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Simon backs Catherine for Stone ward

Simon and Catherine looking at parking in Stone.

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 a new supermarket will finally be built. Except there is no guarantee that it will ever happen.

“Dartford needs a council that will put the needs of residents and local communities first and stand up to developers.

“Many people can’t afford to buy a house or are struggling to pay the ever increasing rent. We need a council which wants to build new affordable housing in Dartford . There are plenty of empty brownfield spaces around. Under Labour, developers would be told to start building or lose the land.

“And Dartford council must make sure that new developments like Victoria Park in Stone, get the community facilities they need –- a playground for younger residents and a meeting space or coffee bar for their parents.”



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!”

County Tories hide bad news

County leader  Paul Carter has stopped the publication and discussion of  report that is critical of benefits changes as they are impacting on Kent residents.  But thanks to  Kent Online, the report is available to read online.

Although the report says they are tentative, it lists key findings:

Increasing debt and debt management is a concerning  issue – more welfare claimants getting into debt Housing benefits cuts are leading to an increase in rent arrears, as a result of the Spare room tax/subsidy Increasing delays in processing appeals for incapacity benefit Changes mean claimants increasingly need more help with forms or online Homelessness in Kent up by 25% over last year Families in B&Bs up by 22% Use of Kent’s

….. Continue reading County Tories hide bad news

Swanscombe decides

Steve with some of the Labour team in Milton St.

In a vigorous campaign, Steve Doran and the local Labour party have knocked on nearly every door in Swanscombe, underlining her commitment to being an active local councillor.  Steve says:

“Over the last four weeks, I  and the local Labour team have called on every house in Swanscombe.

“And this is clear.  Swanscombe people have a great sense of solidarity.

“Yes, there are problems: antisocial behaviour and low-level crime; flooding around Milton Street; parking on grass verges; poor street lighting.  But there’s a will to get things put right.

“Labour’s team is already working on these local  issues, which the Residents Association, and  the Tories on Dartford Council have

….. Continue reading Swanscombe decides

The Benefits System: EXPOSED

It’s clear some people have swallowed the line that welfare payments are being seriously abused. In fact, the proportion is 0.7%; but on the basis of the myth, the Tory/Libdem government is picking on those most in need. Here’s a short video from the TUC:

Their agenda is clear:

“We are sticking to the task. But that doesn’t just mean making difficult decisions on public spending. It also means something more profound. It means building a leaner, more efficient state. We need to do more with less. Not just now, but permanently.”

David Cameron, annual speech at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet in London’s Guildhall, 10/11/13

Meanwhile, the Public accounts committee this month gave a roasting to Iain Duncan Smith’s

….. Continue reading The Benefits System: EXPOSED