• Kurt Stephens
    Article: Jul 19, 2018

    There is no easy way to say this: our friend, member and former Councillor Kurt Stephens was killed in a motorcycle accident this afternoon in France.

    Kurt was on his way with a number of other members of his Motorcycle Club to a weekend in Belgium. We understand he died in a multi-vehicle accident just after they had left Eurotunnel and onto the motorway in France.

  • Operation Stack / lorries
    Article: Jul 19, 2018
    By Gary Fuller in Folkestone Herald - Talking Points

    We've seen it reported that the Government has put aside sums of money to prepare for a no deal Brexit. Some of that money is to be spent on stockpiling food. That's how serious Brexit could be for Britain. So serious we need to stockpile food.

    Folkestone and Hythe will be at the rough end of any fallout from Brexit. We have some of the most deprived wards in the country, coupled with being reliant on some of the most important road and rails routes to and from the continent.

  • Water leaking from road (The Undercliffe)
    Article: Jul 18, 2018

    As many local people have noticed, there is water running from the road at The Undercliffe, Sandgate. The water running down to and into Sandgate High Street, and also beginning to run into the neighbouring Chichester Hall. The water has been running off and on for months, but has recently restarted: it's doing considerable damage to the surface of the road which is also now breaking up.

  • Rob at CH
    Article: Jul 13, 2018

    Vast swathes of the Kent countryside would be turned into lorry parks under a no deal Brexit, according to a plan presented to Kent County Council.

    At a full council meeting on Thursday, a paper was put before councillors by Conservative Leader Paul Carter, which suggested concreting over large areas of the countryside in an effort to avoid gridlock if customs checks were imposed at ports.

    Checking every lorry passing through Dover would slow freight traffic to a crawl and lead to permanent Operation Stack, necessitating acres of extra lorry parking.

    Other impacts of a disastrous no deal Brexit were discussed, including shortages of skilled workers and the introduction of tariffs that could see Kent firms going bust.

    The Liberal Democrats, the official opposition on Kent County Council, tabled an amendment calling for the council to tell the government that a no deal Brexit must be avoided at all costs.

    The party also called for a People's Vote, so the public can decide whether to accept a proposed Brexit deal. The Conservative leadership blocked any debate and instructed councillors to vote against the Lib Dem proposals.

    Liberal Democrat Leader Rob Bird told the council: "A bad Brexit deal for Britain will be a disastrous deal for Kent. No-one wants our roads turned into lorry parks. That is what will happen if customs checks start up, which is a real risk.

    "The government talks about using technology to fix it, but that does not exist yet and who knows if it ever will.

    "Today the opposition at Kent County Council fought for the people of Kent's interests to be put first. It is appalling that Conservatives prioritised papering over their party divisions. Kent deserves better than this."

    Speaking at the meeting, Economic Development Spokesman Antony Hook told the council: "No deal Brexit means loss of tariff-free access to the EU for Kent firms.

    "Tariffs are more than 30% on agricultural products and 19% on beverages, and that would put Kent firms out of business.

    "A no-deal Brexit would also mean UK products will no longer be licenced or accredited for sale in the EU, which would crush Kent's pharmaceutical and chemical firms.

    "We have to tell the government that Kent cannot have a no deal Brexit."

    Explaining why a People's Vote is important, Cllr Hook said: "If it's a good deal, people will endorse it and that will strengthen it, but If it's a bad deal they will be angry if not allowed to reject it.

    "People may ask where is the £350m per week for the NHS? Why haven't our wages improved? Why did the threat of Turkey joining turn out to be false?

    "They may consider that we have, in fact, a better economy and a safer place in the world as part of a strong, united Europe. When we all find out what the exit deal actually is, we owe people the chance of a fully informed say for the first time."

  • Thamelink Train
    Article: Jul 13, 2018

    Liberal Democrat county councillors have called on the KCC Cabinet Member to seek reassurance from the Department for Transport that the timetabling problems of Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) will not result in any further delay in bringing the Thameslink service to Maidstone.

    Thameslink services should already be running from Maidstone to Central London. Disappointingly, the County Town has already been shunted to the back of the line with services delayed to December 2019. Any further delay would be totally unacceptable to the poorly served Maidstone rail users.

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