A Fair Start for Every Child

A Fair Start for Every Child

Every child deserves a fair start in life

Guildford’s Local Plan

Guildford's Local Plan

Lib Dem's Principles to guide the Local Plan and Housing Numbers

A Million Jobs Campaign

A Million Jobs

Read about our campaign to create a million jobs

Recapping on Lib Dem Conference

Liberal Democrat Conference, this year held in Glasgow, saw key party members from Guildford gain profile for their work in and outside of the party. 

Kelly-Marie Blundell, Parliamentary Candidate for Guildford, spoke to BBC Surrey Radio about how well Conference went for the party. 

Campaigns Organiser Hannah Thompson was awarded ‘Campaign of the Year’ by Lib Dem Voice for her excellent work on “Revenge Porn”. Read more here.

Members and activists have returned to campaign on the big issues Guildford faces, both at a local level and a national level. 

Lib Dems to overturn Mental Health stigma

Liberal Democrat Activists from Guildford returned this week triumphant from the Party Conference at which they announced a key manifesto pledge to tackle the broken processes behind treating mental health in the UK.

Guildford’s next Liberal Democrat MP

Guildford’s next Liberal Democrat MP

Kelly-Marie Blundell, Parliamentary Candidate and campaigner for better mental health services, is calling for equal status of mental and physical health;

Mental health cannot be ignored, and we must stand up and challenge those who see it as a stigma. It should be taken as seriously as physical health.

The Lib Dems are the only party to stand up for those with Mental Health problems, and we will be be investing £400 million to help people with mental health problems get the right support early on, such as talking or psychological therapies. We will also introduce waiting limits, so people will know for the first time how long they have to wait for mental health treatment.

Our new mental health action plan sets out our priorities for essential change in mental health, including:

  • Crisis Care Concordat: Making sure no one experiencing mental health crisis is ever turned away from services.
  • Choice in Mental Health: Giving people the same choice for their mental healthcare as they do for their physical health.
  • Liaison and Diversion: Committed £25m for a scheme that identifies health issues offenders when they enter the criminal justice system.
  • Restraint: Investing £1.2m in staff training in order to reduce harmful restrictive practices.
  • IAPT: Investing over £400m to give thousands of people access to evidence-based psychological therapies.
  • Children’s mental health: Investing £54m in order to improve access to mental health care for children.
  • Time to Change: Funding the Time to Change campaign, which challenges mental health stigma and discrimination.”

Lib Dem Candidate Kelly-Marie Blundell fights to free NHS from privatisation

At the Liberal Democrat Conference in October 2014, Guildford’s Parliamentary Candidate Kelly-Marie Blundell took to the stand to defend the NHS and remove the sections from the Health and Social Care Act 2012 that would force trusts into private hands.

KMB Public services screen shotThe Liberal Democrats put together a comprehensive Public Services paper which calls for changes to be made across Local Government, NHS and education. The core of the paper is to ensure greater transparency, opportunity for all and delivering quality services that are affordable and accountable.

This policy will provide core information to the Liberal Democrat Manifesto in 2015 and help create the red lines of any future coalition agreement.

Speaking on the motion, Kelly-Marie raised the issue of the extensive NHS debt;

Labour were so quick to pander to headlines, they bankrupted the NHS through Private Finance Initiatives.

Even I was bewitched by Blair’s promises of more beds, more dentists, more budgets. I didn’t realise until I worked for the NHS just how far into debt they were forced to reach those targets.

Around the country, people are working to save hospitals, hospitals which under the current Health and Social Care Act will be forced into private hands if they incur debts.

In the UK, we spend less than the European average per person on NHS care, and we must demand that more money is invested. The Liberal Democrats are the only party to pledge £1bn more in NHS funding, to help deliver the services that are integral to Britain.

Hospitals and NHS Trusts provide a vital service, and we cannot have legislation pushing them into private hands. Labour went far to bankrupt the NHS, and we must not believe their promises of better service, as they’ll simply run up the books again.”

Kelly-Marie Blundell, who campaigned to change the NHS Health and Social Care Act 2014 through the Social Liberal Forum, has long been an advocate of increased spending and better integration of Health and Social Care.

Kelly-Marie worked in public consultation at NHS Eastern and Coastal Kent before moving the Charity Sector.

Listen to Kelly-Marie’s Intervention Speech on NHS reform here 

 

Kelly-Marie Blundell leads proposals for changes to the Welfare System

Guildford’s Prospective Liberal Democrat MP, Kelly-Marie Blundell this week used the Liberal Democrat Party Conference to call on the party to do more to reform the welfare system.

Moving a motion which she co-wrote, Kelly-Marie will demand that the Coalition, and future governments, review Universal Credit, provide a integrated system of hardship payments and make swift changes to benefit sanctions, which are leaving people in abject poverty.

Kelly-Marie, who sits on the Liberal Democrat Policy Committee, has long been a champion of the welfare state, but insists that it must be a “hand up not a hand out”.

The Conference delegates, who select policy from the ground up, overwhelmingly approved the policy, which will call on the Liberal Democrats to make Welfare a key issue in the their 2015 Manifesto.

Stage KMB WelfareHer work on Spare Room Subsidy (Bedroom Tax) lead to the Liberal Democrat Council group challenging the Conservative-led Guildford Borough Council to ring-fence money made available for those in need. The Conservatives rejected the motion to do this.

Kelly-Marie has subsequently worked with food bank charity The Trussell Trust and food banks across the South East to ensure people get the support and advice they need in order to move out of poverty.

The debate, held on Sunday 5th October 2014, faced criticism from the right, who believe that benefit bills should be cut further, but Kelly-Marie objects to this view, stating;

The Liberal Democrats are the forefathers of the welfare state, and we must not be the executioners also.

We have seen an essentially shambolic introduction of Universal Credit, a policy which goes far to address the problems in the Welfare state, but has been caught up in administrative errors.

Yes, we need benefits to be simpler, but we also need the process to put them in place to be simpler. No one should be left in poverty because of an administrative screw-up.

The Conservatives are quick to bash the poor, but we are the party who are standing up for those on benefits.”

Listen to Kelly-Marie Blundell speaking to BBC News about the Welfare Reform motion here: 

Watch Kelly-Marie’s Speech to Conference here. 

 

 

 

Lib Dems promise Carer’s Bonus of up to £250 for Britain’s “unsung heroes”

NEARLY 1000 carers in Guildford will receive a bonus worth up to £250-a-year under a Liberal Democrat government, it has been announced.

 

The no strings attached Carer’s Bonus will help more than one million people who look after disabled loved-ones.

 

The annual payment will help full-time carers get a bit of extra help and recognises the invaluable contribution they make to society.

 

In total 970 carers in Guildford will benefit from the Carer’s Bonus.

 

Kelly-Marie Blundell said:

 

“Carers are Britain’s unsung heroes. Up and down the country behind closed doors, you’ll find a hidden army of carers doing amazing things every day.

 

“It is estimated that six in ten of us will at some point in our lives find ourselves caring for someone else – an elderly relative, a sick child, a friend who needs our support.

 

“These are people who deserve our support even in straightened times, which is why the Liberal Democrat manifesto will include a Carer’s Bonus to give them a little extra help.

 

“It’s completely up to the carers themselves how they spend it – it’s a no strings attached bonus from a party that is grateful for the superhuman work they do.”

 

The bonus would be worth £125 at the start of the next parliament and would rise to £250-a-year by 2020, with around 1.1 million people eligible.

 

The annual bonus would be available to anyone who receives the Carer’s Allowance or the Carer’s Premium.

 

Liberal Democrat Care Minister, Norman Lamb added:

 

“We know how hard carers work and that one of the most important things to them is getting a break every now again.

 

“It is why the Liberal Democrats will introduce this Carer’s Bonus if we are in government again after the General Election.

 

“But it’s not for us to dictate to them what they do with it – carers know best how to spend the money in the way that will most benefit them and the people they care for.”

 

The pledge follows a number of measures introduced by the Coalition Government to support carers.

 

Successive Liberal Democrat Care Ministers Paul Burstow and Norman Lamb have led the work to better provide for Britain’s unsung heroes.

 

In Government the party has secured £800 million to fund short breaks for disabled children and their families.

 

Around £400 million has been set aside to support carers to take breaks from caring responsibilities.

 

While £3 million has been allocated to improve awareness and understanding about carers among health workers.

 

Former Care Minister Paul Burstow MP said:

 

“Carers are the backbone of our health and care system.  

 

“In my work developing the party’s response to the challenges and opportunities of our ageing society, I have been determined that we do more to support carers.

 

“The Carer’s Bonus recognises the contribution carers make day in day out. I am delighted Nick is signalling carers as a priority for our party.”