Liberal Democrats on course to seize control of North Devon Council at May 2 election
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable MP told a packed meeting of candidates, members and supporters in Barnstaple that they had a ‘unique chance to seize control of North Devon Council from a Tory party riven by divisions and in-fighting’ when the county goes to the polls on May 2.
“We have a real opportunity to seize control of North Devon Council from the Conservatives, with their dreadful track record of austerity cuts and a complete disregard for the needs of the North Devon community,” Sir Vince told the meeting on Saturday April 13.
Heaton-Jones told by Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority to repay money in full in humiliating move
North Devon Conservative MP Peter Heaton-Jones has been reprimanded by Parliamentary authorities and ordered to repay monies after making expense claims that contravene the code on MP’s expenses.
Ten years after the 2009 expenses scandal ended the careers of several MPs by exposing the widespread misuse of public funds, Mr Heaton-Jones has been castigated by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) for charging ineligible expenses to his MP’s Procurement Card and ordered to repay the money in full in a humiliating move.
Will Topps, former Devon captain and 200-game Barnstaple Rugby Club First XV stalwart, is standing for Bickington Ward on North Devon Council as one of three Liberal Democrat candidates.
With daily experience of the devastating effects of funding cuts on his own classroom by Conservative-controlled Devon County Council, Will Topps, an English teacher at Pilton Community College, decided to make a stand against unfair Tory education funding.
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable will be visiting North Devon this coming Saturday to launch the final push of the district election campaign in which local Liberal Democrats are fighting hard to gain overall control of North Devon District Council.
Sir Vince will join David Worden, leader of the Liberal Democrats on the North Devon Council, at a special event for candidates, members and supporters in Barnstaple on the afternoon of Saturday April 13 2019.
Several Lib Dems unopposed as rival parties struggle to field candidates.
North Devon Liberal Democrats, led by their first female Prospective Parliamentary Candidate, Kirsten Johnson, are standing a record-breaking number of candidates across the constituency for elections on May 2.
Lib Dem candidates outnumber Conservatives, who have had to concede six places on Barnstaple Town Council alone to the Lib Dems for lack of ability to field Tory candidates.
The Liberal Democrats have set out a comprehensive plan ahead of the local elections to support struggling high streets across England, including for Barnstaple town centre.
Kirsten Johnson, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for North Devon, described the plans as “exactly the sort of policy we need to boost local investment and ensure businesses in North Devon thrive”.
The number of children living in absolute poverty across the UK has risen by 200,000 in a year, to a total of 3.7 million.
Kirsten Johnson, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for North Devon, said: "I have been calling for an end to austerity and fairer funding for North Devon. This report shows the horrible effect cuts are having on the most vulnerable in North Devon. We must provide properly for our children and young people, to give them the future they deserve."
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”.