Peterborough Lib Dems propose huge public transport spending, workplace parking levy and scrapping of brown bin fees
Liberal Democrats in Peterborough have proposed huge investment in public transport as well as the possibility of introducing a workplace parking levy in its manifesto for May’s local elections.
The city council’s third biggest party wants to see increased bus services with reduced fares, the introduction of light rail and a network of electric vehicle charging points.
The party also wants to investigate a park and ride scheme and has pledged to lobby for two new rail stations, while it will consult on blanket 20mph zones in residential areas and aim to make Peterborough the country’s first ‘age friendly city’.
Other proposals in the manifesto include introducing enforcement teams outside of the city centre, seeking to scrap the controversial charge on garden waste collections from brown bins, offering two free bulky waste collections a year, and potentially selling or renting out the entirety of the Town Hall.
However, the policies are likely to be attacked by the ruling Conservative administration as being unaffordable at a time of severe budget pressures following government funding cuts and the coronavirus pandemic.
The Liberal Democrats have increased their number of councillors in Peterborough over recent years and currently hold nine out of 60 seats in the Council Chamber.
This year’s elections will see 23 seats being contested, and Lib Dem group leader Cllr Nick Sandford believes the Conservatives could lose control for the first time since 2001 with the party currently reliant on the backing of three Werrington First councillors to be in power.
Cllr Sandford said: “These elections offer the prospect of the Tories losing control of the city council for the first time in 20 years and the possibility that the Lib Dems will have a big say in determining who runs the council.
“So it is right that we tell people clearly, before they cast their vote, what we stand for and what our priorities will be in any post-election discussions.
“We want to change the way the city council operates to make it more open and accountable, fairer to all parts of the city and greener and more willing to tackle the big issues such as climate change.
“We want to see parties working together to guide Peterborough through its current difficulties and towards a brighter future.”
Proposals from the Lib Dems include:
• Examining options to move all council staff into one building and dispose of or rent out the Town Hall
• Introducing “more ambitious targets” on tree planting
• Considering selling the farmed estate
• Reviewing the future of the waste incinerator
• Reviewing the “unfair” charge on brown bin collections, as well as offering residents two free bulky waste collections a year
• Scrapping the leader and cabinet system with all key decisions made by council committees meeting in public
• Creating ‘area committees’ which can decide how money is spent within the community
• Supporting the creation of new parish councils
• Improving the English language skills of those who speak other languages, and holding more cross-community events
• Establishing a new enforcement team which will spend all its time in residential areas
• Consulting on blanket 20mph speed limits in residential areas
• More funding for domestic abuse support services and promoting community justice panels
• Phasing out selective admissions policies based on faith
• Making Peterborough the country’s first ‘age friendly city’
• Increasing the public health budget
• Hitting the 30 per cent target for affordable homes with major developments, as well as building council homes
• Ensuring that all new developments have fibre broadband installed from the outset
• Working towards the council adopting all services for new estates
• Establishing a network of electric vehicle charging points throughout the city and encouraging a switch to electric buses or light rail
• Increasing the frequency of evening and Sunday bus services and improving access to buses in rural areas, as well as reduced fares
• Consulting on workplace parking charges for employers
• Tackling irresponsible parking, including parking on pavements and grass verges
• Examining options for incorporating ‘park and ride’ facilities into bus, rail or light rail improvements
• Looking at introducing green investment bonds to give local people the opportunity to invest in the city’s future.
The manifesto can be read in full at: https://www.peterboroughlibdems.org.uk/peterborough_lib_dems_launch_2021_manifesto.