Kent and Shepway News

  • Southeastern Train
    Article: Mar 1, 2018
    By David Statham, Managing Director, Southeastern Trains

    The forecast is for heavy snowfall on Friday afternoon and overnight into Saturday, and our staff will continue to work around the clock to run as many trains as possible.

    We will continue to run a revised timetable on Friday 2 March and on Saturday 3 March to provide a more reliable service for our passengers. This will mean reduced services on certain lines, the closure of some stations and changes to the times of those trains that are running.

  • Snow in Faversham, Kent 28 Feb 2018 (Antony Hook)
    Article: Mar 1, 2018
    By Antony Hook

    Liberal Democrats at Kent County Council hope that everyone has been able to stay safe during the snowy weather this week.

    It has been lovely to see children enjoy that snow, although the conditions are also disruptive to public services and local businesses.

    Here is the latest information from Kent Highways on roads across the county. Please take care.

  • Gary Fuller
    Article: Feb 22, 2018

    Local Lib Dem Gary Fuller has written to Damian Collins MP urging him to ensure that the EU Withdrawal Bill is amended to enshrine the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights into UK law.

    He wrote:

    "Amnesty has warned in its annual report that the failure to convert the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights into domestic law via the EU Withdrawal Bill means that British citizens will be stripped of vital protections. The rights to dignity, freedoms, equality, solidarity, citizens' rights and justice are not examples of EU red tape, they are fundamental to our very existence.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • Rob Bird
    Article: Feb 11, 2018

    The Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, has now confirmed residents' fears about the future of rail services from Maidstone and Northwest Kent to London.

    Instead of delivering more high-speed trains from Maidstone and Snodland to London St Pancras, Mr Grayling confirmed that only two services will be required in the morning and evening peaks. Alternatively, the existing high-speed trains could be dropped completely and replaced by a service to Abbey Wood where passengers would need to change to continue their journey on the Crossrail line.

  • Antony Hook
    Article: Feb 11, 2018
    By Antony Hook

    "We need the collective wisdom and ideas of all our members and supporters, to assemble the ideas that will change Kent for the better."

    That's the message from County Councillor Antony Hook, Economic Development Spokesmasn for Kent Liberal Democrats. The party in Kent is launching a policy working group on Economic Developement and all party supporters are invited to apply to join it.

  • Trudy
    Article: Feb 9, 2018

    Around 25 mums brought their babies and children to County Hall on Thursday (8 Feb 2018) in support of keeping specialist breastfeeding services in the county. A petition of nearly 5,000 signatures triggered a special debate on Kent County Council plans to reorganise Infant Feeding Services. Protesters pointed out that UK rates of breastfeeding are amongst the lowest in the world, and Kent's rate is below the national average.