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Recent News From your Maidstone Wards

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  • Ian Chittenden
    Article: Feb 11, 2020

    At the County Council budget meeting on the 13th February the Liberal Democrats will be calling on KCC to provide Kent's parish and town councils and community groups with the support needed to get electric vehicle (EV) charging points in their areas.

    The Lib Dems will be asking for a ringfenced fund of £500,000 to be spread over the next two years to help fund the procurement and installation of publicly accessible charging points in car-parks owned by the parishes and local community groups.

  • Transport Costs
    Article: Feb 11, 2020
    By Rob Bird, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group at Kent County Council

    The Prime Minister has announced £5 billion of new funding to overhaul bus and cycle links for every region outside London. This should result in well over £100 million being allocated to Kent. It is very welcome but much more will be needed.

    Bus services outside London are in crisis, with less and less people taking the bus and consequently more and more people relying upon their cars. The vast majority of bus users are concessionary pass-holders - either young people going to school or college or 'senior citizens' who are eligible to free bus travel.

  • Puffin Crossing
    Article: Feb 11, 2020

    Ida Linfield presses for vital new pedestrian crossing near Canterbury school.

    "I can think of nothing worse in the whole world than arranging for your child to walk safely to school with friends and then getting someone at the door saying he had been knocked down", said Ida Linfield, Lib Dem County Councillor in Canterbury.

  • Ida Linfield
    Article: Feb 11, 2020

    At this Thursday's budget meeting at Kent CC Ida Linfield (Lib Dem county councillor in Canterbury) is proposing the allocation of £250,000 to fund a Befriending service to support elderly residents in Kent. The funds would be drawn from a special £3.5 million unallocated reserve which KCC are proposing for future initiatives.

  • Trudy
    Article: Feb 11, 2020

    Two thirds of Kent school children who are the main person looking after a sick or disabled parent may not be getting the support they need.

    Lib Dem Councillor Trudy Dean will be proposing an addition of £250,000 to KCC's budget to train teachers to spot young carers, and then provide the children with the necessary support and advice they need to help them with this huge task.

  • Munira Wilson
    Article: Feb 6, 2020

    Mental health services for children and adolescents are at breaking point - and the government's plan to fix them isn't enough. We're pushing the Tories to do more.

    By Munira Wilson MP, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Health, Wellbeing and Social Care

    Week in, week out, either at my constituency surgery, in my inbox or just through conversations with friends and acquaintances, I hear yet another tragic story of a child or young person struggling with their mental health. They're having to battle to get any sort of help.

  • Iwade Lorry
    Article: Jan 24, 2020

    At a Kent County Council meeting this week councillors endorsed a KCC proposal to implement a trial lorry control area aimed to substantially reduce inappropriate HGV movements. The trial area is likely to be to the south of Maidstone.

    The County Council is already in advanced discussions with the Government about obtaining the necessary legal powers to permit KCC officers to undertake the enforcement. A similar scheme is already in place in London. Up to now, most HGV restrictions in Kent have tended to be flouted by lorry drivers.

  • Extinction Rebellion at County Hall 210120
    Article: Jan 21, 2020

    About 20 climate protesters interrupted a Budget meeting with loud hailers and whistles at County Hall today causing the meeting to be suspended whilst they made their statement to the largely empty chamber. Only Liberal Democrat and Labour Councillors stayed to hear what they had to say.

    The protesters said that the County Council had failed to explain the urgency of the climate change situation to Kent residents, failed to agree effective emission targets, failed to set aside money to carry out the necessary changes and failed to set up Citizens Assemblies which could discuss residents views on the environmental impact of KCC policies.

  • Article: Dec 18, 2019
    In The Times

    Britain's network of buses is faltering, leaving many people isolated and unable to get to work. A radical government would consider making bus travel free

    The great story of the British bus, which arrived in 1824 and by 1950 accounted for 42 per cent of all journeys, is running into difficulties. Use in this country is at its lowest level since records began 50 years ago. Only 4 per cent of all journeys made last year were by bus. Outside London there were nine million fewer journeys in Britain in 2018-19 compared with the previous year, a result of higher fares and cancelled routes. The inconvenience caused has not been evenly spread. Most cuts have fallen on less populated and rural regions. Some busy places have only two bus rides a day. Smaller villages might see a bus perhaps twice a week, while others are cut off entirely.

  • Kent & Medway General Election Results - December 2019
    Article: Dec 16, 2019

    No Liberal Democrat breakthrough in Kent and Medway but good progress throughout region.

    The Liberal Democrat share of the votes cast in Kent & Medway for the December 2019 Election was 10.3%. This was a notabable improvement on 2017, with the number of Liberal Democrat votes 4.8% higher than in the previous General Election. This increase was slightly better than the 4.6% recorded in England and the 4.2% recorded across the United Kingdom. The Liberal Democrat share of the vote increased in every Kent & Medway constituency apart from Canterbury - which was sucessfully defended by the remain-supporting Labour MP, Rosie Duffield.

  • Article: Dec 10, 2019

    Alan Bullion is the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Gillingham and Rainham

    In response to speculation that Boris Johnson might try to revive the failed 'Boris Island' airport project in the Thames Estuary, Alan Bullion said: "I spoke up against the potential destruction of farmland and bird and wildlife sanctuaries on the peninsula in 2014 during the Euro election at a public meeting organised by the RSPB and Kent Wildlife Trust. We will continue to oppose any such move at all costs in order to protect our precious Kent countryside and its food production and rare species."

  • Wheres my bus
    Article: Dec 3, 2019

    By Hannah Perkin, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Faversham & Mid Kent

    Our roads are jammed, our towns are choked with fumes. But hardly anyone takes the bus these days. Why?

    In the past few weeks I have visited many areas in the Faversham & Mid Kent constituency. I have usually had to travel by car. It is just impossible to get around by bus or other public transport. Lenham is just 10 miles from my home in Faversham but it can take almost 1 ½ hours to get there by public transport. It takes me over an hour to travel the 20 miles to our county town, Maidstone.

  • Broadway Shopping Ctr.
    Article: Nov 18, 2019

    Broadway Scheme rejected

    At the recent meeting of the Strategic Planning and Infrastructure Committee, Councillors discussed a number of development proposals in the Town Centre, including a controversial multi-story housing and retail plan at Broadway shopping Centre. The committee had agreed to defer the decision on the plan in September, to allow consideration of detailed points raised by the Lib Dem and Independent Councillors.

  • Hannah Perkin, Liberal Democrat candidate for Faversham & Mid Kent
    Article: Nov 18, 2019


    Hannah is a passionate, popular and dedicated community campaigner. She became involved in local politics after feeling that the voices of women and parents were being left out of conversations about issues that directly affected them. She is keen to diversify politics and to encourage everyone to have their say.

  • James at Maidstone West Station
    Article: Nov 15, 2019
    By Agent - Barry Standen

    James Willis - Working hard for Maidstone and The Weald

    James has lived and worked in Kent most of his life. He cares about people and relates quickly and effortlessly to everyone he meets. He was elected to Maidstone Borough Council in 2014 and rapidly established a reputation as a fearless and effective representative. He has become an energetic campaigner, particularly on environmental and transport issues, and he believes in working with community groups to get results. James has led several campaigns to support local public services and to protect green spaces, and has helped many local residents with individual issues and concerns.

    As a family man, he is well aware of the problems facing both young families and the wider community. He would be a truly local champion for everyone, young and old and would devote himself tirelessly to serving the area he loves.

    JAMES SAYS:

    We are very fortunate to call The Garden of England our home but there are problems in Maidstone and The Weald, of these traffic congestion and the resulting air pollution, are probably the most pressing.

    The Conservative Government and their chaotic mishandling of Brexit have cost taxpayers here in Maidstone and The Weald millions of pounds. It has also brought chaos to our roads. Remember Operation Stack? The Tory Brexit 'solution' Operation Brock, proved to be even more shambolic for the few days it was in operation! Imagine what it will be like if Brexit goes ahead.

    It is time to repair the damage caused by years of Tory austerity by major increases in funding for our children's education, our health services and the police, and to take the action needed to deal with the threat posed by climate change. .

    I promise to work tirelessly for the residents of Maidstone and The Weald.

  • George Koowaree
    Article: Oct 28, 2019

    George Koowaree says that Highways England should remove the M20 contraflow between Jct. 9 in Ashford and Jct. 8 in Maidstone as soon as possible. The London bound lane restrictions have been in place since April. Earlier today Highways England reintroduced the coastbound contraflow, resulting in M20 traffic being restricted to two narrow lanes each way.

  • WildflowerVerge
    Article: Oct 23, 2019

    Earlier this year Kent County Council gave unanimous support for a plan to protect and increase the habitats for bees and other pollinators. These are vital for plants and food production. The plan proposed planting more wildflowers, including on our highway verges. These good intentions have to be translated into positive action across Kent as a matter of urgency.

    At last week's County Council meeting Trudy Dean, Lib Dem county councillor for Malling Central, pressed the Cabinet Member on what steps Kent County Council was taking to encourage the planting of wildflower verges. The response was less than helpful, indicating that the County Council is still not taking the positive steps which were promised earlier.

    Trudy Dean commented afterwards. "We know that the numbers of bees and other pollinators are in serious decline. This will soon have severe consequences for much of Kent's agriculture unless the decline can be reversed.

    "Planting wildflowers is a key step towards improving pollinator-friendly habitats, and our highway verges are the perfect place to start. Local people are coming forward to set up local schemes, but they will need practical help and advice. I gave KCC the opportunity to provide a simple fast track guide to setting up a scheme, and the dusty response received is pretty useless ... no names, phone numbers, website links or volunteer group contact details.

    "If this is how KCC recruits volunteers, we aren't going to be making much progress any time soon."

    Trudy Dean's question and the response received are set out below:

    Question by Trudy Dean to Mike Whiting, Cabinet Member for Planning, Highways, Transport & Waste

    "Following the formal adoption of the Pollinator Action Plan at July's County Council, could the Cabinet Member please advise how local groups wishing to help establish wildflower rich verges should go about doing so and what support the County Council will provide them with?"

    Answer

    "If local groups have identified sites that they feel would make good wildflower verges and they would like to become involved, then they should contact our Highway Soft Landscape team. The team can discuss the proposals for each site and possible maintenance changes as well as reviewing the site with our partners Kent Wildlife Trust and the Bee Conservation Trust."

  • Dan H and S
    Article: Oct 22, 2019

    After several years of sustained pressure from Liberal Democrat councillors and local campaigners, Kent County Council have confirmed that the long-awaited pedestrian crossing at Barming Heath in Maidstone will be installed next year. The confirmation was provided in response to a formal question posed by Dan Daley at last week's County Council meeting.

  • Rob at CH
    Article: Oct 20, 2019

    Last week Paul Carter stood down as Leader of Kent County Council, having been in post for 14 years. The Council elected Roger Gough as his successor. Roger Gough was previously the Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Education.

    Rob Bird, the Liberal Democrat Leader of the Opposition at KCC, paid tribute to Paul Carter and proposed three priorities for the incoming Leader.

  • Carer
    Article: Sep 29, 2019
    By Rob Bird

    Millions of people care for relatives, friends and neighbours, often at huge personal cost. They need more than our gratitude; they need our support.

    Carers UK have estimated that over 8 million people are currently caring for someone [1]. That is an increase of nearly 40% on the number of reported carers in 2011. It is likely that 3 in 5 of us will be caring for someone at some point in our lives.