By Mel Dawkins / Latest News / 0 Comments

Local buses provide a lifeline for communities missed off the map of the commercial providers – ensuring people have an affordable way to travel to school, work, the shops, local amenities and vital services. The services we rely on have been tested to their limits through this crisis, with reduced passenger numbers and increased health and safety burdens. 

Councils can support communities to set up their own people’s bus service in areas underserved by the big for-profit providers and review planning and procurement strategies to ensure community transport gets a fair treatment. 

On the doorstep I here two consistent messages:

  1. Free Bus Travel

Why are parents and carers having to pay for the child’s school bus pass.? Currently a bus pass for a school child is £360 per a year plus a £10 administration fee. For some families this is just too much out of their budget, especially if there is more than one child in the family.  

Our children’s education is what we pay for in our council tax and income tax . Getting our children to school is paramount to their education , why are we having to pay on top of this.  

2. Public transport

We want to support local residents needs and not the profit of bus operators in rural and residential areas. 

The bus service in Kent needs a complete overhaul. Although it serves a function, bus services do not offer an all-in affordable, accessible, practical and useful alternative to incentivise people to use the bus.  

Currently,  it is set up to suit the profits of the bus companies and shareholders and not the needs of our residents.  

So many people I talk to say that they would like to use the bus but when they add it up, it works out more convenient and cheaper to drive.  

How can we ask people to choose travelling by public transport,  if it is not the better option?  

Bus services should be easy, cheap, accessible and get you to where you need to go quickly and efficiently. People should be able to hop on and off easily.  

We need to take control of the power, so that we can get the services we want by consulting with communities to find out what routes and services are beneficial to them.  

Labour want to improve both of these things. We would

  • lobby for a transport for London model of public transport management in Kent. This will ensure the system meets the needs of residents rather than private shareholders.  
  • seek to introduce means tested bus pass prescriptions for those under 65 deemed socially isolated, or that can demonstrate a need. 
  • review the timing restrictions on the over 65s bus pass.  
  • Make children’s travel free. Student bus passes will be free under a Labour administration; costs and inaccessibility of transport should not be a barrier to education.  


By Mel Dawkins / Latest News / / 0 Comments

Pip Hazelton and Mel Dawkins have been litter picking up your way and listening to you about the things that matter.

Pip has stopped taking her granddaughter to the play park because the swings were taken down months ago and STILL haven’t been replaced:

“I’ve noticed lots of children have these new scooters and I’m worried that the lack of action by the council in sorting out the parking at the junction by the green, means that there could be a serious accident before long”.

Mel has seen how the worn-down speed bumps and neglected road surfaces make the estate look uncared for as well as being a safety issue:

“The verges and pavements need better maintenance too. This could be a much nicer place to live if the councils just got their act together”.

Your current County and City Councillors don’t seem to have been able to get these things sorted!

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By Mel Dawkins / Latest News / 0 Comments

As your Labour and Co-operative Party councillor,I will campaign for what is important to you and fight for the needs of the community in which we live and work.

I am a teacher of young people with autism, love music and play saxophone and guitar.I’m passionate about our environment, inclusivity and making our roads safer, particularly for children.

We already have three amazing Labour city councillors in Canterbury City South working tirelessly to represent local residents on a Tory-dominated council that prioritises the interests and profits of big business.

With a Labour and Co-operative Kent County Councillor, we can do more and ensure that decisions made by KCC that affect our city are made with local knowledge and expertise.

As your councillor, I will fight for:

  • More open spaces and play areas.
  • Free bus passes for school children.
  • More crossings on Old Dover Road, New Dover Road & St Georges Place.
  • An action plan to improve bio-diversity.
  • Measures to improve air quality and congestion including an eastern by-pass.
  • Connective and safer cycle / footpaths around the district.
  • Improved care services that put users at the heart of their care packages.
  • Better special educational needs provision.
  • Community hubs for local businesses and people.

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