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News

  • Gary Fuller sweeping up
    Article: Nov 18, 2019

    At a recent Sandgate and West Folkestone Councillors Surgery, a resident had raised with me that the "Jacob's Ladder" footpath rising from Sandgate Hill to the Folkestone School for Girls / Coolinge Lane was fairly overgrown and increasingly slippy underfoot.

    Despite attempts by myself and Folkestone and Hythe Council Officers to get it cleaned up we were caught between Kent Highways and Veolia both claiming it was someone else's responsibility. So, this morning, we sorted it ourselves.

  • Charlotte Hill and Simon Bishop
    Article: Nov 15, 2019

    Local resident Charlotte Hill has questioned Lib Dem candidate for Folkestone and Hythe Simon Bishop on his views in the run-up to the 12th December General Election.

  • Simon Bishop outside Hythe Clinic
    Article: Nov 14, 2019

    Only 83.6 per cent of patients arriving at A&E in Kent and Medway, including the Folkestone and Hythe area were treated or admitted within four hours in October 2019, according to damning figures published today by NHS England.

    With the figure being well below the official target of 95% of patients attending A&E being admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours, Simon Bishop, Lib Dem candidate for Folkestone and Hythe, has reiterated his opposition to the proposed closure of Ashford A&E.

  • Matthew Parris (Nick Moyes [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)])
    Article: Nov 12, 2019

    Conservative voters living in Folkestone and Hythe: Do you still feel at home in the party?

    Matthew Parris, Times columnist and Conservative Party member for 50 years, doesn't, He quit the Party last week, saying:

    "I am a conservative, not a Liberal Democrat, but will unhesitatingly vote Lib Dem this time to defeat Tory zealotry over Europe. So should every former Tory voter who still believes it would be folly for Britain to leave the European Union.

    "One survey suggests a third of former Tory Remainers have already decided to vote Lib Dem in the coming election, the only question being what the nearly two thirds who still plan to vote Tory could possibly be thinking.

    "So here I find myself, unwilling to support a leader [Boris Johnson] who is a stranger to honesty or principle and who surfs a foolish populist wave for the sake of ambition alone, leading a governing party whose centre of gravity has shifted decisively away from the broadly centrist political force Conservatism once was."

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/im-leaving-the-tories-and-voting-lib-dem-thm7g22ld

  • BLOODHOUND SSC, supersonic car powered by both a jet engine and a rocket.
    Article: Nov 12, 2019

    We all know that having the correct insurance for your motor vehicle (car / bike / van) is a legal necessity, but what is the impact on your insurance of modifications made to your vehicle? Could they have left you effectively uninsured...?

    The British Insurance Brokers' Association (BIBA) have published a report on modified vehicles and insurance, which should hopefully be of use to specialist motor enthusiasts and others.

  • British Passport
    Article: Nov 12, 2019

    Hundreds of EU nationals living in Folkestone and Hythe have not been offered permanent residency in the UK, the latest official figures uncovered by the Liberal Democrats have revealed.

    Candidate in the upcoming election for the Lib Dems, Simon Bishop, accused the government of leaving local families from the EU in "legal limbo" and throwing people's lives into desperate uncertainty.

  • Chicken / Rooster / Cock (Muhammad Mahdi Karim [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rooster_portrait2.jpg)
    Article: Nov 11, 2019

    Responding to the news that Nigel Farage's Brexit Party will not be standing a candidate against Damian Collins in Folkestone and Hythe, Liberal Democrat candidate, Simon Bishop, said:

    "Nigel Farage's comments show he is running scared of the Liberal Democrats as the strongest Remain party in Folkestone and Hythe. He knows that we are the only party at this election that can take seats like Folkestone and Hythe from the Conservatives and stop Brexit.

  • Simon Bishop and Lib Dem members and supporters campaigning in Saltwood
    Article: Nov 11, 2019
    By Simon Bishop, Liberal Democrats Parliamentary Candidate for Folkestone and Hythe

    Where the first day of campaigning made me concerned about the division that has been sowed by the Brexit referendum, this weekend has inspired me.

    To see so many people out helping deliver leaflets in Hawkinge, Folkestone, Hythe, Saltwood, Stanford and beyond was incredible. There were party members and non-party members who came to help. Some were life long Lib Dem members, others for whom it was their first time and they came because they feel so passionately that Brexit is wrong for this country that they want to do their bit to help.

  • David Monk and Tim Prater with
    Article: Nov 9, 2019
    By Folkestone and Hythe District Council Press Release

    Dog owners are being reminded of the negative health impacts caused by failing to clean up after their four-legged friends.

    Cllr David Monk and Cllr Tim Prater of Folkestone & Hythe District Council (F&HDC) joined forces to reinforce the message by applying "I'll take poo too!" stickers on normal bins along The Leas in Folkestone earlier today (November 7).

  • CCTV cameras (Hustvedt [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)])
    Article: Nov 8, 2019
    By Sandgate Parish Council News Release

    Sandgate Parish Council is in discussions with various partners, including the Sandgate Society and District Councillors, to seek funding to install CCTV in three key locations:

    ● Sandgate High Street
    ● The Golden Valley shops
    ● Sandgate Park

    CCTV is being investigated following a number of incidents of vandalism in Sandgate Park, a number of attempted break-ins to businesses in Sandgate High Street and damage to cars in the High Street and surrounding areas.

  • Simon Bishop with Mark Pack and Lib Dem members and supporters from across Folkestone and Hythe
    Article: Nov 8, 2019

    In front of a crowd of passionate local party supporters in Chichester Hall, Sandgate, local lad, Simon Bishop, today launched his campaign to be the next Member of Parliament for Folkestone and Hythe.

    Bishop, 44, was also joined by author and front runner to become the next President of the national Liberal Democrat party, Dr Mark Pack and Lib Dem councillor Tim Prater.

  • Simon Bishop
    Article: Nov 8, 2019
    By Simon Bishop, Liberal Democrats Parliamentary Candidate for Folkestone and Hythe

    I was excited today. Today was the first full day of election campaigning. I started off bright and early with my team doing some leafleting in the constituency. A part of the democratic process that I have never batted an eyelid at or given me any thought of concern.

    We all followed the delivery rules. If there are signs saying no cold callers we didn't deliver a leaflet. We closed the gates when we leave. We pushed the leaflet all the way through the letter box to make sure that a house is left as secure as we found it. Everyone in the team is always friendly, courteous and considerate.

  • Training session (Raysonho @ Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine [CC0] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:IBMComputerTrainingWorkshop.JPG)
    Article: Nov 7, 2019

    FREE training for community and voluntary groups!

    The third in a series of training sessions funded by Folkestone and Hythe District Council.

    When: Tuesday 3 December 2019, 10am-1pm

    Where: St Mary's Bay Village Hall, Jefferstone Lane, St Mary's Bay, Romney Marsh, TN29 OSW

    Who: This session is for people looking for funding for their group, organisation or project and wishing to apply for grants. It is aimed at those new to applying for funding and people wanting help to maximise their chances when writing funding applications.

  • Council Housing
    Article: Nov 7, 2019

    Following up from previous Facebook posts (such as this, and this) on the condition of the East Kent Housing run (and Folkestone and Hythe District Council owned) Ross House in Ross Way, Sandgate, there has been much more progress and work.

    Work teams have been on site pretty regularly since I took some senior officers and Councillors for a visit, with work not underway to replace and fix leaking flat roofs, security doors fixed and more. There is more to do, and some commitment to doing it, but good to see.

    Also, further surveys have been conducted, leading to the following letter being delivered to Ross House residents this morning:"Following survey work by East Kent Housing in the last few days, we have decided to improve fire protection works at Ross House. This work will include improvements to the fire alarm system and some building works.

    "It is going to take some time to complete this work, and because we want to make sure that you are as safe as possible in your home, we have spoken to Kent Fire & Rescue Service about what we need to do.

    "Along with Folkestone & Hythe District Council, we have decided to introduce a security service at Ross House. The security team will be in place 24 hours a day, 7 days a week until the work is completed."

    Clearly, that there have not been such systems in place for the last 18 months of occupation is mindboggling, but I'm pleased to see urgent and appropriate measures being put in place now to ensure resident safety. Although learning the lessons of the past is important and will have its place, getting the problem sorted now is the most important thing to see.

  • Simon Bishop
    Article: Oct 29, 2019
    By Simon Bishop, Liberal Democrats Parliamentary Candidate for Folkestone and Hythe

    An election is coming. We can be sure of that. As I write the calling of a General Election is being debated in the Commons. Despite a flurry of amendments one thing is becoming increasingly clear: a General Election is not far away.

    I've been so touched, and so humbled, by the level of support for me over the past few weeks.

  • George Koowaree
    Article: Oct 28, 2019

    George Koowaree says that Highways England should remove the M20 contraflow between Jct. 9 in Ashford and Jct. 8 in Maidstone as soon as possible. The London bound lane restrictions have been in place since April. Earlier today Highways England reintroduced the coastbound contraflow, resulting in M20 traffic being restricted to two narrow lanes each way.

  • Simon Bishop
    Article: Oct 28, 2019
    By Simon Bishop, Liberal Democrats Parliamentary Candidate for Folkestone and Hythe

    Firstly, the very existence of our United Kingdom is at stake. With Boris Johnson treating Northern Ireland differently to the rest of us, it increases the calls for Independence for Scotland. If they are faced by remaining in a United Kingdom or a United Europe, they could well leave. That wasn't on the referendum ballot paper.

  • Danielle Anson with the Simon Cooper Weston Fountain
    Article: Oct 28, 2019

    A fountain in the heart of the East of Folkestone will remain in place after a proposal to move it was rejected.

    Local action group Go Folkestone had proposed to seek to move and restore the The Sidney Cooper Weston Fountain, at the junction of Wear Bay Road and Wear Bay Crescent, Folkestone. It is unserstood they were seeking to move it to the foot of the Leas Lift.

  • Simon Bishop
    Article: Oct 23, 2019

    The new Liberal Democrat candidate for the expected forthcoming General Election will be local lad, and former Conservative Special Adviser to a Secretary of State in the coalition government, Simon Bishop.

    Before entering a high-profile career which saw him work for Prince Charles, the BBC and The United Nations, Simon went to Saltwood Primary School and The Harvey Grammar in Folkestone. His first full-time job was at Saga and he also worked as a waiter at The Imperial Hotel in Hythe and as a barman at the old Bonkers nightclub in Folkestone.

  • Simon Bishop
    Article: Oct 23, 2019
    By Simon Bishop, Liberal Democrats Parliamentary Candidate for Folkestone and Hythe

    I am so proud to be the Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for this wonderful area. I think I am qualified to serve its constituents for three reasons:

    1. I LOVE Folkestone and Hythe

    2. I have the experience, skills and, most importantly, the integrity and decency to help fix our broken political system

    3. I care passionately about Britain and am not going to stand by while others wreck it

  • WildflowerVerge
    Article: Oct 23, 2019

    Earlier this year Kent County Council gave unanimous support for a plan to protect and increase the habitats for bees and other pollinators. These are vital for plants and food production. The plan proposed planting more wildflowers, including on our highway verges. These good intentions have to be translated into positive action across Kent as a matter of urgency.

    At last week's County Council meeting Trudy Dean, Lib Dem county councillor for Malling Central, pressed the Cabinet Member on what steps Kent County Council was taking to encourage the planting of wildflower verges. The response was less than helpful, indicating that the County Council is still not taking the positive steps which were promised earlier.

    Trudy Dean commented afterwards. "We know that the numbers of bees and other pollinators are in serious decline. This will soon have severe consequences for much of Kent's agriculture unless the decline can be reversed.

    "Planting wildflowers is a key step towards improving pollinator-friendly habitats, and our highway verges are the perfect place to start. Local people are coming forward to set up local schemes, but they will need practical help and advice. I gave KCC the opportunity to provide a simple fast track guide to setting up a scheme, and the dusty response received is pretty useless ... no names, phone numbers, website links or volunteer group contact details.

    "If this is how KCC recruits volunteers, we aren't going to be making much progress any time soon."

    Trudy Dean's question and the response received are set out below:

    Question by Trudy Dean to Mike Whiting, Cabinet Member for Planning, Highways, Transport & Waste

    "Following the formal adoption of the Pollinator Action Plan at July's County Council, could the Cabinet Member please advise how local groups wishing to help establish wildflower rich verges should go about doing so and what support the County Council will provide them with?"

    Answer

    "If local groups have identified sites that they feel would make good wildflower verges and they would like to become involved, then they should contact our Highway Soft Landscape team. The team can discuss the proposals for each site and possible maintenance changes as well as reviewing the site with our partners Kent Wildlife Trust and the Bee Conservation Trust."

  • Dan H and S
    Article: Oct 22, 2019

    After several years of sustained pressure from Liberal Democrat councillors and local campaigners, Kent County Council have confirmed that the long-awaited pedestrian crossing at Barming Heath in Maidstone will be installed next year. The confirmation was provided in response to a formal question posed by Dan Daley at last week's County Council meeting.

  • SCAM
    Article: Oct 22, 2019
    In Alert from KCC Public Protection

    Action Fraud and others are reporting a scam by text where criminals are sending out distressing messages.

    How this scam works:

    • Victims receive a text message from a loved-one which says they are in hospital
    • The only way that they can make contact is via text message
    • Victims are asked to purchase mobile phone top-up codes and text it to the criminal
    • Once the criminals have the code, they can get the cash credited to their own mobile phone account.
  • Council Housing
    Article: Oct 22, 2019
    By Folkestone and Hythe District Council in Letter from Folkestone and Hythe District Council to East Kent Homes Tenants

    Future options for managing council housing

    Council homes are currently looked after by East Kent Housing on our behalf. They carry out safety checks, manage repairs, collect rent etc.

    Earlier this year we discovered serious problems with a range of safety checks at some properties looked after by East Kent Housing. We are sorry if that caused you to worry.

  • Simon Bishop
    Article: Oct 21, 2019

    Members and supporters from across Folkestone and Hythe joined the People's Vote rally in London on Saturday 19th October, joining people from across the Country in calling for the final Brexit deal to be put to the people. They were joined by newly announced Lib Dem Parliamentary Candidate for Folkestone and Hythe Simon Bishop.

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