Big win for campaigners: City Airport drops key parts of expansion plan

Campaigners from Waltham Forest, including WF Lib Dem's own Meera Chadha, letting City airport know that they oppose expansion plans. 

 

Although Covid-19 has significantly reduced airport traffic for Waltham Forest residents in recent weeks, there was a huge win in March for campaigners against the City Airport expansion as the airport announced they were revising their plans.

 

London City Airport told its Consultative Committee in early March that it will drop the proposals that were in its draft Master Plan to end the 24 hour weekend break (no planes between 12.30pm Saturday - 12.30pm Sunday) and those to bring in more early morning and late evening flights.  It is expected that it will postpone submitting a planning application to lift the cap on the number of flights allowed to use the airport each year.

 

It is unclear when City Airport will now publish its Master Plan due to the impact of Covid-19, but the repsite in recent months and weeks is likely to renew opposition to further expansion.

 

This reflects huge progress for all those who joined the campaign against expansion, including Hacan East, Waltham Forest Liberal Democrats, London Liberal Democrat Assembly Member Caroline Pigeon and Mayoral Candidate Siobhan Benita.

 

It's estimated over 4000 Back the Ban cards were sent to City Airport as part of their consultation, urging them to reconsider the plans to get rid of the existing Weekend break and extend operating hours as part of its expansion plans. This change in position from the Airport reflects the success of mobilising the local community, particularly given that originally Waltham Forest wasn't included in their consultation meetings despite being the third most overflow borough in London.

 

London City Airport also told the Consultative Committee that it is continuing to review its controversial concentrated flight paths as part of the wider airspace changes that will be coming in at all airports in London and the South East over the coming years. We will continue to press the airport to consider having multiple concentrated flight paths to provide respite for residents being flown over. More plans and details are expected later this year, with full public consultation to follow next year.

 

There is still work to convince the Airport and planning authority that in a time of climate crisis we should be reconsidering expanding the number of flights at all, but this is a great first step in addressing the environmental and wellbeing impacts on East London residents.


Covid 19 – Useful Links and Resources

There is a lot of information out there regarding Covid-19, from both trustworthy and untrustworthy sources, and it can sometimes feel overwhelming to find what you need. We’ve tried to compile a list of useful links to regularly updated sources of information on a variety of topics that will hopefully be useful to you.

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Covid-19: Advice from the Lib Dems on staying safe and helping others

The Covid-19 pandemic is dominating our lives, and the Liberal Democrats recognise that fact. We have suspended campaigning and are encouraging everyone to do their bit to help by:

Please follow the links above for more information.

We also recognise that this is a difficult time for all of you. It’s completely normal to be feeling anxious or worried, especially if you or someone you know is vulnerable.

Lib Dem HQ are in the process of putting together mental health resources for our members. In the meantime, they're sharing the following advice: www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing/.

 


Coronavirus - what should I do and where can I find information?

We're all concerned about the spread of coronavirus, and the potential risk to our family and community. 

Up-to-date information can be found at the following sites:

Advice from the NHS

Government information on coronavirus

Waltham Forest's daily update

Useful information for local councils

 

If you know an elderly or vulnerable person, it's a good idea to check in with them before the Government recommends social distancing. You can make a plan to help them with eg. the shopping if they have to isolate.

 

The following list of symptoms should be helpful in distinguishing the new virus from cold and flu infections. Remember, if you suspect you may have coronavirus, do not go to your GP or leave the house. Instead, phone 111 to access the coronavirus helpline.

 

 

 


WFLDs work Walthamstow for Siobhan Benita

As part of our long-term goal to challenge a complacent Labour party in Walthamstow, your local Lib Dem team have been campaigning and speaking to residents in the Hoe Street / village area. On Tues 25th February, Ciara led us on an evening of door-knocking and delivery; and on Sat 7th March we ran a stall on Orford Road, chatting to residents and learning about their individual concerns and priorities.

 

We will be out and about several times in the run up to the mayoral/GLA elections in May. Keep an eye out for us and come over for a chat! Alternatively, why not volunteer to get involved? We have tasks suitable for any level of experience and confidence. For  full list of events, please see this page.


Make your voice heard at the general election: registering and postal/proxy votes

On the 12th of December the UK faces its most significant election for a generation. It is vital that every single person's voice is heard. To vote you must be registered by the deadline: 23:59 on the 26th of November.

If you haven't previously registered at your current address, or your circumstances have changed, you can register using the Government's online form. Registering typically takes about five minutes. To be eligible to vote in the general election you must be 18 or over on the day of the election, and be a British, Irish or a Commonwealth citizen with leave to enter or remain in the UK. Many Irish or Commonwealth citizens may not know that they can vote, so let them know!

If are unable to attend a polling station in person on the 12th of December, you can still vote by post or proxy.

  • If you register to vote by post, you can have your ballot paper sent to an address, either in the UK or overseas. You can register to vote by post by filling in and returning this form. Your application must arrive at your electoral registration office by 23:00 on the 26th of November.  The postal vote itself must then arrive at your Electoral Office in the UK by 10pm on 12 December. 
  • If you don't have time to arrange a postal vote, you can nominate someone else to vote on your behalf. You can apply for a proxy vote by filling in an returning this form.  The form needs to arrive at your local Electoral Registration Office by 5pm on 4 December to vote by proxy in the General Election in England, Scotland or Wales.

 

 


My Journey - Meera Chadha, Walthamstow Parliamentary Candidate

 

Three-and-a-bit years ago I woke up to the news that we, the UK, had voted to leave the European Union. My stomach lurched and my insides turned cold. My overwhelming feeling was "I didn't do enough."

 

Time numbed the pain a little, but the guilt remained. I didn't do enough. I expected it to all be fine. I put some posters up, wrote some social media posts and (unsuccessfully) tried to persuade my parents that voting leave was a very bad idea. I concluded that it wasn't enough - if I wanted to influence the direction of the country I needed to get out of my armchair and out on the doorsteps. And I needed to put my support and effort behind a political force I believed in.

 

I'd always been a Lib Dem supporter and voter. As with many political party decisions, mine were influenced by my parents who used to be members and my early memories of any political activism were of putting out those bright orange diamonds in our house windows. I also remember the elation in our house when Labour swept in on a landslide in 1997 and my parents celebrated the end of the Conservative dominance in politics.

 

Fast-forward to July 2016, along with thousands of others, I tied my colours to the mast and signed up as a member of the Liberal Democrats.

 

But it wasn't actually their Brexit policy that brought me to the Lib Dem's door. For years I'd been extolling the virtues of proportional representation, an elected House of Lords, more focus on environmental policy, equal marriage, shared parental leave. I'd done an internship with a centre-left think tank in my university years. I'd been really struck by the front page of The Independent in May 2005 showing the gulf between what the people voted for and what we'd got in terms of seats. Every election I had dutifully completed a survey to see whose policies matched my priorities and I had consistently come out as predominantly Lib Dem (with a slither of Green and Labour thrown in for good measure). If I was going to end up anywhere it was to follow that delicate yellow bird.

 

And whilst I think Brexit undermines our ability to make Britain the best it can be, being part of the EU is not an ends in itself for me. Staying in the EU, or having the closest possible relationship with it outside, is the foundation we need so we can address inequality in all its forms in the UK, so we can tackle the environmental crisis we face, and so we can be open, welcoming and collaborative with our neighbours for a safer, brighter future.

 

I joined the Lib Dems after the referendum not because of their Brexit stance, but because I needed to channel my frustration into positive activism. These things don't happen on their own. If not you, who, and if not now, when? 

 

Feel like Meera? Then you can join, volunteer or donate!


A General Election on 12th December: Vote Liberal Democrat to Stop Brexit

We now know that there will be a general election on the 12th of December. This poll is a huge opportunity for the Liberal Democrats; if we can elect more anti-Brexit MPs, and dump Boris out of office, we'll have cleared the main obstacles to stopping Brexit. Having ended the senseless chaos, we will be able to focus on the priorities that will actually improve the lives of ordinary people: demanding better for the NHS, our environment and our public services. You can find out about our candidates for Walthamstow, Leyton and Wanstead, and Chingford and Wood Green here.

If you haven't previously registered at your current address, make sure you're registered to vote here. If you're going to be away on the 12th of December, you can request a postal vote or a proxy vote in advance. 

 

Waltham Forest Liberal Democrats will be campaigning locally and in nearby target seats. You can help us in many ways, depending on the time you have available:

Volunteering - Every little helps! Even just spending half an hour to deliver some leaflets in your area would be enormously helpful.

Put up a poster in you window - Please select "I can put up a window poster at election time".

Donate - A little can go a long way locally. 


The time for inequality in Northern Ireland is over

At midnight on Monday 21st October the deadline passed for the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive to prevent changes to legislation on abortion and same-sex marriage. As a result, the Government must legislate for abortion and equal marriage in Northern Ireland. This happy outcome, bringing Northern Ireland into line with the UK, the Republic of Ireland and other liberal nations, followed strenuous cross-party work.

We were pleased to see Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy lead this cross-party effort, with strong support from Liberal Democrats such as Layla Moran, despite unpleasant targeted attacks in Walthamstow by anti abortion protesters.

Meera Chadha, the Lib Dem Parliamentary Candidate for Walthamstow, said:"Extending abortion and equal marriage rights to Northern Ireland is a hugely positive step in ensuring people can life safely and freely in all parts of the UK. We were hugely disappointed with the vicious campaign by anti abortion protesters in Walthamstow and will continue to fight for citizens rights locally and nationally."

During the countdown to the deadline, Ms Moran spoke on the historic significance of what has been achieved.

"The time for inequality in Northern Ireland is over. For decades, women in Northern Ireland have been subject to laws that have violated their human rights. With the midnight deadline rapidly approaching, this will finally come to an end. Despite a last minute stunt by the DUP, and a lack of support by this Conservative Government on the issues of abortion and same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland, we are finally closing the curtain on the historic inequalities in Northern Ireland.

The Liberal Democrats have a proud history of standing up for women’s rights and LGBT+ rights, from the Abortion Act 1967, to Liberal Democrats legislating for same-sex marriage in Government. And we will keep fighting for further progress. In the next few months the Liberal Democrats will not take anything for granted and will work to ensure that the necessary changes to the law are made so that women in Northern Ireland have a right to seek an abortion and anyone can marry the person they love."


Your Lib Dem Candidate for Walthamstow: Meera Chadha

I am passionate about addressing social inequality and tackling climate change and have worked in the non-profit sector for nearly a decade. My priority in Parliament is not just to stop Brexit, but to get on with addressing the social and economic divide that caused Brexit in the first place.

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