A sustained three-year Liberal Democrat campaign to save RMB Chivenor has paid off – despite repeated Government warnings that it would close.
Lead campaigner Kirsten Johnson, the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for North Devon, said today: “Chivenor is vital to the economy of the area so this is marvellous news for local people. The Lib Dems have fought long and hard for this decision and I am delighted our efforts have paid off.”
By cutting County Hall waste, Devon Lib Dems find more cash for Special Educational Needs, rural bus services, mental health services for young people, highways and helping young people get to college.
In its budget proposals for the coming financial year (2019/20), the Liberal Democrat Group on Devon County Council has found more than £2.4 million to invest in front-line services, largely by identifying more ways to save money at County Hall.
Kirsten Johnson, Lib Dem Parliamentary Spokesperson for North Devon, has pressed the Conservative Secretary of Health, Matt Hancock, to clarify the reasons for shortages of essential glaucoma treatment drugs in North Devon pharmacies, surgeries and hospitals.
Kirsten Johnson, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for North Devon has had a written question submitted to Conservative Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock MP, asking him to clarify the reasons for delays and shortages of essential glaucoma treatment drugs in North Devon.
The Parliamentary Question has been asked by Lib Dem MP, Tom Brake.
Kirsten Johnson, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for North Devon, has appeared in the February edition of ITV's West Country Debate.
Issues under discussion were…
A damning report by the North Devon Council Overview and Scrutiny Committee has flagged up the problems faced by the NHS in North Devon and identified that one of the solutions would be to reintroduce Nursing Bursaries. This was a key pledge in the Liberal Democrat Manifesto of 2017, after the Conservatives scrapped them as part of their ideologically driven austerity measures.
Dr Kirsten Johnson, the Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for North Devon and a Mental Health First Aider, entered politics because of her concern over mental health provision. She welcomes the debate in Parliament on January 17th on incorporating Mental Health First Aid into First Aid at Work legislation.
Kirsten says, “One of the reasons I entered politics, as a career musician, was my concern over mental health and lack of provision for those experiencing mental ill-health.”
In March 2015 Kirsten Johnson successfully amended Liberal Democrat party policy on Mental Health to include incorporating mental health first aid into physical First Aid at Work courses.
North Devon Liberal Democrats, led by Prospective Parliamentary Candidate Kirsten Johnson are confident that the campaign they launched in 2016 to save Royal Marine Base (RMB) Chivenor has been successful.
MoD sources are saying that the decision was made before Christmas and will be announced in late March. Lib Dem faith in the strategic military value of Chivenor to the UK, and the local economic benefits it brings to North Devon, will have been vindicated.
Kirsten Johnson says, “This has been a long and hard-fought Liberal Democrat campaign in North Devon, as well as at Westminster. I would like to thank Sir Nick Harvey and other senior Lib Dems, including the late Paddy Ashdown, who have helped to bring this anticipated reprieve about. The Lib Dem Groups on, Braunton Parish Council, North Devon District Council and Barnstaple Town Council have also all played their part. This is an example of real Lib Dem team effort, which DOES change lives for the better in North Devon. This decision, when it comes, which has taken this Conservative Government so long to make, means that jobs at Chivenor will be secure. It means that the enormous economic contribution the base brings to North Devon can continue.”
As the Conservative Government teeters on the edge of a No Deal Brexit, North Devon Liberal Democrats are continuing to put pressure on Conservative led North Devon District Council (NDDC) to URGENTLY start planning for Brexit in North Devon.
In September Liberal Democrats on NDDC successfully led a motion which would have ensured that businesses and services in North Devon would have a chance to prepare for Brexit by making them aware of any new regulations that might impact on them, post Brexit.
However, Tory Leader of NDDC, Cllr Braily, has cancelled meetings of the Cross Party Working Group set up to address this increasingly vital work. Speculation is increasing that NDDC Conservatives are fearful of the shambolic state of affairs within their own Conservative Government.
North Devon Liberal Democrats are saddened to hear of the death of former Leader and inspirational campaigner, Paddy Ashdown.
Lord Ashdown died today, 22nd December 2018 from bladder cancer.
He was a life-long public servant as a Royal Marine, diplomat, MP, Leader of the Liberal Democrats and a Peer in the House of Lords.
Paddy Ashdown was a regular visitor to North Devon where he was loved by many.