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 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
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
Earlier this week Barclays announced that it was closing its centre at Crossways Business Park with the loss of more than 300 jobs. The announcement comes just a month after Waitrose announced it was also leaving the town centre.
Simon Thomson said that the announcement was further evidence that the Conservatives had failed to protect jobs and investment in the town.
“This is the latest example of a major business closing their doors in Dartford, yet all the Tories can offer is complacency. Gareth Johnson reacted to this news by claiming there is “no problem” with unemployment in Dartford. His words will be cold comfort to the hundreds of people at Barclays and Waitrose who now face this Christmas with
….. Continue reading Barclays close Crossways centre
• Simon Thomson selected to fight Dartford at next General Election • Thomson: “I’m here to put Dartford first”
Dartford Labour Party has this weekend selected Simon Thomson, a former BBC news journalist, to be its candidate – and the next Labour MP – for Dartford.
Mr Thomson, born and bred in North Kent, was selected at an open meeting of local Labour Party members on Saturday (5th Oct).
Speaking immediately after the meeting, Mr Thomson said, “I’m incredibly proud to have been selected to fight and win Dartford for Labour at the next election.
“Over the coming days, weeks and months, I’ll be setting out my stall as to what I will do for the constituency if
….. Continue reading Dartford Chooses Simon
Friday was the closing date for the consultation on the Sure Start cuts, and Labour leaders met local residents at Temple Hill to try to protect the local Centres.
Gordan Cowan, Leader of Labour Group on KCC, came up to Dartford to meet Cllr Geoff Prout and Cllr Tom Maddison at the Living Well Centre. Tom collected the petition against the planned cuts signed by local residents – several hundred signatures – and has sent it to Cllr Jenny Whittle, the Cabinet Member for Specialist Children’s Services on Kent County Council.
Labour’s key message is that vital services both for all families and very young children, but especially for those most in need and “deprived” are being clobbered by Tory Kent
….. Continue reading Action on SureStart
Today Waitrose has announced plans to close its Dartford branch, which employs 128 people. Reacting to the announcement, Labour’s leader in Dartford, Cllr Geoff Prout, said:
“This is yet another body blow for our once proud town centre and devastating news for those whose jobs will now be at risk. It just goes to show how fragile and premature any talk of economic recovery is round here.
“Sadly while the Tories have put all their eggs in one Tesco basket, we’ve seen the Co-op knocked down, the town dominated by betting shops and payday lenders, and Tesco’s intentions are far from certain. They may have secured planning permission but they still haven’t said when and if they will proceed
….. Continue reading Dartford Labour Party Statement on Waitrose
This week Ed Miliband set out Labour’s vision for how Britain can be better than this.
At the Labour Party conference, Ed made a series of major policy announcements which will help families and businesses across Dartford, including:
• A major house building drive that will see a million new homes built across the country. This is great news for thousands of people across Dartford who are worried about securing a decent affordable home for themselves or their family. Labour will make housing both affordable and available.
• A commitment to freeze energy bills until the start of 2017 which will help everyone in Dartford who has been feeling the pressure of ever-increasing bills over the last
….. Continue reading Britain Can Be Better Than This. Dartford Can Be Better Than This.
Labour in Dartford has welcomed Thursday’s (5 September) planning approval for Tesco’s latest application to build its long-awaited town centre store. But with the development being far smaller than anything previously proposed by Tesco, Labour has called upon the Tory-run council to stop relying on the retailer to deliver the regeneration that our town desperately needs and to urgently develop a more diversified strategy.
Tesco’s latest application proposes a store that’s a mere 45 per cent of the size of the store proposed in Tesco’s previous application, approved as recently as November 2011. While the residential element of the scheme – with just 107 units – it now also modest; Tesco’s 2008 proposal envisaged over 900 residential units. While
….. Continue reading Dartford can’t rely on Tesco
Dartford’s Labour councillors have called for two Children’s Centres in the borough to be saved, describing plans for cuts as “political cynicism of the highest order.”
Tory-led Kent County Council (KCC), in proposals announced earlier this month (4 July 2013), plans to close Maypole Children’s Centre and halve the hours of the centre at Temple Hill – despite the latter being in one of the most deprived areas in the county. Plans to cut the centres come just two months after an election campaign during which the KCC Tory Cabinet Member responsible, Cllr. Jenny Whittle, said, “there are no plans to close any children’s centres.”
“In the ward I represent, on Temple Hill, one in three children live in poverty,
….. Continue reading Save Dartford’s Children’s Centres from the Tory axe