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  • Article: Mar 2, 2020
    By Canterbury&Coastal Liberal Democrats

    Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran slammed the Conservatives for "failing the most vulnerable", as analysis of new rough sleeping statistics shows that the Government is significantly off track on its target of eliminating rough sleeping by 2024.Layla Moran

    The Conservatives announced the revised target, which was previously 2027, after the election in December.

    The latest Rough sleeping snapshot, published today by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, shows that there were an estimated 4,266 rough sleepers in England on any given night in Autumn 2019, a reduction of just 411 people (8.8%) on 2018's figure. The figures are still a massive 141% up on 2010.

    According to Government figures, the South-East has some 900 rough sleepers on a typical night, the biggest number outside London.

  • Tin W Cant
    Article: Nov 5, 2019
    By Canterbury&Coastal Liberal Democrats

    Tim is an award-winning journalist, broadcaster and author who currently writes for The New European.

    As a media strategist, he has advised Gina Miller and the climate change think tank E3G. He worked for more than 12 years on the Daily Telegraph as a colleague of Boris Johnson. "A lot of the main architects of Brexit are fellow journalists and I know them only too well. Leaving the EU was always a pipe dream that they hadn't a clue how to implement" said Tim. He adds, "We are all sick to death of the mess the Tories have got us into with Brexit. We talk more about Brexit than we do about issues such as homelessness or climate change. Any form of Brexit will clog up the government and parliament for years.

  • Article: Oct 18, 2019
    Controversial plans to concrete over part of the Hambrook Marshes meadows have been put on hold.
    At two packed council meetings local Conservatives were determined to go ahead with a scheme to build on a beautiful nature reserve which actually belongs to all of us as citizens of Canterbury.
    'I spoke against it at the planning meeting but lost the vote 6:7', says Cllr Nick Eden-Green. This was despite the hundreds of people protesting against it and the thousands who signed petitions and sent letters.'
  • Article: Sep 8, 2019
    By Martin Roche

    By Martin Roche

    With a massive effort, the Liberal Democrats can win this Canterbury City Council seat on 19th September - please give some time to help Peter Old win.

    Hardly anyone alive has lived through such momentous political times. The UK finds itself caught in the vicious cross-winds of Brexit and a global drive by the hard Right to be the dominant political philosophy of the 21stcentury.

  • Article: Aug 31, 2019

    What an extraordinary admission by Anna Firth of the failure of the Conservatives, both locally and nationally, when she calls for new roads and high speed trains. In short, why hasn't her Conservative government and her council built them?

    If she had been in Canterbury when the local plan was voted through by the Conservatives she would have noted that they refused to consider a southern bypass for Canterbury. She should also remember it was her government that insisted we should build 16,000 more houses in the district without proper infrastructure.

  • P&R 1
    Article: Aug 22, 2019

    The growing concern about building the extended Wincheap Park & Ride on a river meadow is coming to a head.

    "Canterbury City Council has just declared a climate change emergency" says Wincheap Liberal Democrat Councillor Derek Maslin. "Now it's time the council put its money where its mouth is and abandons the idea of putting cars over what should be a rural park all the way along the river Stour valley."

  • Article: Jul 17, 2019

    Liberal Democrat councillors Mike Sole and Alex Rickets have put forward the following motion that will be debated by Canterbury City Council at the Council meeting at 7pm at The Guildhall on Thursday 18th July.

    "This Council notes;

    The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's warning that we have 12 years to make the necessary changes to limit a rise in global temperatures to 1.5c. Failure to act will see a marked increase in sea levels and flooding, extreme and abrupt changes to weather patterns, crop failures, extinctions of plant, insect and animal species and global economic disruption and crisis. This will detrimentally impact on the well-being of the people of Canterbury and billions of people around the world.

  • Article: Jul 3, 2019
    By Martin Vye

    We Liberal Democrats campaign to see our nation consistently committed to a fuller liberal and social democracy that serves the whole country, not only its most powerful vested interests. We are dedicated to achieving that.

    That is surely the heart of the matter. We stand for the interests of the common man and woman because we ourselves are just that. We are bonded because we have the interests of society in common - not because we have vested interests in common.

  • Article: May 25, 2019
    By Caitlin Webb in Kent Online

    Care leavers under the age of 25 are one step closer to being exempt from paying council tax. Members of Kent County Council have agreed to pursue proposals brought forward by the authority's young people's council, made up of youths who have been in social care. It will approach the 12 district and borough authorities after discussing the plans at the full council meeting today.

  • Article: Apr 27, 2019

    At the council meeting on 25 April the Conservatives put forward a motion to get improvements made to mobile phone coverage in Canterbury. All well and good you may say. But why wait until a few days before the election to put forward this plan?

    The Conservatives then went on to talk about and to promote 5G which has a couple of important question marks attached to it. It relies on a high frequency focused signal that may be harmful to both people and wildlife. 5G is also technically linked to HUAWEI, a Chinese company about which many in government have serious security concerns. Given these reservations, Lib Dem Cllrs Nick Eden-Green and Michael Dixey said the motion should be amended to ensure that people in Canterbury are at least consulted before any plans go ahead.

    The Conservatives block voted the amendment down. Once more they displayed their utter refusal to consult with local people.

    After the meeting Nick said, 'I'm not saying better mobile coverage isn't wanted or that 5G is or is not the answer. But it is controversial and on any issue of this sort we absolutely must consult before we take action. That was all my amendment sought to do. Once more the Conservatives refuse to engage, or even talk to local people.'

  • Article: Apr 16, 2019
    Tomorrow the Council's P&R comittee meet to debate the Lib Dem motion on climate. The motion chimes very much with our manifesto commitment to put the environment at the heart of everything we do. Environmental issues are also part of other sections of our manifesto such as the section on transport entitled "Getting us moving" or on "Housing and Homes".
  • Article: Mar 29, 2019

    At last week's Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee the proposed NHS Kent & Medway Stroke review was 'sent back' to them, as the first step of it being referred to the Secretary of State. The report proposed establishing three acute stroke units in Ashford, Maidstone and Darenth with each centre able to treat around 1500 patients a year. This would also have included building a new department in Ashford at a cost of 20 million pounds.

  • Wincheap Slip Road
    Article: Mar 2, 2019

    This is the plan for the brand new 4th slip road at Wincheap and the revised park and ride. It's a bit complicated so trace the red arrows to see how it works.

    It shows a shorter than standard slip road off the A2 going into a hairpin bend then magically merging with traffic going to the Park and Ride. But if you think that's dangerous keep following the red arrows. These show how traffic will get on the A28 towards Ashford and the new housing in Thanington.

  • Article: Feb 6, 2019

    I'm aware that this article is full of statistics and figures- but no apologies for that, as I believe this is a really important subject for us all.

    Last Friday the final version of the Kent & Medway Stroke Review was presented to a scrutiny committee at KCC before it goes to a meeting of the JCCG on February 14th for them to make a final decision. The plan is to set up Hyper Acute Stroke Units (HASUs) where all stroke patients will be treated. But these units don't just cover people in Kent and Medway but will also treat all stroke patients from the London Borough of Bexley and from East Sussex as well.

  • Article: Jan 1, 2019

    Canterbury City Council hasn't built a single council house for seven years. According to the council's own figures the number of new affordable* homes becoming available each year is less than 90 - well below the council's target of 240.

    At the same time around 2,500 individuals and families are stuck on the waiting list for housing, many in unsuitable or temporary accommodation. The human cost of the situation is felt particularly keenly at Christmas when families sharing one-bedroom flats and people housed miles away from friends and family struggle to enjoy what should be the most wonderful time of year.

  • Article: Dec 28, 2018
    By Mike Sole

    Local residents were shocked to hear that their garden waste was not going to be collected for the next three months.

    This announcement was made at short notice, without warning, leaving many residents baffled and concerned about full bins that would not be emptied and gardening yet to be done.

    Whilst council leader Simon Cook initially defended the cut in service, Lib Dem campaigner for Nailbourne Ward, Mike Sole, raised concerns about the way the decision was communicated. "Whilst there may be valid reasons for reducing the number of collections throughout the winter months, to do so without adequate warning was not good enough. The city council have already bailed out Serco once this year and to let them off collections, only to do work that they should be doing anyway is not acceptable"

    Following pressure from local residents, the city council have agreed to to reinstate one more collection in January.

    Mike Sole added, "I am delighted that the city council have performed a partial u-turn and listened to residents. With other local Conservative councils now charging additional fees for green waste collection I hope that this reduced service isn't the thin end of the wedge. Collecting from residents is much more environmentally friendly than asking people to drive into Canterbury to the Household recycling centre with their garden waste, which creates many more journeys."

  • Article: Dec 19, 2018
    As councillors we are usually in the front line when it comes to complaints and problems. Quite right too. We were elected to try to help people. So small surprise that several of us have had complaints about garden waste collections.
    The Conservatives have decided to tell SERCO to stop collecting garden waste until March. This means anyone doing winter pruning, clearing up leaves, or garden maintenance won't get the green waste removed.
  • Article: Dec 17, 2018
    By Ida Linfield

    Period poverty is finally getting the publicity it deserves with several councils over the country offering sanitary products to their local residents.

    KCC has a statutory duty to look after young women as they leave care and move into adulthood and has ultimate responsibility for the wellbeing of all residents.

    Periods on average cost these young women £10 a month and many in Canterbury are having to resort to using toilet paper/newspaper or take sick leave. And this is in the 21st century! In Canterbury you can access products from our excellent Food Bank, a service I'm pleased to support in a small way via my members grant.

    So today I asked Graham Gibbens, the Cabinet member who would take the relevant decision, what steps he is taking to sort out period poverty for women aged from 14-21. I'm delighted to report that KCC is working with schools, but not everyone is at school and everyone else's needs were completely ignored in his answer - unless you live in Thanet where providing protection will be part of a "trial". One trial for the whole of Kent!

    I don't believe this is good enough - to end period poverty KCC should stand up to the mark and provide products without delay in libraries and community centres for local residents and not rely on local charities doing the job for them.

  • Article: Dec 1, 2018
    By Nick Eden-Green

    There was an interesting series of interviews on 'Farming Today' on Saturday morning radio. Admittedly, I'm not a farmer and I'd rather have been asleep at that time of the weekend but sometimes I don't sleep too well.

    It was all about slaughtering animals for meat. Perhaps not the best thing to wake up to but I eat meat and so I accept that animals have to be killed to feed me.

  • Article: Nov 30, 2018

    Canterbury City Council, quite rightly, is asking DSG Retail to pay the business rates they owe following their departure from the premises at the corner of Burgate and Longport. It is indeed inexcusable that DSG are trying to wriggle out of their responsibilities. Indeed it is even more inexcusable to hide behind a charity, Computers 4 Africa, to claim business rates relief. All power to the councils elbow in getting back the £286,000 we are due and in naming and shaming them.

    Let us be quite clear about this. Tax evasion of this sort is as bad, if not worse, than common theft. It also reflects directly back onto us as residents. The £286,000 is outstanding. If not paid, we, residents will have to pay it through our Council Tax.

    Of course, the council is rightly exercised over this and asks DSG Retail to examine their collective conscience and cough up. However, Canterbury City Council needs to inspect its own conscience too. For example, as a Councillor, I have been issued with an iPad. It's made by Apple. A company famous for international tax fiddling. The council has increased its use of Google products. Another major tax avoider.

    If the council is going to get sanctimonious about tax avoidance - and I very much hope they are - then they need to put their own house in order too.

    Personally I never go to Starbucks, never use Amazon, don't own anything made by Apple, would never shop at any of Sir Philip Green's establishments and will do my damndest to avoid any company that fails to pay fair taxes, or worse still, exploits charities, tax loopholes and fancy accounting practices. I freely admit that sometimes I have no option, so widespread is this form of international fraud. But I do my best.

    If everyone paid their fair share, we would either end up with far better public services or we would pay a lot less tax. We might even end up with both.

    So by all means name and shame the cheats and tax evaders but please ensure that you don't patronise them as well. It adds to their profits which we, in effect, have to subsidise out of our own taxes.

    If we all voted with our feet we might be better off!

  • Article: Nov 24, 2018
    By Nick Eden-Green

    I've had a rotten week trying and failing to sort out a problem for some of my residents. It's been rotten because I've failed. But it's been much, much more rotten for them because it involves rats. Lots of them. In bedrooms, kitchens, living rooms, all over the house.

    As soon as I heard about it on Monday I rang the council. I went through the rigmarole of which department I wanted, waited for 5 minutes listening to the music, being told to use the website, and I finally gave up.

  • Article: Nov 21, 2018

    Liberal Democrats from across the south east of England gathered in Canterbury on 17thNovember for their annual regional conference. Held at the city's Spires Academy, the conference heard from MPs Stephen Lloyd (Eastbourne), Ed Davey (Kingston) and Tom Brake (Carshalton and Wallington) as well as Baroness Judith Jolly and the Leader of the Opposition on Kent County Council, Cllr Rob Bird.

  • 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 - 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.

  • 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.