Recent news and updates
Article: Oct 27, 2020
The Government's White Paper is designed to bulldoze the planning system - a system that has been incrementally evolving since its inception in 1947. In our response to the White Paper, Sevenoaks Liberal Democrats highlighted our concerns in the following areas:
- Setting artificial deadlines for Local Plans and decisions will put undue pressure on decision makers. Many of the consequences of planning decisions taken today will be with us for a century or more. It is essential that decision-takers are permitted sufficient time to properly consider applications and local plans.
- The new "standard method" of calculating housebuilding targets appears to ignore local constraints on land for building. Over 90% of Sevenoaks District is currently within the Green Belt. It will not be possible to meet these significant increases to targets without removing protection from and building on significant areas across the district.
- Allowing any development to proceed in specific areas so long as it conforms to low-level planning guidelines without reby minimising local planning oversight would reverse devolution and undermine local democracy. Why ignore local knowledge?
- The proposal to fast-track"beautiful" development is a can-of-worms best left unopened. What might be a beautiful addition to a Stratford or Swindon street-scene might seem pretentious or monstrous in Sevenoaks Town or District. This "one size fits all" approach to beauty will not work.
- Developers need to be obliged to pay a fair share of the wider costs resulting from their developments. Furthermore, the financial benefits of changes to land use should be shared by local communities. Payments toward infrastructure should continue to be made before they have to be spent - local councils should not be obliged to shoulder the risk of private developers without any of the reward.
- Future developments in Sevenoaks District need to minimise reliance on cars, maximise green open space, and ensure adequate provision of affordable housing.
Article: Sep 10, 2020By Gareth Willis
Government should make laws, not break laws.
In Parliament Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis admitted that planned Northern Ireland customs legislation "does break international law". A Conservative Government ready to break international law shows how its moral standards, and common sense, have vanished under Boris Johnson. Tearing up the UK's proud history of promoting the rule of law is destroying our reputation on the world stage. It shreds our ability to promote British values of rule of law and justice in the world.
Article: Aug 17, 2020By Tony Clayton
Liberal Democrats will stand up to abuse of power - and of statistics. The use of 'statistics' to adjust the grades of students shows how little the people in power understand numbers, and put their own prejudices above real people.
You cannot use accumulated data about a whole group to make accurate predictions about a single individual within it. You can use statistics to predict what could happen to the average of the group - but that doesn't deal with individual people.
Article: Jul 23, 2020
Young Liberal Democrat activists in Sevenoaks, Dartford and Gravesham are setting up the only Young Liberal group in Kent outside the universities.
Sharan Virk from Gravesend, who, at only 23 has already stood a few times in local elections over the past 4 years, says, "One thing we can all agree upon is that politics is more often than not, considered a passion of those much older than us - no wonder we're always met with delight when we turn up to organised events!"
Article: Jul 2, 2020By Alan Wells, Medway Liberal Democrats
Liberal Democrats back Graham Colley to stand for Kent Police & Crime Commissioner election
Liberal Democrats are delighted to announce that Graham Colley has been selected as their candidate at the next Police and Crime Commissioner election, due to take place in May 2021. Graham has been a vocal supporter of Kent Police and will campaign for more frontline officers, community policing and improved visibility of police, especially in rural areas of the county.
Graham Colley represented the Party in the Rochester and Strood Constituency in the 2019 General Election and has previously been involved in Party and charitable bodies on behalf of the public.He is offering a fresh approach to policing in Kent.
Article: Jun 28, 2020By Tony Clayton
All Sevenoaks Town Councillors are committed for Stag to reopen and to succeed . We've been working for a plan to make it happen.We have to save Stag as a going concern not just for a few months then have to close it. We need to be clear on business-like plans to make it self supporting again.
We know the next few months are very hard to predict, and the Town Council has very little spare cash to give. So we suggested a three stage plan:
Article: Jun 27, 2020By John Death
The Liberal Democrats in Sevenoaks, Dartford and Gravesham are currently looking for candidates to stand in the Kent county council electoral divisions in May 2021. If you would like more details, please contact us here.
The pandemic has shown how important it is that social care, schools, public health, libraries, transport and our roads are well managed. That's what KCC do. The 81 Kent county councillors - with, currently, 7 Liberal Democrats - manage local spending of £1.5 billion a year. Covid-19 and Brexit are creating huge challenges for local government which Conservative Councillors will seek to solve by cuts. It is essential that local Liberal Democrats like us can stop this by standing for election or helping in the campaigns.
Article: Jun 13, 2020
Campaigners for safer streets on the way to school are nearly there asfter a long campaign.
This week plans went up for a 20mph zone all round St Johns School, incluing Hollybush Lane, Bayham Road, Quakers Hall Lane, Serpentine Road and the Harslands ara
School parents led the petition, backed by gheir local councillors. Most local residents put upposters in support and - finally - Kent County came up with a comrehensive plan which will protect most of the walking routes to St Johns. A similar zone is planeed around Sevenoaks Primary.