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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Free School Meals Under Threat!

Image of child carrying school meal tray.A recent vote in Parliament will threaten the availability of free school meals says Barnstaple Lib Dem County Councillor Brian Greenslade. He made this comment after Liberal Democrat’s at County Hall obtained a break down of the eligibility for free school meals across the county. This shows that 9,522 out of 99,389 pupils, 9.6%, are eligible for free school meals.

The threat to free school meals arises from the Government ploughing ahead with changes as part of the Conservatives Universal Credit Welfare policy. As a result of the vote the earnings threshold for free school meals for children, apart from years one and two, will be £7,400.

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Liberal Democrats demand end to school cuts

Graphic: Stop real term cuts to our schoolsLocal school budgets are being squeezed by real terms cuts from the Conservative government. In Devon, our schoolchildren receive over £260 LESS than the national average.

The cuts mean our schools are trying to deliver the same education but with less money. Teachers are overworked and it is our children who will pay the price.

The Liberal Democrats have proposed a bold new plan to fight these cuts. They will protect school budgets in real terms - meaning no pupil will be worse off.

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Lib Dems demand £6billion for NHS

Graphic: Put 1p on income tax to rasie £6bn for NHS

The Liberal Democrats are calling for an extra £6 billion a year to protect the NHS, paid for by an extra penny on Income Tax.

The money raised will be guaranteed for the NHS and social care services, which is currently in crisis with delayed operations, full hospital beds and record numbers left waiting in A&E.

Lib Dem councillor, Ian Williams said:

“Our NHS is at breaking point. With the Government planning even more cuts, our health service needs a necessary funding injection and only an increase in income tax can feasibly help.”

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Lib Dems pledge more for rural areas

Graphic - Lib Dems pledge more for rural areasLib Dems in Devon have voted for increased investment in areas just like North Devon.

Braunton Lib Dem councillor Derrick Spear said, “We believe that all communities – whether rural or urban – should have the opportunity to flourish, although too often areas like North Devon get overlooked.”

Liberal Democrats would build affordable homes on all developments.

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Real help for the homeless

Graphic - Real help for the homelessThe Liberal Democrats are fighting for a new solution that would tackle the growing  problem of rough sleeping in North Devon at its root.

The plan includes extra investment in mental health services as well as investment in thousands of new council houses.

If put into action, the Lib Dem plan would put money from the sale of local council houses back into a pot which North Devon Council could use to build more council homes and tackle homelessness in our area.

New plans will put money and power back into the hands of local people and local councils. Councils would even be able to choose to end ‘right to buy’ locally if it was deemed to be damaging.

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