After several years of sustained pressure from the Liberal Democrat opposition, Kent County Council has finally agreed to accept monthly payments for the Young Persons Travel Pass (YPTP) in the coming year. This will come a massive relief for parents faced with an inflation-busting £60 increase in the cost of the pass to £350 next year.
On Monday the Chancellor announced that he was providing £420m extra to councils for pothole and other urgent highways repairs. Kent can expect to receive about £10 million. Kent Liberal Democrat Group are calling for at least half of this extra money to be spent on long overdue pavement repairs.
The backlog for pavement repairs in Kent has hit £84 million, leaving more than a third of paths and pavements across the county in a poor and potentially dangerous condition.
Highways England officials have been accused of ignoring the people of Kent after refusing to face councillors to account for the traffic chaos caused by multiple roadworks on the M20 and M26.
Parents buying Young Person's Travel Passes still have no choice but to pay upfront, or in two large payments following further delays to a direct debit system proposed back in February.
The Government has promised that Thameslink trains will be running from Maidstone via West Malling to Central London from December 2019, following sustained pressure from Maidstone Liberal Democrats.
More than 16,500 children who sat the Kent Test last month will find out whether they have been assessed for a grammar school place this week.
Families who registered online for the test will be sent an email from Kent County Council after 4pm on Thursday, October 11 with their child’s assessment result. However, the volume of emails sent out means some internet service providers may delay the delivery of the emails to personal email accounts; this is outside the control of the county council.
Families who registered online can also log on after 5pm on Thursday, October 11 and view their child’s results and test scores if they have retained their log-in and password details.
Letters will be sent to all 16,656 families on Thursday afternoon, to arrive on doormats from Friday.
Parents need to submit an application for their child’s secondary school by Wednesday, October 31 and can name up to four schools in order of preference.
Roger Gough, KCC’s Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Education, said: “We understand that this can be a stressful time for families and we try to make the process of deciding on the most appropriate secondary education for their children as straightforward as possible.
“Kent has a rich and diverse mix of schools, and parents should consider all options when choosing the schools they would like their child to attend, in priority order. It is also important that parents carefully consider how their child will get to school, before applying for a school place.
“We anticipate the 4,641 Kent children who have been assessed as being suitable for grammar school will, in most cases, enjoy priority for the 5,214 places available in the county over pupils from other authorities.
“Although many of the 3,065 pupils from outside Kent will name our schools among their choices, experience has shown that most of these children ultimately secure places in their own local authority area.”
KCC’s policy on home-to-school transport allows parents to see whether there is any help available for their child. Details can be found here: www.kent.gov.uk/schooltransport
On October 20th, the Liberal Democrats are demonstrating in London – marching for our future in the EU.
On the 13th of September 2018 there was a by-election in Headcorn ward following the resignation of the sitting conservative councillor. Maidstone Liberal Democrats selected local resident Merilyn Fraser as their candidate and fought an impressive campaign.