By Naomi Smith / Latest News / 0 Comments

Emma is a mother of three, whose son has special educational needs (SEN).She is sick of having to write to her MP just to make sure her son gets the support he needs.

Last year OFSTED marked the service provided to children with special educational needs in Kent as poor. They exposed how access to speech and language therapy, ADHD assessment and even wheelchairs was a ‘postcode lottery’.

Care plans were reviewed so infrequently that in one case they found a 15-year-old boy whose plan was based on report he received when he was aged three.

Your Tory County Councillor let this happen on his watch and its not good enough.

Naomi Smith believes Kent County Council needs to change. Labour wants to fast stream bursaries so we can recruit the social workers and educational psychologists we desperately need. New staff would promise to work in Kent for at 5 years and help turn this mess around.

“I’m voting for Naomi this May”, says Emma. “No one at the council ever listened to the needs of my son. They never listened to me as someone who knows him best. That needs to change”.

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By Naomi Smith / Latest News / 0 Comments

This last year has been tough on us all.

Despite the valiant efforts of our key workers, COVID-19 has exposed just how under-funded many of our public services have become.

On May 6th you have the chance to change that. OnMay 6th you can vote for a new Labour-run county council and ensure that our schools, care homes and local services are there to help us build back better.

During this pandemic Whitstable Labour councillors have been by your side.Local councillors including Chris Cornell have helped to set up local support lines, collected equipment for local care homes and provided the laptopschildren need to learn at home.

In contrast the Tory-run County Council voted to hike your council tax by 5% and your Conservative county councillor voted to give himself a 4% pay rise, when families are struggling the most.

At this time, priorities matter. You want elected officials who understand your concerns and are at work where you live.

With your vote Naomi promises:

1.Time for Care

Paid and unpaid carers are an absolute lifeline for the elderly and those in adult social care. Labour would end 15-minute home visitsand ensure that staff are paid for travel to and from homes. We will guarantee all carers are on a real living wage.

2. A future for all

It is wrong that some schools in Kent get almost twice the funding per student than others. OFSTED recently rated Kent County Council poor noting that 70% of children with special needs were not seen quickly enough.Labour would provide free schools meals to children all year round. Naomi would support bursaries to recruit specialists we need.

3. Local services

Library opening hours have been reduced and smaller branches like Whitstable face closure. Labour would protect our libraries while re-imagining them as Gateway services making local government services easier to access. We can keep local services and add to them.

4. A greener economy

Moving towards a zero-carbon economy could bring over 20,000 well-paid manufacturing jobs to Kent. Labour would create a dedicated green investment fund to ensure we get the jobs and environment we deserve.

Naomi lives in Seasalter having had a long career designing and building playgrounds across the UK.

A passionate sea swimmer and keen environmentalist she organised a petition ofmore than4,000 residents last summer that forced Canterbury City Council to improve waste collection on our beach.

She volunteers weekly with Age UK in delivering meals to the elderly.

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