Liberal Democrats are offering 'A Fresh Start for Cambridge' after the past year’s pandemic and the last 7 years of Labour control of the city. They launch their online manifesto for the 2021 City Council campaign today - you can access it by clicking here.
Launching their manifesto, City Lib Dem leader Cllr Tim Bick said:
"This election happens at a time where the pandemic has highlighted so much that could be done better. Because all seats on the city council are being elected at one time, power could easily change to the Liberal Democrats after 7 years of Labour rule.
"Under Labour there has been a serious gap between promise and delivery, a catalogue of missed opportunities and a skewed sense of priorities: confounding many of the reasons why people might have voted Labour in the past – 1 in 9 council homes falling below the ‘decent’ standard; the planned closure of public toilets; attempting to take away the valued free shopmobility service for the less able; the compromising of public open space; the erratic pursuit of climate change goals including a repeated default to new gas boilers and new council homes going backwards in sustainability; and the high-handed treatment of self-employed market traders and their customers. In all of these areas the Liberal Democrats can point to unwavering commitment to keep their eye on the ball to deliver the real fresh start that the moment demands."
Cllr Cheney Payne, the Lib Dems' deputy leader said:
"Whether it’s on housing or transport or community building, the Lib Dems are offering fresh ideas and a clarity of purpose, where the alternatives are half-formed, ambivalent or confused. Our vision is for a city where people have equal opportunities and meaningful choices, can shape their community and can find their own place in the sun – all with the support of a council which empowers them."
The Lib Dem manifesto sets out nine areas of policy for a greener and fairer Cambridge:
A fresh start on Climate Change: including a commitment to ‘roadmap carbon emissions to zero’, a presumption for low carbon in all council decision-making and support for waste reduction in a more circular local economy
A fresh start for a stronger and fairer community: including a new community wellbeing framework across all council activities and the development of a Community Cohesion Fund for local business to contribute to alleviating the social impact of the city’s fast growth
A fresh start on housing our city: including focus on future housebuilding at North East Cambridge and Marshalls Airfield – but respecting the constraints of local water resources, commitment to zero carbon homes where built by the council and all available measures to achieve this where they are built by others; and targeted provision for key workers homes
A fresh start for green and open spaces: including priority to protect and provide generous open spaces, more properly managed biodiversity, re-wilding and tree cover – the latter through a Children’s Tree Scheme with local schools
A fresh start to eliminate rough sleeping: including an offer of shelter through the winter, a multi-disciplinary task force to address addictions and mental ill-health and a new rough sleeping charter to engage city-wide support and understanding
A fresh start for basic council services: including a turn-round plan for maintenance of council homes, replacing the public toilet closures plan with improvement and refurbishment plans, and more agility to respond to seasonal litter surges
A fresh start for a ‘low traffic city’: including working within the GCP towards an integrated scheme disincentivising car use and generating a subsidy for improved bus services and introduction of a clean air zone to accelerate adoption of low emissions bus and logistics fleets; and for the city council to re-purpose more of its off-street car parking space
A fresh start for an inclusive economy: including protecting availability of affordable employment space for businesses outside the technology and life sciences sector, a re-imagining of the city centre to adjust to growth in online sales and bringing developers together with employers to help target housing provision
A fresh start to governing our city: building the case for Cambridge to have single tier, ‘unitary’ local government across its travel-to-work area in the southern part of the county, like other small cities elsewhere in the country