Kirsten in Braunton

Liz and Derrick Spear, Kirsten Johnson and Adam BradfordOver a weekend in August the new North Devon Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson, Kirsten Johnson, joined up with local Braunton Councillors, Adam Bradford and Liz & Derrick Spear.  Very much a listening exercise about a variety of local issues in Braunton and its surrounding hamlets.  Kirsten wants to find as much time as possible to engage with local residents. 

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Commando Logistic Regiment - freedom of Barnstaple

Entrance sign to RMB Chiveor showing Commando Logistic Regiment badgeLiberal Democrat Councillor Ian Roome, Chairman and Mayor of Barnstaple Town Council said:

“Being an ex-servicemen based at RAF Chivenor, it was a great pleasure to propose to the full council that the Commando Logistic Regiment, Royal Marines be granted the Honorary Freedom of the Town.

“This is the highest honour that the town council can bestow on an organisation and I’m delighted that the town council recognises the contribution that the serving personnel and families make to our community.

“I’m sure that this relationship between the Commando Logistic Regiment, Barnstaple Town Council and its community will continue to foster good relations for the future.”

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Councillors' Greed Trumps Children's Safety

Local LibDems present a petition on a Barnstaple school crossing patrol to the leader of Devon County Council yesterday.Caroline Leaver and other local LibDems presented a petition on a Barnstaple school crossing patrol to the leader of Devon County Council on 1st August.

Caroline is a local mum and LibDem councillor for Newport, Barnstaple. She said

“Newport School’s lollipop lady couldn’t afford to carry on working after the County Council stopped paying her travel expenses. She had to resign in May and since then, our children have had to cross a busy main road on their own to get to school every day. When I heard that County Councillors had agreed to increase their own expenses, at the cost of £100,000 a year, rather than find a few quid a week extra to keep local children safe, I was outraged.”

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Another Lib Dem Gain from the Tories

Image of Cllr Joy Cann with Caption 'Another Lib Dem Gain from ToriesThe result from the Bickington by election for Fremington Parish Council means Lib Dems have gained yet another seat from the Tories in North Devon!

Congratulations Joy Cann who polled 268 votes (80.7%).  Her only opponent, Labour, polled 64 votes (19.3%). This vacancy was caused by the resignation of Tory Councillor Jackie Flinn so is a Lib Dem gain from Conservatives.

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Following the By-Election Road

Graphic pointing Lib Dems the way to Lewisham East, Fremington and BickingtonKirsten Johnson, newly selected Lib Dem prospective parliamentary candidate for North Devon writes about the recent by-election in Lewisham East, and the forthcoming ones in North Devon.

"Well done to Lucy Salek and the team in Lewisham East for a fantastic by-election result! The Lib Dem vote share went up by 19%, pushing the Tories well into third place.

This result can inspire us in our efforts to win the Fremington District Council seat and Bickington Parish Council ward in the June 28th by-elections here in North Devon.

Everyone has a role to play – those who deliver leaflets, people who make phone calls, donors who fund the campaign and activists who knock on doors to canvass voters. Lewisham East has proven that a team effort works, and every little bit helps. Do join in with other North Devon supporters and members in winning these District and Parish Council seats.

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Lib Dems Select New Parliamentary Candidate for North Devon

North Devon Lib Dems welcome Dr. Kirsten Johnson as their new Prospective Parliamentary Candidate.North Devon Liberal Democrats have selected their new prospective parliamentary candidate to try and win the seat back at the next election.

Kirsten Johnson – a Lib Dem county councillor and professional musician from Oxfordshire – was chosen at a meeting of party members in Barnstaple on 2nd June.  She will be moving into North Devon shortly to enable her to devote maximum time and effort to her campaign.

Kirsten Johnson emerged from a field of 11 to become the new PPC.

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A Tale of Two Attitudes at County Hall

Graphich showing hand on wallet on left and school 'lollipop' sign on right

Devon CC have announced that while they can find the money to pay for increased Councillors allowances, they cannot afford £45 to continue to employ a school crossing 'Lollipop Lady'. 

Brian Greenslade, Lib Dem County Councillor for Barnstaple North writes the following:

Devon CC have announced that while they can find the money to pay for increased Councillors allowances, they cannot afford £45 to continue to employ a school crossing 'Lollipop Lady'. 

Brian Greenslade, Lib Dem County Councillor for Barnstaple North writes the following:

"North Devon Journal, May 31st, carries two stories about Devon County Council which paint a disappointing difference in attitude displayed by County Councillors.

“Firstly, on page four, there is a report that County Councillors have just voted for a 15% increase in their allowances. This is an additional £100,000 expenditure with no provision in this year’s budget. I and Lib Dem colleagues voted against implementing this increase. Conservative, Labour, Independent County Councillors voted for the increase therefore it was approved.

Secondly page six with a story about Devon County Council cutting expenses for a Lollipop Lady to the extent she has given up her job by Newport School. She offered to stay on if DCC found her £45 in travel expenses from her home in Bideford.

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Upgrades to North Devon Link Road to boost business

key_BG_link-road.jpgBarnstaple North Lib Dem County Councillor Brian Greenslade said “It feels like Christmas for North Devon. Firstly the news of the Tour of Britain cycle race coming to North Devon again and within a couple of days confirmation that the Government will help fund major improvements to the North Devon Link Rd is super news for our area and when delivered will make a significant contribution to improving safety on this road and also help regenerate the local economy.

I have long campaigned for improvements to the Link Rd which has a bad reputation for road safety. I know this will please our former MP Nick Harvey who secured a commitment from senior Cabinet Members for improving the Link Rd prior to the 2015 general election. Also thanks to the Journal for their campaigning in support of winning funding for these improvements.

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County to be asked to lobby against £50 million for Grammar Schools.

Graphic showing money being drained from Devon.  Caption reads County to be asked to lobby against £50 million for Grammar SchoolsDevon County Council Liberal Democrats will ask County Councillors to support their motion, to be proposed at the full meeting at County Hall on May 24th, calling on Devon MPs to oppose the Government’s proposal to give Grammar Schools an extra £50 million while Devon Schools remain significantly underfunded compared to the national average.

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Our health care: financial cuts first, health care second!

Sign for North Devon District HospitalBrian Greenslade, Lib Dem County Councillor for Barnstaple North, who sits on the DCC Health Scrutiny Committee , says that the sudden rush to introduce Integrated Care Systems between the NHS and Organisations like Devon County Council is being rushed through on financial considerations, not what is necessarily right for the services people need.

"To present a report to the County Council Cabinet in March just three week’s before the 1st April, with little commentary on governance arrangements and no prior consultation with the public and the Health Scrutiny Committee, is just not acceptable.

"It smacks of the same approach that Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt was up to when he tried to slip Accountable Care systems through without reference to the Commons Health Select Committee. Thankfully the Health Select Committee Chair robustly and successfully intervened.

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