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National News

  • Article: Nov 6, 2020

    Trudy Dean and Rob Bird have written to Roger Gough, the Leader of KCC, asking for the County Council to provide Free School Meal Vouchers during the forthcoming Christmas holidays.

    The letter follows on by the call by Trudy Dean, the Lib Dem Spokesperson for Children, Young Persons and Education at County Hall, for Free School Meals to be provided to all eligible children throughout the year, not just at term time.

    The County Council stepped in at short notice to provide Free School Meal vouchers during the recent half-term. Medway Council did the same. Previously, the Government voted down an Opposition motion calling for Free School Meals to be provided during the school holidays. None of Kent & Medway's Conservative MPs supported the motion.

    The KCC vouchers were provided for almost 20,000 eligible children in Kent. Sadly, close to 30,000 more children missed out, though some will have been supported by foodbanks and other local organisations.

    We very much hope that KCC will provide vouchers for the Christmas holidays and many more eligible children will benefit from the scheme.

    The letter sent to Roger Gough is reproduced below.

  • Trudy
    Article: Oct 31, 2020

    Kent County Council is being urged to commit to providing free school meals in all school holidays as a way of tackling not just hunger in poorer children, but also to help improve their success in learning at school.

    Around 50,000 children in Kent are entitled to get free school meals, but around one in five do not claim them. These children are missing out not just on a good meal, but also on money for their school learning. A child registered to receive free school meals also benefits from a much less well known annual payment of around £1,300 per primary pupil, and over £900 per secondary pupil, known as the Pupil Premium. Paid for by Government direct to the schools, it is aimed at giving extra help with school work to children from poorer families. It can help provide computers, books or trips out which parents might not be able to afford.

  • Rob Bird
    Article: Oct 15, 2020

    Rail operators recognise the needs of the growing numbers of people who need to combine home-working with part-time commuting to their office or other place of work. Proposals for flexible ticketing were presented to the Government back in July. Three months later, the Government is still sitting on its hands as it continues to discourage rail travel during the Covid pandemic.

  • Article: Sep 27, 2020

    In a policy motion adopted today at the Liberal Democrats' Autumn Conference, the Party has warned that the Government's planning proposals will "disempower" councils and allow developers to "run roughshod" over local communities' wishes.

    The motion lays bare the risks of the Government's proposals, which the Party argue amount to a Government "power grab" that will reduce investment in affordable housing, damage public scrutiny of planning decisions, and potentially undermine climate commitments.

  • Welcome to Kent - Lorry Park
    Article: Sep 27, 2020

    "The Government's proposal to require hauliers heading for Dover or the Channel Tunnel to obtain a Kent Access Permit has caused much amusement", says Rob Bird, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group at County Hall. "But it's not a joke. It is another ill-conceived bureaucratic burden which will affect hauliers and businesses throughout the County."

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.

We champion the freedom, dignity and well-being of individuals, we acknowledge and respect their right to freedom of conscience and their right to develop their talents to the full. We aim to disperse power, to foster diversity and to nurture creativity.

We believe that the role of the state is to enable all citizens to attain these ideals, to contribute fully to their communities and to take part in the decisions which affect their lives.

We believe the UK is better off in the EU, and we will fight the next election on a clear and unequivocal promise to restore British prosperity and role in the world, with the United Kingdom in the European Union, not out.

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