Lords leader of Lib Dems in constituency
A senior member of the House of Lords warned of a looming crisis in public services funding in Northumberland during a visit to Alnwick.
Lord Newby, the Liberal Democrats’ leader in the Lords, addressed the annual general meeting of Berwick Liberal Democrats on Saturday, and spoke about the impact of the recent Budget and the forthcoming bill for Brexit on public-sector pay and NHS provision in the county.
He also set out how the Lib Dems will seek to improve generational fairness by giving greater support to young people.
He said: “What is now needed is a sea change in our approach. We must enable everyone, but particularly our young people, to get the opportunities they need to develop their skills and potential. This is why we are calling for a lifetime learning account which will let people get the training the need when they want it and why we would make it easier for young people to get to college or work by subsidising their bus fares.
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“We must also deal with the crisis in social care by properly funding those who provide it. Of course, Brexit and the expected £50billion cost of the divorce settlement will place even greater strain on already under-funded services. We would give people the chance to stop the immense economic self-harm which would be caused by Brexit by giving them a vote on the final deal.”
He added: “Given the Government’s incompetence and disarray, they simply can’t be trusted to produce the best outcome for the British people.”
Baroness Maddock, chair of the Berwick Lib Dem local party, said: “We were delighted to welcome my Lords colleague Dick Newby to Alnwick and hear of his concerns over public services. We are only too well aware that the Conservative Government’s decisions are putting serious stain on schools and hospitals in Northumberland, and the continuing public sector pay freeze is greatly disadvantaging our teachers, NHS staff, and other public sector workers.”