North Devon Council was told of a ‘shocking’ record of inaction and arrogance by members of the ruling Conservative group at a crunch meeting last week.
Nine Tory members of the council administration failed to deliver essential annual reports required by their appointment as advisers and overseers of key local and national bodies, the council was told at a full meeting on March 13, 2019.
A report published by the Department for Education (DfE) and reported in The Times Educational Supplement, supports the warning issued by Kirsten Johnson, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for North Devon, in October 2018, almost six months ago.
The DfE report, published on March 15th 2019, confirms that even good rural schools are struggling to recruit teachers, to find enough funding and to provide a broad curriculum.
The Liberal Democrats have demanded North Devon Council take ‘urgent action’ after revealing it is one of over 100 councils across the country that has no plans to increase the number of electric vehicle charging points.
Kirsten Johnson, Liberal Democrat parliamentary spokesperson for North Devon, claimed local councils have been “hamstrung by Conservative Government cuts” and warned “urgent action is needed to tackle rising transport emissions”.
Kirsten Johnson, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for North Devon, will chair a national discussion on Universal Credit and Homelessness on Saturday in York. This debate is part of the Liberal Democrats' Spring Conference.
On the panel are Lord John Shipley, Liberal Democrat Housing Spokesperson, Daniel Dumoulin from Depaul UK, a charity which helps people who are homeless, vulnerable and disadvantaged, and Caron Lindsday, Scottish Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Housing and Social Security.
The Liberal Democrats have revealed that the Conservative Government has not conducted any analysis of the impact of Brexit on sheep farming in the UK.
Kirsten Johnson, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for North Devon, said: “Over half a million sheep are farmed in North Devon each year. Europe is our biggest export market. I have been speaking to local sheep farmers who are dismayed about the impact of Brexit on their businesses.”
Kirsten Johnson, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for North Devon, has warned of a ‘postcode lottery’ as official figures reveal only 48% of people in Devon have been offered a health check over the last five years, significantly below the national average of 85.21%.
Health check-ups for adults in England are available to everyone aged 40-74. According to the NHS, these checks are designed to spot early signs of stroke, kidney disease, heart disease, type 2 diabetes or dementia.
Speaking on ITV West Country in February, Kirsten Johnson said Universal Credit is not working for North Devon families.
Families in Devon are struggling to put food on the table because of the Government’s flagship reforms of the benefits system, Kirsten Johnson, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for North Devon, told a parliamentary panel broadcast on ITV West Country.
Set up to provide short-term help to local residents facing temporary financial problems, food banks are increasingly reporting that users are permanently depending on them because the total amount of their benefits has been cut when they are moved on to Universal Credit.
Liberal Democrat MP Wera Hobhouse has introduced a Bill to improve mental health care for new mothers. It is called the ‘Postnatal Check-ups (Mental Health) Bill’. The first reading was in Parliament yesterday.
Kirsten Johnson, the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for North Devon, said: "I welcome this legislation. As a mother of three, I am well aware of what is currently offered to new mothers. It is not enough. This campaign will tackle one aspect which could be improved: introducing the requirement that the current routine NHS post-natal check-ups, given six weeks after having your baby, must include mental health checks and support."
Kirsten Johnson, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for North Devon, has criticised the Delegated Legislation Committee’s intention to raise probate taxes on the estates of deceased constituents.
She said: “In a move described by James Coney, Money Editor of The Sunday Times, as a ‘callous, underhand tax raid on the bereaved’, our North Devon Conservative MP has decided to plough on with this secret, undemocratic decision, without seeming to care about the effect on grieving families. As North Devon families are already struggling to cope with the impact of Tory austerity cuts, this is an added burden and, quite frankly, an insult to those who have worked hard to buy their own homes.”
Kirsten Johnson, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for North Devon, welcomes the Liberal Democrat Plastic Pollution Bill 2017-2019, which has been drafted with ‘Friends of the Earth’ and the ‘Women’s Institute’ to cut plastic pollution.
The new draft law aims to end single-use plastic by 2024.
The Plastic Pollution Bill was presented to Parliament on Monday 25 February by Liberal Democrat Environment Spokesperson, Alistair Carmichael MP.