Here is a text only version of the Lincoln Liberal Democrats Manifesto for the Local Council Elections May 2012
Hard copies can be purchased e-mail David Harding-Price carholme @ lincolnlibdems.org.uk
The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no-one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity.
The Lincoln Liberal Democrats believe that all the people of Lincoln deserve the right to live their lives to the highest standard that they wish to achieve. All residents need to be supported to realize their goal in a way that does not impact adversely on the lives of others.
Nationally the Liberal Democrats have already lead on a tax cut for almost 2 million people on low and middle incomes which has resulted in 82,000 people in the East Midlands being lifted out of paying tax altogether and a further nearly two million basic rate tax payers will receive a £130 tax cut. Children will benefit in the East Midlands with the pupil premium that means schools will get a total £81m this year to support around 138,000 pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. Liberal Democrats have been overseeing a record expansion in apprentices in the East Midlands: last year alone, nearly 41,000 people across the region were learning and earning on an apprenticeship, which was up 66% on Labour’s record. Liberal Democrats are committed to investing in jobs and growth in the East Midlands, to help create a sustainable regional economy by investing directly and by leveraging private sector investment with public funds as well as by creating the right conditions for growth. Under the Get Britain Building fund £45m will be invested in the East Midlands, delivering over 1,200 homes. This will also support almost 2,500 jobs in construction and related sectors locally. Private companies have already invested £116m in the East Midlands thanks to the positive framework Liberal Democrats have created for green investment, creating jobs and furthering technical knowledge. Under the Liberal Democrats driven programme “Growing Places Fund”, Lincolnshire has received £9.6million to support Local Enterprise Partnerships. The Liberal Democrats support the construction of the Lincoln Eastern By-pass.
Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister has said “under my leadership the Regional Growth Fund has delivered £86m of investment to the East Midlands, which will create more than 14,000 jobs. And we are also working to improve the infrastructure across the region which is why we are supporting investment in broadband internet and improving bus services.”
With Liberal Democrats on the City Council, the residents and businesses of Lincoln would further benefit from the Liberal Democrats in government.
Our commitment to community politics means we work tirelessly for local people – we are not beholden to either big business or the trade unions. Instead, Liberal Democrats in local communities across the region are dedicated to doing what is right for local people.
In Lincoln the Liberal Democrats goal is to take local democracy further. To achieve this Liberal Democrats will respond to public opinion. We believe in devolution from central Government down through all tiers of government. We see this as the best way for people’s voices to be heard. The Lincoln Liberal Democrats will consult as widely as possible before decisions are made.
The Lincoln Liberal Democrats would set up monthly ‘Coffee with a Councillor’ meetings in prominent areas of the city. We would introduce “ward walks” with senior officers and promote the use of plain English in letters and publications. All of which is designed to empower the people of Lincoln.
Within the city the Lincoln Liberal Democrats have four areas that will target support for people in living and working in the City of Lincoln. Within these areas lie elements of everyone’s life.
|LifestyleIncluding Housing, Health, Jobs, Recreation, Tourism,|
|BusinessIncluding Jobs, Business rates, Licensing & Registration, Planning, Business Services,|
|EnvironmentIncluding Refuse & recycling, Transport & Parking, Sustainable Living, Culture & Heritage,|
|OrganisationIncluding Council Tax, Media & Information, Community Services, Council business|
The lifestyle of everyone living and working in the city is affected by the lead given by the council. Over the past few years neither of the other parties has set out a real vision for people.
The Lincoln Liberal Democrat’s vision is one where everyone is able to live a life to the highest level they wish to achieve. A life where they are not enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity.
The lack of affordable housing within the city is evident with the numbers on the waiting list for social housing. We would use any opportunity which presented itself to increase the stock of council properties. We will seek to improve the liaison with Housing Associations with regard to their tenants in residence and the provision of more accommodation. We will seek to encourage the highest possible standards of environmental construction in new building and for empty homes to be brought up to habitable standards so they can be let at affordable rents to people working within the city. We would look to develop brown field sites.
Liberal Democrats recognise that having a job not only provides people with an income but also increases their self esteem. Lincoln Liberal Democrats will work with local businesses to find ways of increasing the number of employment opportunities including the development of apprentice schemes for youngsters and on the job training for older people.
We would create incentive schemes to support local small businesses. We recognise the benefits of projects like the “Bailgate Pound” and would look for ways to encourage such schemes.
A healthy body and mind enables people to be active within their community. We would support services which benefit older people increasing the Active over 50s scheme.
Using Activ8 the Lincoln Liberal Democrats would aim to increase the number of people participating in physical activity using both educational and practical opportunities.
We would investigate ways of providing more meeting places not only for older people but also the wider community in particular for teenagers.
The Lincoln Liberal Democrats would actively discourage underage drinking by checking on shops to ensure alcohol is not sold to those under age. We would develop Community Safety Teams to work with the police to do spot checks where a young person under age attempts to buy alcohol to check if their age is questioned. A similar scheme would be introduced for the sale of tobacco.
The City has a number of open and green spaces within its boundary we would look for ways in which the use of these can be expanded without impacting on their environmental benefits.
The social life of the city would be encouraged whilst at the same time people being motivated to respect others around them. The Lincoln Liberal Democrats would look to divide the city in to four distinct districts with each having its own positive face. These would be the cultural quarter, centred around the cathedral, the castle and historical Lincoln, the educational sector based around the university, business district drawing in local industries and manufacturers and the leisure zone taking in the theatres, High Street shops and cafés and the Brayford, to include the potential move of The Imps and needs of other teams.
Lincoln has a long history and many magnificent buildings. We would encourage their promotion and the development of opportunities for people near and far to enjoy them. We believe the use of “mosquitoes” is not the way to address the problems associated with young people.
Lincoln based events would be culturally and historically relevant so as not to be intrusive in the life of Lincoln.
Lincoln needs clear definitions for its four main social areas, that of the cultural quarter, educational sector, business district and leisure zone. The Lincoln Liberal Democrats would define these areas and encourage people in them to have pride in their area.
Business provides the jobs which are the means by which we all are able to live the life we want without being enslaved by poverty. The Lincoln Liberal Democrats would aim to encourage employment in a number of ways from private sector to social enterprise.
Employment is essential not only to enable people to buy the things they want but also to promote their self esteem. National statistics show that around 1 in 9 of the residents of Lincoln live in deprivation. The Lincoln Liberal Democrats would work with local businesses to provide employment opportunities.
We would also support social enterprise schemes which enable people to gain employment. These not only provide employment but provide a return for the local community.
Apprentice schemes need developing to enable young people to gain the employment skills to enable them to enter the workforce.
Lincoln Liberal Democrats recognise that business rates are unpopular and that many businesses are telling us that they do not feel they are getting value for money from the services they receive. We would look to continue to promote (subject to the Chancellor not stopping it) small business rate tax exemption. Lincoln Liberal Democrats would work with Coalition to bring a “City Deal” to Lincoln.
We would continue to talk with business to discover what they want and expect for their business rates.
Licensing & Registration
The Lincoln Liberal Democrats would strengthen licensing where it affect the daily lives of citizens in particular in relation to i) the protection of children from harm, ii) the prevention of public nuisance, iii) the prevention of crime and disorder and iv) public safety. We will listen to what local residents say before decisions are made that could affect their home or work life.
Licensing services would be cost neutral at the least and where the licence leads to a profit the Council should have a small share of that profit.
The Lincoln Liberal Democrats would open up the planning process on large scale development or that involving large businesses to reduce the domination of Lincoln as has been seen in recent years. We would protect the Cathedral Quarter and the Brayford area enhancing these as areas for rest, relaxation and recreation.
We would look to pedestrianizing more of the city centre, supporting the development of the southern and eastern bypasses.
We will raise the standard required for energy efficiency in new buildings across the City and will work with building developers in the City to create more energy efficient homes.
We would expect developers to provide a good mix of quality housing with the social element distributed throughout.
Planning applications would have to be cost neutral for small projects or personal private homes and could provide an income for large developments.
We would press for solutions to the multi-site Park and Ride system with local communities benefiting from the additional bus journeys.
Lincoln Liberal Democrats would aim to make access to the leisure zone easier so that people could enjoy the benefits of shopping in a city market. We would continue the development of the Lincoln BIG scheme with a view to encouraging events on the High Street and surrounding areas, within the Leisure Zone.
We would continue to support businesses through the statutory services required from a local district council.
As part of the Coalition Government Lincoln Liberal Democrats would work with the relevant departments to encourage more Regional Growth Fund money to be released for Lincoln and in particular Get Britain Building fund monies so that social housing can be developed providing both homes and jobs in the city.
We have only one planet and we all have to live on it. If we do not address environmental issues we will have no home to live on. The Lincoln Liberal Democrats vision is that the city in a small but vital way supports projects that help protect the planet and provide a somewhere for us all to live and work.
Refuse & recycling
We will improve street cleansing, refuse collection and recycling services. Many of you have told us that you want better refuse and recycling services, as well as cleaner streets.
The Lincoln Liberal Democrats would be proactive in recycling. We would look to ways of incentivise people to recycle more.
Clinical Waste must pay for itself.
Through incentives we would aim to improve environmental quality and reduce pollution. Park and ride schemes to encourage less car use in the city during the week would be introduced, with local residents benefitting from the additional bus services.
With increased food safety and hygiene along with better animal welfare we would aim to reduce pest problems and so control the difficulty people face with pest problems.
Lincoln Liberal Democrats will make every effort to eliminate waste and inefficiency.
Transport & Parking
The Lincoln Liberal Democrats recognise that transport is a major issue within the city. The Eastern and Southern By-passes are not going to be operational within the next four years. We would push for transport solutions with a multi-site Park and Ride system. The location of the car parks should be outside the by-pass ring to enable easy of access. The bus service of such a scheme must benefit the local community as well.
To encourage people to use local businesses, parking charges at weekends and nights would be set to promote the entry into the city. In addition we would introduce a one hour free parking in car parks during the day. This would be offset in two ways. First when the park and ride is in place increasing parking charges in the daytime beyond the hour and secondly with the introduction of charges to supermarkets; with numerous outlets within the city; for parking spaces.
We will replace every council owned tree that is felled with three others elsewhere within the city.
Lincoln has an ideal East – West link that needs to be developed. The Lincoln Liberal Democrats would promote the use of the waterways with increased usage with a River Boat Service from Stamp End to Burton Waters.
The Lincoln Liberal Democrats would support the development of local energy groups to enable people to benefit from lower energy costs. We will investigate new ways of making energy efficiency affordable for all, whether people own or rent their property. People can pay back over time with the repayments being less than the savings on bills, meaning many people will benefit from day one. It will help save carbon, energy, and reduce fuel bills.
We will encourage renewable energy and home insulation projects, particularly helping families and old people trapped in fuel poverty.
We would look at ways of providing street lighting that does not waste energy. We would encourage businesses to turn off lights at night, using intermittent lights as their criminal deterrent.
Culture & Heritage
Lincoln has a number of national events which take places each year. We would ensure that these events return a profit to the residents. We would also look to such events being in keeping with the historical elements of the city.
The Lincoln Liberal Democrats strongly believe in healthier lifestyles and would look for new allotment sites to enable people to grown their own produce.
The Lincoln Liberal Democrats strongly believe in local democracy and all local people having an opportunity to have a say in the way their lives are affected by local council actions.
The Liberal Democrats have long argued for a local income tax as a means of providing local services. We would look for ways of paying Council Tax by supporting people through investigating ‘staggered’ payments of council tax – e.g. for when times are tough or seasonal occupations. We would return collection service back to City Hall and re-introduce a personal service. We recognises modern technology has its advantages but face to face contact is essential for some people.
Media & Information
We would look for ways in which the benefits of the city can be spread further afield to encourage tourism and employment to the city.
Information about services would be available electronically with more terminals in public libraries and other public places.
The use of the internet to enable people to enhance their lives would be encouraged but not at the loss of face to face services.
We would encourage co-operation with police, schools and the social and youth services to tackle anti-social behaviour. We will support the use of CCTV as a means of providing residents and employees a level of protection.
The goal of Liberal Democrats is to develop local democracy. The Lincoln Liberal Democrats would achieve by respond to public opinion. We believe in devolution from central Government down through all tiers of government. We will consult as widely as possible before decisions are made.
We would continue the openness of the Council using all modern technology that is currently available and may become available.