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2017 Message from the Chair

As incoming Chair of the Liberal Democrats in our area I want you to know that 2017 will be a busy and, I hope, encouraging year for us. We plan to build on the string of successes in 2016:

  • Our local membership in East Kent has more than doubled in the last 18 months, with over 100 members in each of the Thanet and Dover branch areas
  • Nationally we have a fantastic record in by-elections, not just in Parliament but in Council elections where we gained 22 seats from other parties in 2016 ... Read more >

News

  • Article: Feb 24, 2017

    The Lib Dem fight-back continued in the Potteries by-election, as UKIP failed to live up to its own hype in the Leave centre of Britain.

    Liberal Democrat president Sal Brinton, seeing the party's share of the vote more than double, said from Stoke:

    "The Potteries decided there was no need to have UKIP's official leader in parliament when UKIP's unofficial leader is already in Number 10, pursuing a hard Brexit."

  • Article: Feb 23, 2017

    Responding to today's reports that the Urgent Care Centre at Kent & Canterbury Hospital is to close, James Flanagan said, "The threat of closure to this much needed service is very worrying - especially as our area is growing."

    "Canterbury District already has a population of 157,000. Over the next 15 years, 15,000 houses will be built under the local plan, which could see a further 30,000 people across the district."

  • Article: Feb 23, 2017

    Extracts from Mike's response at this weeks full council budget debate:

    This is a horrible, horrible budget - it's all about cuts, cuts and more cuts.

    I don't think that any of us here tonight stood for election to this council so that we could slash public services - but this is what we are doing here tonight.

  • Nick Eden Green profile
    Article: Feb 23, 2017
    The Gazette sent out a free guide to Canterbury and Thanet with last weeks paper. It listed some of our museums under the heading 'Get your hands on local history'. Top of the list was the Beaney in Canterbury with its 'topics such as the ancient Egyptians......and Greek artefacts'.
    Not exactly local history! Yet there was no mention of the Canterbury Heritage Museum which is stuffed with fascinating local history.
    The City Council is determined to shut the Heritage Museum. Why? Because it doesn't attract many visitors. Small wonder. It is never advertised, even under a specific local history listing. The prices have been raised to £8 for an adult whereas the Beaney is free. The displays haven't been changed in years. It's a bit hidden down a side street and it's not even signed from the Beaney. All this is perfect recipe for closure.
    If you are interested in local history go and visit it. Better still sign the petition to keep it open.
    Cllr Nick Eden-Green
    Lib Dem Wincheap Ward
  • C&C logo
    Article: Feb 23, 2017

    Canterbury Council is being very short sighted in thinking that tourists come to Canterbury for anything other than our history and our visitors follow in the footsteps all the Pilgrims who "went on pilgrimage" from the 12th century onwards.

    The Poor Priests Hospital was founded in 1240's with, it seems, Simon Langton heading up the fundraising. It cared for the elderly and infirm priests of Canterbury but now houses the Heritage museum which showcases the history of our city and its inhabitants over the years.

    A couple of years ago the Tories introduced new "opening hours" for the museum (which closed it for half the year) and then upped the entrance fee. There has been little publicity for the museum; limited signage or directions to it and there are never any enough publicity leaflets available at the council run Tourist Office - which only opens 6 days a week anyway! Given all these facts Its obvious that visitor figures would decrease.

    To close this museum and say the exhibits can move to the Beaney is not acceptable. Already the exhibits from the Buffs Museum have largely gone and residents have told us that the council is looking to sell other museum exhibits which are hidden away in storage as there is no room at the Beaney for them.

    If the Tory run council is keen to save this museum one answer could be for the Heritage museum to copy the Seaside Museum in Herne Bay which is "run entirely by volunteers through an independent Trust in partnership with Canterbury City Council " - to quote their website. Plans are also afoot to run the Whitstable museum along similar lines.

    Or they can follow the council officers' plans and close it.

    For starters I'm more than happy to collect the names of everyone who would volunteer their time at the Heritage Museum: Ida.linfield@cantlibdem.org.uk or phone 01227 750 146.

    And please remember the council consultation runs until next Wednesday March 1st on Canterbury Councils website so there's still time to have your say.

  • Article: Feb 20, 2017
    • Peers debate Article 50 bill paving way for start of Brexit
    • Theresa May wants to invoke Article 50 - the formal two-year mechanism by which a state must leave the EU - by the end of March
    • Peers will seek to guarantee the rights of EU citizens currently living in the UK and the role of Parliament in scrutinising the Brexit process
    • Follow our live coverage of today's events
  • Article: Feb 19, 2017

    On Thursday the 9th of February the Liberal Democrats on Kent County Council succeeded in making a change in the County Council budget.

    Martin Vye, Canterbury county councillor and Liberal Democrat spokesperson on the county council, said: "The Conservative administration presented the budget, said 'It can't be changed now, take it or leave it'. But we looked at the figures very carefully. There was no way, given the cuts the Government have inflicted on local government, that we could make a big difference in the money for education or social services. But we found a way to re-route half a million pounds to a service that will make a big difference to our most vulnerable fellow-residents."

  • Article: Feb 18, 2017
    By Martyn Pennington

    As incoming Chair of the Liberal Democrats in our area I want you to know that 2017 will be a busy and, I hope, encouraging year for us. We plan to build on the string of successes in 2016:

    • Our local membership in East Kent has more than doubled in the last 18 months, with over 100 members in each of the Thanet and Dover branch areas;
    • Nationally we have a fantastic record in by-elections, not just in Parliament but in Council elections where we gained 22 seats from other parties in 2016.