07/12/2019

Lib Dems to use £50 billion regional fund to invest in Leeds and Wharfedale

The Liberal Democrats would use an ambitious £50 billion regional growth fund to invest in Leeds and Wharfedale, according to local candidate Kamran Hussain.

The Liberal Democrats, who are fighting their campaign on a platform to Stop Brexit to build a brighter future, have earmarked £50 billion to reverse regional under-investment from the Conservatives.

Liberal Democrat candidate for Leeds North West said it is “vital our communities are not left at the back of the queue”.

This £50 billion ring-fenced by the party will go towards major, sustainable infrastructure projects, such as electrifying railways, increasing the availability of charging points for electric vehicles and improving broadband access.

Kamran Husain said:

“For far too long people have seen our area miss out on the investment it needs. Successive governments, be they red or blue, have failed to listen to local needs, neglected our public services and hung our community out to dry.

“People deserve better. It is vital our that we are not left at the back of the queue.

“That is why the Liberal Democrats are prioritising an ambitious £50 billion regional growth fund. If elected, I will fight tooth and nail to invest this money is invested in Leeds and Wharedale.

“That is the brighter future our communities deserve, not the uncosted promises of the other parties.”

Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor Ed Davey added:

“Any form of Brexit, whether red or blue, will make Britain’s economy weaker and people poorer.

“Neither Labour or the Tories can square their spending promises today with the cost of Brexit. They are writing promises on cheques that will bounce.

“In contrast, every vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote to stop Brexit, build a brighter future and invest billions into our vital public services.”

07/12/2019

Lib Dems: 11,800 businesses in Leeds close in past three years in Brexit hit to high street

The Liberal Democrats have accused the Conservatives of failing to protect local small businesses, after figures revealed that 11,800 businesses in the area have closed over the last three years.

It comes as the Liberal Democrats today (Saturday 7 December) unveil a series of measures to reverse this decline and boost local firms, to mark Small Business Saturday.

Recent figures show that 11,800 closed in Leeds between 2016 and 2018, a 37.7% increase compared to the three years.

Across the UK one million businesses have closed their doors between 2016 and 2018, an increase of almost a third compared to 2013- 2015.

The Federation of Small Businesses has warned that a no deal Brexit, which Boris Johnson has repeatedly refused to rule out, would mean more damage to firms. Firms are also being held back by the Conservative government’s failure to reform business rates, and by new taxes on the self-employed that business groups have described as “disastrous”.

Liberal Democrats have said that they will Stop Brexit and invest the £50 billion Remain Bonus in improving public services and tackling inequality. The party would also put in place a package of measures to support small businesses and boost high streets in Leeds, including:

  • Creating a new ‘start-up allowance’ to support those starting new businesses with their living costs in the crucial first weeks of the business.
  • Increasing mentoring support to small business owners
  • Requiring Government agencies and larger firms to sign up to a new, enforceable, prompt payment code to ensure that small businesses never again suffer because of large businesses failing to pay on time.
  • Expanding the Future High Streets Fund to support the redevelopment of more town centres and high streets.
  • Supporting the development of the skills small businesses need by reforming the apprenticeship levy to become a skills and training levy where 25% of being targeted at areas with the greatest skills needs.

Commenting on the figures, Kamran Hussain, Lib Dem Candidate for Leeds North West  said:

“Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party have failed small businesses in Leeds saddling them with years of Brexit uncertainty and ignoring urgent calls to reform business rates.

“11,800 local businesses have closed their doors under the Conservative government’s watch. Each business closing represents jobs, investment and opportunities lost to our area.

“Now Boris Johnson wants to plunge small businesses into even more uncertainty and worry by pursuing a Brexit plan that risks yet another No Deal cliff edge in December 2020. They have lost any right to call themselves the party of business.

“The Liberal Democrats will rescue our high streets and boost local businesses by stopping Brexit, scrapping outdated business rates and introducing more support for entrepreneurs.”

02/12/2019

Lib Dems: Over 260 academics quit Leeds in three years in “Brexit brain drain”

Over 260EU academics from Leeds University alone have quit in the three years since the Brexit vote, research by the Liberal Democrats has revealed.

109 academics from the EU left Leeds University in 2018/19, the figures show.

The analysis, based on Freedom of Information responses from 81 universities, shows that across the country 4,014 EU academics have left UK universities in 2018/19.

The Liberal Democrats said the figures reveal that uncertainty across Leeds over freedom of movement and international research funding is leading to a “Brexit brain drain.”

Academics face uncertainty over both their immigration status and their funding following Brexit, meaning the UK risks becoming less competitive in attracting global talent. Previous analysis by the Royal Society has shown that the UK’s share of total EU research funding has already fallen from 15.8 per cent (€1.49bn) in 2015 to 11.3 per cent (€1.06bn) in 2018.

The findings are also consistent with recent research by the higher education industry body Universities UK which reportedthat 60% of universities surveyed believed they had lost existing or potential staff members to overseas institutions because of Brexit.

Kamran Hussain Liberal Democrat candidate for Leeds North West said:

“It is deeply concerning that Brexit has already driven 261 talented academics to abandon Leeds. We must do everything we can to stop our universities from being threatened by this Brexit brain drain.

“The Tory party has adopted the xenophobic rhetoric of Nigel Farage, making our colleagues, friends and family from the EU feel unwelcome. The situation risks being made even worse by Boris Johnson’s reckless promise to crash us out of the EU by 2020 no matter the cost.

“The Liberal Democrats are the only party that can still stop Boris, stop Brexit, and protect our university which is so important to local jobs and prosperity. It’s not too late to turn the tide and prevent Boris Johnson from imposing his divisive and damaging Brexit plans on Leeds.”

25/11/2019

Local Lib Dems show support for striking Leeds University staff

 

Kamran Hussain the Liberal Democrat candidate for Leeds North West today joined fellow candidate lecturer Jack Holland as he and colleagues carried out strike action to end the gender pay gap and improve conditions.

The eight-day strike started today at Leeds University as well as other universities across the country. I Half of the Universities in the UK are participating on the strike.

Liberal Democrat candidate for Leeds North west Kamran Hussain commented:

“I was glad to be able to support the staff today outside Leeds as they strike for fair pay, pensions and conditions.

“Lecturers like my fellow Lib Dem candidate Jack do a  fantastic job and are a huge part of the success of a community like Leeds, they deserve a fairer deal. I urge the government to do more to address the gender pay gap and conditions at our universities.”

Liberal Democrat Candidate for Leeds Central Jack Holland added:

“University staff are striking for fair pensions, pay, and conditions. We are trying to end the gender and BAME pay gaps, as well as the worst impacts of casualisation.”

21/11/2019

Lib Dems will freeze rail fare increases in Leeds saving commuters potentially thousands of pounds

 

The Liberal Democrats have announced they will freeze rail fare increases for Leeds commuters and season ticket holders for the next five years, while fixing the broken fares and ticketing system.

·         A Liberal Democrat government would cancel the 2.8% rail fare increase planned for December 2018 and freeze Leeds commuter fares and season tickets for the entirety of the next five years.

These proposals would save season ticket holders from Headingley to Leeds £2,965.56 or Leeds to Manchester £10,781.92 over the next five years. This policy is expected to cost approximately £1.6 billion.

The Liberal Democrats would also overhaul ticketing by simplifying the system, looking to create season tickets for part-time commuters and introducing early-bird fares. The party would ensure that all rail franchises apply delay repay compensation for delays of 15 minutes or more.

Liberal Democrat candidate for Leeds North west Kamran Hussain said:

“Under the Tories, Leeds commuters have been catastrophically let down. People are paying way over the odds for what has often been an appalling service.

“The Liberal Democrats will build a brighter future by freezing fares from Leeds North West to Leeds for the next five years, saving local commuters thousands of pounds. We will properly invest in fixing our creaking rail network to improve capacity and reduce overcrowding, so Leeds commuters are no longer treated like cattle.

“But this is about more than just providing more funding. We will also strip rail companies of franchises if they don’t meet the standards expected of them, and develop new transport mutual companies to foster alternative competition.”

20/11/2019

Lib Dems will reverse school cuts in Leeds

The Liberal Democrats have announced that they will spend £10 billion a year more on schools and hire 20,000 more teachers by the end of the next Parliament.

 

Figures from the National Education Union show that next year (2020/21), schools in Leeds will have seen their budgets cut by £2,478,738 in real terms since 2015, once increasing pupil numbers are taken into account.

This is equivalent to a cut of -£220 per pupil. Across the constituency, 46% of schools have seen their spending power cut since 2015.

Kamran Hussain Liberal Democrat candidate for Leeds North West said:

“Young people across Leeds and Otley deserve world-class schools and colleges so they can get the best start in life.

“But instead, the Conservatives have cut school budgets to the bone. Across the country, hundreds of schools rely on handouts from local parents or cut staff numbers to make ends meet. Some schools are even shortening the school day because they can’t afford to keep children at school for a five-day week.

“As the next MP for Leeds North West, I will fight to reverse school cuts so that our children can get the resources they need to learn.

“Liberal Democrats will build a brighter future for every child in Leeds North West. By stopping Brexit, we can spend £10 billion a year more on schools and recruit 20,000 more teachers to give every child the skills they need to succeed in life.”

18/11/2019

Lib Dems announce plans to tackle the growing number of long-term empty homes in Leeds

The Liberal Democrats announce today that they would allow Leeds to increase council tax by up to 500% on empty homes that are left empty long-term.

 

The latest Government statistics show that there were 2788 homes left empty long-term in Leeds in 2018.

In response, and as part of its plan to alleviate the housing crisis, the Liberal Democrats would legislate to allow Leeds to increase council tax by up to 500% where properties are being left vacant long-term. The revenues would then be reinvested to build new homes for the community or to invest in local services.

Commenting on the announcement, Liberal Democrat Candidate for Leeds North Wes, Kamran Hussain said:

“People across Leeds are worried about the lack of genuinely affordable homes. But they are being priced out of the local area because of the shocking rise of empty homes.

“Wealthy owners are treating these properties as financial assets rather than a place to live. This demonstrates a complete lack of regard for the impacts on local people.

“The Liberal Democrats will fix the housing market and tackle the issue of empty homes in Leeds. We will ensure that everyone is secure in their home and delivering a brighter future for our country.”

14/11/2019

Lib Dems: A&E waiting time figures in West Yorkshire show Tories’ “dismal record” on NHS

Only 84.2% of patients arriving at A&E in West Yorkshire and Harrogate were treated or admitted within four hours in October 2019, according to damning figures published today by NHS England.

This is well below the official target of 95% of patients attending A&E being admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours.

Nationally, the 95% waiting target hasn’t been met since July 2015. Only 83.6% of patients arriving at A&E across England were treated or admitted in four hours in October, the worst-ever performance since a target was introduced in 2004.

Liberal Democrat candidate for Leeds North West, Kamran Hussain said:

“It is shameful that patients in Leeds and West Yorkshire are being abandoned, be it waiting for hours for treatment in A&E or for months in pain for routine operations.

“These figures reveal the Conservatives’ dismal record on the NHS. For the past four years the Tories have utterly failed to invest properly in our health service, leaving local hospitals underfunded, overstretched and understaffed.

“Their extreme Brexit would make a dismal situation worse by driving away the EU nurses the NHS desperately needs.

“The Liberal Democrats will stop Brexit and build a brighter future. We will invest an extra £35 billion in our NHS through a penny on income tax and develop a national recruitment strategy to ensure we never again suffer shortages of nurses, doctors and other health professionals.”

12/11/2019

The Liberal Democrats have announced plans to create a £5bn flood prevention and adaptation fund.

  • As the world grapples with a climate emergency, the Tories are turning their backs on communities most at risk by failing to provide adequate flood defences.
  • The Tories’ Brexit agenda risks the UK losing access to vital EU funds for improving flood defences and flood relief. This would starve local communities of a key revenue stream to tackle flooding and build resilience for the future.
  • By staying in the EU, the UK will retain access to vital EU funds to deal with flooding.
  • Over the lifetime of the next parliament, a Liberal Democrat government will create a £5bn flood prevention and adaptation fund.
  • The fund will help the UK build resilience against future flooding, and ensure all communities can access the funds they need during periods of crisis.

 

Commenting on the announcement Lib Dem Candidate for Leeds North west Kamran Hussain said:

“My heart goes out to all those whose lives have been desperately affected by these recent floods and I know we are all grateful for the hardworking members of the emergency services who have battled the elements to keep people safe.

“These floods have been particularly awful for people in Yorkshire and sadly, as the climate continues to change extreme weather events will be come more frequent.

“I am glad that the Lib Dems have pledged to establish a flood-prevention fund focused on providing support for small community and council-led schemes. We will invest to reduce upstream flooding and the knock-on effects in downstream and coastal areas, in addition to improving flood defences, and introducing high standards for flood resilience for buildings and infrastructure in flood-risk areas.”

11/11/2019

Thousands Of EU Nationals In Leeds Being Left In Legal Limbo – Lib Dems.

Thousands of EU nationals living in Leeds have not been offered permanent residency in the UK, official figures have revealed.  The Liberal Democrats have accused the government of leaving local families from the EU in “legal limbo” and throwing people’s lives into uncertainty.

Of the 19,240 EU nationals across Leeds who have applied for permanent residency, only 8,970 have been offered settled status. 6,210 have been granted pre-settled status, which only gives the temporary right to stay in the UK.

Another 4,000 EU nationals living in Leeds have applied for permanent residency but are still waiting for a final decision to be made.

3,570 of the applications for settled status in Leeds were for children, i.e. those under 18.

Liberal Democrat candidate for Leeds North West Kamran Hussain commented:

“Too many EU nationals in Leeds are deeply anxious about their right to stay. Many of them fill vital roles in our health service and our schools. It’s disgraceful for the Conservative government to leave them in legal limbo like this.

“Families and children must not be made to live under a cloud of uncertainty any longer.

“The Liberal Democrats will stop Brexit, protect the rights of EU citizens and build a brighter future for our country.”

08/11/2019

Kamran Hussain attacks the Conservatives Nurse Tax

Liberal Democrat candidate for Leeds North west Kamran Hussain has slammed the Tories’ new “Nurse Tax” on EU citizens who come to the UK to work for the NHS.

The new Tory policy extends the Immigration health surcharge of £400 to EU health professionals, coming to the UK to work in our NHS.

The fee, which is £400 per person per year, under Conservative plans could be payable directly out of doctor and nurse salaries.

The NHS currently relies on 10,000 doctors and 20,000 nurses from elsewhere in the EU, and we’ve already lost more than 5,000 EU nurses in the last 2 years.

Commenting Kamran Hussain said:
“As he steers the country towards a damaging and extreme Brexit, Boris Johnson seems to have decided to way to win hearts and minds is to place an extra tax on those people who come here to support our NHS”

“This could lead to a shortage of nurses  in our hospitals in Leeds and put those who do come here under unfair financial pressure, most of us would really struggle to pay an extra £400 a year.

“I think that instead of pushing through Brexit and creating new taxes for nurses we should consider not pushing through Brexit and not creating new taxes on nurses.”

05/11/2019

Kamran visits Marrow Group at Leeds Beckett

Kamran Hussain, Liberal Democrat candidate for Leeds North West today visited Leeds Marrow, a student run branch of the Anthony Nolan charity at their recruitment event.

Marrow Groups are teams of students across the UK who volunteer their time to recruit donors, raise funds for and raise awareness of the stem cell register.

After the visit Kamran said:

“It was a privilege to meet the hard working volunteers of Leeds Marrow.  I was inspired by their hard work and dedication in raising awareness and funds for the stem cell register.

“I had the chance to chat to some of the volunteers about the work they are doing alongside to save the lives of people with blood cancer. I hope the recruitment day was a massive success, building on the already impressive record of Marrow Groups nationally in hosting 250 events and recruiting over 17,000 potential donors.”

04/11/2019

Hussain: Labour spending plans treat the public like fools

Liberal Democrat Candidate for Leeds North West Kamran Hussain has warned Labour’s spending plans are “pie in the sky” until the party comes up with a proper Brexit position.

Commenting Kamran said:

“Labour are treating people like fools promising the world with increasingly incredible spending pledges, the whole time failing to mention it is all completely unaffordable if we pursue a reckless Brexit.

“Until Labour either come out against Brexit or tell us how they can possibly pay for all this against the crippling economic effects of Brexit then it’s all pie in the sky.

“If elected in Leeds North west I will make stopping Brexit and the damage it will do to our economy my first priority; from that basis we will then be able to invest properly in our prized public assets like the NHS, rather than treating them like a political football.”

24/10/2019

Kamran Hussain calls on Alex Sobel to back People’s Vote amendment.

Liberal Democrat candidate for Leeds North West  has written to Alex Sobel MP calling on him to back the Liberal Democrat amendment to the Queen’s Speech today calling for a People’s Vote, if it is selected by the Speaker.

A full text of the letter is below:

Dear Alex,

Some things transcend party politics and today you have the chance to work cooperatively to protect the future of your constituents. You will have seen the Jo Swinson has written in similar terms to your party leader Rt Hon Jeremy Corbyn MP asking for him to support the Liberal Democrat amendment to the Queens Speech calling for a People’s Vote.

I am proud of the way my party have led the fight against Brexit and now is your chance to join us. The Prime Minister’s deal is a disaster and the best deal we could possibly get for the constituents of Leeds North West is the deal we have now as influential members of the European Union.

By voting for this amendment you will be supporting constituents, especially those who may have been too young to vote in the last referendum, like our large student population, to have another look at Brexit. Now we know the full damaging impact of Brexit I think it is essential the people are allowed a final say.

This could be the last chance we have to secure a People’s Vote, I sincerely hope you do the right thing and support the amendment.

Yours sincerely,

Kamran Hussain

07/10/2019

Kamran Hussain demands government protect Leeds sports fans from Brexit.

Following revelations from the organisers of the Commonwealth Games, Kamran Hussain has written to the Secretary of State for DCMS, Nicky Morgan, to demand answers as to what steps government is taking to protect Leeds Sports Fans from the effects of Brexit.

This follows revelations about the organisers of the Commonwealth Games’ deepest fears about the potentially crippling effects of Brexit on the Games.

Concerns include workforce attrition and cost inflation and also possible increases in crime and disorder that result in reprioritised staff to deliver ‘BAU’ services (e.g. civil disobedience requires more operational policing) resulting in less resource availability for Games activity.

The organisers also have fears over a potential lack of available workforce. They state that they use suppliers that have traditionally relied upon small numbers of EU workforce to supplement their UK-based workforce for the 10 day period of the Games. If they are no longer permitted to employ EU workers without a visa, this could result in a shortage of resources and/or a delay to recruitment to fill these roles or inflate the market price.

Kamran Hussain has written to Nicky Morgan to express concern that similar issues will affect the day-today running of sports venues in Leeds and to demand to now what steps the government is taking to protect fans in Leeds in the face of Brexit.

Commenting on the worrying findings, Liberal Democrat Candidate for Leeds North West Kamran Hussain said

“Leeds has a rich sporting culture, our communities all come together to support the local teams, but the people of Leeds also know better than most the damaging effects of clubs struggling with finances and the impacts that can have on supply chains and supporters.

“We cannot sit by while the government races towards no-deal Brexit and jeopardises the future of our local football, cricket and rugby teams. That is why, while the Tories and Labour continue to facilitate Brexit, I have written to the secretary of State demanding to know what action is being taken to defend our clubs.”

30/09/2019

School Cuts’ data shows funding still an emergency

Responding to the relaunch of the National Education Union’s ‘School Cuts’ website, which reveals that more than 15,000 schools will have less money per pupil in real terms in 2020 than they did in 2015, Liberal Democrat Candidate for Leeds North West Kamran Hussain said:
 

“The Conservatives have spent a lot of hot air trying to persuade people they care about education, these latest figures expose these hollow claims for what they are.

“Schools in Leeds are faced with difficult choices about where to cut spending and the government isn’t doing enough to help.

“A generation of children are having their education undermined.”

Layla Moran Lib Dem Education Spokesperson said:

“The money in the Spending Round won’t reach all schools until next September. Even then, it will probably take until around 2022 for the cuts since 2015 to be reversed. That’s seven years wasted – the length of time a child is at primary school.

“Liberal Democrats demand better for our children’s futures. We need an emergency cash injection this year to reverse school cuts, so that teachers have the resources they need to help their pupils succeed in life.

26/09/2019

Tories starve Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust of £8,154,135

 

The Liberal Democrats have slammed the Tories as “heartless” for starving the NHS of vital cash after revealing Leeds Teaching Hospitals paid £8,154,135 in interest on outstanding debt over the last five years.

 

Former Liberal Democrat leader, Tim Farron, warned taxpayers money being spent “lining the Government’s coffers instead of training more doctors and nurses” was “an absolute slap in the face to all of us that rely on the NHS”.

 

The figures from the Department for Health and Social Care, uncovered by a Liberal Democrat Freedom of Information request, revealed £607,404,854 worth of interest on outstanding debt was paid by over NHS Trusts to the Department for Health and Social Care in the last five years.

 

According to calculations by the Liberal Democrats, that money could have paid for 22,000 Nurses, 13,850 Clinical Psychologists or 6,700 Consultants.

 

The same statistics also show that the NHS Trusts, which service a local area or specialised function to deliver aspects of healthcare, paid almost £63m of interest on outstanding debt in 2013/2014. In 2017/2018, it dramatically rose to over £205m.

 

The revelation reinforces concerns from the National Audit Office which warns “the underlying financial health in some trusts is getting worse”, despite the Government’s commitment in the NHS Long Term Plan to “reducing year-on-year the number of trusts and CCGs individually in deficit, so that all NHS organisations are in balance by 2023/24.”

 

Liberal Democrat spokesperson Kamran Hussain for Leeds North West said:

“While hard working doctors and nurses are being forced to work with insufficient resources, it’s frankly heartless that the Conservatives have starved Leeds Teaching Hospitals of £8,154,135

 

“If the Conservatives were actually giving our hospitals the funding they need then health trusts wouldn’t be forced to run a deficit in the first place and hospitals like the Wharfedale in Otley would benefit greatly.”

 

Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron added:

“That taxpayers money is being spent lining the Government’s coffers instead of on training more doctors and nurses is an absolute slap in the face to all of us that rely on the NHS.

 

“People deserve better, and the Liberal Democrats demand better. That is why Liberal Democrats are committed to a transformational investment in public health with a modest penny on income tax.”

26/09/2019

Kamran Hussain: Parliament must return after illegal shut down

 

Responding to the Supreme Court ruling that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament for five weeks was unlawful, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Leeds North West Kamran Hussain said:

 

“This verdict has been unanimously agreed by experienced judges who have considered the case on its merits, acting as impartial guardians of our democratic system.

 

“People in Leeds will be rightly disgusted that while they are expected to keep on working hard and showing up every day; Parliament was suspended, and MPs sent on a break based on a lie. Parliament must return after this illegal shutdown.

 

“We are told the Prime Minister will be flying back from New York early to return to parliament. He probably won’t be very happy about this, but he would do well to remember that many people from Leeds and around the country are still stranded on Thomas Cook holidays.

 

“Meanwhile yesterday Labour voted at their conference not to take a position on Brexit at all!”