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Delay to crossing decision - criticism

Simon Thomson

Simon Thomson

Simon Thomson, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Dartford, has criticised the announcement from the government that a decision on the location of new Lower Thames Crossing is now been further delayed.
The delay in the decision, which is now not expected to be made until 2016, will mean more uncertainty for people in Dartford. Labour in Dartford is clear that further delay is unacceptable and believes the case has already been made to rule Dartford out as a possible location.
Simon Thomson said this morning:

“Local people will be dismayed at the news that this decision has been delayed yet again. There is no case to build the new crossing in Dartford, but this dithering by the government is just going to create more uncertainty for local people and businesses. It’s another example of the government and Dartford’s Conservative MP letting local people down over the crossing.Bridge traffic
“Over the last year Gareth Johnson had the opportunity to influence the government to rule out Dartford as a potential location for the new crossing. He’s failed to do that and seems happy to see the uncertainty for Dartford drag on. I don’t believe that’s good enough from the town’s MP. I will campaign strongly against a new crossing being built here. The fact is that over a year after the consultation was launched, the prospect of another crossing at Dartford is still very much on the table and the Conservatives have done nothing to put local people’s minds at rest.
“The government should not be considering building another crossing in Dartford when we know doing so will simply cause even more congestion and pollution in our town. Instead of conveniently kicking the decision into the long grass, I’m calling for the government to end the uncertainty and rule Dartford out now”

Labour Leader on Dartford Council, Geoff Prout, commented:
“It’s short-sighted of the government to use the introduction of the Dart Charge Scheme as an excuse to delay a decision on the location of a new crossing. The removal of the barriers and plazas is welcome but that will not address the problem of future capacity in our road network, nor deliver the economic growth that building a crossing further east will. That’s the real issue the government needs to tackle. It’s clear that Dartford cannot support another crossing, and the continued threat that the government may build one here is bad for both.

Gareth Johnson MP backs failing policies

Many people in Dartford are still struggling to make ends meet because of the government’s failure to tackle the cost-of-living crisis and make work pay. Yet on Monday our Tory MP Gareth Johnson said he wants to stick with the same old polices that are failing residents. Presumably our MP will have no problem declaring his support for the following:

The hiring of private firm ATOS to reassess vulnerable people for disability benefit only to have them languishing in uncertainty and stress thanks to a backlog of 780,000. Child poverty in families with a single parent working full-time rising from 17% in 2011-2012 to 22% in 2012-2013. £131 Million being written off because of the botched introduction of Universal Credit.

….. Continue reading Gareth Johnson MP backs failing policies

Labour team for Europe

Click on the image for more information about the Labour team


With only two weeks to go at these European and Local Elections it’s time to get the message out right across South East of England that only Labour is truly on your side. Anneliese, John and the whole European Election team are out and about working in as many different constituencies as they can get to while also participating in hustings debates, TV and radio interviews and joining Ministerial visits.

BUT they can’t do it on their own – this vast region means they just can’t be everywhere – so they need your help to get the message

….. Continue reading Labour team for Europe

Simon backs Catherine for Stone ward

Simon and Catherine looking at parking in Stone.

Labour’s candidate for the by-election in Stone Ward has been given strong support by the Labour PPC for Dartford, Simon Thomson. He writes:

“It’s been great working with Catherine Stafford, meeting so many people across Stone, listening and responding to their concerns… concerns about housing, parking problems, litter and a lack of disabled access in local playgrounds. I know that if elected, Catherine will be a strong voice for Stone’s residents on Dartford council and get things done.”

Use it or lose it

“It is simply staggering that Dartford town centre has been blighted by boarded up shops in Lowfield street for the last nine years. The signs now promise that

….. Continue reading Simon backs Catherine for Stone ward

Labour says 'Get your priorities right'

Last night the Borough Council met to set its budget. Labour has expressed regret that vital funds for new housing have been kicked into the long grass, after the Conservatives withdrew £2m previously allocated for new homes from this year’s budget. The budget headlines are:


Money set aside for new homes needed sooner Labour votes for freeze in Councillor Allowances, funding for new homes and greater transparency Labour attacks budget riddled with “stunts, gimmicks and hypocrisy”.

While supporting the 0% rise in the small Dartford Council element of council tax, Labour also condemned the Conservative cynicism of promoting a ‘council tax freeze’ after their leader recently voted to hit Dartford residents with a 2% increase to their bills.  

….. Continue reading Labour tells Council: ‘Get your priorities right’

Freedom bus does U-turn

Continuing on from the Kent Freedom Pass, pupils aged 11-to-16 will now benefit from school-day bus travel from 6am to 7pm, for a fixed fee of £200, under a proposal developed by Kent County Council.

The new scheme – the Young Persons’ Travel Pass, which mirrors many of the benefits of the Kent Freedom Pass – would allow pass holders to travel by bus Monday to Friday, from 1 September to 31 July.

Labour members on Kent County Council welcome the Tory plans to U-turn on their unpopular proposals to make the Freedom Bus Pass less helpful to families and young people in Kent.

It is now intended that the pass will be open for use the whole year round,

….. Continue reading Freedom bus does U-turn


Residents and businesses in Swanscombe are taking their fight for better flood protection and improved drainage to County Hall with the support of their local Labour councillor

Peter and Donna Williams have lived in Milton Street for 23 years. And in that time they say they have been flooded most winters. Mr Williams says: “It’s cost us thousands over the years. The front wall’s going to go soon because that’s all cracked now. The front room and hall have been decorated twice. We’ve stopped claiming on the insurance because it costs us too much”

“Our neighbour has lost three cars,” Donna Williams said. “ One of them was literally floating up the road. It’s like a torrent when it rains

….. Continue reading Flooding in Swanscombe – Jan 5

Why politics matters.

Steve Doran writes:

I ran for councillor for Swanscombe because I wanted to help this community and the people here. Why then, people ask, did I run as a Labour Candidate? Why not run as an independent? What does national politics have to do with the local community?

The answer is, I joined Labour because I know that the national Coalition government are hurting local communities across the UK, including this one. People are rightly upset that the Oast House is closing. They’ve been contacting me every day, asking who is responsible, who they can complain to, what they can do.

I’d love to blame the Tory run local council, but it isn’t their fault. It wasn’t their service,

….. Continue reading Why politics matters.

SureStart protected

Gordon Cowan with Tom Maddison and Geoff Prout

Concerted action from Labour councillors on Kent County Council, supporting local community actvists, has earned a reprieve for SureStart services in Dartford. The proposed hours cuts to Temple Hill, and the closure of Maypole Centre have been rethought.

On a visit to Dartford, Labour group leader Gordon Cowan said:

“This is a fantastic result for all of the community, and for the Labour Party in Dartford, to see such a great result in return for all the hard work.

“I was delighted to be able to help in a small way you achieve such a great result and been able to convince the cabinet member how important Temple Hill was to

….. Continue reading SureStart protected

Dartford's newest councillor

On a low turnout, in appalling weather, Swanscombe today elected Steve Doran as their councillor by one vote.  The result: Lab 274 Con 38 Independent 138 UKIP 200 S&GRA 273.

Steve tweeted “I am now the Labour Councillor for Swanscombe. I am so very happy and proud.  I haven’t words enough to thank @Dartford_Labour for everything they’ve done on this campaign. Every step counted!”