1. We invest in our town
Liberal Democrats believe we have to invest in our town to improve local services and make Cheltenham a better place to live for all. That’s why we have invested in facilities like The Wilson and the Pittville play area. It’s why we’re building a new crematorium; refurbishing leisure@Cheltenham; planning major improvements at the Town Hall and building new industrial units. Therefore we are taking a lead to fix the dreadful paving in the east of the High Street, and we will be re-furbishing Boots Corner. John Lewis is opening in September, bringing new jobs to the town. We have secured funding for a Cyber Park for Cheltenham.
2. We work to build greater prosperity for all
Liberal Democrats will not take Cheltenham’s prosperity for granted. Nor will we accept a situation where the town is divided between affluent areas and deprived areas. We are working with the local business community to help get new investment and jobs. We are supporting plans to create a ‘hub’ in Cheltenham for business advice and incubator units for new businesses. We have also pioneered regeneration schemes to improve living standards in the less affluent parts of town. In the future we will continue this work so that everyone shares in a prosperous future.
3. We protect our local environment
Protecting our environment is at the heart of our Liberal Democrat philosophy – and we have worked hard to put our principles into practice. It was the Liberal Democrats who introduced kerbside recycling to Cheltenham and in 2017 we extended it further. We will aim for the Council to be single-use plastic-free by 2019. We continue to support the Cheltenham Transport Plan which reintroduces two way working and takes through traffic out of the town centre. Air pollution has reduced by 6% since it started to be introduced.
4. We will invest in good quality homes
Liberal Democrats will launch a £100m house building programme for homes to rent that people need, located to avoid sacrificing our quality of life. The current Liberal Democrat-led Council has built over 150 new homes and we plan to invest heavily in building 500 more, with the needs of families and young people especially in mind. Overall by 2031 9000+ new homes will be built for Cheltenham in the right places, whilst protecting 87 important green spaces from development. We are increasing charges on empty homes to bring them back into use, with 39 empty homes brought back already.
5. We run an open, inclusive and democratic council
The Liberal Democrats have led the way in making Cheltenham Borough Council open and inclusive. It was the Liberal Democrats who introduced public questions at meetings. We support Neighbourhood Forums and Parish Councils to give local communities a say. We are pressing for local people to have more say in highway matters which are currently decided by the County Council based in Gloucester.