Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Posts Tagged ‘Kensington & Chelsea’

A Mansion Tax for Oligarchs?

Posted by jonathanfryer on Friday, 29th July, 2011

When Vince Cable launched his plan for a ‘mansion tax’ on homes worth more than £1 million, there were howls of dismay from LibDem activists in places such as Richmond Park and Kensington & Chelsea, where even quite modest dwellings are now worth well in excess of a million, thanks to London’s absurdly over-priced property market. There was then talk of a £2 million threshold instead, but the scheme was still unpopular and some Liberal Democrat party members actually resigned in protest. However, the LibDem Deputy Leader, Simon Hughes, last night unveiled at a Lewisham LibDems supper an intriguing variation which has gone to his colleagues in government for consideration: a Mansion Tax for non-doms, inlcuding oligarchs from the former Soviet Union — billionaires whose hunger for prime London property has been a major factor in house price escalation. Boris Johnson, London’s Tory Mayor, will doubtless scoff at the proposal, saying it will drive the super-rich foreigners away. But for the super-rich the ‘pain’ will be minimal, whereas the government’s coffers will get a useful boost and UK residents who happen to live in what is now a very expensive part of town will not be ‘fined’ for doing so.


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Linda Wade Seizes Earl’s Court for LibDems

Posted by jonathanfryer on Friday, 17th September, 2010

Local Liberal Democrat campaigner Linda Wade has scored a stunning triumph in Earl’s Court Ward, Kensington & Chelsea, comfortably taking a seat off the Conservatives in a byelection held yesterday. This is the first time in the history of the Royal Borough that this ward has been Liberal/Liberal Democrat-held. Indeed, until last year, no Liberal Democrat had ever been elected to the Council, though that ‘nuls points’ record was broken by Carol Caruana in a by-election last summer in Colville ward, and in May this year, Carol was joined by Cllr Tim Jones. This further breakthrough is a tremendous tribute not only to Linda Wade’s record of work in the community but also to the brilliant campaign master-minded by Kensington’s LibDem PPC (and Vice-Chairman of London Region Liberal Democrats) Robin Meltzer. ‘Team London’, London Liberal Democrats’ new campaigning task force, swung into action behind longstanding local activists and the campaign was carried out with positively military precision. This is a wonderful development in the run up to the Liberal Democrats’ autumn conference, which opens in Liverpool on Saturday. And it just goes to prove the old addage: it’s the votes in the ballot box that count, not opinion polls!

Result: Linda Wade (LD) 703, Con 594, Lab 151, Ind 47, Ind 29, Grn 26, UKIP 18, majority 107, swing 17% Con to LibDem


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