Friday, 25 April 2014

South Cambs Lib Dems Announce 2014 Election Manifesto

South Cambridgeshire Liberal Democrats launch their 2014 manifesto for the local Council elections in May by calling on the District Council to focus its efforts on getting better value for money from the taxpayer by sharing services.

Liberal Democrat Group Leader Bridget Smith said; "For too long local government, including here in South Cambridgeshire, has felt the need to keep as many of it's services as possible in house - as if there was a particularly 'South Cambs' way of collecting Council Tax, procuring good and services, managing IT, and tracking the Council’s finances. Today as part of our launch of this manifesto we are calling on the District Council to make Shared Services the default option for all back-office services this Council provides"

The Key aims in this Manifesto are;
- Building Stronger Communities. Ensure a sensible proportion of housing (40% in Northstowe, 80% on Council land sold to developers) is affordable to local residents, creating a new £100K grant scheme with the aim of providing two £40-£50K project grants a year to village organisations, working with Parish Councils to include them in decision making and help them protect their local shops, post offices, and public houses, and tackle rural isolation through improving community transport and village amenities
- Tackling Long-Term Climate Change Threats by easing planning restrictions to allow greater use of renewables and energy efficiency measures in conservation areas and on listed buildings, ensuring sustainable transport is in place for all new developments, improving commercial recycling from businesses and schools, and leading by example by making South Cambs vehicle fleet as efficient as possible by trialling hybrid and electric vehicles
- Greater Accountability through Greater Transparency. Making fairness, transparency, and value for money the cornerstone of the Council’s procurement policy, working with the County and City Councils to build on the current City Deal towards the goal of setting up a unitary authority, and following the lead of the County Council, to scrap cabinet government and switch to the committee system to ensure decision making is fully scrutinised
- Better Value For Money. Ensure that monies received from the City Deal are used for the long-term and district-wide benefit, share common back-office services like IT, Procurement, Legal, Finance, etc. with other Councils, and to investigate pooling resources for front-office services like housing repairs

"I believe our positive message of change and innovation to improve services and lives across the District will resonate with voters", said Cllr Smith. "I look forward to debating our manifesto in the villages and on the doorsteps where we can show people what their active, local, Liberal Democrat candidate is standing for."

The manifesto is available online here;

"At this election, voters in South Cambs will have the option of voting for an inclusive, innovative, hard working party to represent them or for more of the same from the Conservatives. I look forward to the campaign," she added.