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News from our Parliamentary Candidate

  • 2nd Ref ()
    Article: Oct 16, 2019
    By Ellen Nicholson

    Today, the Liberal Democrats have tabled an amendment to the Queen's speech to put any deal that comes back from Brussels to a People's Vote.

    If selected, this amendment would be voted on early next week.

    Following tabling the amendment, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Jo Swinson said:


    "The Liberal Democrats are the strongest party of Remain and have been the leading voice in the People's Vote campaign.

    "Boris Johnson is determined to have a general election, but the best way to resolve the Brexit chaos is to have a People's Vote and give the British people the final say about their future.

    "The best deal we have is as members of the European Union and we want to give the people the chance to choose to stop Brexit."

  • Turkey strikes ()
    Article: Oct 15, 2019
    By Jon Stone in The Independent

    South West Wilts current Conservative MP, Andrew Murrison with defence secretary Ben Wallace, acting for the government initially argued against condemning Turkeys assault on the Kurds. Not only that, the UK government also refused to join other EU countries in stopping selling arms to Erdogan's government.

  • Vote
    Article: Oct 13, 2019
    By Ellen Nicholson

    Responding to the reports that the Government are set to announce it will be compulsory for voters to show identification at the next election, Liberal Democrat shadow minister for the Cabinet Office, Tom Brake said: "The move by the Government to make voter ID compulsory is a thinly-veiled attempt to rig the results of future elections. Boris Johnson is clearly taking a leaf out of Trump's playbook by using false claims about voter fraud to suppress turnout".

  • NFU
    Article: Oct 7, 2019
    In Farming.co.uk

    Lib Dem parliamentary candidate spent time with the National Farmers Union listening to #Wiltshire farmers last week, Ellen Nicholson said 'I'm extremely concerned about challenges they face, from countryside management, to crop sales and potential tariffs on exports, the potential negative impact of a No-Deal Brexit on all aspects of farming cannot be underestimated'.

  • SW Railways
    Article: Sep 26, 2019

    Britain's railways are essential to everyday life - they transport millions to and from work and around the country day in, day out. Our Parlimentary Candidate Ellen Nicholson regularly commutes on South Western Railways to London and knows first hand of the need to upgrade our railways and infrastructure.

  • Justice
    Article: Sep 24, 2019
    By Ellen Nicholson
    ***BREAKING*** The Supreme Court, our highest court in the land, has unanimously found Boris Johnson has acted unlawfully in closing down parliament and preventing our democratically elected representatives from doing their job and holding the government to account.
    Johnson has unlawfully disenfranchised every single voter in order to try to force through something that has absolutely no majority support in this country.
  • Support for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities in England
    Article: Sep 17, 2019
    By National Audit Office

    On the 11th September the National Audit Office (NAO) released a report looking at support for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities in England. This report is of relevance for schools in South West Wiltshire, in particular Larkrise School in Trowbridge.

    The report outlined the scale of pupils with special education needs in England. As of January 2019, 1.3 million pupils in England (14.9% of all pupils) were recorded as having special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). A child or young person has special educational needs if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her. These children have diverse needs of different levels of severity, and they may have more than one type of need. The most commonly identified primary needs
    are speech, language and communications needs (21.7% of pupils with SEND at January 2019) and moderate learning difficulties (20.4%).

    • 270,800 pupils (20.6% of pupils with SEND) had legally enforceable entitlements to specific packages of support, set out in education, health and care plans
    (EHC plans). These are children whom local authorities have assessed as needing the most support. Nearly half (47.9%) attended mainstream schools and almost all the others were at special schools.

    • 1,041,500 pupils (79.4% of pupils with SEND) did not have EHC plans but had been identified as needing some additional support at school ('SEN support'). The vast majority of these children (91.6%) attended mainstream schools and the others were in a variety of different educational settings.

  • Bin the blades campaign
    Article: Sep 17, 2019
    By Ellen Nicholson
    Wiltshire police's knives amnesty and knife crime prevention fortnight, started on Monday 16 September and runs until Sunday 29th September 2019.

    As part of Operation Sceptre, the national knife crime prevention initiative co-ordinating ways to tackle knife crime, people are being encouraged to hand in unwanted or illegal knives and bladed weapons during the period of the amnesty.

    Ellen Nicholson, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for South West Wiltshire said, "I know from professional experience that the effects and consequences of knife crime are far reaching for individuals, families and the wider community. There were 43,516 knife crime offences in the 12 months ending March 2019, which is an 80% increase from the low-point in the year ending March 2014, when there were 23,945 offences.

    This knife amnesty gives people a chance to dispose of knives and weapons by simply taking them to one of the specified locations at police stations, churches or community centres and drop them into the amnesty bin.
    People handing in knives and weapons will not face prosecution for possession of a knife or weapon and can remain anonymous.

    Anyone handing in a knife or weapon during the amnesty is advised to check the opening times of their nearest bin by visiting the Wiltshire Police website or calling 101.
    If you have information about someone who carries a knife or is involved knife crimes please call 101 or 999 in an emergency. Information can also be left anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

    Special amnesty bins are available at 9 locations across the county, with some also in Swindon.

    The locations are:
    Marlborough Police Station
    Melksham Police Station
    St Andrews Church, Melksham
    Monkton Park, Chippenham
    Trowbridge Police Station
    St James Church, Trowbridge
    St James Church, Devizes
    Bourne Hill, Salisbury
    SP2 Community Centre, Salisbury

    Assistant Chief Constable Maggie Blyth said: "We want to raise the awareness of the dangers of carrying a knife or owning an illegal weapon. "Wiltshire cannot be compared to what is happening in the more urban areas of Britain but we are never complacent; we must let the public know what we can do to remove knives from our streets. "Carrying a knife should not be considered the norm. Fortunately in Wiltshire very few choose to leave the house with a knife or blade, and sadly the reality is that those who do are more likely to be involved in a violent act or be injured. "Education is key, and we need to be passing this on to our children that it's never OK to carry a knife.


    "Please help us do the right thing to help keep Wiltshire safe."

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-42749089

    https://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/17906937.special-report-wiltshire-churches-step-help-reducing-knife-crime/

    https://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/17906930.special-report-police-campaign-aims-reduce-knife-crime-swindon/

  • Lib Dem Pre-Conference Meet
    Article: Sep 14, 2019
    By Ellen Nicholson

    A team of Liberal Democrats from South West Wiltshire will be heading to Bournemouth this weekend to attend the Party's Autumn Conference.

    Leading the team will be Parliamentary Candidate for South West Wiltshire, Ellen Nicholson, who will be taking a few days away from the constituency campaign to represent local members and voters at the Bournemouth Conference.

    Ellen Nicholson said, "These are exciting times for Liberal Democrats. In recent weeks we have won the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election, picked up another four MPs through defections, continue to do well in opinion polls and are gaining more seats and votes in our recent three Council by-election successes.

    "This will also be the first Conference with Jo Swinson as Leader and I am looking forward to a great speech from her on Tuesday. Jo has already had a great impact in the country. Our membership now stands at a record 120,000. In Parliament Jo has demonstrated the leadership our country so desperately needs.

    "With the Conservatives under Johnson hurtling towards a Hard Right No Deal agenda and Labour bogged down on the leftwing margins with Corbyn, Jo has demonstrated there is an alternative to these two extremes - the Liberal Democrats.

    "We are the voice of reason. We are the biggest party backing Remain. We are the fighting to ensure the people, not politicians, have the final say between staying in the EU or Brexit (whichever form it takes)."


  • St James Bratton
    Article: Sep 12, 2019
    By Ellen Nicholson

    I was sad to receive a message on Tuesday 10th September triaged from the local Police community coordiinator concerning the theft of lead from the Church roof in Bratton. The theft happened sometime between Sunday evening and Monday morning. The estimated expenditure to replace the lead is going to run into many tens of thousands of pounds and residents are understandably angry.