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County Councillor Rob Bird for Maidstone Central

Rob Bird

Rob Bird and Dan Daley are jointly county councillors for Maidstone Central Division which covers Allington, Bridge, Fant, Heath and High Street wards.

Rob has lived with his family in the Maidstone area for over 30 years. Until he retired 10 years ago, his professional background was in financial management and operational planning. This has provided him with the experience and expertise to be the Lib Dem Group's spokesman on financial affairs and to keep a watchful eye on how the County Council spends its money.

Rob writes: "Many residents are concerned they are about current financial wastage at Kent County Council, the substantial cuts to front line services and proposed further cuts in the future. With KCC looking at alternative means to providing essential public services it is crucial that councillors scrutinise the new arrangements to ensure that standards are maintained or improved."

Having previously been a volunteer adviser, Rob is Chairman of the Trustee Board at Maidstone Citizens Advice. He also acts as a mentor with Kent Foundation helping young people to set up and manage their own business.

If you have any issues please do not hesitate to contact Rob.

Tel: 07887 897427 e-mail rob.bird@kent.gov.uk

News and Updates from Rob Bird

  • Article: Jul 11, 2019

    Following the news that Manston Airport is to be imminently sold to a group which plans to reopen it as an airport, could the Cabinet Member for Planning, Highways, Transport and Waste please clarify what implications this will have on the contingency arrangements for the site to be used as a lorry park in the event of a no-deal Brexit?

  • Article: Jul 1, 2019

    Around a fifth of working age people live with a disability. For many of these people one of the biggest challenges of getting into work is the journey to work and back home.

    Disabled person's bus passes in Kent are operative during off-peak hours, from 9:30am to 11pm on weekdays. The pass is therefore too late for most disabled people needing to take a bus to work. However, in Wales, Scotland and some other parts of England, such restrictions do not apply.

  • Article: May 23, 2019

    Could the Cabinet Member for Planning, Highways, Transport and Waste please update the County Council on the current position with regard to Thameslink services due to start in Maidstone in December this year, and could he say whether there is any indication that this service, so important to the economy of Kent, may be delayed or cancelled once more?

  • Lorries on Brock
    Article: Apr 11, 2019

    Operation Brock, the contraflow on the M20 between junctions 8 & 9, has been in place for just over 2 ½ weeks. The scheme was put in place by Highways England in anticipation of a disorderly, no-deal Brexit at the end of March. With Brexit having been delayed till the end of October, Brock is not needed and should be dismantled ahead of the Easter break.

  • Coldharbour Roundabout
    Article: Jan 22, 2019

    Liberal Democrat Councillors, Dan Daley and Rob Bird, have expressed huge disappointment and frustration at the latest Kent Highways proposals for North-west Maidstone. These proposals were unveiled at the January meeting of the Maidstone Joint Transportation Board.

    The Lib Dems have welcomed the proposal to increase the capacity of the Coldharbour Roundabout connecting the A20 to Junction 5 on the M20. The roundabout will be doubled in size and A20 traffic from the West will be able to use a new slip road to access the M20.

  • Rob at CH
    Article: Dec 6, 2018
    • Food supplies disrupted as safety testing becomes impossible
    • Schools, social care, transport and business will face severe disruption
    • County Council forced to spend over £20 million on reinforcing Kent's roads and hundreds of thousands of pounds to employ more staff to cope with chaos

    The true impact of a catastrophic no deal Brexit has been laid bare in a report published on Wednesday detailing Kent County Council's emergency plans.

  • Rob at CH
    Article: Oct 23, 2018
    • Kent County Council's Autumn Statement shows Conservative Austerity is set to continue
    • Council Tax set to rise by another 5%, twice the rate of inflation
    • Kent's Conservative Administration mulling a further £51.5 million of cuts that will hit the most vulnerable

    The most vulnerable in society will suffer under a £51m raft of cuts proposed by the Tories if more money cannot be secured from Central Government, the Liberal Democrats have warned.

    Community wardens, children's centres and services for pupils with special educational needs could all be in the firing line in a new round of austerity measures.

    The Conservatives are also planning to charge for more council services, further disadvantaging the poorest in society, despite Tory councillors hiking council tax by almost 5%, twice the rate of inflation and the maximum allowed without a referendum.

    The council tax increase is well above average pay increases, and will add £56 to the annual bill for Band D properties.

    Under pressure from the Liberal Democrat opposition during the council's Autumn Statement debate, the Tories accepted a budget amendment tabled by Opposition Leader Rob Bird, calling on the Government to maintain Kent's Revenue Support Grant and protect the people of Kent from further unacceptable cuts.

  • Ian and Rob at Maidstone East Station
    Article: Oct 19, 2018

    The Government has promised that Thameslink trains will be running from Maidstone via West Malling to Central London from December 2019, following sustained pressure from Maidstone Liberal Democrats.

    Today Rob Bird, County Councillor for Maidstone Central and Lib Dem Leader at Kent County Council, got official reassurance from the Department for Transport that the long-overdue services would finally start running at the end of next year.

  • Jenny Randerson
    Article: Oct 14, 2018

    As Government announces 'Green Great Britain Week', Lib Dems say policies don't go far enough
    Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson for Transport, Baroness Randerson, unveils suite of policies in report entitled 'Cleaning up the air we breathe'

    Kent Liberal Democrats are calling for a ban on the sale of all new diesel cars and vans by 2025 as part of a range of measures designed to reduce air pollution and safeguard public health.

  • Contraflow
    Article: Oct 2, 2018

    Kent Liberal Democrats have called for a ban on HGVs using the outside lane of the M20 during Operation Brock, the controversial traffic management system planned to mitigate some of the traffic chaos caused by Brexit.

    If the UK leaves the customs union, the introduction of customs checks at the Port of Dover will massively increase the amount of time it takes for lorries to move through the port, causing a serious bottleneck and huge tailbacks on both sides of the Channel.

    The Government's solution, dubbed 'Operation Block', will use the southbound carriageway of the M20 between junctions 8 and 9 to park lorries destined for Europe. Other traffic would be diverted onto the northbound carriageway in a contra-flow system.

    Kent Liberal Democrats argue the plan will cause a severe bottleneck, gridlocking Ashford and Maidstone town centres and the surrounding roads. The narrow lanes in the contra-flow may also pose a danger to motorists, particularly if large lorries are allowed to overtake.

    In response, Opposition Leader Rob Bird has written to Jim O'Sullivan, Chief Executive of Highways England, calling for a ban on HGVs using the outside lane when Operation Brock is in place.

    A similar ban has been in force on the M11 since March 2017.

    The party is also calling for a ban on HGV overtaking on the stretches of the M20 affected by ongoing roadworks. Highways England is carrying out work between junctions 3 and 5 as part of the installation of 'smart motorway' technology.

    Drivers also have to contend with work between junctions 8 and 9, being done in preparation for Operation Brock.

    As part of the work, the open lanes have been narrowed, leaving little room for the thousands of lorries that use the M20 every day. Despite the 50mph limit in force, motorists have already reported dangerous overtaking manoeuvres by HGVs, as well as left hand drive vehicles straddling both narrow lanes.

    Cllr Rob Bird, Leader of the Liberal Democrat opposition on Kent County Council, wrote: "As we have seen several times recently, accidents involving HGVs in this stretch of the M20 often result in the temporary closure of the motorway with a devastating impact on traffic congestion in the surrounding area. Yet, with 50mph limits in place, HGV drivers have little to gain from attempting to overtake each other.

    "Will Highways England impose a ban on HGVs blocking the outside lane of the M20 between junctions 8 and 9 during the current works and whenever the motorway is operating as a two-lane contraflow under Operation Brock?"

    Cllr Bird said: "Kent drivers will suffer enough in the event we leave the customs union, with the county potentially facing permanent gridlock. Frustration is one thing, but drivers should not be put at risk by HGVs performing dangerous overtaking manoeuvres.

    It is only right that Highways England does what it can to ensure drivers' safety during Operation Brock, and while this road work is being completed. There is a precedent for banning HGVs from the outside lane during roadworks, and this move will help avoid delays and perhaps even a serious accident."