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Southampton Liberal Democrats headerWelcome

Southampton Civic Centre

The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no-one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity.

As you know, Liberal Democrats Campaigners and Focus Teams work all year round to improve your community. If there is any way we can be of help, please do get in touch!

If you share our passion for working for local people and believe in the Liberal Democrats aims, why not join us? By being a member you keep in touch with the Party throughout the year, join us at our regular social events, and get a vote in all Party Elections.


  • Black Hole
    Article: Nov 22, 2017
    By Vince Cable MP, Liberal Democrat Leader

    The Government has set aside £3bn for Brexit. That Brexit black hole could have paid for 66,000 extra teachers or 69,000 extra police officers.

    Philip Hammond is spending £3bn of taxpayers money on Brexit instead of investing in the country's overstretched public services.

    And the government's Brexit strategy is so vague that the Official for Budgetary Responsibility could not even factor it into their forecasts.

  • Ben Curd
    Article: Nov 22, 2017
    By Southampton Liberal Democrats

    Commenting on tonight's vote which saw the government narrowly defeat an amendment on bringing the Charter of Fundamental Rights into UK law post-Brexit, Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake said:

    "The government squeaked home, but we will not give up the fight to protect fundamental rights from an extreme Brexit.

    "Ministers won't be permitted to weaken vital protections to appease their own Brexiteer backbenchers and ram through a Tory Brexit.

    "The vast majority of people do not want to see a Brexit that undermines our freedoms, equality and privacy."

    Southampton Liberal Democrat Communities Spokesperson Ben Curd added:

    "Speaking to a number of voters in Southampton and elsewhere, people gave many reasons for voting to leave the European Union. Not one of them has told me that they wanted to remove their own rights as citizens.

    "By voting against common-sense measures that protect us from inequality, discrimination, and persecution, the Conservatives in Government are showing their true colours."

  • Building
    Article: Nov 21, 2017
    By Southampton Liberal Democrats

    It has emerged that former Prime Minister David Cameron's flagship 2014 'Starter Homes' project, which promised to build 200,000 new discounted homes for first-time buyers, has failed to deliver a single one.

    A spokeswoman from the Department for Communities and Local Government said that the Starter Home initiative was part of their 'ambition' to build more homes.

  • Article: Nov 18, 2017
    By Southampton Liberal Democrats
    James Read, Chair of Southampton Liberal Democrats, has written an open letter to Southampton Conservatives imploring them to respond to allegations of racism and cover-ups made by a local activist.

    To the Southampton Itchen Conservative Association,

    It is hugely disappointing that Southampton Conservatives have yet to respond to serious allegations of racially discriminatory language used by one of its Councillors towards an ethnic minority activist, a week after they were first made public. Many thousands of people will have seen the BBC's television report on Monday, more will have seen coverage online and on social media. It amazes me that you have not reacted with more urgency to this situation, which could have long-lasting repercussions for your party locally.

    I've been involved in Southampton politics for a long time now, and I have a great deal of respect for many people in other parties whose policies and ideals I fundamentally disagree with. I consider a number of your members friends. It is in the spirit of mutual respect and friendship that I write to you now.

    The allegations of racism made against one of your Councillors are, evidently, concerning for many. Voters must trust that in the performance of their duties, their elected representatives will not treat one person differently to their neighbour. Indeed, Southampton City Council's Equality Policy states that discrimination is defined as, but is not limited to, "Unfair or unequal treatment of people on the basis of race, colour, national and ethnic origin, culture or faith, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment or gender identity, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy and maternity, disability, physical, sensory or learning impairments, mental health problems, HIV status, income or age."

    The young man who has had the guts to stand up for what is right, and speak out against these outdated and frankly embarrassing attitudes, deserves an explanation as to why complaints made against an individual who is now a sitting Councillor were not taken seriously at the time. So, too, do the people of Southampton.

    Perhaps you hope these allegations, whatever their worth, can be swept under the carpet and forgotten about. But the danger in concealing dirt is that it has a tendency to fester, to grow, and spread. Eventually, the entire carpet will be tainted.

    So please, let the public know the truth. At a time when faith in the political establishment is low, failure to address matters like this in a timely and transparent manner will only lead to further disillusionment. If you didn't know about the allegations, just say so - and pledge to carry out a full investigation now that they have come to light. If you did know, but decided not to act, please be decent enough to hold your hands up and apologise, and vow to take action against any Southampton Conservatives espousing discriminatory attitudes.

    Southampton deserves better than your silence on the matter.

    Kind regards

    James Read
  • Alexander Clifton-Melhuish
    Article: Nov 16, 2017
    By Southampton Liberal Democrats

    At their Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Labour councillors voted unanimously to close the Kentish Road Respite Centre, despite a hard-fought campaign on behalf of the centre's users. Labour councillors have even admitted that the closure is not about cost savings, with Councillor Payne (Cabinet Member for Housing and Adult Care) reported as saying he would shut the centre even if it saved no money.

    Local Liberal Democrat campaigner Alexander Clifton-Melhuish said:

    "The Council has been trying to close the centre for three years. Yet throughout several consultations in this time, Labour have continued to miss the key part of why this centre means so much to its users: its heart.

    "Campaigners insist it's the opportunity to socialise with other service users that makes Kentish Road so special, and the alternatives they've been offered fall far short.

    "Labour have failed to listen to service users and respect their individual needs, and now that the Council is pressing ahead with the closure, some disabled residents will be without their much-treasured centre and its vital community."

    Southampton Liberal Democrats support the principle of providing care that promotes independence, which the social services team have worked to offer users of Kentish Road. But this must be done in consultation with service users and this type of care isn't appropriate for, nor wanted by, everyone.

    Alexander added:

    "I'm extremely disappointed with the way that Labour have conducted their sham consultation, and call on them to truly listen to service users' needs. I am pleased that opposition councillors will be appealing this decision at scrutiny committee, and I hope that the legal challenge proposed by the service users can resolve this issue in a way the Council has clearly failed to do."

  • Article: Nov 13, 2017
    By Southampton Liberal Democrats

    Responding to allegations on BBC News that members of the Conservative Party in Southampton colluded to cover up allegations of racist comments made by a Southampton City Councillor, a Southampton Liberal Democrats spokesperson said:

    "These are very serious allegations made against members of the Conservative Party; not just the Southampton City Councillor named in the complaint, but also those senior Councillors who were apparently made aware of the complaint but failed to take issue with it.

    "Southampton Conservatives must be given the opportunity to respond to these claims, and Southampton Liberal Democrats invite them to do so. They must then investigate these claims fully, and follow whatever internal party procedures exist to find out exactly what happened, and if any further action must be taken.

    "If these accusations of racial prejudice and cover-ups prove to be true, we believe the Councillors in question should face the consequences of their actions, or inaction. And when the people of Southampton go to the polls in May next year, they must consider carefully in whom they choose to place their trust."

  • Peter Galton, St James Road
    Article: Nov 10, 2017
    By Southampton Liberal Democrats

    Local Shirley Campaigner Peter Galton has been disappointed to learn that there are currently no plans to proceed with the proposed traffic island crossing at St James Road near the Methodist Church.

    Peter says:

    "After two years of campaigning I would have hoped that an island would have been provided at the very least, it was included within the local transport improvement fund scheme, so to learn that this had been dropped is extremely disappointing.

    "At times this is an extremely busy section of road, and I believe that an crossing is a necessary precaution to ensure the safety of local residents".

    Peter plans to pursue the matter with the council to ensure that local concerns are taken into consideration.

  • Alexander Clifton-Melhuish
    Survey: Nov 9, 2017
    27 questions
    Dear neighbour,

    I'm campaigning for the Lib Dems here because Freemantle is a great place to live, and the Lib Dems work hard to support local residents. That's why I'd like to hear about what matters to you.

    By filling in this survey we can better represent you and focus on the issues that matter most.

    With thanks

    Alex Clifton-Melhuish
    Liberal Democrat Council Candidate for Freemantle
  • NHS Logo
    Article: Nov 9, 2017

    Commenting on reports that Simon Stevens, the chief executive of NHS England, has called for the £350 million Brexit bus money, Judith Jolly, Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson, said:

    "Under this government the NHS is moving from crisis to crisis. Without an increase in funding, and proper care and attention given to the needs of staff, the National Health Service as we know it has a very uncertain future.

    "Printing lies on the side of a bus has done nothing to help secure a future for the NHS.

    "The Liberal Democrats are the only party who have laid out a clear, robust plan to safeguard our NHS for future generations by committing to put up income tax by a penny in the pound, to raise £6bn extra funding which is desperately needed."

  • Article: Nov 7, 2017
    By Southampton Liberal Democrats

    In today's Echo, Southampton Liberal Democrats' Health Spokesperson James Read comments on reports that European nurses are leaving the NHS in their thousands, leaving huge gaps in the workforce and impeding the ability of the NHS to serve our nation's needs:

    "I was greatly saddened, although not entirely surprised, to read that the number of European nurses leaving the NHS was up 67% in the last year, following the outcome of the Brexit referendum. That equates to a drop of over 4000 nurses.

    "Earlier this year, the Nursing and Midwifery Council found that applications from European-trained nurses to work in the NHS was down by a shocking 96%.

    "This is a worrying trend. With the public sector pay cap and withdrawal of nursing training bursaries by the Tories, our NHS is not able to recruit and train enough nurses quickly enough to replace those that are leaving. This is a huge problem, given that the Royal College of Nursing says that there are currently in the region of 40,000 unfilled nursing vacancies in the NHS.

    "The political climate in this country is making many of our European friends, neighbours and colleagues feel unwelcome here. Whilst they continue to flail aimlessly in the Brexit negotiations, the least the Tory government can do is to guarantee the rights of EU citizens contributing to our national wellbeing, and thereby undo a fraction of the damage being done to us by Brexit."

    In other news published today, it has been revealed that the NHS could afford to hire an additional 9000 nurses with the money curreently being spent in Whitehall on hiring civil servants to manage Brexit.

    James Read

    "The Conservative's mismanagement of the NHS is absolutely appalling.

    "They could be investing much-needed cash to train and hire the nurses our country needs, rather than doggedly pushing on with the monumental folly that is Brexit.

    "As usual, the Tories are putting ideology ahead of pragmatism, and it's places like Southampton that are going to suffer".