My plan for the Villages

Stop the Garden Villages

Many residents are rightly worried about crazy plans for thousands of more homes forced through by John Penrose’s Tory councillors at the direction of the Conservative government.

Patrick has consistently opposed the Garden Villages. Now that the old Tory Council’s plans have been scrapped, he is working with local campaigners and councils to ensure that new plans the right housing – in the right place.

Challenge Airport Expansion

Residents are rightly concerned about the impact of proposed plans to expand Bristol airport during a climate emergency – as well as the impact on parking, noise and traffic. Patrick will ensure the plans are rigorously scrutinised.

Fair Funding for Schools

As a school governor, Patrick has seen first hand the challenges facing our rural schools. The LibDems will inject £10 billion back into schools, and by scrapping SATS and league tables, will let teachers get on with the job.


The Tory candidate claims in his leaflet to village residents that your local councillors “let the plans for the garden villages go through unchallenged.” This is not accurate:
● Following elections in May that changed control of the Council, the “JSP” approach is dead. The new Council will be developing fresh plans in consultation with Parish Councils and local residents.
● There have been no votes on the garden villages in this Council – yet.
● Patrick Keating has been consistently asking questions and challenging the administration on this issue – and as your new MP will keep up the fight.

My response to the Fair Play South West Women’s Rights Manifesto

It is unacceptable that, in the 21stcentury, people are still discriminated against on the basis of their gender, race, age, sexuality, gender identity, religion or disability. Liberal Democrats believe that everyone’s rights and liberties should be protected, and our diversity celebrated. 

A Liberal Democrat government will build a free society where every person’s rights and liberties are respected.

The UK needs more women in Parliament to successfully address the issues that face contemporary society, including those of inequality. While half of Lib Dem MPs were women in the last Parliament, less than a third of the MPs that sat in that Parliament were women – and as a result our country is lagging behind when it comes to legislation that makes a difference to women – whether that is women’s rights in the workplace, support for survivors of sexual assaults and even the cost of a razor. 

We are committed to requiring diversity in public appointments and government procurement, including at senior level. We are also committed to ensuring free, comprehensive unconscious bias training toolkits and the provision of unconscious bias training a condition of the receipt of public funds.  

Liberal Democrats will always prioritise action to end violence against women and girls. Liberal Democrat Wera Hobhouse’s landmark Private Members Bill made ‘upskirting’ a crime earlier this year. This was a significant progressive policy development which we are immensely proud of. Liberal Democrats will work to prevent violence against women and girls and support survivors by ratifying and bringing into force the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. We will legislate for a statutory definition of domestic abuse that includes the traumatic effects on children who witness it at home. We will expand the number of refuges and rape crisis centres. We will give local authorities the duty and funding to provide accommodation for survivors of abuse. A Liberal Democrat government will also establish a national rape crisis helpline.  

Liberal Democrats are committed to investing in a national network of women’s centres: one-stop-shops providing services and support for women in or at risk of entering the criminal justice system. We are also committed to ensuring that all prison-leavers have suitable accommodation, a bank account and employment or training, and are registered with a local GP. These policies will help reduce the number of women unnecessarily in prison, help them to turn their lives around, and build safer communities with less crime.

Liberal Democrats strongly support the Equality Act, At our 2019 autumn conference, we committed to call on all political parties to implement Section 106 of the Equality Act 2010, publishing their candidate diversity data; and for parental and carer leave entitlements for parliamentarians and councillors to be strengthened with provisions to be made to ensure constituents continue to be represented during these periods of leave.

A Liberal Democrat government will implement our vision for a brighter future, with equality at the heart of government.

My reply to Generation Rent Manifesto

It is not acceptable that people are struggling to afford good homes in safe communities. The private rental market is expensive and insecure. Liberal Democrats are looking to the future and will oversee a substantial programme to reform the private rental sector. I am happy to support the Renter’s Manifesto, and have signed up on the Webiste. 

Open-ended tenancies and an end to section 21 eviction notices

Yes. At our 2019 autumn conference, Liberal Democrats made the abolition of S21 eviction notices party policy. We also called for further work to be undertaken with tenant and landlord organisations and groups to explore the opportunities for further reform and improvement of the rental sector, such as revising the current assured short-hold tenancy legislation to encourage the use of long-term tenancies as a standard.

Rent controls which bring down rents to 30% of local income

We will promote longer tenancies of three years or more with an inflation-linked annual rent increase built in, to give tenants security and limit rent hikes.

Public investment in a massive public housebuilding programme

Yes. We will build at least 100,000 homes for social rent each year and ensure that total housebuilding increases to 300,000 each year. We will devolve full control of Right to Buy to local councils. We will also help finance the large increase in the building of social homes with investment from our £130 billion capital infrastructure budget.

Private rented homes brought into democratic public ownership

We must focus our efforts on unleashing the resources necessary for building new homes in local council areas.

A welfare system that supports access to safe, secure, affordable housing (UK)

Yes. While the UK is one of the world’s richest countries, the benefits and opportunities that should follow from that are felt increasingly unevenly across our communities. Liberal Democrats will invest £6 billion per year to make the benefits system work for people who need it and reducing the wait for first benefits payment from five weeks to five days. We will also reform Universal Credit to be more supportive of the self-employed. Similarly, we will increase Local Housing Allowance in line with average rents in an area.

National database of landlords and rents

Yes. Liberal Democrats support this initiative in line with the respect of GDPR.

Decent and safe private rented homes

Yes. Liberal Democrats want to improve protections against rogue landlords through mandatory licensing.

Decent and safe temporary accommodation

Yes. Liberal Democrats want to ensure that temporary accommodation is decent and safe, and that it remains solely a temporary option on a quick, clear path to a permanent home, with standards monitored and enforced by local authorities. Data on the use, extent and public cost of temporary accommodation should be collected and made publicly available for greater transparency and accountability.

Private rented homes to address the climate emergency and help end fuel poverty

Yes. Everyone should be able to afford to heat their home so that it is warm enough for them to live in. However, an estimated 2.5 million households in England live in fuel poverty, where they cannot afford to heat their homes to a decent standard partly due to poor insulation and heat loss – contributing to climate change and causing ill-health and early deaths. A Liberal Democrat government would introduce an emergency programme to insulate all Britain’s homes by 2030, cutting emissions and fuel bills and ending fuel poverty. We agree that financial support should be available to landlords to assist them in meeting this target, and sanctions should be applied to landlords who fail to make their homes energy efficient.

Private renters to have control of their homes

Yes, however, there must be adequate checks in place to ensure the best communication between renters and landlords.

Improve access to justice for private renters

Yes. Liberal Democrats want to improve access to justice for both landlords and private renters.

End Right to Rent (UK)

Yes. Right to Rent is a discriminatory scheme which sees landlords become an extension of immigration management in the UK.

End discrimination against benefit claimants (UK)

Yes. We must end benefit discrimination in the private rental market through publishing legally binding guidance on the Equality Act, or by other means.

Homes not assets (UK)

Yes. We must end the financialization of housing and disincentivize landlordism to ensure our housing system meets the needs of people over profit.

Renters’ right to organise

Yes. Liberal Democrats support renters working together to stop rogue landlords. However, ideally, the best outcome is one where renters and landlords work together for a positive outcome.

Liberal Democrats want to work together with key stakeholders to build a brighter future for housing in the UK.

Lib Dems will reverse school cuts in Weston-super-Mare

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 Weston and the Villages will have seen their budgets cut by £4,006,278 in real terms since 2015, once increasing pupil numbers are taken into account.

This is equivalent to a cut of £258 per pupil. Across the constituency, 23% of schools have seen their spending power cut since 2015.

Patrick Keating, Liberal Democrat candidate for Weston-super-Mare said:

“Young people across Weston and the Villages 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 Weston-super-Mare, 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 Weston, Worle and the Villages. 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.”

Lib Dems to scrap business rates to “breathe new life” into Weston’s High Street

The Liberal Democrats have announced plans to scrap business rates and replace them with a landowner levy, to “breathe new life” into high streets in Weston-super-Mare.

The party would replace business rates with a commercial landowner levy, based on the value of the land only. This would take the cost off businesses and help support high streets.

The proposals would cut taxes for businesses by 19% in North Somerset, including Weston-super-Mare and the surrounding villages.

By taxing landowners rather than businesses, half a million small businesses across the country would be spared the burden of property taxation.

Liberal Democrat candidate Patrick Keating said:

“Many retailers and small businesses in Weston and the surrounding area are under pressure from economic uncertainty, the rise of online retail and the burden of business rates.

“Yet this Conservative government is failing to get to grips with the crisis facing our high streets. Time and again they have promised reviews of business rates but have failed to take action.

“The Liberal Democrats will shift the tax burden from tenants to landlords, so we can breathe new life back into our high streets. We will stop Brexit and build a brighter future, giving local businesses the certainty and support they need to thrive.”


Notes to Editors

The Liberal Democrats have proposed that:

Business rates should be abolished and replaced by a Commercial Landowner Levy based on the value of commercial land only

The levy should be paid by owners rather than tenants

Commercial land should be taxed regardless of whether the buildings above it are occupied; the tax should also apply to unused and derelict commercial land