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Recent News From your Maidstone Wards

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  • Letter to KM 220819 (Kent Messenger)
    Article: Aug 22, 2019

    Today the KM published an abridged version of Rob Bird's letter regarding the refusal of Conservative Ministers and MPs to come clean about the future of Maidstone's Thameslink Service. Here is the letter in full.

    Time for Transport Minister to come clean about Maidstone's Thameslink service

    The Thameslink service is expected to provide Bearsted, Maidstone East and West Malling with trains to Central London and Cambridge every ½ hour throughout the day. Crucially, Maidstone passengers were told they would get to Central London in less than an hour. Last October Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for Transport wrote to me confirming that this long overdue service would be running from Maidstone by December 2019.

  • Antony Hook at Eurotunnel
    Article: Aug 20, 2019

    Antony Hook Liberal Democrat MEP for South East England and European Affairs Spokesperson at Kent County Council visited the UK Eurotunnel site on 19th August to speak with senior staff about the on-going Brexit preparations.

    During the visit, Mr Hook was told how Eurotunnel have been forced to spend €15 million building new infrastructure to carry out extra customs checks.

  • Jenny Randerson
    Article: Aug 14, 2019

    Following the Government's announcement this morning of the Retail Price Index (RPI) figure for July, it is expected that rail fares will rise by another 2.8% in January.

    New 16-17 Saver Card will provide ½ price rail travel for 16 and 17 year-olds.

    Kent's rail users have expressed dismay and frustration at the prospect of another 2.8% increase in rail fares in January. Rail campaigners have long argued that rail fair increases should be linked to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) which is the Government's official measure of inflation. CPI is consistently lower than inflation. The latest figure for CPI was down at 2.1%

  • Rob at Dover with Susan & Tom
    Article: Aug 1, 2019

    According to a recent report a disorderly Brexit has been given the highest possible risk rating by Kent County Council. It is the biggest single risk currently being addressed by the Council. Disruption is expected to last for at least 6 months and probably more following a no deal Brexit, with 'significant long-term detrimental impact for Kent residents'.

  • Thamelink Train
    Article: Jul 29, 2019

    The Thameslink service from Bearsted, Maidstone East and West Malling to Central London is long overdue. New Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, should ensure the service becomes operational in December, as promised by his predecessor, Chris Grayling, last October.

    The Thameslink service had first been proposed when the Maidstone East to London Cannon Street service was withdrawn in December 2009. Thameslink is due to provide a fast service every ½ hour into Central London and on to Cambridge. This is absolutely vital for the residents and businesses based in Kent's County Town.

  • Jo Swinson Leader
    Article: Jul 22, 2019

    Rob Bird welcomes the election of Jo Swinson as the new Leader of the Liberal Democrats

    Jo Swinson will bring a new dynamic to the party and to the country. She is fed up with the broken politics of Westminster and the failure of the two party system to reach out to all people across the country. Too many people feel that they have been ignored or taken for granted by the Conservative and Labour parties, preoccupied by their own self-interest and political infighting. Only the Liberal Democrats have the values, the ideas and the common strength of purpose to stand up to those who are doing so much to damage our country.

  • Article: Jul 13, 2019

    At the County Council meeting on 11th July the Liberal Democrats were due to propose a motion calling for Kent County Council to remove peak time restrictions for disabled persons bus passes. The motion was withdrawn by the County Council Chairman following a last minute objection by KCC's senior financial officer.

  • Article: Jul 1, 2019

    Around a fifth of working age people live with a disability. For many of these people one of the biggest challenges of getting into work is the journey to work and back home.

    Disabled person's bus passes in Kent are operative during off-peak hours, from 9:30am to 11pm on weekdays. The pass is therefore too late for most disabled people needing to take a bus to work. However, in Wales, Scotland and some other parts of England, such restrictions do not apply.

  • Deputy Leader Cllr Fay Gooch and Leader of MBC Cllr Martin Cox
    Article: May 24, 2019

    Maidstone Lib Dems are delighted to have retained leadership of Maidstone Borough Council following May's elections which had again resulted in no overall control.

    At the AGM of the Maidstone Borough Council, on 18th May, Martin Cox, the Lib Dem leader gained support from Labour and Independent councillors to retain his position of Leader of the Council. Lib Dems nominated and The Leader of Independent Group - Fay Gooch who has retained her position as deputy leader of the council - She was unopposed.

  • South Ward Councillors at Tovil Site
    Article: May 24, 2019
    By Brian Clark

    Lib Dems have campaigned for more than a decade for an additional waste recycling centre to reduce chronic pressure on the road network in South Maidstone. The existing site at Tovil is beyond capacity and serves as the only facility in the whole of the borough for residents as far as Lenham, Allington, Yalding and Staplehurst.

  • Article: May 14, 2019

    A BIG thank you, form all of us, to all those who supported us in the Maidstone Borough Elections.

    Unlike central government, lets get on with doing what's best for Maidstone; business as usual.

    Click here for short VIDEO

  • Article: May 4, 2019
    By Martin Cox
  • Fight climate change with solar panels
    Article: Apr 23, 2019
    By Sir Ed Davey

    Our reliance on fossil fuels puts our children in danger and gives power to despots across the globe. Ed Davey outlines an emergency plan to beat the climate crisis.

    Whether it's young people taking time off school or the Commons' naked protestors: they are right. We face a climate crisis.

    Liberal Democrats should provide the emergency plan. In 3 parts.

  • CatherineBearder
    Article: Apr 17, 2019

    The Liberal Democrats have today announced their list of MEP candidates in the South East constituency for the European elections on the 23rd May.

    The diverse list of candidates includes a current MEP, Councillors and other hard working community activists.

    The Liberal Democrats will fight the elections as an unapologetically pro-European Party campaigning hard to stop Brexit and restore Britain's tarnished reputation in Europe.

  • Lorries on Brock
    Article: Apr 11, 2019

    Operation Brock, the contraflow on the M20 between junctions 8 & 9, has been in place for just over 2 ½ weeks. The scheme was put in place by Highways England in anticipation of a disorderly, no-deal Brexit at the end of March. With Brexit having been delayed till the end of October, Brock is not needed and should be dismantled ahead of the Easter break.

  • Tree Planting
    Article: Feb 10, 2019
    By Brian Clark
    South ward councillors complete tree planting scheme at Mangravet Recreation Field with Oaks Academy School
    Maidstone Bough Councillors Brian Clark, Derek Mortimer and Paul Wilby have worked with the Maidstone Borough Council Parks team and a charity in Kent to deliver a large tree planting scheme at Mangravet Playing Field to further enhance the site, valued locally as an important "Green Wedge" and wildlife corridor. Cllr Clark had initiated the scheme after contacting Alun Griffiths, chairman of the charity "Kent Men of the Trees", which provides trees for the community, asking for help in providing several large native Oak, Hornbeam and Rowan "feature" trees. The request was rewarded with a contribution of twelve double standard sized trees (four of each species).
  • Dan H and S
    Article: Feb 8, 2019

    After several years of sustained pressure from the Liberal Democrat opposition, Kent County Council has finally agreed to accept monthly payments for the Young Persons Travel Pass (YPTP) in the coming year. This will come a massive relief for parents faced with an inflation-busting £60 increase in the cost of the pass to £350 next year.

  • Coldharbour Roundabout
    Article: Jan 22, 2019

    Liberal Democrat Councillors, Dan Daley and Rob Bird, have expressed huge disappointment and frustration at the latest Kent Highways proposals for North-west Maidstone. These proposals were unveiled at the January meeting of the Maidstone Joint Transportation Board.

    The Lib Dems have welcomed the proposal to increase the capacity of the Coldharbour Roundabout connecting the A20 to Junction 5 on the M20. The roundabout will be doubled in size and A20 traffic from the West will be able to use a new slip road to access the M20.

  • George Koowaree
    Article: Dec 21, 2018

    The movement of livestock and access to Ashford Market is vital for many of Kent's farmers and smallholders. No-one wants to see animals stressed and their welfare threatened because roads around Ashford become gridlocked following Brexit

    Ashford East county councillor, George Koowaree, has asked what provisions are proposed to ensure that livestock can be transported to and from Ashford Market. George put his question to MIke Whiting, the Kent County Council Cabinet Member responsible for Transport, at last week's council meeting.

  • Article: Dec 21, 2018

    At last week's County Council meeting Lib Dems Trudy Dean and Ida Linfield gained the unanimous support of councillors for a motion calling for better support for prison leavers, many of whom are left desperate for food, warmth and a roof over their head.

    Many ex-offeners leave prison with a discharge grant of just £46, a derisory sum which has not changed for over 20 years. Unless they have support from friends and family or they are able to return to paid employment, this is all they have to live on until they receive their first Universal Credit payment, which could take 5 weeks!