We now have less than one year before the general and local elections in Sevenoaks and Swanley, and there is still all to play for.
The Conservatives are literally tearing themselves apart on Europe, especially with the defection of Clacton MP Douglas Carswell to UKIP. The likely splits in Tory votes locally could open up some potential gains to us in several Sevenoaks wards.
That is why it is vital that we find as many candidates as possible to stand in the district and town council elections next May. Please let us know if you are interested in standing, know anyone else in the local community who might be, or can help in other ways with the campaign itself.
Our national manifesto for May 2015 is now taking shape, ahead of the national conference in Glasgow in early October. The Lib Dems are promising 15 hours of free childcare for all two-year-olds in England by 2020. We also want to go further, when resources allow, to extend the free childcare offer to all children aged nine to 24 months where both parents – or one in a single-parent household – are in work, before later increasing the maximum of hours funded by the state from 15 to 20.
This fits well with our extension in this parliament of free school meals to primary school pupils up to the age of seven, and raising the personal tax allowance still further to £12,500, to help more low paid workers. Another election pledge is a firm NO to any new runways at Gatwick or Heathrow, and also to building ‘Boris Island’ in an area of outstanding natural beauty on Kent’s Isle of Grain.
Finally, I would also like to flag up that Daisy Cooper is standing as one of the party presidency candidates, which is for the first time an all-female slate. I met Daisy recently while canvassing in our closest target seat of Maidstone and the Weald, where we recently gained the council seat of Staplehurst from the Tories, and I was highly impressed with her. She will also be attending the South East Regional conference in Maidstone on Saturday November 8, with the other candidates.
Please contact me about our campaigning activities over coming months at firstname.lastname@example.org or 07766 968820. I look forward to hearing from you.