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  • Rob at CH
    Article: Jul 13, 2018

    Vast swathes of the Kent countryside would be turned into lorry parks under a no deal Brexit, according to a plan presented to Kent County Council.

    At a full council meeting on Thursday, a paper was put before councillors by Conservative Leader Paul Carter, which suggested concreting over large areas of the countryside in an effort to avoid gridlock if customs checks were imposed at ports.

    Checking every lorry passing through Dover would slow freight traffic to a crawl and lead to permanent Operation Stack, necessitating acres of extra lorry parking.

    Other impacts of a disastrous no deal Brexit were discussed, including shortages of skilled workers and the introduction of tariffs that could see Kent firms going bust.

    The Liberal Democrats, the official opposition on Kent County Council, tabled an amendment calling for the council to tell the government that a no deal Brexit must be avoided at all costs.

    The party also called for a People's Vote, so the public can decide whether to accept a proposed Brexit deal. The Conservative leadership blocked any debate and instructed councillors to vote against the Lib Dem proposals.

    Liberal Democrat Leader Rob Bird told the council: "A bad Brexit deal for Britain will be a disastrous deal for Kent. No-one wants our roads turned into lorry parks. That is what will happen if customs checks start up, which is a real risk.

    "The government talks about using technology to fix it, but that does not exist yet and who knows if it ever will.

    "Today the opposition at Kent County Council fought for the people of Kent's interests to be put first. It is appalling that Conservatives prioritised papering over their party divisions. Kent deserves better than this."

    Speaking at the meeting, Economic Development Spokesman Antony Hook told the council: "No deal Brexit means loss of tariff-free access to the EU for Kent firms.

    "Tariffs are more than 30% on agricultural products and 19% on beverages, and that would put Kent firms out of business.

    "A no-deal Brexit would also mean UK products will no longer be licenced or accredited for sale in the EU, which would crush Kent's pharmaceutical and chemical firms.

    "We have to tell the government that Kent cannot have a no deal Brexit."

    Explaining why a People's Vote is important, Cllr Hook said: "If it's a good deal, people will endorse it and that will strengthen it, but If it's a bad deal they will be angry if not allowed to reject it.

    "People may ask where is the £350m per week for the NHS? Why haven't our wages improved? Why did the threat of Turkey joining turn out to be false?

    "They may consider that we have, in fact, a better economy and a safer place in the world as part of a strong, united Europe. When we all find out what the exit deal actually is, we owe people the chance of a fully informed say for the first time."

  • Thamelink Train
    Article: Jul 13, 2018

    Liberal Democrat county councillors have called on the KCC Cabinet Member to seek reassurance from the Department for Transport that the timetabling problems of Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) will not result in any further delay in bringing the Thameslink service to Maidstone.

    Thameslink services should already be running from Maidstone to Central London. Disappointingly, the County Town has already been shunted to the back of the line with services delayed to December 2019. Any further delay would be totally unacceptable to the poorly served Maidstone rail users.

  • Rubbish Bin
    Article: Jul 12, 2018
    By Gary Fuller in Folkestone Herald - Talking Points

    Littering isn't just dropping the odd sweet wrapper. It covers everything from dog poo to fly-tipping. Littering is not looking after your environment. Locally there are two issues. We don't do enough to encourage and support responsible disposal of waste and what enforcement action takes place seems to be focussed on parking.

  • MOD consultation map on Shorncliffe Garrison site development
    Article: Jul 12, 2018

    Taylor Wimpey began acquiring the Ministry of Defence Shorncliffe Garrison site in 2015. Outline planning permission for a residential development of up to 1,200 homes with a nature conservation area, improved recreation facilities and a new primary school on this site was granted by Shepway District Council, now Folkestone and Hythe District Council, in December 2015. Full planning permission for the initial phases of development at St Martin's Plain and The Stadium was also granted at the same time, and those phases now have a significant number of occupied homes.

  • Walking in boots
    Article: Jul 6, 2018

    The Kent County Council draft Rights of Way Improvement Plan details how they will develop the public rights of way network in Kent over the next 10 years.

    They want to hear your views to ensure that the draft plan will meet the needs and expectations of Kent residents.

    The consultation runs from 20 June - 12 September 2018.

  • Gary Fuller
    Article: Jul 5, 2018
    By Gary Fuller in Folkestone Herald - Talking Points

    There are three issues preventing young people from engaging in politics and elections. These are opportunity, trust and access. Young people are denied the opportunity to vote between the ages of sixteen and eighteen, for example. The vote should be extended to this group so they can vote at the same age at which they can contribute to society.

  • Tim Prater at Canada Day 2018
    Article: Jul 2, 2018

    Tim Prater was delighted to represent Sandgate Parish Council on Friday 29th June at Shorncliffe Cemetery at the annual Canada Day ceremony.

    As Deputy Chair of Sandgate Parish Council, Tim joined the main parade and laid a wreath on behalf of the Parish at the main memorial.

    The Canada Day Service was first held in 1919 and commemorates the 296 Canadian soldiers who died during WWI and are buried in the Shorncliffe Military Cemetery. It is marked each year by a service and the attendance of local school children laying their own floral tributes on the graves of soldiers.

  • Providence Inne, Sandgate
    Event: Aug 1, 2018 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
    The Providence Inne, 47-49 Sandgate High St, Sandgate, Folkestone CT20 3AH

    A regular meet-up on the first Wednesday of every morth for Liberal Democrat members, supporters and the Lib Dem curious in the Folkestone and Hythe area!

    Simply come along for a social drink and a chat: no speeches, no leaflet delivery. It's a "buy your own" event (sorry!) but come along and say hello to our Councillors, campaigners, members and friends.

The Liberal Democrats are the only party fighting to keep Britain open, tolerant and united.

Open means open-hearted, open-minded, forward-looking, modern, green, internationalist and pro-European. We believe Britain is at its best when it is creative, innovative and outward-looking, comfortable in the fast-changing modern world and open to the opportunities and challenges of globalisation and the digital revolution.

Tolerant means diverse, compassionate and generous. We will always fight injustice and stand up for the underdog, the outsider, the individual, the minority and the vulnerable against the powerful.

United means we will always put the interests of the whole United Kingdom first. We reject the divisions in society, whether between young and old, urban and rural, leave and remain, or between regions and nations. We believe we are stronger - as communities, as a country and as a world - when we work together in our common interest.

If this sounds like you too, join us.