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News

  • Ian Chittenden
    Article: Feb 15, 2021

    At the Kent County Council Budget meeting last Thursday Conservative councillors voted down two Liberal Democrat proposals to fund urgent repairs needed to deal with increasing safety risks on Kent's Public Rights of Way and Country Parks. The money was to come from the £130 million of Government grants given to KCC for any extra costs of work needed to recover from the effects of Covid-19.

  • Abolish Council Tax graphic
    Article: Feb 12, 2021

    At Kent County Council's 2021 budget meeting on Thursday 11th February the Liberal Democrats (the largest opposition group) challenged the fairness of the council tax system and called for council tax to be abolished.

    The Liberal Democrat amendment was proposed by Faversham councillor Antony Hook. It called for Kent County Council to write to the Government to ask for council tax to be reviewed and an alternative system used.

  • Antony Hook in Kent County Councl Chamber
    Article: Feb 11, 2021

    Today at Kent County Council's budget meeting, the Liberal Democrats, the largest opposition group, challenged the fairness of the council tax system and called for council tax to be revised.

    The amendment called for the council to write to the government to ask for council tax to be reviewed and an alternative system of council tax bands and charging rates considered.

  • Jenny Randerson
    Article: Feb 11, 2021

    Earlier today, Baroness Jenny Randerson brought a Regret Motion to the House of Lords which challenged the Government's use of Special Development Orders (SDOs) for their proposed Lorry Parks in Kent, including on the White Cliffs site next to the AONB at Dover.

    The SDOs enable the Government giving itself planning permission with no obligation to consult the public or produce an environmental impact assessment.

  • Graham Colley at Westminster
    Article: Feb 6, 2021

    Commenting on the decision to increase council tax by 7.4% to pay for the Policing in Kent, Graham Colley, PCC candidate for the Liberal Democrats said:

    "I could achieve cheap political points by immediately criticising my opponent at the next election for the increase. No one wants to pay more than they did! However, at the same time, for the people of Kent to have a caring and safe community and the maxim "you get what you pay for", must also be considered.

  • Article: Feb 3, 2021

    The government's Test and Trace Payment scheme has been extended until 31 March 2021. This means that if you live in the district of Folkestone & Hythe and you have received a notification from NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate you may be entitled to a payment of £500.

    To qualify for this payment you must:

  • Ed Davey
    Article: Feb 3, 2021

    Carers UK today delivered a letter from near 5,000 carers calling on the Chancellor to acknowledge unpaid carers' contribution throughout the crisis. Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey MP said:

    "People looking after loved ones during Covid are doing a remarkable job, in very difficult circumstances. They deserve much more support.

  • Munira Wilson
    Article: Jan 28, 2021

    Only 1 in 4 children who needed mental health support accessed services last year, shocking figures from the Children's Commissioner's report have revealed.

    Munira Wilson MP, the Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Health and Social Care, said:

    "The report's findings confirm the sad reality we have known all along: the mental health of children and young people has for too long been overlooked by this Conservative Government. Week after week, I am contacted by parents whose children are struggling with their mental health and unable to access services.

  • Tim Prater
    Article: Jan 27, 2021

    Folkestone and Hythe Liberal Democrats and the Shepway Green Party have agreed not to stand against each other in the six Folkestone and Hythe seats being fought in May's Kent County Council elections.

    Shepway Green Party will not stand against Lib Dem candidate Tim Prater in Cheriton, Sandgate & Hythe East, where he came second in 2017 and was the clear challenger to the Conservatives.

  • Thamelink Train
    Article: Jan 27, 2021

    Kent County Council supports introduction of alternative service taking 80 minutes to reach London Blackfriars.

    Rob Bird, County Councillor representing Maidstone Central, fears that the climb down could mean that Maidstone rail travellers may never get fast services to City of London.

    Ever since the direct rail services from Maidstone East to London Cannon Street were discontinued in 2009, there has been a concerted all-party campaign to secure fast and frequent trains from the County Town to the City of London.

  • Article: Jan 26, 2021

    The £16.5 million Youth Covid-19 Support Fund is open to grassroots youth clubs, uniformed youth groups, and national youth and umbrella organisations, to help to mitigate the impact of lost income during the winter period due to the coronavirus pandemic, and ensure services providing vital support can remain open.

  • NHS GP Registration forms
    Article: Jan 22, 2021
    By Bill Millar, Director of Primary Care NHS Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group

    Email received from NHS Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group this evening:

    "NHS Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which is responsible for making sure patients have access to GP practice services, is engaging with patients of Orchard House Surgery in Lydd about the future of services at that site.

  • Ida Linfield
    Article: Jan 20, 2021
    At today's Adult Social Care committee Ida Linfield called on Kent CC to let people recovering from Covid-19 stay for as long as they need to in Kent's 'designated beds' rather than being thrown out after just two weeks.

    There are 80 designated beds in care homes throughout Kent which are for local residents to stay in whilst recovering from Covid. Many of the beds are vacant at the moment, but the stays are limited to only 2 weeks!

    "With nearly half the beds lying vacant, I asked for residents to be able to stay as long as they need, rather than being kicked out after two weeks", said Ida. "Everyone is different, and everyone has different needs whilst recovering from this dreadful disease. Let's treat each person as an individual and help them accordingly."

    The Corporate Director of Adult Social Care agreed to look into this, so watch this space!

  • Microscope (Acagastya, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a5/Compound_Microscope_%28cropped%29.JPG)
    Article: Jan 19, 2021

    From https://www.folkestone-hythe.gov.uk/news/community-scrutiny-issues : "Folkestone & Hythe District Council's Overview and Scrutiny Committee is planning its programme for 2021/22 and seeking suggestions for district-wide matters which are important to your community."

    The most important thing about the Covid Vaccination roll-out locally is that it happens as quickly as possible, and I'm going to do nothing that gets in the way of those trying to roll it out.

  • Rob Bird
    Article: Jan 17, 2021

    The failure to purchase private hospital beds is a national scandal

    Rob Bird, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group at Kent County Council, reports.

    On Saturday I was saddened to learn that a dear friend had died. She was in her mid eighties but was full of life. She had recently been admitted to hospital for a routine operation. There she had contracted Covid-19 and she subsequently died. I was sad, and I was angry.

  • Kent County Councillor Trudy Dean
    Article: Jan 15, 2021

    Liberal Democrat councillors warmly welcomed a senior KCC finance officer's statement that Kent County Council has 'consistently contended that council tax differentials are unjustifiable and require reform'. But they were disappointed that Kent's Conservative Administration is not pressing for a fairer system.

  • Trudy Dean
    Article: Jan 12, 2021

    Trudy Dean, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Children, Young Oersons and Esucation at County Hall, reports

    Kent Liberal Democrats are calling for an improvement to children's lunch boxes after pictures of 'woefully inadequate' food parcels were shared on social media. If schools are unable to meet government standards, then parents should be given vouchers.

  • Article: Jan 12, 2021
    By Katharine Harvey, Chief Economic Development Officer, F&HDC in Email to Local Businesses

    Since the start of the previous national lockdown period on 4th November 2020, there have been a number of business grant schemes available for businesses in the district. However, we have tried to keep this as straightforward as possible, so have combined these into two broad schemes - the Local Restrictions Support Grant (LSRG) and the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG). The recent national lockdown this January has brought an additional grant - the National Lockdown Grant, which is available to businesses eligible for an LSRG.

  • Trudy
    Article: Jan 9, 2021

    Trudy Dean reports on another surreal moment.

    Just 32 minutes after I asked in a Councillors briefing session on Friday afternoon about cancelling school travel pass payments, and was told Kent CC were not intending to do so, this Press Release appeared. I'm sure it wasn't connected of course, but the world feels difficult to make sense of right now! Anyway, I got the right answer. Eventually.

  • Graham Colley
    Article: Jan 8, 2021

    Kent Liberal Democrats have attacked local Conservative boasts about police funding as "smoke and mirrors" that dress up a potential Council Tax rise as if it were extra funding from the Government.

    Local Conservatives have claimed that "Kent Police is set to receive an additional 19.5 million in its funding, thanks to the Conservative Government's increase to police budgets." However, detailed Home Office figures reveal that the Government is only giving Kent Police an extra £10.1 million for the financial year 2021-22.

  • Edith Cavell event poster
    Article: Jan 7, 2021

    The Friends of Folkestone Museum present another of their popular talks on Zoom.

    On Saturday 16 January at 2.00pm, Melanie Gibson-Barton will be talking about the Life and Times of Edith Cavell.

    If you would like to attend this talk please email friendsfolkmuseum@gmail.com to reserve your place. We will then send you the Zoom link a few days before the talk.

  • Folkestone and Hythe Covid-19 Vaccination Centres
    Article: Jan 7, 2021

    Folkestone Civic Centre has been confirmed as the Covid-19 Vaccination Centre for Folkestone and Sandgate's The New Surgery, Guildhall Street Surgery, Sandgate Road Surgery & Manor Clinic.

    Vaccinations will start week commencing 11 January begin during the week 18-24 January. *

    There is more information at http://www.kentandmedwayccg.nhs.uk/your-health/coronavirus/covid19vaccine

  • Community Hubs
    Article: Jan 5, 2021

    It's been said before in the last nne months but this bears repeating.

    No one should feel as though they are alone during this challenging time. In Folkestone and Hythe the local Community Hubs are here to help those who haven't got alternative support. They can:

    • Provide food for those not able to get or prepare it themselves
    • Assist with the collection and delivery of food orders
    • Collect and deliver medical supplies
    • Offer someone to talk to for advice and reassurance
  • Article: Jan 5, 2021

    The Chancellor has announced one-off top up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses. They are worth £4,000-9,000 per property to help businesses through to the Spring.

    These grants are in addition to previously announced Local Restriction Support Grants worth up to £3,000 a month and the extended furlough scheme.

  • Ed Davey
    Article: Jan 4, 2021

    Ed Davey, Leader of the Liberal Democrats commented on the PM's announcement of a new lockdown:

    "This is the public health policy the Prime Minister should have announced before Christmas, but yet again, Boris Johnson ducked the difficult decisions, failed to listen to experts and acted too late.

    "Just yesterday morning Johnson was telling parents that schools were safe and children should definitely go. Today he is telling us that they must all move to remote learning but without any proper future plan.

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