Petition – Reinstate Medical Centre Concessionary Free Parking

key_parking_charges.jpgNorth Devon District Council Car Park Adjacent to Fremington Medical Centre.

Until 2016, parking for the first hour was free, then NDDC decided to remove that concession says Julie Adnams Hatch.

This means paying to collect prescriptions, see nurse and book appointments. Now this is also causing problems for local residents - people are parking away from designated bays, blocking roads and driveways.

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Petition - Let’s Get Devon Schools Properly Funded!

School funding imageAt the moment the Government pays schools in Devon £290 a year LESS for each child than the national average. The Government have announced a new ‘Fairer Funding’ plan that means that around 200 schools in Devon will actually have their budget cut, while other schools will get a bit more. On top of that, the Conservatives running Devon County Council plan their own extra cut to schools, taking away £2.2 million. That is a £33 cut for every child.

Devon and Cornwall Liberal Democrats have launched a petition to call on Central Government to provide proper funding and the Conservative run County Council not to impose a further £2.2m cuts.

Follow this link to sign the petition.

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Local Government Settlement 2017/18

Devon squeezed againThe following message was sent by Devon County Councillor Brian Greenslade to Peter Heaton-Jones MP for North Devon.

Dear Peter,

Good to see you at the North Devon Executive on Wednesday. Unfortunately the representations from NDC to County Hall regarding the £2.2 m schools are upset about losing fell on deaf ears and the cut was made the following day. Having voted to lobby the County Council on Wednesday I have to say I was disappointed on Thursday when Messrs Edgell and Yabsley voted for this cut.

However the purpose of this letter relates primarily to the local government settlement for 2017/18 which I understand will be debated on Tuesday evening at Westminster. From our previous correspondence I know we are largely in agreement that Devon deserves a fairer settlement. I understand the point you made about only English MPs voting on certain matters giving the Conservatives a larger majority than the overall majority the government enjoys.

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Tories vote down £2.2m for Schools

At Devon County Council’s budget meeting on 16th Feb the Conservative majority voted down an amendment from the Lib Dem group which would have replaced the £2.2 m of funding for Devon Schools which the Conservative Cabinet at County Hall had cut.

Barnstaple Lib Dem County Councillor Brian Greenslade said “I cannot believe that Conservative County Councillors who attended the North Devon Executive meeting yesterday and wept tears over the loss of funding for our schools, heard Head Teachers explain the impact this would have, all voted to make this cut.

Yet another example of Conservative County Councillors talking the talk in North Devon but when at County Hall doing what the Tory whips say!”.

Prior to this Devon CC Councillors had issued the following statement:

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North Devon's response to the Syrian refugee crisis

Syrian refugeesNorth Devon Liberal Democrats are supporting the work of various local groups seeking to encourage North Devon District Council (NDDC) to participate in the government sponsored Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme.

NDDC is one of only two district councils in Devon not to have voted in favour of participation in this scheme.  There are already a number of local groups and services who would be able to support these families and help them settle and integrate into our community e.g. Sunrise Centre.  It is our view that helping refugee families should NOT be considered an alternative to helping local families – we should be looking to do both.

Please read more about the groups involved in this initiative - but also please take time to sign this petition in advance of the NDDC Executive meeting on 6th February, where the decision could be made.

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An Extra Penny for the NHS?

Image of medic measuring someones blood pressureTo avoid an NHS and Social Care funding crisis, people may now be prepared to pay an additional penny in every pound of tax, Lib Dem Leader Tim Farron MP has suggested.

The Lib Dem leader referenced a poll by ITV News which suggested that 70% of people of would happily pay an extra 1p in every pound if that money was guaranteed to go to the NHS.

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Continuing strong results for Lib Dems

Ballot PaperDecember proved another good month for the Liberal Democrats.  The success in the Richmond Park Parliamentary by-election demonstrated that the party is still a force to be reckoned with at national level.  A big thank you to everyone from North Devon who helped in Richmond - either on the doorstep, or making phone calls. 

In local elections there were a further 26 local government elections in December, with Lib Dems making gains at the expense of the Conservatives and Independents.  One of these was in Crediton, Devon, where LibDem Bob Wright gained his seat with more than 70% of the vote.

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Our schools are in desparate need of funding

Devon schools need fairer fundingLocal schools are facing falling over the cliff edge unless Government delivers on the promise of changing the school funding formula says Barnstaple Lib Dem County Councillor Brian Greenslade.

He raised his concerns at a meeting of Devon County Council on 8th December where his notice of motion calling on Government to deliver on the commitment to change the funding formula before it is too late for some smaller schools was approved.

Brian Greenslade said "as I understand it a commitment to make a change was made in 2013/14 by the Government and although some extra funding was received the formula remains unchanged and no date as been given thus far to make a change.This is affecting the ability of schools to plan for the future. However it is also very clear to local schools that unless Government deliver on the formula change schools will progressively face increasing deficits and cuts.

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Squeezing Devon - how much more must we take?

Devon being sqeezed - graphicIs there no limit to the squeeze Devon is being subject to?  North Devon is taking hit after hit from the Conservatives. It’s not just government cuts across the board, but ones that are targeted on rural communities such as ours.

"We are not getting fair funding for anything”, says Lib Dem District Councillor David Worden. “In education Devon is getting far less per student than many other areas. This coupled with the County Council decision to remove the top up for small schools is having a devastating effect."

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Chivenor - Body Blow

RMB Chivenor Entrance SignShadow Lib Dem Leader of North Devon Council and County Councillor Brian Greenslade said “devastating news about the future of RMB Chivenor. First the search & rescue squadron went now the Marines. 

"North Devon will be both culturally and financially worse off. The Royal Marines have been a welcome asset to our community. Remember the Military Wives Choir.

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