Operation Stack: Is there a political solution?

  • 22 July 2015
  • From the section England
Operation Stack
Operation Stack is implemented on the M20 when there are delays for freight crossing to France

For those living outside Kent, Operation Stack may not mean much, but to anyone who has been caught up in it in recent weeks they know the misery all too well.

Mile upon mile of lorries queued up on the M20 waiting to cross the English Channel - Operation Stack has now been implemented five times in the past three weeks.

It's estimated the measure has already cost Kent Police more than £700,000.

A spokesman for the government said it recognised the work done by the force but MPs have grown tired of assurances which have not been backed up so far by action.

'Heart of the debate'

Last night a group of 10 Kent MPs - from right across the county - met Home Secretary Theresa May to call for a government-led solution to the problem.

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Budget 2015: Hope for high speed trains to Sussex

  • 9 July 2015
  • From the section England
George Osborne
George Osborne announced the introduction of a national "living wage"

Update: As always with a budget the devil is in the detail. I said on Wednesday in this blog (see below) that there wasn't any detail on infrastructure projects in the chancellor's budget.

That is true, but there was a announcement of interest in the big red book for Sussex commuters.

Read full article Budget 2015: Hope for high speed trains to Sussex

Queen's Speech 2015: Not many surprises for the South East

  • 27 May 2015
  • From the section England
The Queen

It was the 62nd State Opening of Parliament that the Queen has presided over, and the first all-Conservative Queen's Speech for two decades.

There weren't many surprises - as reported on BBC South East, the government is to introduce a Psychoactive Substances Bill.

Read full article Queen's Speech 2015: Not many surprises for the South East

Election 2015: South East MPs take on new roles after election win

Prime Minister David Cameron (centre) poses for a group photo with newly elected Conservative MPs, at the Houses of Parliament
David Cameron poses for a group photo with newly elected Conservative MPs, including Kelly Tolhurst (in the front row wearing a yellow blouse)

No one can deny that the Conservatives pulled off a stunning election win in the South East.

David Cameron confounded the pollsters to secure an outright majority, but the Prime Minister said his sweetest moment of the election was seeing Kelly Tolhurst win back Rochester from Mark Reckless.

Read full article Election 2015: South East MPs take on new roles after election win

Election 2015: The political colours of the South East

Nigel Farage, Al Murray and Craig Mackinlay
Nigel Farage resigned as UKIP leader after losing South Thanet to Conservative Craig Mackinlay

The pollsters certainly didn't predict this outcome.

It was a good night for the Conservatives across the South East - as it was across the country (apart from in Scotland).

Read full article Election 2015: The political colours of the South East

Election 2015: The South East's bellwether seats

Polling generic
Bellwether seats either lead or indicate a trend in voting

The polls open in just over 12 hours and the party leaders are all out criss-crossing the country fighting for every last vote.

They know this is the most unpredictable election for decades and if the polls are to be believed no party is assured of an overall majority.

Read full article Election 2015: The South East's bellwether seats

Election 2015: South East politicians debate key issues

From left: Jenny Jones, Michael Fallon, BBC presenter Polly Evans, Mark Reckless, Peter Kyle, Norman Baker

Immigration, health and the economy are among the issues which have dominated this election campaign.

For a debate on the subjects which matter to voters, BBC South East gathered politicians from all the main parties at Chatham Historic Dockyard and a live studio audience.

Read full article Election 2015: South East politicians debate key issues

Election 2015: Is the South East seen as the UK's cash cow?

£10 notes

The economy has dominated this election campaign with several party leaders calling for money to be taken from the "over-heated South East" to fund less prosperous areas.

During the leaders' televised debate, the Welsh nationalist leader Leanne Wood called for "an additional £1.2bn into the Welsh coffers which would enable us to end austerity".

Read full article Election 2015: Is the South East seen as the UK's cash cow?

General Election 2015: 'Exciting' South East campaign

  • 30 March 2015
  • From the section England
House of Commons
The campaign for the 2015 general election is under way

The phoney war is over - parliament has now been dissolved, and the battle for votes at the general election on 7 May is officially under way.

Here in the South East we're set for one of the most exciting and unpredictable election campaigns in a generation.

Read full article General Election 2015: 'Exciting' South East campaign

Budget speech: South East 'conspicuous by absence'

  • 18 March 2015
  • From the section England
George Osborne with the 2015 Budget
Chancellor George Osborne's 2015 was 'peppered' with place names

Chancellor George Osborne has delivered his final Budget before the general election - his message was that Britain is growing again - in fact faster than any other major advanced economy in the world.

But if you thought that meant he was about to announce some pre-election giveaways in order to woo undecided voters you're likely to be disappointed.

Read full article Budget speech: South East 'conspicuous by absence'