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Liberal Democrats on Kent County Council

  • Trudy with Millicent Fawcett
    Article: Apr 27, 2018
    By Trudy Dean

    Yesterday, Rob and I visited the House of Lords to speak with Baroness Jolly who is the Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Health. We asked her to pursue the failure of every one of Kent's NHS Trusts to use any of their Apprenticeship Levy to fund a single Nursing Apprenticeship in Kent.

    Employers with a pay bill of over £3 million have been liable since April 2017 to pay a Government levy which will fund Apprenticeships nationwide. Half of the money paid can be claimed back by the employer to fund their own Apprenticeship schemes. But despite crying out for nurses, none of Kent's NHS Trusts has claimed this free money back to do so. The money is lost to the employer if not claimed back within two years.

  • Antony Hook
    Article: Apr 25, 2018

    Liberal Democrats have called on the county's MPs to put Kent and the country's interests first, and support remaining in the customs union.

    As a Commons vote looks increasingly likely, MPs are being urged to put party politics aside and vote to protect more than 45,000 Kent jobs directly related to European trade.

    Any disruption to free-flowing trade with the continent could have catastrophic consequences for the county. Many sectors including agriculture, manufacturing, fishing and transport rely on the customs union to be able to trade freely and easily with European customers and suppliers.

    And as the UK's gateway to Europe, Kent will bear the brunt of delays and disruption caused by border checks. About 11,000 lorries pass through Dover every day and there are fears the county could face almost permanent Operation Stack if customs checks are imposed, gridlocking Kent's roads and causing untold damage to livelihoods and the economy.

    Councillor Antony Hook, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Economic Development, said: "As the catastrophic implications of Brexit become clear, our MPs owe it to the people of Kent to defend their interests in the face of the government's disastrous and short-sighted policies.

    "Remaining in the customs union would go some way towards protecting jobs and businesses, but we will continue to campaign for a people's vote on the final deal once we know the facts."

    Last year Kent Liberal Democrats tabled a motion calling for Kent County Council to write to ministers asking them to "take all necessary steps to ensure to continued free flow of freight between Kent and continental Europe, at least as seamlessly as present."

    It asked Parliament to consider all legal possibilities for Kent and the UK outside the EU, including retaining membership of the single market and customs union. The Channel Islands, which are not EU members yet retain access to the customs union, offer a potential model.

    A lorry from within the EU typically takes two minutes to clear customs at Dover, while a lorry from outside the EU takes 20 minutes. At the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee last month, Chancellor Phillip Hammond sent his clearest warning yet that Dover could 'grind to a halt', if customs checks were imposed.

    In July 2015 Operation Stack gridlocked Kent for several weeks, with queues of lorries stretching more than 30 miles down the M20. The cost of the disruption to the UK economy has been estimated by the Freight Transport Association at more than £250m.

    Kent Police also faced a hefty bill of more than £700,000 for managing the closures.

  • Dan at Surgery
    Article: Apr 24, 2018

    The West Kent CCG has now confirmed that The College Practice will be opening a new branch in Allington following the closure of the two existing Allington GP surgeries at the end of May. The new surgery will take over the premises currently used by Allington Clinic.

    The College Practice is currently based in College Road, Maidstone and has a branch in Marigold Way, Barming. Patients registered with the practice will be able to visit any of the three surgeries.

  • Dan at Surgery
    Article: Mar 26, 2018

    The news that both GP practices in Allington are to be closed at the end of May, due to the retirement of both the doctors, has been greeted with dismay by your councillors.

    County Councillors, Dan Daley and Rob Bird are pressing the West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group (WKCCG), which is responsible for this provision, to tell us soon what their plans are to maintain this primary care close to residents in Allington. We are heavily critical of the Commissioners for not having dealt with the situation sooner and better.

  • Trudy Dean
    Article: Mar 19, 2018

    Just a quarter of Kent roads were gritted during the recent snow emergency, forcing many schools to close unnecessarily and disrupting bus services.

    Following a question from Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Education, Trudy Dean, at a meeting this week, Mike Whiting, Conservative Cabinet Member for Highways, told councillors, that only roads in the 'Primary Route' Network, which is mainly A and B roads, were salted or gritted during the snow emergency earlier this month.

  • Trudy
    Article: Mar 19, 2018

    The Cabinet Member for Highways, Mike Whiting, has agreed to review Kent County Council's response to insurance claims, to see whether KCC should be paying out more regularly when drivers' vehicles are damaged by potholes.

    Cllr Trudy Dean requested the council look again at the issue of compensation following a report on KentOnline that revealed just one in ten requests for compensation was paid by the council.

  • Ian Chittenden
    Article: Mar 16, 2018

    'It is unacceptable that a "double-whammy" has been dealt to rail passengers in mid-Kent' were words used by the KCC Leader in response to a question from Liberal Democrat Environment & Transport spokesperson, Ian Chittenden,

    At yesterday's County Council meeting Ian Chittenden asked what steps the KCC Leader, Paul Carter, is taking to ensure that the Secretary of State puts Kent's County Town back on the rail map.

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