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.
Local 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.
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.”
Lib 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.
The 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.
Alan Rennles, the new chairman of the North Devon Lib Dems said “I am delighted with the recent by-election victories where we won two District Council seats and two Town and Parish seats from the Tories. This resurgence has been seen throughout Devon where we recently won three other by-election seats in Teignbridge and Chudleigh”. These are challenging times and we are restructuring ready for the 2019 District, Town and Parish elections.
As temperatures seem set to rise Shadow NDC Leader and County Councillor Lib Dem Brian Greenslade says a very big thank you is due to so many who have gone more than the extra mile to help keep the community safe and secure during the extreme cold snowy weather.
A row broke out at North Devon Council’s tax setting meeting between Conservative and Liberal Democrat Councillors over the increase in the level of Council Tax for 2018/19.
Liberal Democrat members wanted the Council to stick by its previously agreed financial plan level of 1.99 pc but the Conservatives, supported by Independent Councillors, pushed through a higher increase of 2.99 pc.
Congratulations to Jacqui Footman and the whole South Molton Lib Dem team, who won an additional Town Council seat on January 11th. (LD Gain from Independent)
The by-election results were as follows:
Jacqui Footman (LD) - 311 (41.6%)
Ron Herniman (IND) - 237 (31.7%)
Steve Hinchcliffe (LAB) - 199 (26.6%)
Photo shows Cllr. Jaquie Footman with Lib Dem Cllrs Brian Greenslade (left) and David Worden (right) with local organiser Jevon Whitby.
Well done to Jaquie, and everyone who worked so hard to achieve this great start to 2018.
Congratulations to Lib Dem Caroline Leaver, who GAINED Newport Ward in Barnstaple from the Conservatives by just 17 votes on 7th December.
The election was called following the death of respected Conservative Councillor Michael Harrison. However, voters saw this election as an opportunity to bring in new blood and end the Conservative control of the District Council.
Electors saw the previous administration supporting County Council and Government cuts to local services and decided enough was enough.
North Devon District Council (Newport) (LD GAIN)
Liberal Democrats (Caroline Leaver) - 390 (39%)
Conservatives - 373 (37%)
Green - 159 (16%)
Labour - 83 (8%)