7 reasons why Cheltenham is better off with the Liberal Democrats
1. We will work to build a more prosperous town
We live in a changing and highly competitive world. Cheltenham’s prosperity cannot be taken for granted. Nor can its reputation and ‘pulling power’ as a centre for tourism, shopping and culture. That is why a Liberal Democrat led Borough Council will continue to work with the business community and other partners to create jobs for local people; to help new businesses to start up, and to help existing businesses – large and small – to grow.
2. We will work to protect your green spaces
‘Local Green Space’ designation in national planning policy was a Liberal Democrat idea; and we are already working to make it a reality in our town by working with local residents to identify green spaces that need protection.
3. We will work to end the neglect of our roads, pavements and street trees
Since the Tory County Council took back control of our highways from the Borough Council 2007, our roads, pavements and street trees have deteriorated dramatically. We will call for a new deal, so that decisions about priorities and budgets are taken here in the town with local needs in mind.
4. We will run an efficient council
In the past eight years, the Liberal Democrat administration on the Borough Council has found over £9 million a year of efficiency savings. That meant that the Borough Council’s share of council tax could be pegged at its 2010 level for five successive years, with a modest increase in 2016 of £5 a year for a Band D taxpayer. If re-elected we will continue to seek efficiencies and keep council tax to acceptable levels.
5. We will deliver more council homes for people in housing need
In the past few years, under Liberal Democrat leadership, Cheltenham Borough Council has started to build new council homes for the first time in decades. 160 new council homes have been built over the past four years by regenerating vacant or derelict 'brownfield' land. Over the next four years we will set aside £9 million from the housing revenue account to build more homes for people in housing need.
6. We will defend your local services
Over the past eight years, since the world economic crash and the start of “austerity”, Cheltenham Borough Council’s budget has shrunk by over 20 per cent in cash terms as a result of Government cuts. Yet in that time, the Liberal Democrat leadership on the Council has been remarkably successful at protecting local services that might have been cut or even closed under the Tories. Over the next four years, the Conservative Government will put even greater pressure on our funding. But Liberal Democrats will go on doing their level best to defend services so that Cheltenham can have the quality of life it deserves.
7. We will defend local democracy
Gloucestershire is rapidly becoming a one-party state, with all our neighbouring councils now firmly under the control of the Tories. That has led to creeping privatisation of services as well as massive service cuts. We will continue to be an independent voice on behalf of the people of Cheltenham, not an echo of Conservative HQ in London. We will stand up for the principle of public service in local government and oppose privatisation of vital services.
Those are our ‘headline’ proposals. But people in the town will rightly expect us to explain in more detail what we will do if you re-elect us in May – so can read more about our policies in greater depth here: