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Subsidised bus route U-Turn by Derbyshire Tories

Subsidised bus route U-Turn by Derbyshire Tories

Transport
Conservative-led Derbyshire County Council have recently announced proposals to cut 26 subsidised bus routes across Derbyshire in a bid to save £1m in 2018-19. It is estimated that 13 of the routes will cease operating all together as they haven't been taken up by private companies. One Derbyshire resident said, "Just to save 1 million - the bus service is worth much much more to lots of people." Another said, "I think the elderly and disabled do deserve their free travel. Surely Conservative led austerity could come from other areas?" Now let's take a look back to 2017... In 2017 Derbyshire Conservatives manifesto pledged to 'protect subsidised bus routes' if elected to run Derbyshire County Council. North East Derbyshire District Councillor, David Hancock said: "I am absolutely gobsmacked - many vulnerable people backed…
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Liberal Democrat Response to NEDDC Local Plan

Liberal Democrat Response to NEDDC Local Plan

Representation
North Derbyshire Liberal Democrats have today submitted their response to North East Derbyshire District Council's final draft of their Local Plan, due to be submitted to the Secretary of State for CLG for independent examination during May 2018. Our unredacted response is given below: To quote the government’s own guidance: Local Plans are the key to delivering sustainable development that reflects the vision and aspirations of local communities [150]. Local Plans must be prepared with the objective of contributing to the achievement of sustainable development [151]. Local planning authorities should seek opportunities to achieve each of the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development, and net gains across all three. Significant adverse impacts on any of these dimensions should be avoided [152]. Each local planning authority should ensure that…
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Fixing Rail Franchising Policy

Fixing Rail Franchising Policy

Transport
Lib Dems announce plans to reform the way rail franchises operate in England; after an emergency motion was agreed at our Spring 2018 conference in Southport. This motion will now form part of Liberal Democrat policy - which is shaped by the membership at each conference using a one member, one vote system, meaning every member that attends conference can vote for or against policy proposals. The full text of the motion is as follows: Conference notes with concern that: On 5 February, the Government announced that Virgin Trains East Coast had broken its financial covenant and will cease operating within months. This is the third time in 11 years that the company operating the InterCity East Coast franchise has collapsed due to financial difficulties. Passengers on the Southern, Thameslink…
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Steven Blakeley’s letter to Hillstown

Steven Blakeley’s letter to Hillstown

Representation
To my neighbours and friends, It is a tremendous honour to have been selected by my party to stand in the Scarcliffe North (Hillstown) Ward by-election. I’m proud of my community.  It’s where I was born, raised and have predominantly lived all my life.  It is a wonderful community of wonderful people and that’s why I’ve always chosen to remain here.  However, the overriding message I have received from you, in phone calls, emails and face to face, is a feeling that we are being let down.  I agree with this sentiment entirely. This might not be the most prosperous area in the land, but that doesn’t mean we have to accept being taken advantage of and forgotten by politicians in local and national government.  For too long politicians and…
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Lib Dem’s would scrap SATS, OFSTED and bring back term time holidays

Lib Dem’s would scrap SATS, OFSTED and bring back term time holidays

Education
The Liberal Democrats have approved a new policy paper at their Spring Conference in Southport on Saturday, 10th March 2018. The wide ranging policy led by former teacher and Lib Dem Eudcation Spokesperson, Layla Moran, is aimed to inspire confident, resilient, young people ready to tackle the challenges of a rapidly changing world and with the knowledge and skills to do so. 10 key proposals from the Lib Dem's  Education policy: 1) Uphold rigorous standards of external inspection, which should focus on judging whether school leaders are capable of leading improvement and an assessment of the whole school, looking at pupil well-being as well as results. To achieve this we will replace Ofsted with a new HM Inspector of Schools. Inspections should be every three years. Independent schools should also be subject…
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Derbyshire County Council leader votes against collecting 4.99% Council Tax rise.

Derbyshire County Council leader votes against collecting 4.99% Council Tax rise.

News
North East Derbyshire Conservatives 'an absolute mess' over Council Tax vote say Lib Dems At the North East Derbyshire District Council meeting held on 5th March 2018, all 15 Conservatives, including the leader of Derbyshire County Council, Barry Lewis voted against collecting Council Tax for North East Derbyshire. 70% of the Council tax is made up of  revenue destined for the Derbyshire County Council; with the rest split between Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service, North East Derbyshire District Council and Parish Council's in the district. District, Borough and Unitary Authorities have a duty in law to collect Council tax under the Localism Act 2011 and Local Gov Finance Act 1992. Cllr David Hancock said: "The only way to describe this is 'an absolute mess' - did he…
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North East Derbyshire District Council implement Lib Dem audio recording policy

North East Derbyshire District Council implement Lib Dem audio recording policy

News
North East Derbyshire District Council announce that they will be audio recording Council meetings as of 5th March 2018 - a policy put forward by the Liberal Democrats a year ago.. In 2017, Liberal Democrat Councillor, David Hancock moved a motion to audio record meetings and make them available online for those unable to attend the meetings in person. This was completely rejected by Labour, Conservatives and the independent Councillors on North East Derbyshire District Council. The Liberal Democrats motion went on to call for video recording as well, so residents of the district could watch from the comfort of their own home. Cllr David Hancock (Tupton ward) said: "I am glad to see the Council finally listening to North Derbyshire Liberal Democrats request for further transparency by recording Council…
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Northwood Group Limited

Northwood Group Limited

Housing
Some of you may be familiar with the name Northwood Group Limited. The company is behind the proposed planning development of 197 homes off Ankerbold Road, Tupton. If you dig a little deeper, you'll find that the company is a Joint Venture Company - set up by North East Derbyshire District Council. There's nothing untoward in that - it's a common enough practice which allows local authorities to generate additional income. Albeit, like any business proposition, not without risk. On 19 February 2018 [pp.10-11], in a debate which the Council voted to hold with the public and press excluded (Liberal Democrat Councillor David Hancock being the sole opponent both to hearing the debate in private AND to the motion itself), the Labour-run Council put forward the motion that North East…
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N-E Derbyshire Local Plan

N-E Derbyshire Local Plan

Housing
An opinion piece by Cllr David Hancock Several times over the last few weeks Lee Rowley’s name has been mentioned in conversation in regard to the proposed development off Ankerbold Road, Tupton. I wouldn’t presume to know or speculate on Lee’s personal opinion; however, the Conservative government don’t offer a sensible solution to controlled house building. Quite the opposite in fact. Labour’s proposals concern me. Despite what they claim, their proposed local plan for N-E Derbyshire isn’t sustainable. Firstly there aren’t the jobs in the district. If you want to build more houses, you need to create the job opportunities FIRST. Then you need to ensure that infrastructure is in place. Our roads and drainage systems date back the best part of a century (some of them even further). They…
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Over 350 homes in Derbyshire have been sitting empty for ten years or more, research by the Lib Dems has revealed.

Over 350 homes in Derbyshire have been sitting empty for ten years or more, research by the Lib Dems has revealed.

Housing
The figures, uncovered through Freedom of Information requests, show that there are over 5036 homes across Derbyshire that have been empty for six months or more. Of these, 1726 had been empty for two years or more, 799 for five years or more, and over 356 have stood empty for at least ten years. Amber Valley Borough Council, Chesterfield Borough Council, Bolsover District Council, North East Derbyshire District Council, South Derbyshire District Council, Erewash Borough Council, Derby City council and Derbyshire Dales District Council  has failed to make use of Empty Dwelling Management Orders (EDMO), powers used by local authorities to take over properties that have been empty for at least six months. This is despite the fact that some local families have spent Christmas without a home. Figures for High…
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