Labour press Dartford Borough Council to take action on legal highs
Dartford Labour Party will this week demand that Dartford Borough Council take action against the use of ‘Legal Highs’ in the borough.
Nitrous oxide, also known as ‘laughing gas’ is the second most popular recreational drug amongst young people, with 7.6% of 16-24 year olds responding to the 2013/14 Crime Survey for England and Wales reporting nitrous oxide use in the last year.
The law currently does not address possession and usage of this drug. Signs of the use of legal highs, such as Nitrous oxide in Dartford, have become common in locations such as our town centre, Central Park, Temple Hill Square and Darenth Country Park. Residents have expressed their concerns to Labour Councillors regarding the on-going nuisance of litter and anti-social behaviour.
The leader of Dartford Labour, Councillor Jonathon Hawkes said:
“We know that Legal highs are dangerous to those who use them and a major cause of concern for local residents. We believe that the council has a duty to do all it can to combat the use of legal highs in Dartford and that’s why we’ve asked for this debate. I believe we should work together to address the concerns of residents and protect the community.”
Labour wishes to see the council raise awareness of the dangers of legal highs. Labour is also asking the council to consult with residents of Dartford about the implementation of Public Space Protection Order (PSPO), throughout Dartford Borough, with the following prohibition:
Person(s) within this area will not:
⦁ Ingest, inhale, inject, smoke, possess or otherwise use intoxicating substances.
⦁ Selling and supply is also prohibited.
PSPOs are powers available under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 and they are only available for local authorities to use. A PSPO is designed to stop individuals or groups committing anti-social behaviour in a public space.
Labour’s motion on Legal Highs will be debated by councillors on Monday evening, 12th October.
Labour press Dartford Borough Council to take action on legal highs Dartford Labour Party will this week demand that Dartford Borough Council take action against the use of ‘Legal Highs’ in the borough. Read more
Dartford Labour Councillor leads the call for more school places in Dartford at Labour Party Conference
Cllr Daisy Page, Councillor for Littlebrook ward in Dartford and Shadow Deputy Leader of Dartford Council, gave a passionate speech at Labour Conference to thousands of delegates and millions of viewers across the country, about the shortage of school places in Dartford for its residents.
Dartford Council’s youngest, and first female, Deputy Leader spoke about her own constituents who have been allocated school places miles away from their homes. Some have been allocated school places in London Boroughs, just months after Kent County Council received nearly a total of 119 million pounds to meet the need for more school places across Kent.
Cllr Page said in her speech that ‘the smoke and mirrors of increased funding from the Department for Education to meet the need for more school places does not fool me, it doesn’t fool the people of Dartford and I know it does not fool you either, Conference’.
After delivering her speech Cllr Page said ‘I am sure I looked a site waving a t-shirt in my hand and dancing to get the chairs attention during the Education debate today. However, I was determined to get up on that stage and speak to my fellow Delegates, Councillors, Ministers, to everyone watching - to let them know that we will continue to speak up for fellow Dartford residents and for better school place provision in the future’.
Cllr Jonathan Hawkes, Shadow Leader of Dartford Council said ‘I was very proud to see and hear Cllr Page speak today about the real issues that are effecting the education of children in Dartford, especially the lack of school places available locally’. Cllr Page’s speech came just hours after Gareth Johnson MP released a statement about the risk to Dartford schools caused by Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, as the newly elected Leader of the Labour Party. The Shadow Leader went on to say that ‘Dartford residents, but most importantly our children, have been let down by Kent County Council and this Conservative government.’
Kent County Councillor, Tom Maddison said ‘It was fantastic to see my fellow Littlebrook and Temple Hill Councillor putting Dartford on the party conference map this year. Daisy and I have worked hard to do all we can to help local residents who are suffering as a result of the lack of school places in Dartford. As a Kent County Councillor, I shall continue to do all I can to help residents at Kent County Council’.
Everyone in Dartford should be able to own their own home. But home ownership is now at its lowest level since the 1980s and the average deposit has risen to over £40,000.
Although we see new developments springing up around the town, for many families and would be first time buyers, home ownership remains out of reach. The Conservatives have presided over the lowest level of house building in peacetime since the 1920s and the consequence is that families are being priced out of the housing market.
We think that much more should to done to ensure local people can get on the housing ladder. For example, we want to see first time buyers given priority when new homes are built in Dartford. All local people should have a home to call their own.
Dartford Council should be ensuring that all new housing developments deliver at least 30% of affordable housing. However, too often we see them fail to hold developers to account when affordable homes are not delivered. They need to get tougher. In Dartford, the number of affordable houses being built is woefully inadequate. That means local people find it increasingly difficult to get on the housing ladder. 34% of all homes in Dartford are rented and we know that many people want to buy, but are simply priced out of the market.
This Saturday, Labour will be out talking to local people about their concerns. Are you struggling to get on the housing ladder? Do you feel there aren’t enough affordable homes in Dartford? We’ll be in the high street and on the doorstep on Saturday morning – it would be great to hear from you.
Even better – if you want to help us with our campaign– come to 99 Kent Road, Dartford at 10.30am. Everyone is welcome.
PS - Labour has launched a petition calling on the government to build the homes families need. The petition is available at:
On 7th May the people of this country went to the ballot box and delivered a clear success for the Conservatives. This result was mirrored here in Dartford. To everyone that cast their vote for Labour; thank you. We are sorry that we were unable to deliver the result you wanted.
In the run up to the election we spoke to over 7,000 local people on the doorstep. Our parliamentary candidate Simon Thomson fought a passionate, positive and engaging campaign. There is no doubt that many people wanted to see change in our town and our country. However, more people chose the Conservatives over Labour to deliver it.
Later this month the newly elected council in Dartford will begin a new term. The Council will have tough choices to make. Be they on how we continue to fund our services in the face of unprecedented cuts, to reversing the decline of our Town Centre or how we deal with our Borough’s shameful level of child poverty. Where we can, we will seek to support the Council but we will also scrutinise and oppose if we feel the choices being made are not in the best interests of our community. Both before and during the campaign, promises were made to the people of Dartford and Labour will hold the administration to account if they do not make good on those commitments.
In those early hours of Friday morning Dartford lost some dedicated and hard-working Labour councillors and to them we give our profound thanks. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Geoff Prout, who has led the Labour Group in Dartford which such dedication and distinction. Geoff worked harder than anyone to build a better and fairer community and his contribution to our town cannot be understated. Councillors Catherine Stafford, Steve Doran and Dave Baker served their communities with dedication, passion and commitment. They can all be proud of their time as Labour Councillors and we hope that they will return in the future.
Although the result of the election was a disappointment, there are many reasons to be hopeful. The campaign reinvigorated our activists and also inspired a new generation of supporters. In many places we fielded a new generation of council candidates who fought fantastic local campaigns. We have seen an increase in our membership and more people than ever decided to play an active part in our movement.
Our party will never stop working for social justice, fairness and prosperity. Our challenge now is to make sure that Labour is seen as a force for those values in Dartford and in the country. To rise to that challenge we will need to do things differently. There are changes that we will need to make. However, we have risen to the task before and we will do it again. A strong Labour party, rooted in our local communities, can be a force for good in Dartford. We start work today.
May 7th was a disappointment for many in Dartford. Clearly we have much to do over the next five years. Well done Simon Thomson for an inspiring campaign, and to our 7 local councillors who will be keeping the flame alive. Commiserations to unsuccessful candidates. Most of all, thanks to over 13000 people who voted Labour.
Labour held on to its core vote; but failed to break through; in the process losing Council seats won in by-elections since 2011. We're particularly sad to lose Labour leader Geoff Prout from Princes ward; and Simon Thomson would have been an outstanding MP.
Here's the parliamentary result, from the council website:
|Gareth Alan Johnson||The Conservative Party Candidate||25670||48.97%||Elected|
|Simon Tobias Thomson||Labour Party||13325||25.42%||Not elected|
|Elizabeth Eirwen Jones||UK Independence Party (UKIP)||10434||19.91%||Not elected|
|Simon James Beard||Liberal Democrats||1454||2.77%||Not elected|
|Andrew Danny Blatchford||Green Party||1324||2.53%||Not elected|
|Steven Thomas Uncles||English Democrats - "Putting England First!"||211||0.40%||Not elected|
Labour councillors are now:
Simon Thomson, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Dartford met with Southeastern's MD David Statham yesterday - as part of an event organised by Dartford Rail Travellers Association.
Simon said “It was a useful meeting and I was keen to raise the issues many long suffering Dartford commuters have raised with me – particularly the cramped conditions on trains and the shortage of carriages. It’s clear that as a result of the Conservatives failure to invest in our railways, Southeastern simply doesn't have enough rolling stock. If elected the MP for Dartford I will work with the DfT to support Southeastern's request for more rolling stock.
We need more 12-car train services through Dartford to get our increasing number of commuters to work and to get Dartford moving again.
I also raised the issue of poor communication and the lack of information provided when there are problems. I’m clear that it’s not the fault of the front line staff who do their best in difficult circumstances. I believe more support needs to be provided by Southeastern management so that staff can keep passengers informed. I was pleased to hear that Southeastern are investing how this can be improved – I’ll be keeping a close eye on progress.
Dartford needs a MP that is going to stand up for commuters and raise the issues that matter to you. If you choose me as your MP on May 7th, that’s exactly what I’ll do.”