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Welcome to the website of Ashford Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no-one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity.

Preamble to the Liberal Democrat Constitution

The Liberal Democrats work hard to keep in touch with local people right across the Ashford and Tenterden area.

  • Suzanne Fletcher, Chair of Liberal Democrats for Seekers of Sanctuary (LD4SOS)
    Article: Jul 22, 2016

    The Liberal Democrats have slammed the Government for slipping out an announcement that Cedars pre-departure accommodation is to close.

    It raises the prospect of children once again being held in immigration detention centres - a practice ended by the Liberal Democrats in Government.

    Liberal Democrats in Coalition established the centre to end the detention of children, and the Conservatives have used the final day of the Parliamentary session to reverse the move.

    Prior to 2010, thousands of children were being detained in prison-like conditions. During Labour's last 5 years in government, over 7,000 innocent children were held in adult detention centres, sometimes for weeks and months at a time.

    The establishment of the centre was driven by Sarah Teather and Nick Clegg and following the news of its closure the Liberal Democrat Seekers for Sanctuary have set out 10 questions the government must answer.

    Aside from scrapping the centre the Conservatives have failed to offer any assurances on what will replace it, the emotional support that vulnerable children will be given or any preparations that will be made for them ahead of their return to a country that many of them may not even remember.

    Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesman Alistair Carmichael said:

    "Ending the detention of children for immigration purposes was one of the first priorities of Liberal Democrats in government. It is the mark of our society how we treat the most vulnerable and it is disgusting that the Conservatives are now rolling back such an important measure.

    "It is outrageous they slipped out this announcement on the last day of Parliamentary business, and they must now set out what exactly is going to happen to children in the future. We cannot have a return to the days of children being locked up in immigration detention centres, as happened under Labour. The Government has a lot of questions that remained unanswered."

    Chair of Liberal Democrat Seekers for Sanctuary, Suzanne Fletcher, who has visited Cedars, and been part of an Independent Monitoring Board until the change of Government last year said:

    "Cedars provided an oasis of care and calm at a very traumatic time for those families with children who very sadly were being sent against their will back to their country of origin. , and our Government should be ashamed of such a backward step."

  • A pair of wedding rings (Jeff Belmonte. Licensed as Creative Commons Attribution 2.0.)
    Article: Jul 22, 2016

    The Liberal Democrats have branded the Conservative's Flagship Married Couples Tax Allowance policy a 'pathetic failure' after figures revealed that only a fraction of eligible couples had bothered claiming the allowance.

    Only 330,000 people have taken advantage of the allowance, equivalent to 8% of those eligible.

  • Child in prison cell mental health
    Article: Jul 21, 2016

    Alistair Carmichael has demanded the government rule out the prospect of children being kept in prison cells.

    This follows the government slipping out an announcement of the closure of the Cedars facility, which supports families who are being returned overseas by the Home Office. Ending child detention was a major Liberal Democrat achievement in the coalition government. The facilities were described as "exceptional" and their closure has also been attacked by Barnardo's.

  • Nick Clegg (The Guardian)
    Article: Jul 20, 2016

    Former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has returned to the Liberal Democrat front bench as the party's European Union spokesperson in order to hold the Government to account over its plans for Brexit.

    Nick Clegg is uniquely well placed to challenge the Conservatives on their plans for Brexit. Not only did he sit around the cabinet table with Theresa May, Liam Fox and others, he was also a leading Member of the European Parliament and a trade negotiator in the European Commission under Leon Brittan. During the coalition years he established himself as the highest profile pro-European voice in British politics and is well known and respected in capitals across the continent.

  • Article: Jul 19, 2016

    Martin Vye, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for education on Kent County Council, took part in a KCC Select Committee investigation into what needs to be done to open up grammar school places for children from poorer families. The councillors produced a report which went to last week's county council meeting. The full report can be downloaded here.

  • Martin Vye
    Article: Jul 17, 2016

    Martin Vye attended the Social Liberal Forum annual meeting on Saturday, 16th July. It was a packed meeting.

    The William Beveridge Annual Lecture was given by former Liberal Democrat cabinet member, Vince Cable. He gave a strong message about the need for government to invest directly in new projects as, though the financial system is awash with savings, business is not investing. He also talked about the need to explore alternative business institutions; he chairs a social enterprise providing community transport and is involved with a community bank.

  • Article: Jul 17, 2016

    "Will the Cabinet Member for Environment Highways and Waste inform the Council why KCC Highways have still not produced a workable scheme for enabling traffic to enter and leave the Thanington Park development in Canterbury, despite the fact that permission for the development was granted by Canterbury City Council in January?"

  • Article: Jul 17, 2016

    "Given that the all-party Lords Science and Technology committee raised concern in April that the substantial EU research funds, currently available to the UK, would not likely be covered by future governments if Britain left the European Union, can the Cabinet Member for Economic Development explain the steps he will be taking to ensure that the expanding scientific sector in Kent does not suffer long term impact as a consequence of the recent referendum result?"

  • Article: Jul 17, 2016

    "Schools are making increasing use of the Internet and both primary and secondary school children are routinely expected to access the Internet for homework. This council has just undertaken a comprehensive review of social mobility issues in Kent's education system and the select committee has made some valuable recommendations. However, a number of children are potentially disadvantaged by the lack of Internet access or a computer at home. Can the Cabinet Member for Education and Health Reform please advise how many primary school age children in Kent do not have access to the Internet at home and, if this information is currently unavailable, would he arrange for this information to be collected from the county's primary schools?"

  • Article: Jul 12, 2016

    Following Andrea Leadsom's withdrawal from the Conservative leadership race Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron has called for an early General Election.

    A coronation of Theresa May as Prime Minister carries no mandate.

    Tim Farron, Liberal Democrat leader said:

    "Just 13 months after the last election the Conservatives have plunged the UK into chaos. It is simply inconceivable that Theresa May should be crowned Prime Minister without even having won an election in her own party, let alone the country.