Liberal Democrats launched their manifesto for the May local elections in east Cambridgeshire with a blistering attack on Conservatives – and pledges that include retention of free parking across Ely, Soham and Littleport.
They also believes its “time for a change of culture at East Cambridgeshire District Council – there’s too much secrecy”.
They want a temporary council tax break for the least well off and they say congestion charge proposals for Cambridge as they stand are not fair.
And they plan to invite Citizens Advice to restore “independent advice services for local residents which the Conservatives forced into closure”.
On parking, Lib Dems say that “unlike the current council, we won’t waste police time forcing them to issue parking tickets rather than tackling crime.
Pledge on free parking
“We’ll introduce civil enforcement by the council, to end unlawful on-street parking. That doesn’t mean we have to charge for parking.
“Other councils have civil enforcement and still have free car parking, and so can we.”
On secrecy, Lib Dems say “it’s time for a change of culture at East Cambridgeshire.
“There’s too much secrecy under the Conservatives—hiding their plan to bulldoze Mepal outdoor centre and build their unwanted crematorium is just one example.
“It’s unacceptable to simply ignore official parish polls like the ones carried out in Wilburton or Stretham, just because you don’t like the results.
All 28 seats on the East Cambs District Council are up for election on 4th May 2023.
Here’s a brief outline of their proposals:
- for a greener East Cambridgeshire, tackling the climate emergency, and focused on the environment, wildlife, clean air, and clean energy
- for a cleaner East Cambridgeshire, with well managed waste collection and street cleaning services
- for a fairer East Cambridgeshire, with financial help for the most disadvantaged, more affordable housing, independent advice, and transport options for everyone
- for a safer East Cambridgeshire, with more appropriate speed limits, fewer rat-running lorries, and enforcement against bad on street parking
- for a responsible East Cambridgeshire, accounting for public money wisely and opening up its spending to proper audit
- for an open East Cambridgeshire, being transparent about its decisions and listening to what residents have to say
“East Cambs’ current Conservative council is running out of steam and out of ideas,” says the manifesto.
“On the county council, which the Liberal Democrats now lead in partnership, we’re showing how things can really be done.
“Now it’s time for new ideas, new vision, and a new approach. It’s time for a Lib Dem council.”
Lib Dems says if successful they will double the council’s budget for local environmental projects “ instead of leaving it unspent like the Conservatives.
“We’re ambitious for clean air, clean energy, wildflowers in verges, and parks for people.
“We’ll support community initiatives to improve biodiversity and reduce our dependency on fossil fuels.
“We’ll renew East Cambridgeshire’s Local Plan so it’s up to date and able to protect us from inappropriate development”
Their manifesto says: “The Lib Dems stepped in with a five-point plan to restore order when waste services collapsed under the Conservatives. T
“he Conservatives have allowed not only waste collection, but also street cleaning services, to deteriorate badly. We want to turn the poor performance figures round.
Cost of living crisis
“We’ll prioritise waste collection, street cleaning, and clearing up fly tipping. It’s the East Cambs we all want to see.”
The manifesto adds: “The cost-of-living crisis has hit many households hard.
“We want a temporary council tax break for the least well off. We need affordable rented housing.
“We’ll concentrate on that, not ‘£100K home’ gimmicks and favoured ‘community land trusts’ that don’t reflect local views.
“We will work with partner councils and others to improve local public transport, cycling and walking provision. We don’t think the ‘congestion charge’ proposals are fair as they stand, and will work for better solutions.
“We’ll open discussions with Citizens Advice about restoring the independent advice services for local residents which the Conservatives forced into closure.
Fully accessible toilets
“We shamed the Conservatives into finally applying for funding for fully accessible toilets in Ely, Soham and Littleport. We want everyone to be welcome in East Cambridgeshire.”
The manifesto points out that on the county council “we’ve introduced new policies to tackle HGVs in villages, and a new funding pot for 20MPH speed limits where communities want them.
“We’re lobbying Government for funding to mend our weather-damaged fen roads”.
And the Lib Dems says it will be more “responsible” than the Conservatives.
The manifesto says: “The Conservatives presided over a half million pound overspend on the waste service this year.
“Their eyes weren’t on the ball at all. We’re determined to see more thorough auditing of council spending, and greater accountability—it’s public money, your money.”
The manifesto concludes: “It’s time to replace small ideas and a toxic culture with an ambitious vision and decisive action.”
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