CHILCOT REPORT – Proud of my party for leading the way

Today is a day for reflection, as we consider the consequences of the fateful decision to go to war in Iraq.

Our first thoughts need to be with the families across the world who have grieved loved ones, experienced life-changing injuries, and witnessed destruction and despair often beyond description.

There is no justice that can compensate their loss, and today we have learned from the Chilcot Report what we all knew already in our hearts – it did not have to be this way.

Lib Dems were united in our opposition to war

For many members in my local party, the Iraq war was a genuine turning point.

Many others chose to join the Liberal Democrats when they saw Charles Kennedy step up to the challenge, in difficult times, and provide the strong, principled leadership our country so desperately needed.

In 2003, every Liberal Democrat MP voted AGAINST going to war in Iraq.

It was the right thing to do, and that has been proven again today. Sir John Chilcot’s report has shown that this was a war of choice, that options for a peaceful resolution still existed, and that our Prime Minister wilfully mislead parliament and the British people to march us into a war he had already decided to launch.

I was proud to see our leader Charles Kennedy refuse to compromise, despite enormous pressure and abuse pouring in from all sides, on the Liberal Democrats’ commitment to internationalism and respect for international law.

Charles Kennedy and Lynne Featherstone (Lib Dem MPs at the time) opposing the war

You can see Charles’ speeches below, he was a real example of principled leadership in a time of crisis. It is not just Liberal Democrats who are missing Charles today. Our whole country is all the poorer without him.

Finally, while Chilcot gives us the chance to reflect on past mistakes, we still have a duty to oppose the mistakes that our leaders are making today!

Right now, Britain risks cutting herself off from our most valuable allies and trading partners, putting millions of jobs at risk and doing massive harm to our economy. I’m proud of Tim Farron for showing equal determination and leadership to fight Brexit and put Britain back where we belong, at the heart of an open, tolerant, free, and prosperous Europe.

If you agreed with us in 2003, if you agree with us now in 2016 – it is time to join the party that is proudly and passionately fighting for the better future we all believe in.

P.S. You can see some great videos of Charles Kennedy’s speeches on Iraq in Parliament and at the anti-way rally in Hyde Park here (via Lib Dem Voice)

PLANNING NEWS: COOPERS LANE

20 Coopers Lane: more flats

Local Lib Dem campaigner Bob Sullivan has discovered that there are plans to convert the industrial site at 20 Coopers Lane into 6 flats.  Given the acute parking problems in parts of Coopers Lane the development is to be car free.

Bob understands that local residents have complained that they have not been consulted on these plans.

LEYTON WARD FOCUS NEWSLETTER 365

The latest edition of the Leyton FOCUS Newsletter is hot off the press and will be delivered across the ward by our volunteer helpers.

Please contact Bob Sullivan on 8556 8335 if you would like to help deliver the FOCUS near your home. It is usually published about every six weeks and a round should take about 45 minutes. Thank you.

You can access a copy of the FOCUS here: Leyton 365

MAYORAL CANDIDATE CAMPAIGNS IN LEYTON

Caroline Pidgeon with local Lib Dem campaigners outside Leyton Station.

Caroline Pidgeon, Liberal Democrat candidate for London Mayor pictured campaigning outside Leyton Underground Station with local activists.

LONDON LIB DEMS CAMPAIGN FOR HALF PRICE FARES BEFORE 7.30AM

Lib Dem candidate for London Mayor calling for half price fares

Half Price Fares before 7.30am – join the campaign

Liberal Democrat candidate for London Mayor, Caroline Pidgeon, and London North East Lib Dem candidate Terry Stacy have set out plans for half price fares for journeys that start by 7:30am.

Lib Dem plans would offer half price fares on Underground, Overground and TFL Rail Services for people travelling by 7.30am. This plan builds on the Liberal Democrats pioneering work developing a one hour bus ticket.

Terry Stacy said:

This would help some of Waltham Forest’s lowest paid workers who often have to work unsocial hours. A half price fare scheme would also help to tackle overcrowding by encouraging home people to start their journeys earlier in the morning.

LEYTON FOCUS NEWSLETTER 364

The latest edition of the Leyton FOCUS Newsletter is going to press and will be delivered across the ward by our volunteer helpers.

Please contact Bob Sullivan on 8556 8335 if you would like to help deliver the FOCUS near your home. It is usually published about every six weeks and a round should take about 45 minutes. Thank you.

You can access a copy of the FOCUS here: Leyton 364

CAROLINE PIDGEON’S MANIFESTO FOR MAYOR OF LONDON

Caroline Pidgeon in discussion with the current Mayor, Boris Johnson

Caroline says:

London is a great global City. We must strengthen and enhance its place as the capital city of the UK at the heart of Europe.

But London also needs to work for everyone –not just the lucky few who can afford to isolate themselves from the problems facing most Londoners: a crisis in housing, cuts in community policing, crowded and expensive public transport which is ill suited to London’s dynamic economy and flexible working, overcrowded schools and poor childcare for working parents, and dangerously polluted air.

The Liberal Democrats have a positive and ambitious vision for a better London. Radical and realistic, a Liberal London would be fairer and greener, made possible because it is safer.

From cutting crime to keeping fares low, enabling world class education and better childcare for all our children, and building thousands of new homes, the Liberal Democrats have real solutions to the capital’s biggest challenges.

I am the ONLY Mayoral candidate with the experience of working in City Hall to improve the lives of ALL Londoners. Whilst the other candidates talk of their ideas for London, only I have fully worked out plans and the experience actually to make them happen.

This manifesto sets out our plans for London. We’ve based it on what Londoners say matters to them. But it’s not exhaustive – so please continue the conversation and let me know what you think.

It is time for a change. It is time for a Liberal London that works for everyone.

Caroline Pidgeon AM

Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London

You can see the full text of the Manifesto here: https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/ldlondon/pages/863/attachments/original/1461068787/Manifesto_Easy_Read.pdf?1461068787

NETWORK RAIL PRESS RELEASE: GOSPEL OAK – BARKING LINE

Drop-in sessions at stations from Gospel Oak to Barking ahead of eight month phased closure

  • Network Rail and Transport for London will be holding drop-in sessions at stations to answer questions
  • Work to install new infrastructure will require a phased programme of closures from June this year
  • Journeys on the route to be improved and capacity doubled with new four-carriage electric trains from early 2018

Customers and local residents are being reminded that major upgrade work to the London Overground route between Gospel Oak and Barking will start from June 2016 as part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan. An eight month closure of the railway is needed to carry out this vital work.

Ahead of the closure, staff will be holding a series of drop-in sessions from Monday 18 April to Thursday 5 May. Staff will be at a different station every evening peak (16:00-19:00) to meet passengers, answer questions and explain the works and what benefits they will bring, as well as details of alternative travel arrangements.

Network Rail is delivering the project, which is funded by the Department for Transport and Transport for London (TfL). The project will see TfL introduce new four-carriage electric trains to replace the existing two-carriage diesel trains from January 2018, helping to meet growing passenger demand.

Network Rail will be carrying out major work to electrify the line in two phases. From Saturday 4 June to Sunday 25 September 2016 there will be no service between South Tottenham and Barking. Trains will run on weekdays between Gospel Oak and South Tottenham, however not at weekends. TfL will be providing rail replacement buses which will operate along the route.

From Monday 26 September to February 2017, a full closure from Gospel Oak to Barking is required.

Network Rail’s route managing director, Richard Schofield, said:

We know this is a big change for people as we carry out the improvements and that’s why we wanted to get out and have staff at every station to meet passengers and local residents and answer any questions they may have. We’ll also explain the complexity of the work and the need for an eight month closure.

This investment will transform the service on this route, doubling capacity with cleaner, quieter electric trains and is a key element of our wider Railway Upgrade Plan.

Mike Stubbs, TfL’s Director of London Overground, said:

This work will allow us to run new longer walk-through trains on the line from January 2018, doubling capacity along the route. We recognise that there will be disruption to customers while the upgrade work is carried out and I’d like to thank them for their patience in advance. We will continue to work closely with Network Rail to see if the timescales they set out can be reduced.

In addition to these drop-in sessions TfL will provide detailed station specific advice to help get customers around throughout the closure. Information will be made available via email alerts, Twitter @LDNOverground, posters and announcements in stations.

In order to electrify the railway, overhead wires and structures to support them need to be installed as well as the construction of three new switching stations. To make room for this new infrastructure, four sections of the track will be lowered, four bridges will be rebuilt and a further six modernised. TfL will also be lengthening platforms and enhancing stations to accommodate the longer trains. Network Rail has already started work on the foundations for the structures that will carry the overhead wires.

From February 2017 onwards further works to have the line ready for electric trains will take place during evenings and weekends only and will be completed by the end of June 2017.

BARKING – GOSPEL OAK LINE UPDATE

Latest news from the Barking – Gospel Oak Line User Group (BGORUG)

New electric trains on order

At a recent meeting representatives of BGORUG urged Transport for London (TfL) to take steps to ensure that the commencement of full electrification of 4-car electric trains is not subject to extended delays.

For full details see: BGORUG-mtgdoc-CLASS315s- Final