Fire service at risk from budget cuts

Kirsten Johnson with fire officers Trevor French and Scott YoungKirsten Johnson and the North Devon Liberal Democrats are opposing the reduction in fire services in North Devon. Kirsten says, “Safety is being sacrificed due to budget cuts. Our services need proper funding and must remain fully operational. I am concerned for the safety of the residents of North Devon if fire services are reduced and stations closed.

Kirsten discussed this with the Fire Brigades Union’s Trevor French and has signed the Fire Brigade Union's (FBU’s) petition against the closures (pictured here).

In regards to the proposed closure of Woolacombe Fire Station, North Devon Cllr. Malcolm Wilkinson points out, “The residential population of the parish is 1,300 but this time of year it swells to over 15,000. There can be 10,000 on the beach alone!”

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Crafters contribute to North Devon Economy

Kirsten Johnson and husband Jonathan at Lee Village Arts & Crafts Fair Kirsten Johnson, Prospective Parliamentary Candidate (PPC) for North Devon has been visiting Arts & Crafts Fairs and galleries across the constituency.

“North Devon is a wonderful place to live for those who enjoy the performing and creative arts.  Performing arts abound, and our galleries present work by local artists and crafters who all contribute to the culture and economy of North Devon.” She says.

Kirsten and her husband Jonathan were recently in the village of Lee, near Ilfracombe, visiting the annual Arts & Crafts fair.  “Holidaymakers enjoy viewing and buying locally made produce, that in turn supports our artists and local crafters as well has helping to maintain important local assets such as Lee Memorial Hall.  That way we all win.

Elisha George new Barnstaple Lib Dem Councillor

Cllr. Ellie George (centre) celebrates her election with Kirsten Johnson (second right) and other supportersKirsten Johnson, Parliamentary Spokesperson for the North Devon Liberal Democrats, congratulated Elisha George on her election to Barnstaple Town Council for Forches Ward.

Kirsten says, "Elisha is young, enthusiastic and willing to work hard for her community. I am thrilled she has been elected to Barnstaple Town Council. Elisha is ready to get stuck into casework and making a difference for local residents. Liberal Democrats are community champions and fighting hard for a fairer society in North Devon. This begins at the grass-roots, and people like Ellie George, representing the ward where she lives, can make a real difference."

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Kirsten Johnson welcomes new leader Jo Swinson

Jo Swinson MP - new leader of the Liberal DemocratsKirsten Johnson, Parliamentary Spokesperson for the North Devon Liberal Democrats, welcomes the announcement of Jo Swinson MP as new leader of the Liberal Democrat party. Kirsten says:

"Jo Swinson is a talented leader who has inspired many through the course of the leadership campaign. Her passion and enthusiasm to promote liberal values will be be a beacon of hope to many disaffected voters across the country.

I have worked with Jo in meetings and can attest that she is keen to work towards a fairer society, where all are equal and young people have opportunities to thrive. Liberal Democrats are fighting to reverse school cuts and give education the funding it needs. We are fighting climate change, supporting renewable energy initiatives, demanding green housing policy and working to protect our countryside. As former Business Minister, Jo has much practical experience that will help develop policies enabling businesses to thrive.

"On these and other issues facing North Devon, I look forward to working with Jo to make North Devon a fairer, greener and more equal place to live. I will be asking Jo to come visit us in the near future so that local residents can have the opportunity to meet her."

"Jo Swinson is the first woman to be Leader of the Liberal Democrats. This is especially poignant for me as I am working hard to be the first female MP to represent North Devon."

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Kirsten Johnson’s statement on Care in North Devon, following recent reports.

Kirsten Johnson is supporting  improvements to North Devon Care servicesResponding to recent reports in the media, Parliamentary Spokesperson Kirsten Johnson comments:

"I fully support the recommendation of the cross-party group of Peers that our care services need an immediate investment of £8 billion pounds. 

"North Devon has an ageing population. Many move here to retire, and then as they get older rely on care services. I have been meeting with care providers and care users. There is a lot that needs improving in North Devon, and it comes down to funding. £8 billion more for our care services nationally would make a real difference in North Devon. 

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Chittlehampton By-Election

Looking out over The Square, Chttlehampton

We would like to thank our fantastic candidate Victoria Nel for flying the Lib Dem flag in the recent Chittlehampton by-election.

The poll was delayed from the May elections by the death of Walter White.  Walter was a very popular and well respected member and will be missed on the Council.  The anti-Tory vote was split between the Green candidate and Victoria Nel for the Lib Dems and that enabled the Conservative to win.

Overall the Liberal Democrats have exactly half the seats on the Council – 21 out of 42 and like many other District Councils in Devon and beyond have replaced the Tory administration and are now running the Council with the Independents.

Already, the executive system, where one party had all the power, has been changed to a much more inclusive committee system.  This is allowing all councillors to be much more involved in the decision making rather than just giving all the power to a few. 

D-Day Service

Wreath laying at the Braunton Peace TreeKirsten Johnson, North Devon Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson, attended the D-Day service at St Brannock's, Braunton, on June 6th.

Led by the Vicar of St Brannock's church, Rev’d Anne Thorne, the service included the laying of wreaths by Mrs Liz Spear, Chair of Braunton Parish Council; the First Secretary from the U.S. Embassy in London; and the British Legion.

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Crisis in Care in North Devon

Avril Stone and Kirsten JohnsonWe are facing a catastrophe in the care of our most vulnerable people.

Two recent reports have highlighted the issues. Monday night’s BBC Panorama programme: Care in Crisis: Who Cares? highlighted many heart-breaking failures in our care system. On Tuesday, the Institute of Fiscal Studies produced a report highlighting the vast shortages of money for social care.

Kirsten Johnson, North Devon Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson, is leading the campaign to improve the quality and recognition of care in North Devon. She says “I demand proper recognition and reward for those many people in North Devon who undertake care of vulnerable people. This is the most important work anyone can do, yet it often goes under-appreciated. Care must be properly funded.”

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Election Thanks From Councillor David Worden, Leader of North Devon Council

L-R: Councillor Malcolm Prowse (Deputy Leader), Councillor Julie Hunt (Vice Chairman), Councillor Frank Biederman (Chairman) and Councillor David Worden (Leader)Election night was a thrilling night for North Devon Liberal Democrats as we won many more seats and now represent half of the council wards.  On behalf of my party I would like to thank all who voted and particularly those who put their trust in the Liberal Democrat candidates.  We will do our best to serve all our residents and continue to work on behalf of all electors.

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Great Night for North Devon Lib Dems

Lib Dem candidates in the May 2019 electionsNorth Devon Lib Dems had an excellent day at the polls - once more becoming the majority party on North Devon District Council in the May 2nd election;

David Worden, leader of the Lib Dem group on the council says:

"I am absolutely thrilled that the North Devon Liberal Democrats have won 21 out of the 42 seats on the North Devon Council with one election still to come. It was a tremendous night for us and shows that the Lib Dem fight back is well and truly happening.  We have some excellent new councillors and hopefully will make a big difference in North Devon.  The Conservative vote collapsed in many areas as people have realised that the Liberal Democrats are the ones that work hard all the year around."

Also up for election were a number of Town and Parish councils across North Devon.

On Barnstaple Town Council, Lib Dems won 22 of the 24 seats; On Braunton Parish Council Lib Dems won seven of the thirteen seats; Fremington Parish Council,  Lib Dems won two of the fifteen seats; South Molton Town Council Lib Dems won three of the twelve seats.

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