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Liberal Democrats have reacted angrily to news that ministers are today defending in the High Court their decision not to release a crucial clean air plan for the UK to tackle illegal levels of air pollution.
At least 40 young people in Bath will be affected by the Conservative government’s decision to strip 18-21 year olds of housing benefit, putting them at risk of homelessness. This shock figure emerged from research by the House of Commons library commissioned by the Liberal Democrats.
In total 18,000 young people across the country expected to be affected. The Liberal Democrats have committed to reverse the cuts, which came into force at the beginning of this month.
Food prices saw the biggest increase for three years in the year to March, figures from the Office for National Statistics have revealed.
Food and drink prices rose by 1.2% and overall consumer inflation remained at 2.3%. Meanwhile wage growth is expected to slow, leaving people worse off in real terms.
The figures come as British retailers suffer a third consecutive month of falling sales, with takings down 1% compared to March last year.
Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor Susan Kramer commented:
"The Brexit squeeze of a falling pound and rising import costs is hitting families across Britain, with higher prices in the shops denting incomes and leaving us all poorer.
"This is deeply worrying news for our economy, which has been propped up by consumer spending.
"The Government must urgently act to reverse this growing squeeze on living standards.
"The best way to protect British consumers and businesses would be to change course on Brexit and fight to stay in the Single Market.
"If Theresa May chooses to plough ahead with a hard Brexit, our declining living standards will be on her watch and her head. You can't have a hard Brexit and a strong economy."
Liberal Democrat candidate Richard Samuel has been elected as the new Councillor for Walcot ward in Bath in yesterday's by-election (6 April).
Sir Vince Cable has given his support to Stephen Williams as the Lib Dem West of England mayoral candidate today, saying that Williams's economic plans would lead to a “thriving, sustainable and attractive place to live and work”.
Lib Dem Councillors in B&NES have called for the new West of England combined authority to prioritise financial responsibility and democratic accountability.
In a motion to Council, which was approved by all those voting in Bath this evening, Councillors called for the new Mayor of the West of England and the Leaders of the three Councils to minimise the running costs of the new Authority and to maximise transparency.
Local Councillors in B&NES have added their voices to calls for the government to resolve the situation of EU nationals in the UK as soon as possible. There are over 6,000 residents from other EU countries in the district and around 3 million in the UK as a whole.
Councillors debated a motion on the issue at this evening’s meeting of full Council, which called for the government to prioritise reaching an agreement on EU nationals’ rights in the forthcoming Brexit negotiations. The motion was approved by Councillors from all political groups. The motion was adopted by all Councillors, bar one abstention.
Former government minister Lynne Featherstone will use her keynote speech to Lib Dem Conference to call for greater restrictions on diesel cars.
Lynne Featherstone will say: “Four cities around the world have pledged to ban diesel cars by 2025 – but none of our great cities are on that list. If Paris can do it, why can’t our major cities do it too?"
She will highlight the terrible air quality across the UK, and the Conservative Government implementing a succession of anti-green bills.
She will say: "We have had less than two full years of Conservative-only government, and already the list of anti-green measures is shocking. It is now clear the crucial role the Liberal Democrats played in securing and maintaining key climate change policy during the Coalition."
Lynne will warn: “you cannot have a safe environment with a hard Brexit.
“Theresa May might not be a climate denier but she is a climate ignorer, if the Liberal Democrats do not lead this fight, then who will?”
Featherstone’s speech calls to reduce “carbon emissions by 100% by 2050” to start a “new green industrial revolution” to “be bold” and for the Lib Dems to take the lead.
Stephen Williams, the Lib Dem candidate to be the regional mayor of the West of England, has slammed a planned hike in bus fares and outlined his plans to combat the rising cost of travelling by bus.
The fare rise, due to take place on 2nd April on First Bus services in Bristol, is the second in less than a year. It will see a journey of less than three miles rise from £1.70 to £2 and a longer single go up from £2.70 to £3.
The election of the West of England regional mayor will be followed by the awarding of new transport powers by central government, which will give the West of England combined authority the ability to establish Transport for London-style franchise bus services. These powers will allow the region greater control over setting standards for operators, ticketing, branding and service frequencies.
Lib Dem Councillors in B&NES are warning that the Conservative plan to reduce waste collections to fortnightly could lead to bin chaos this winter.
B&NES residents have been receiving letters from the Council in recent days, announcing the change and explaining whether they will be issued with a wheelie bin or (in Bath city centre) a gull-proof sack.