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  • Article: Nov 17, 2018
    By Nick Eden-Green

    Letter to the Kentish Gazette by Nick Eden-Green

    There's been a lot of words from some of your correspondents about how evil the private sector is and how much better things would be if the public sector took them over. A bit like Animal Farm where the slogan was 'two legs bad, four legs good'. George Orwell is still relevant some 70 years on.

  • Article: Nov 13, 2018
    By Nick Eden-Green

    A number of the major housing developments in Canterbury'stragically flawed local plan have now been passed by the planning committee. Local residents have frequently argued against them with both passion and logic on their side but they have not been listened to by the majority of councillors who have voted these developments through.

  • Article: Aug 17, 2018
    By Nick Eden-Green in Kentish Gazzette
    This article shows that successive Conservative governments have completely failed to tackle the housing crisis. Furthermore, government announcements to build more houses will merely mean local authorities having to grant planning permission on more and more sites with no guarantee that developers will actually build them. With 'affordable' homes costing over a quarter of a million none of this will address the needs of those who cannot afford a home.
  • Plastic bottles for recycling
    Article: Jul 16, 2018
    By Nick Eden-Green in Kentish Gazette

    Submitted to the Kentish Gazette for publication by Nick Eden-Green - July 2018

    When I was a kid we didn't have much of a litter problem. Nobody bought bottled water when tap water was free. Soda pop - and later - beer and cider came in deposit bottles. Milk was in returnable glass bottles. Takeaways had barely been invented and sandwiches came in brown paper bags. Has western culture really advanced so far?

  • Focus Team members Cllr Charlotte MacCaul, James Flanagan, Mike Sole and Cllr Nick Eden-Green at the air quality monitoring unit at Military Road
    Article: Jul 15, 2018
    By Nick Eden-Green

    Submitted to the Kentish Gazette and Canterbury Journal for publication by Nick Eden-Green - July 2018

    There has been much talk and little action about Canterbury's increasingly severe air pollution problem. We have been faced with growing numbers of diesel vehicles which new evidence shows are the main culprits. We will be faced with 11,000 more houses on the southern, eastern and western fringes of Canterbury, most of which will have cars and most will wish to use the ring road. This will mean far worse traffic jams. Remember, stationary or slow moving traffic is the most polluting.

  • Integrated Transport Hub
    Article: Jun 28, 2018

    The Canterbury Liberal Democrat Party today can reveal the draft new design as an alternative to the Conservative's multi-storey car park in Station Road West.

    Key features

    • Land on the north side of the station, currently disused or used for office space, is converted into parking.
    • The footbridge is extended to cross the siding on the north side of the station to allow pedestrian access. Ticket machines are available beside the north platform in a small new ticket hall.
    • The current ticket hall is extended to remove the bottleneck. Passengers enter and leave the platform through separate routes. The new building is designed sympathetically to its surroundings and architecturally evocative of Canterbury.
    • The area outside the ticket hall will be reserved for bikes and pedestrians. An extended bus stop that doesn't block traffic will take the place of the current taxi rank. Hopper buses will run frequently connecting the station with other locations in Canterbury including Canterbury East Station.
    • A bike hire facility and secure bike storage with CCTV will be relocated into the main area in front of the ticket hall making it more convenient and less prone to bike theft.
    • The passenger drop-off zone will be relocated to the main car park. As the ticket hall has been extended this will still be within a few metres of the building.
    • A larger taxi rank is relocated to the main car park, with the potential for additional taxi waiting in the north car park.
    • Additional trees will be planted all around to create a pleasant environment and help reduce air pollution.
  • Article: Jun 27, 2018
    Two groups of Lib Dems from Canterbury & Coastal have submitted motions to the national party and are waiting to hear if they will be accepted for debate at the conference in Brighton.
    A motion, "Every Child Counts", proposes the "restoration of Child Benefit to the centre of our child support system" through a weekly £5 increase and a "pause in the nation-wide roll out of Universal Credit". Monica Eden-Green and Maggs Mackechnie proposed and seconded this motion.
  • Canterbury West Train Station ()
    Article: May 29, 2018

    The proposed multi-storey car park for Canterbury Road West is an economic, environmental and cultural albatross.

    The Liberal Democrat party understands the need for commuter parking, but we say it cannot come at the expense of air quality - which already exceeds permitted levels in the area. It cannot come at the expense of traffic chaos and it cannot come at the expense of other more environmentally-friendly forms of transport. A better alternative for Canterbury is needed.

  • Barrat's Jaguar Showroom
    Article: May 24, 2018

    The scheme to redevelop the Barrett's show room on the corner of St Peter's Street and Pound Lane will be considered by the Council's Planning Committee on Tuesday, 29th May.

    The plans are for 120 student flats and four office units with associated facilities. The site is within the Canterbury City Conservation Area. It will be a car-free development, and the students will not be eligible for residents' on-street or off-street parking permits.

  • Litter in Maidstone
    Article: May 19, 2018

    The amount of litter along the verges of the A2 is appalling, a dreadful advertisement for those entering the country.

    The frequency of litter picking on the A2 within the District's boundary needs to be increased from once a year to twice a year.

    It costs £5,285 to pick litter from the A2, or £19,735 with traffic management. We urge the council to find the money in its budget to double the number of cleans so that they take place every spring and autumn.

  • Canterbury Ring Road
    Article: May 14, 2018

    Public consultation on the city council's comprehensive draft air quality action plan is underway.

    It runs until Friday 22 June and all the information can be found on the council's website.

  • Article: Feb 19, 2018
    By Nick Eden-Green in Kentish Gazette

    Canterbury District's controversial and much unloved Local Plan was published 6 months ago so perhaps it's time for a review. The Plan proposed 16,000 houses to be built almost entirely on greenfield land and concentrated onto the urban fringes of Canterbury. It was accompanied by a Transport Strategy that proposed over £100 million of expenditure with no clarity on where all the money was coming from. This strategy did nothing to address our biggest congestion and pollution problem - the ring road and the feeder roads to it - other than hoping for a 'modal shift' from driving to walking and cycling.

  • Stagecoach Bus
    Article: Feb 6, 2018

    Lib Dem campaigners are celebrating the U-turn by Conservative councillors that threatened rural bus services, including the evening service of the Number 17, serving Barham, Kingston, Bishopsbourne and Bridge.

    Mike Sole said, "It has been a worrying few weeks since Kent County Council (KCC) announced that 74 essential bus routes were under threat. Local residents were shocked that they might lose the only evening bus through the Elham Valley. "As the official opposition on KCC the Liberal Democrats campaigned against these cuts forcing the Conservatives to think again. It beggars belief that they even thought about making these cuts in the first place. The council's own report said that this cuts would particularly affect the disabled, older people and carers."

  • An aerial view of the proposed car park from above the station
    Article: Feb 4, 2018

    Canterbury City Council are proceeding with their plans to spend over £9 million building a multi-storey car park in Station Road West. A planning application has been submitted which can be viewed on the council's web site - www.canterbury.gov.uk. The application reference number is 17/02915. Your Lib Dem councillors believe that this car park is completely unnecessary and an appalling waste of council tax payers' money. There is sufficient parking in Station Road West to cover forecast parking demand for the next 15 years.

  • Article: Dec 14, 2017

    Barton Ward residents recently received a leaflet claiming that their three Conservative councillors oppose unsuitable student halls in residential areas. Yet when locals attended the planning committee on 10th October that considered 21 units in Havelock Street, the Barton Councillors were nowhere to be seen.

  • Ida
    Article: Dec 13, 2017

    "The Conservatives running Kent County Council want to close the Riverside Children's Centre at Kingsmead in Canterbury" says Cllr Ida Linfield.

    "The centre provides on-site health visitor and midwifery clinics and is amongst among the busiest in Kent - with 1890 and 1024 visits each last year. It provides a vital service for local families."

  • Article: Dec 5, 2017

    From the recent political hot air you would think the government or the opposition are about to build a lot more houses. This is a complete con trick. No government of any political persuasion has built a single house for years. Nor has any local authority built more than the odd handful. Developers build houses not governments. The government may be pressing for a huge increase in housebuilding and I agree we need more housing to meet local needs. But that actually builds nothing.

  • Article: Nov 30, 2017

    Letter sent to Kent Messenger on 30th October 2017

    I note from your last issue that CCC is about to spend some £1.3m on new barriers and car parking technology and a further £600k on street improvements. Splendid.

    I hope the barriers will withstand the rigours of the night-time economy better than those in the residents car park in Black Griffin Lane which are almost permanently broken. I hope our continental tourists will understand the system too. The barriers in the Castle Street multi storey car park cause regular heebie jeebies and delays.

    It strikes me that £2m is a lot of money for a Council on its financial knees that is apparently unable to undertake the simple housekeeping jobs of cleaning our streets and dealing with graffiti. I have been trying to get the filthy and intimidating Wincheap subway cleaned for over two years. Even the graffiti is beginning to peel off in places because it's so old. But I'm told there's no money.

    For the sake of tourists, residents and shoppers alike can CCC please get to grips with the basics first and spend a few hundred on housekeeping before they spend a couple of million on vanity projects.

  • Article: Nov 24, 2017

    Proposals have been drawn up for a planning application at Highland Court.

    This massive development of around 300 acres on the parish boundaries of Bridge, Bishopsbourne and Kingston will provide 300 high value holiday
    homes capable of providing 1,000 high value bed nights for the city, 150 high end retirement homes and expansion of the business and industrial areas. Much of this development will be across the Downs, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

  • Article: Nov 13, 2017

    The Government's majority is wafer thin - and if MPs from all parties work together, there's a real chance we can defeat them and at the very least, stop them from pursuing a hard Brexit.

    That's why we're asking you to contact your MP and ask them to support four amendments (you can find out more about the amendments below).

  • Article: Oct 11, 2017

    Wincheap 4th Slip Road Plan

    Cllr Eden-Green provides some context:

    "The plan for the 4th slip road shows it ploughing through the park and ride and the allotments. No indication is given of how or where a new park and ride is to be built, let alone funded. There are no plans for the replacement of the allotments which is a legal requirement.

  • Dan Prevett(2)
    Article: May 12, 2017

    Canterbury Liberal Democrats have selected Dan Prevett as their candidate for the Westgate by-election.

    Dan is a resident of Westgate Ward where he lives with his wife Chloë and their two children. He has spent his career working in customer service and dispute resolution.

    "I am delighted to be the Lib Dem candidate in this by-election," said Dan. "The Lib Dems have an excellent track record of serving Westgate residents and I aim to continue that service if elected."

  • C&C LD logo charcoal
    Article: May 6, 2017

    The idea of a "Progressive Alliance" in Canterbury to defeat the Tories is a superficially attractive proposal. However, there are formidable political and practical obstacles to such a scenario. While there are many people who would jump at the chance to see the Conservatives lose in this constituency, there are other non-Tory voters who, if deprived of a candidate from their own party, would not vote at all. There are also significant questions about what manifesto such a candidate would stand on beyond a simple anti-Tory message. It might just work were there a genuinely independent candidate that all the opposition parties could unite behind. Think Martin Bell in Tatton (1997) or Dr Richard Taylor in Wyre Forest (2001 and 2005). There is no such person in Canterbury that we are aware of.

  • Martin Vye
    Article: Apr 14, 2017
  • Nick Eden Green profile
    Article: Apr 11, 2017

    Cllr Eden-Green expands on comments provided to Kent Online today

    The plan for the 4th sliproad onto the A28 has just been published. Significantly without any consultation with, or knowledge by, local Cllrs, local residents or parish cllrs.

    Frankly, I am gobsmacked!

    It shows a pedestrian crossing on the new sliproad before it reaches the bend to slow the traffic. Surely the first pedestrian crossing ever on a slip road from a motorway. Are Thanington lives so cheap?

  • Kent County Election Manifesto 2017
    Article: Apr 10, 2017
  • Martin Vye
    Article: Apr 7, 2017

    Martin Vye responds to the Conservatives attempt to quote him in their KCC election manifesto...

    I note from Off the Record by Paul Francis (Gazette, March 30) that the Conservative manifesto includes a quote from me saying "the KCC Education Department is operating at the very best I have ever seen".

  • Paddy Ashdown Canterbury 4 Europe
    Article: Apr 7, 2017
    Paddy Ashdown, former leader of the Liberal Democrats, visited Canterbury last Wednesday.
    Paddy was guest of honour at the local party's annual dinner, which this year marked Martin Vye's retirement from Kent County Council.
    At the event, Martin was presented with a long service award for his 28 years as a county councillor.
    Before the dinner, Paddy also joined members of Canterbury 4 Europe who were demonstrating near the Westgate Towers against the triggering of Article 50.
    "I was delighted to join celebrations for Martin's long service to Canterbury," said Paddy Ashdown. "I've known Martin for many years and he has served with great distinction as a councillor since 1989. He is a man of integrity, and I know he has respect right across the local community and across all parties. I wish him all the best in his retirement."
    "Martin is liked and respected by people of all parties and none," said local party Chairman Nigel Whitburn. "We are fortunate that as our local party President, he will continue to offer his expertise and wisdom to us in the years to come."
    Martin has represented the Canterbury City South West Division since 2005, and before that the Canterbury South division since 1989. He is the Liberal Democrat education spokesperson on Kent County Council.
  • Ida Linfield
    Article: Apr 6, 2017
    The Gazette reported last week that Canterbury City Council's plans for a supercouncil have hit the buffers and that leader Simon Cook is bemoaning the fact that this leaves him with a £2.2m budget black hole to fill.
    Can we suggest he blocks plans to spend £1.3m on fancy barriers and automatic number plate recognition schemes at our car parks - technology that will cost an ongoing fortune to service. Then he can abandon plans to chop down the trees in the High Street and plant new ones in the name of a so called improvement scheme. That's another £650,000 saved.
  • CCS focus March 2017 Page 1
    Article: Mar 24, 2017
    By Nigel Whitburn
  • CCN focus March 2017 page 1
    Article: Mar 24, 2017
    By Nigel Whitburn
  • Mike Sole Speed limits
    Article: Mar 23, 2017
    By Alex Claridge in Kentish Gazette 23 March 2017
  • C&C LD Logo
    Article: Mar 23, 2017

    This morning James Flanagan spoke on BBC Radio Kent's Breakfast show about the plans for the council merger and put our position forward. Segment starts from 1:32:20 here.

  • Canterbury Jan 2017
    Article: Mar 23, 2017

    Cllr Nick Eden-Green puts his vision across for our area:

    Locally the city council must put its own house in order before going for massive reorganisation. For example over the last few weeks I have been trying to get SERCO to replace the paper waste insert in my bin which they damaged. After 3 emails to SERCO and the council, someone came to my door with an open crate to use temporarily as the bin inserts are out of stock. Great. Putting paper in an open crate in the March winds is a guarantee that my paper waste will litter the streets. That means, you guessed it, more work for SERCO. Then they will eventually come back a second time with the correct insert and take the crate away. Who pays for all this? We do as taxpayers. Get it right first time and stop moaning about lack of money.

  • surgeon hospital doctor medical medicine
    Article: Mar 21, 2017
    Canterbury Liberal Democrats have slammed the Government's failure to provide enough extra cash for the NHS in the Spring budget, warning that local services - such as the K&C - will struggle to cope with growing demand.
    Ahead of the budget the Liberal Democrats called for a £4 billion funding boost for NHS and care services this year. That would amount to an extra £7 million for local NHS services in the Canterbury and Coastal area, and £52 million for social care across Kent. The Budget announced by the Government will instead see the share of national income spent on the NHS fall in the coming years.
  • EU Citizens Right to Stay
    Article: Mar 17, 2017
  • Europe Day of Action March 2017
    Article: Mar 12, 2017

    The Government urgently needs to rein in its attempts to use the thousands of EU citizens living across the UK as bargaining chips in Brexit negotiations.

    People from the EU make a huge contribution to our local economy and society. Recent figures have shown that EU citizens across Kent, Surrey and Sussex include over 800 doctors and 5,500 nurses. Across the South East, over 8,000 EU nationals work in social care.

  • Europe Day of Action March 2017
    Article: Mar 6, 2017

    Canterbury Lib Dems in town on Saturday 4 March for the party's European Action Day. Lots of other local parties taking part across the country. Great reception from people in Canterbury today, especially for our petitions calling for Britain to remain in the Single Market and for EU citizens to be guaranteed the right to remain in the UK.

  • The Gentil Knyght
    Article: Feb 25, 2017

    The Gentil Knyght which was shut in April last year has been plagued with problems ever since. Cars have been burnt outside the derelict pub, windows smashed, the back door forced open and the inside vandalised. It has been used as a playground by youngsters, and neighbours fear that it is only a matter of time before there is an accident, squatters move in or it is burnt down. Following an urgent request from your councillor, Michael Dixey, Canterbury City Council has taken action to ensure that the developer secures the site. The developers have submitted a second planning application following the refusal of their application last year to demolish the pub and build six three-storey houses on the site. The reference for the new application is CA/17/00149. Let us know what you think of the revised planning application

  • Affordable homes
    Article: Feb 24, 2017

    'It has been extensively rewritten but virtually none of the concerns raised by residents have been addressed', says Lib Dem Cllr Nick Eden-Green. 'Furthermore no councillors and no committee were involved in making these changes. The local plan steering group, which was supposed to oversee them, has been deliberately bypassed by the Conservatives in a desperate attempt to get this flawed plan back on track. It is already over a year late.

  • James Flanagan at Westminster
    Article: Feb 23, 2017

    Responding to today's reports that the Urgent Care Centre at Kent & Canterbury Hospital is to close, James Flanagan said, "The threat of closure to this much needed service is very worrying - especially as our area is growing."

    "Canterbury District already has a population of 157,000. Over the next 15 years, 15,000 houses will be built under the local plan, which could see a further 30,000 people across the district."

  • Michael Dixey
    Article: Feb 23, 2017

    Extracts from Mike's response at this weeks full council budget debate:

    This is a horrible, horrible budget - it's all about cuts, cuts and more cuts.

    I don't think that any of us here tonight stood for election to this council so that we could slash public services - but this is what we are doing here tonight.

  • Nick Eden Green profile
    Article: Feb 23, 2017
    The Gazette sent out a free guide to Canterbury and Thanet with last weeks paper. It listed some of our museums under the heading 'Get your hands on local history'. Top of the list was the Beaney in Canterbury with its 'topics such as the ancient Egyptians......and Greek artefacts'.
    Not exactly local history! Yet there was no mention of the Canterbury Heritage Museum which is stuffed with fascinating local history.
    The City Council is determined to shut the Heritage Museum. Why? Because it doesn't attract many visitors. Small wonder. It is never advertised, even under a specific local history listing. The prices have been raised to £8 for an adult whereas the Beaney is free. The displays haven't been changed in years. It's a bit hidden down a side street and it's not even signed from the Beaney. All this is perfect recipe for closure.
    If you are interested in local history go and visit it. Better still sign the petition to keep it open.
    Cllr Nick Eden-Green
    Lib Dem Wincheap Ward
  • C&C logo
    Article: Feb 23, 2017

    Canterbury Council is being very short sighted in thinking that tourists come to Canterbury for anything other than our history and our visitors follow in the footsteps all the Pilgrims who "went on pilgrimage" from the 12th century onwards.

    The Poor Priests Hospital was founded in 1240's with, it seems, Simon Langton heading up the fundraising. It cared for the elderly and infirm priests of Canterbury but now houses the Heritage museum which showcases the history of our city and its inhabitants over the years.

    A couple of years ago the Tories introduced new "opening hours" for the museum (which closed it for half the year) and then upped the entrance fee. There has been little publicity for the museum; limited signage or directions to it and there are never any enough publicity leaflets available at the council run Tourist Office - which only opens 6 days a week anyway! Given all these facts Its obvious that visitor figures would decrease.

    To close this museum and say the exhibits can move to the Beaney is not acceptable. Already the exhibits from the Buffs Museum have largely gone and residents have told us that the council is looking to sell other museum exhibits which are hidden away in storage as there is no room at the Beaney for them.

    If the Tory run council is keen to save this museum one answer could be for the Heritage museum to copy the Seaside Museum in Herne Bay which is "run entirely by volunteers through an independent Trust in partnership with Canterbury City Council " - to quote their website. Plans are also afoot to run the Whitstable museum along similar lines.

    Or they can follow the council officers' plans and close it.

    For starters I'm more than happy to collect the names of everyone who would volunteer their time at the Heritage Museum: Ida.linfield@cantlibdem.org.uk or phone 01227 750 146.

    And please remember the council consultation runs until next Wednesday March 1st on Canterbury Councils website so there's still time to have your say.

  • Martin Vye
    Article: Feb 19, 2017

    On Thursday the 9th of February the Liberal Democrats on Kent County Council succeeded in making a change in the County Council budget.

    Martin Vye, Canterbury county councillor and Liberal Democrat spokesperson on the county council, said: "The Conservative administration presented the budget, said 'It can't be changed now, take it or leave it'. But we looked at the figures very carefully. There was no way, given the cuts the Government have inflicted on local government, that we could make a big difference in the money for education or social services. But we found a way to re-route half a million pounds to a service that will make a big difference to our most vulnerable fellow-residents."

  • James Flanagan and Mike Sole - Calais Camp
    Article: Feb 16, 2017

    The decision to backtrack on providing sanctuary for 3,000 unaccompanied refugee children is shameful.

    Last year, Save the Children estimated there were 26,000 lone child refugees in Europe. Some had been separated from their parents by war, others had been orphaned, and all of them were at serious risk of exploitation, violence and disease.

  • Litter
    Article: Feb 11, 2017

    We are organising a litter pick on the London Road Estate on Saturday, 18th February. Are you able to help?

    If you can join us, please meet at the Gentil Knyght at 10.30am. We will supply litter pickers, plastic sacks and high-vis vests, but please wrap up warm.

    We aim to finish at midday, with a team photo for the newspapers followed by refreshments.

  • James Flanagan at Westminster
    Article: Feb 11, 2017

    My letter in the Kentish Gazette this week in response to MP Julian Brazier's article last week:

    Julian Brazier paints a very rosy picture of our future outside the European Union ("Time to fulfil our promises", February 2nd). This view is not only far from certain, but one that puts him at odds with his constituents, the majority of whom voted to remain.

  • Martin Vye
    Article: Feb 10, 2017

    "We are nearing breakdown in essential services" says Martin Vye, Canterbury county councillor, and the Liberal Democrat spokesperson for education and children's social services.

    "We have a situation where the Conservatives running Kent County Council are being forced to make cuts they don't want to make by their fellow Conservatives in the Government in Westminster. £5million is having to be lopped off education, which means there is less money to help the vital effort to support schools and help them achieve better results for our children.

  • Andrew Palmer
    Article: Feb 9, 2017

    Andrew Palmer - Lib Dem candidate for Canterbury City North in May's County Elections, takes the Tories to task over funding fears.

    Tory Councillor Neil Baker has kick-started his very own Project Fear - if we don't get a Mega-Council, he says, the bins won't be emptied, the streets won't be cleaned, parks and museums will close, and Park & Ride will end.