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  • Article: Jan 6, 2018

    SHDC Executive is refusing to listen to the views of community representatives from Totnes over the issue of the public toilets which have been closed since before Christmas.

    Lib Dem Councillor John Birch organised a delegation of local representatives to meet Executive Members and officers of SHDC before their meeting on Monday afternoon, at which they will decide the future of the Totnes toilets.

  • Totnes loo
    Article: Dec 22, 2017

    The Conservative administration at SHDC closed all the public toilets in Totnes on Friday 22 December, just when the town was full of Christmas shoppers.They promised to keep the toilets open in the Civic Square for the Christmas shopping period yet it was closed on Friday afternoon along with the other public loos.

    Councillor John Birch tried repeatedly to contact leading Conservative councillors and SHDC officers to get an assurance that they would keep to their promise to keep the loos open in the Civic Square on Saturday and Sunday when the town will be full of Christmas shoppers, but got no reply.

    "I have also asked them to attend meetings in Totnes to explain their thinking behind the closures. They have either refused or failed to respond. I have asked them to tell us when they intend to open the toilets after Christmas. Again no response," said Birch.

    "This is shocking and irresponsible behaviour on the part of the Tory administration at SHDC. For a better and more fairer South Hams I just hope this dreadful Conservative administration is thrown out at the next SHDC elections. The District deserves better."

  • Article: Dec 18, 2017

    A merger between South Hams District Council and West Devon Borough Council was scuppered after WDBC suddenly pulled out at the last minute, despite support from the Tory-led South Hams Council.

    Even though 37 out of 45 parish and town councils said "No" to the merger, Conservative councillors on SHDC wanted to push through the merger with its cash-strapped counterpart.

  • Article: Dec 7, 2017

    Devon, Cornwall and Western Counties Lib Dems have called on Lib Dem MPs to lobby the government to suspend the right to buy legislation for at least five years in order to retain as much social housing as possible.

    They've also called on the government to allow local authorities to borrow to invest in social housing - something they are not currently allowed to do.

  • Proposal image
    Article: Sep 9, 2017

    The Conservative-run South Hams District Council and West Devon Borough Council want to merge.

    They are jointly promoting this merger, giving an expected shortfall in income as the principal reason.

    However, the proposed merger has disadvantages for the residents of the South Hams.

    Here are the key issue we want to draw to your attention:

  • School sign
    Petition: Apr 13, 2017

    The Conservatives running Devon County Council voted earlier this year to cut funding to Devon's schools by £2.2 million. That is a £33 cut for every child.

    This cut comes on top of other cuts planned by the Conservative Government.

    At the moment the Government pays schools in Devon £290 a year LESS for each child than the national average. It has announced a new 'Fairer Funding' plan, which means that around 200 schools in Devon will actually have their budget cut, while other schools will get a bit more.

  • Page: Apr 10, 2017

    The Conservative-led Devon County Council voted in February to cut £2.2 million from Devon schools.

    But the cuts to schools worth £2.2 million would have been avoided if a plan put forward by Devon's Liberal Democrats to use money in reserves had been backed by the Conservatives, who voted against.

    Head teachers across the county are furious about an extra cut, worth £33 per child, from school budgets being imposed by Conservative run Devon County Council.

    The cut piles on even more pressure for teachers and school governors who are struggling to stretch budgets and protect education for our children, said Cllr Alan Connett, Liberal Democrat opposition leader at County Hall.

    The county is already heavily underfunded by the Government which gives schools in Devon £290 LESS per child than the national average, he added.

    Cllr Connett, explained: "We want to protect Devon's schools from a cut which does not need to be made.

    "The county is sitting on a cash pile of nearly £11 million for what it calls 'service transformation'. We can use some of that money to save our schools while we continue to press the Government for a better deal for Devon.

    "Last year, the Conservatives scrapped funding for school crossing patrols - the Lollipop men and women - but after concerns raised by us, parents and many others, they realised they had made a mistake and did a U-turn.

    "Chopping out a further £2.2 million from schools is another huge mistake. If the Conservatives go ahead, it will certainly transform schools across Devon - for the worse. I fear it will lead to teachers and other staff being made redundant.

    "Children get one chance to do well at school. We need to support our schools and teachers."

    The Lib Dems have also announced plans to recruit up to five School Traffic Safety Officers to work with schools on ensuring children can walk to and from schools safely. Part of the council's traffic management service, the officers would also monitor compliance with traffic regulations around the county's schools.

    The estimated £200,000 for the new service would be paid for by cutting the money Devon County Council is spending on renting rooms in hotels and other places for meetings. Currently, the council spend £33,000 a month on renting rooms, around £400,000 a year.

    An extra £1 million will also be targeted at pothole repairs and dealing with highway drainage problems. Potholes are one of the biggest issues raised by residents who feel the County Council is simply not tackling the problem. The money will mainly come by cutting £700,000 from the £2million a year the Conservatives now spend on public relations, media and advertising.

    With the rise in sales of electric cars, the Lib Dems also propose a trial programme to install 12 electric charging points across the county using money raised from the County Council's on-street parking charges. A budget of £40,000 is proposed, which will also help generate an income as drivers have to pay to charge their electric vehicles.

    Cllr Connett added: "Devon is being short-changed by the Government, that's the bottom line. We hear other councils may be getting extra funding through some kind of 'sweetheart' deal with Downing Street, but our NHS and schools are being treated as the poor cousins.

    "Money is tight in Devon, but we have again shown that the cuts the Conservatives want to impose on our schools are avoidable. It's the Conservatives' decision to make these cuts."

  • Article: Apr 10, 2017

    Lib Dems in the South Hams are fielding seven candidates in the South Hams on May 4th in the Devon County Council elections.

    The Lib Dems are the only party that can take control of the council from the Conservatives - and help protect education funding across the county.

    Our candidates are:

    Julian Brazil - Kinsgbridge and surrounding villages