• Rob Bird
    Article: Feb 20, 2018

    Out of touch Conservatives are cutting front line services to Kent's most vulnerable, despite awarding themselves a massive 15% pay rise last year.

    In today's budget debate the Conservatives at Kent County Council pushed through further service cuts and hiked council tax by an above inflation 4.99%.

    This is a gloomy picture for the people of Kent, particularly those struggling at the margins, and an even gloomier prospect for Kent residents and council tax payers in the future.

    Leader of the Opposition, Rob Bird, said: "Back in July, Kent's Conservatives showed just how out of touch they are by awarding themselves a 15% pay rise just a couple of months after the county elections.

    "This budget demonstrates that they have learnt nothing from the massive public outcry that caused, and they continue to be focused on cutting local government services when they should be investing for the future.

    "For the past seven years, Kent's Tories have tried to persuade the electorate that front-line services were not affected by the £600 million plus reduction in Central Government grants thanks to back office efficiencies, better commissioning and 'new ways of working'. The reality is very different.

    "Even with the extra monies found since the draft was published a few weeks ago, we were presented with a budget which fails to meet current needs and rising demand. It heaps up problems for future years.

    "KCC has become heavily dependent on commissioned service providers. But we have seen that we are still not getting the quality of service which residents expect from many of these providers."

    During the debate, Conservative councillors voted down all opposition budget amendments including the three proposed by the Liberal Democrats.

  • Gary Fuller
    Article: Feb 20, 2018

    Chair of Shepway Liberal Democrats and Sandgate Parish Councillor Gary Fuller has written to Damian Collins MP to urge him to intervene with the Home Secretary in the case of Alfie Dingley. Alfie suffers from an extremely rare form of epilepsy and can suffer up to 30 severe seizures per day. He has been denied a licence for medical cannabis, which is the only treatment that significantly reduces the number of seizures he suffers. Fellow local Lib Dems and parish councillors Tim Prater and Neil Matthews have also written to Damian Collins urging him to act. They wrote:

  • Antony Hook
    Article: Feb 19, 2018

    Kent Liberal Democrats press for £250,000 budget to support community organisations tackling social isolation and helping to prevent the onset of dementia.

    Antony Hook comments, "Social isolation can lead to a variety of problems including dementia and other mental health issues. Addressing these issues can reduce or prevent health problems, thus easing pressure on health and care services.

  • Rob Bird
    Article: Feb 19, 2018

    The Liberal Democrats are calling on all councillors at KCC to join them in raising Kent's minimum pay rate to £8.50 per hour.

    Leader of the Opposition, Rob Bird, writes: "Road crossing patrols, catering and domestic assistants, country park wardens - what do these people have in common? They are amongst the lowest paid staff working for Kent County Council. Many of them are on KCC's minimum wage.

  • Ian Chittenden
    Article: Feb 19, 2018

    • Critical state of County's roads and pavements affecting all Kent residents
    • The repair backlog could top £1 billion over the next ten years
    • £77 million needed per year just to stop situation getting worse; KCC are spending less than £29 million
    • Lib Dems propose spending extra £5m from reserves to use on the most urgent repairs this year

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