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News

  • Energy Rebate graphic
    Article: Jun 20, 2022

    More households in the Folkestone & Hythe district could soon be eligible for an energy rebate.

    Cabinet members have agreed on the criteria for a new discretionary scheme using £302,100 funding from the government.

    To date, people living in properties in council tax bands A to D (and E if in receipt of Disability Band Reduction) are being given a one-off payment of £150 to help with the increasing cost of energy bills.

  • Adam Rowledge, Peter Gane, Roger West and Tim Prater
    Article: Jun 17, 2022

    Two of Folkestone's most experienced councillors have announced they are ditching the Conservatives and have joined the Liberal Democrats.

    Peter Gane has been a Councillor for almost 35 years, and Mayor of Folkestone for 5 years. He will join the Liberal Democrat Group on Folkestone and Hythe District Council and Folkestone Town Council.

  • Adam Rowledge
    Article: Jun 17, 2022

    Folkestone Lib Dem Campaigner Adam Rowledge has challenged Kent County Council's decision to stop accepting reports of road problems through popular problem reporting tool FixMyStreet.

    In early June, Adam contacted the Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, David Brazier, on the issue.

  • Article: Jun 1, 2022
    By Folkestone & Hythe District Council Press Release

    Folkestone & Hythe District Council has launched the next phase of the energy rebate scheme.

    The government is providing a £150 rebate to council tax payers in bands A-D (and E if in receipt of disabled persons reduction) to help with rising energy costs. This is a one-off payment and will not have to be repaid.

  • Tim Prater
    Article: May 5, 2022

    Lib Dem Group Leader Tim Prater once again led the push to change the system of governance at Folkestone and Hythe District Council at its AGM on Wednesday 4th May.

    The Council currently has "Cabinet" structure, with all members of the Cabinet appointed by the Council Leader. Since a motion put by Tim in September 2019 the Council has looked at options for its future Governance.

  • Adam Rowledge
    Article: May 3, 2022

    New research from the House of Commons Library, commissioned by the Liberal Democrats, has shown huge disparities in cancer care across England revealing a crisis in Folkestone & Hythe.

    The headlines from the research have been branded "horrific" by Folkestone & Hythe's Liberal Democrats, they show:

  • Article: Apr 25, 2022

    A staggering 6.2 million people waited over eight days for a GP appointment in February, Liberal Democrat research has revealed. This is up 9% from the previous month, when 5.7 million waited for eight days or more to see their GP.

    The analysis of the latest NHS figures shows that one in four (24.4%) people waited over eight days in February before being able to see their family doctor. Of these, 550,000 people (2%) were left waiting a month or more for a GP appointment.

  • Shorncliffe Trust promotion
    Article: Apr 21, 2022
    By The Shorncliffe Trust

    Following on from our news about the Canadian First World War Archive Box donated to the Trust by Mr. Richard Steacie, we are pleased to invite you to view an exhibition of some of the artefacts and the medal collection of Colonel Charles A Smart, commanding officer at Shorncliffe Garrison from April 1917 to December 1918.

  • 2022 Sandgate and West Folkestone Calendar Page 1
    Article: Apr 20, 2022

    Keeping in touch and working for local residents ALL YEAR ROUND.

    Happy New Year to all in Sandgate and West Folkestone. And as a small (OK - really small!) New Years present, we've dropped a 2022 caledar (perfect to go by the phone or on your fridge door!) through people's letterboxes.

    Gary Fuller and Tim Prater are always happy to hear from you - get in touch!

  • Sandgate and West Folkestone Focus March 2022 Page 1
    Article: Apr 20, 2022

    Keeping in touch and working for local residents ALL YEAR ROUND.

    No - there is no election on (that we know about!) but the latest edition March 2022 of Sandgate and West Folkestone Focus is through people's letterboxes now.

    Topics covered in this edition included the recent district budget, County Council bus funding cuts, Princes Parade, phone scams, new access ramps, graffiti clearance, hedges and new charging points!

  • Ed Davey, photo taken by Richard Townsend (Richard Townshend, CC BY 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)
    Article: Apr 19, 2022

    England's water company bosses have awarded themselves almost £27 million in bonuses over the past two years despite pumping out raw sewage into waterways 1,000 times a day, the Liberal Democrats have revealed.

    Analysis of Companies House records by the Liberal Democrats shows that executives at England's water and sewage companies were paid £48 million in 2020 and 2021, including £27.6 million in bonuses, benefits and incentives.

  • Sandgate Beach replenishment works (heavy plant moving shingle)
    Article: Apr 6, 2022

    You'll have seen that the diggers have again hit the beach and started the regular (and very necessary!) beach management works. I asked Folkestone and Hythe District Council who lead the works on the timetable, and they say:

    "Works started on the beach management on Monday 4th April and are expected to last for 8 weeks. We are aware that crosses the Easter holiday and are keeping a close eye on weather and visitor traffic. The contractors are aware we may need to limit operations and movement as need be.

  • Smart Electricity Meter Display
    Article: Apr 6, 2022
    By Tim Prater in F&HDC Cabinet Member for Revenues and Benefits

    I've written before about the £150 Energy Rebate, and how payments will be made to people in Folkestone and Hythe.

    Paying tens of thousands of people by DD is not a thing the Council team has done before (business Covid grants for example were on a much smaller scale, as there are far less businesses than residents), so they are needing to build processes and test systems. They absolutely don't want to get this wrong!

  • Jamie Stone (Chris McAndrew [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)
    Article: Apr 4, 2022

    Responding to the news that the government is pressing ahead with plans to privatise Channel 4, Liberal Democrat Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Spokesperson Jamie Stone said:

    "Yet again, the Conservatives have shown they care more about lining the pockets of the super rich than supporting a great public institution.

  • Article: Mar 24, 2022
    By Antony Hook

    Yesterday (23/3/22) Kent County Council's Scrutiny Committee met to discuss the decision by the Conservative Cabinet to whack up the cost of school travel in Kent.

    About 14,000 children have a Kent Travel Pass for which their parents pay £370 per year so they can get to school by bus. Several thousand more children have a pass at a reduced price as they come from a low income family.

  • P&O Ferry in Dover port (Eastern Docks)
    Article: Mar 17, 2022

    Responding to the announcement of P&O Ferries laying off 800 workers with immediate effect, Liberal Democrat Transport Spokesperson Sarah Olney MP said:

    "Today's underhanded action by P&O is an attack on workers. It is an absolute outrage.

    "This is simply not an acceptable way to treat employees and the government must step in urgently to help reduce tensions and bring people back to the table.

  • Folkestone College logo
    Article: Mar 16, 2022

    Things I don't get to do everyday: promote ABSOLUTELY FREE, gratis, for nothing, adult education taster courses available to ANY over 18 year old local resident.

    Free. No strings attached. Just learn a bit more about the subject of your choice. There may even be support * to do so. Can't say much fairer than that...

    https://sandgatepc.org.uk/2022/03/16/free-adult-training-courses/

    In person (6 week, 1 day a week) taster courses across the four colleges include:

    • Beauty Treatments
    • Bricklaying
    • Construction
    • Criminology
    • Digital Users (Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced)
    • Early Years
    • Electrical
    • Hairdressing
    • Health & Social Care
    • Media Makeup & Beauty
    • Nail Technician
    • Nail Treatments
    • Painting & Decorating
    • Plumbing
    • Politics
    • Psychology

    EKC WorkHigher, Children & Families, Future Coders and EKC DigitalLearn offer online courses in:

    • Baby Massage
    • Budget Management
    • Building Relationships
    • Business Efficiency
    • CV Writing
    • Coaching & Mentoring
    • Coding Design Principles
    • Customer Conflict
    • Customer Service
    • Cyber Security
    • Data Management
    • Digital Users (Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced)
    • Employability
    • Introducing GDPR
    • Leadership Skills
    • Managing Change
    • Operational Plans
    • Parenting Course
    • Performance Management
    • Presentation Skills
    • Project Management
    • Recruitment Skills
    • Resource Management
    • SEO for Business
    • Sales Skills
    • Social Media for Business
    • Solihull Antenatal & Postnatal
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Working with Data

    These are FREE adult training courses. You may also be able to get help with travel costs, childcare, or even a digital device.

    Learn more at https://sandgatepc.org.uk/2022/03/16/free-adult-training-courses/

  • Gas burner (https://stock.adobe.com/uk/search/free)
    Article: Mar 10, 2022

    I hugely support giving more support to families for their soaring energy bills at this time. Notices are arriving of eyewatering price increases from 1st April from almost all suppliers, and there is no sign that is going to change in the near future. Households need help, and they are going to need help over months and years, not just one-off payments.

  • Calculator
    Article: Mar 9, 2022

    As they are hitting doormats (and increasingly email inboxes) across the country at this moment, Council Tax bills are a fairly hot topic. Below, I do a bit of number crunching on the most local element of the tax in Folkestone & Hythe District: the Town / Parish Council Precept.

    Every Council Tax demand is made up of a number of elements. In the Folkestone and Hythe area, they include:

  • Vagrancy Act
    Article: Mar 2, 2022
    By Layla Moran, MP for Oxford West and Abingdon

    It's not every day you get to say you changed the law.

    I am elated that after four years of persistent campaigning, the Vagrancy Act is on the brink of being repealed. The Government has bowed to cross-party pressure and tabled an amendment to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill to repeal the Vagrancy Act 1824 in full. This archaic and cruel law has finally been consigned to history, and no one will be criminalised for sleeping rough again.

  • Stagecoach bus
    Article: Feb 25, 2022

    Kent County Council (KCC) are "consulting" on a proposed reduction to their Supported Bus Services.

    KCC's budget for the 2022/23 financial year was agreed on Thursday 10th February and included a reduction to the Supported Bus budget to £4.3m representing a decrease of £2.2 million. KCC currently spends about £6 million a year to contract services which are not profitable for bus companies but which the council thinks are important to the communities they serve.

  • Article: Feb 24, 2022

    A new campaign to encourage people to apply for jobs in the NHS or social care launches today in east Kent.

    Ready to care is a recruitment campaign by the East Kent Health and Care Partnership - a coalition of NHS, Kent County Council, social care and voluntary sector organisations in east Kent.

    It is designed to encourage anyone who can bring life skills and experience, rather than formal qualifications, to apply for entry-level care and support roles, and start a rewarding career.

  • Tim Prater
    Article: Feb 23, 2022
    By Tim Prater, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on Folkestone & Hythe District Council

    The F&HDC Capital Strategy on which we have already voted, and I voted against, clearly contains massive - some may say huge - provision for Princes Parade. I'm not voting for that, and never have.

    And on the General Fund Budget. If we had done the right thing and cancelled Princes Parade, then there would be a hugely different budget in front of us due to the changes we would have had to have made to unwind our current position.

  • Article: Feb 16, 2022
    By Antony Hook

    Liberal Democrats tabled seven amendments to Kent's budget last week.

    Two of the amendments passed, with the ruling Conservatives caving in to Liberal Democrats arguments.

    The successful amendments will:

    1. Save the disabled companion pass so that disabled people can use buses with the help of someone to travel with them, as many disabled people need.

  • Identity Theft graphic
    Article: Feb 11, 2022

    In the last 48 hours there have been at least 15 people from Sandgate who have reported on Facebook, Nextdoor and to me directly that they have been recently the victim of Identity Fraud.

    In every case, during December the local resident had had a mobile phone contract with O2 taken out in their name and their home address. O2 are now pursuing the resident for outstanding payments, despite the resident not ever having taken out a contract with O2 themselves.

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