in the UK during the coronavirus pandemic indefinite leave to remain.

    Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Christine Jardine urged Ministers to make clear by backing these calls that "those who have put their lives at risk for our country are welcome to live in it."

    The Royal College of Nursing are also calling for reform, citing statistics from the Nursery and Midwifery Council which shows more than 10% of the total registered nursing workforce in the UK come from overseas.

  • Facts Matter
    Article: Jun 18, 2020
    By Ellen Nicholson

    Yet another poorly worded and inaccurate article in the #WiltshireTimes yesterday requiring a complaint and redaction.

    Wiltshire Times has now taken down the article while it is re-written to be more objective. The article published a biased and inaccurate article on a decision made at full council almost a month ago, one wonders if the paper have this particular Tory town councillor on speed dial as a number of articles quote him then require editing when inaccuracies come to light.

    We are seeing what appears to be a concerted effort by a handful of Tory town councillors to undermine the trust between the residents of #Trowbridge and the Trowbridge Town Council.

    Town councillors are often more collaborative rather than combative for the good of the town, something that appears to have changed this year. Is this really about a wish to see Trowbridge Town Council responsibilities closed and revert to Wiltshire Council?

    Such a move would disempower local residents and give less scope for making local decisions.

    Cllr Palmer said "Councillors who want to achieve anything for the Town need to be able to get a majority of councillors to back their motions and ideas. That will not happen when one faction's stated dream is to disband The Town Council, remove all the valuable services they offer and cease any investment in our future!."

    "The recent vote on the TTC was a vote on bureaucracy and not on whether or not we support Equality. As we all know equality is Enshrined in Equalities Act 2010 and TTC comply to that!

    The reason for the vote against was it would have meant 'everything' done would need a detailed assessment. Simple things such as deciding who the stationery is purchased from would need a report. This would be a poor use of councils time and residents money.To further discuss the issue and to draft a better worded version for all major dec isions, the matter will be discussed at P and R."

  • GWR
    Article: Jun 15, 2020
    By Ellen Nicholson

    The Lib Dems have succeeded in getting the Department for Transport to look into flexible rail tickets to help commuters getting back to work after the coronavirus pandemic.

    With traditional season tickets unlikely to be attractive for many commuters in the future the Lib Dems have called on the Government and train companies to provide more flexible ticket options including 'carnet' ticketing. Carnet ticketing would provide for 10 or 20 single journeys at a discount on the individual ticket price and crucially would allow much more flexibility than traditional season tickets.

  • Furlough support
    Article: Jun 15, 2020
    By Ellen Nicholson

    The Liberal Democrats are urging the Government to extend furlough support until it is safe to do so and bring forward bespoke packages of support for key sectors, such as hospitality, or face local unemployment.

    Acting leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey MP, who is asking the public to join his campaign to protect workers, said thousands of families face "financial uncertainty" and called for the Government to do more.

    According to government statistics published this week, 12,600 people in South West Wiltshire have benefited from the job retention scheme.

    Government statistics also show a further 3,900 people in South West Wiltshire are receiving financial support through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, following a successful campaign by the Liberal Democrats.

    However, the Party has warned that many self-employed people are still excluded from this support, including those who became self-employed since April 2019, and called on the Government to urgently expand the scheme to cover them too.

    "The Coronavirus crisis is leaving thousands of families facing financial uncertainty. Financial support must be agreed to ensure no one is left behind.

    "Liberal Democrats are calling for statutory sick pay to be increased to £220 a week to ensure everyone can self-isolate, following guidance, regardless of their type of work.

    "Ministers must also resolve the gaps in their plans by helping those who recently became self-employed by expanding the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme."

    Liberal Democrat spokesperson Ellen Nicholson for South West Wiltshire added:

    "The furlough scheme is a lifeline for so many. However, I worry what will happen to people here in South West Wiltshire who rely on furlough support if it ends before it is safe to go back to work.

    "Many parts of our economy, such as hospitality, will simply not be back up to speed by October. The Government must bring forward bespoke packages of support for these industries to save jobs and prevent mass unemployment."

  • Test Trace Isolate
    Article: Jun 7, 2020
    By Ellen Nicholson

    "The Health Secretary has said that the government is following the science, yet a senior SAGE epidemiologist again stated that the lockdown started too late and the new easing of lockdown was happening too quickly.

    "Matt Hancock also confirmed that the country is still at level 4 in its own Coronavirus warning system, but the government continue to ease the lockdown anyway. This could be yet another reckless move.

    "Without the critical Test, Trace and Isolate infrastructure in place, abandoning the advice of senior epidemiologists this government looks increasingly near sleep walking into another rise of Coronavirus in the UK." said Ed Davey

  • Larkrise School
    Article: Jun 5, 2020

    Plans to transform the provision of special education across Wiltshire have taken a big step forward.

    The Office for the School Adjudicator examined the proposals to merge St Nicholas in Chippenham, Larkrise in Trowbridge and Rowdeford in Devizes and establish the new, maintained special school with a single leadership team to work across the schools.

  • Calls for resignation
    Article: May 28, 2020
    By Ellen Nicholson

    SW Wiltshire MP Dr Andrew Murrison stopped short of backing calls for Prime Minister Boris Johnson's chief adviser to be sacked.

    Hundreds of constituents, as well as local Liberal Democrat councillors and parliamentary spokesperson, called on Dr Murrison to support the call for Dominic Cummings to be dismissed.

  • Boris ratings ()
    Article: May 27, 2020

    Responding to polling which shows 71% say Dominic Cummings broke law and 56% of Conservatives say he must go, Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

    "The public have made so many sacrifices since the lockdown and this polling clear shows people think there cannot be one rule for senior government officials and one rule for everyone else.

    "The Prime Minister's support for his adviser increasingly looks out of touch and is losing him support with the public and his own party. The Prime Minister's judgement has now become the issue, as this saga is confusing the vital public health messages needed to defeat coronavirus."