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Kent Liberal Democrat County Council Group 2013

Liberal Democrats on Kent County Council: Fighting For You

  • Article: Feb 11, 2017

    The Liberal Democrat group at County Hall was unable to support the budget proposed by the Conservative Administration, see keynote speech by Lib Dem Group Leader, Trudy Dean, in previous article.

    However, both the budget amendments, which the Liberal Democrat introduced during the budget debate, received overwhelming support from the Council.

  • Trudy Dean
    Article: Feb 11, 2017

    Trudy Dean's speech at the Kent County Council budget debate on Thursday 11th February

    I received an email a couple of weeks ago from a constituent thanking me for KCC neglect. He said that he had got off a charge of speeding because the speed limit signs were so dirty the court deemed them impossible to read.

  • Article: Feb 10, 2017

    Figures show that Theresa May's Government does not appear to care about the NHS.

    • 38 Trusts facing serious pressure
    • More beds closed due to Norovirus
    • Cancelled operations up 15%
    • 9 hospitals had no available beds on some days in February

    Analysis by the Liberal Democrats of the Weekly Situation Report for the week ending 5 February 2017 reveals that:

    • 38 trusts are facing major pressure that could lead to poorer care. The NHS themselves describe this as leaving organisations unable to deliver comprehensive care. There is increased potential for patient care and safety to be compromised.
    • Bed occupancy rates were 95% or 96% every day between 1st February and 5th February - significantly higher than the official 'safe' threshold of 85%.From the 1st-5th February 3,517 beds were closed due to Norovirus.
    • 21,249 operations were cancelled at the last minute for non-clinical reasons. This is 15% up on the previous year. 1551 of those cancellations still had not been treated within 28 days.

    The data, released today by NHS digital showed in February that 9 hospitals had no General and Acute beds available on certain days.

    Commenting on the data, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said: "Day after day we hear more stories about the NHS struggling to cope and yet we hear silence from Number 10 and the Department of Health. What is it going to take for them to wake up. Enough is enough.

    "I don't know how bad the figures need to get for them to actually take action.

    "Only the Liberal Democrats are prepared to make the case that we may need to raise tax to pay for the NHS and social care services patients deserve."

    The Liberal Democrats called for an additional £4bn of funding for NHS and care over the next year to help cash-strapped services cope with the impending winter crisis and ever-increasing demand for services."

    Norman Lamb, Shadow Health Secretary added: "The NHS is facing a perfect storm, with unprecedented demand for care and a chronic lack of funding. Bed occupancy is at dangerous levels, A&E units are struggling to cope, and patients in severe pain are having to wait longer for operations because resources are over-stretched. Patients are being seriously let down, and this has gone on for too long.

    "Sir Robert Francis has warned that the NHS is facing an existential crisis, and even the Health Secretary has admitted that the current situation is unacceptable.

    "Although there is no silver bullet to these problems, it is impossible to see a solution that doesn't involve additional funding. The Government must listen to the views of patients and healthcare staff, and release extra cash for social care and the NHS in next month's Budget. They must also trigger a cross-party process, engaging with the public, to come up with a long-term deal for the NHS and social care."

  • Trudy Dean
    Article: Feb 8, 2017

    At the County Council Budget Debate on Thursday, 9th February the Liberal Democrat Group will be asking for an in depth investigation into the costs incurred by the Coroners service in Kent. Although KCC meets the costs of the Coroners Service, they have no control over them.

    A report to councillors in December showed that Kent Coroners carry out an average of 48 post Mortems out of every 100 cases reported to them, compared to a national average of 38 per hundred. The highest number of post mortems are carried out in north east Kent where 55 in every 100 deaths are investigated by post mortem. There are also widely varying waiting times for inquests to take place from 15 weeks in north west Kent to 40 weeks in north east Kent.

    Trudy Dean, Leader of the Lib Dem group said, "This is not just a question of inquiring into the costs of the service, but the effect on relatives. Long waiting times for post mortems delay the time when the body can be released for a funeral to take place. Waiting up to forty weeks for inquests further prolongs the distress which relatives go through dealing with the loss of their family member. Local councils cannot of course interfere or influence Coroners judicial decisions, but we can enquire more closely whether the service is being carried out in an effective way which meets the needs of families as well as seeing that justice is done."

  • Article: Feb 8, 2017

    Tomorrow Thursday, Liberal Democrats at County Hall will propose that an effective cut of £500,000 to supply Crisis Payments to people in desperate circumstances be struck out of KCC's budget.

    In the open letter copied below to Paul Carter Conservative Leader of KCC, Trudy Dean Lib Dem Group Leader calls for his support for the move. " If we cannot help people through the most needy times of their lives, then what is Kent County Council for?

  • Sad old man
    Article: Feb 3, 2017

    A personal view by Rob Bird

    A few days ago I was walking round a small private estate in Central Maidstone. The bungalows were mostly well loved and well maintained but some - a few more than last year - reeked of neglect. They showed all the signs of being occupied by an elderly person, on his or her own, totally isolated from the community.

  • Norman Lamb
    Article: Feb 2, 2017

    Norman Lamb, the former Liberal Democrat Health Minister, has responded after West Kent banned all non-urgent operations until April.

    "Patients who are in severe pain should not have to wait for a new financial year to have an operation. This is not what our NHS is about. What we need instead is a new financial plan from the government to deliver the funding the health service needs.

  • Yalding Lorry
    Article: Jan 30, 2017
    By Brian Mortimer

    The Local Government Association (LGA) has called for local authorities to have powers to compel all lorry drivers who use satnavs to use
    commercial models following a fresh catalogue of chaos on the nation's roads.
    For the LGA statement click here.

    Kent residents are fed up with large lorries clogging up villages and town centres, getting stuck on tight medieval bridges or in residential streets, or thundering down narrow country lanes. All too often lorry drivers are relying on phones or basic satnavs, totally oblivious of weight limits or roads which are too narrow or otherwise unsuitable for large and heavy vehicles.