The Cambridgeshire Liberal Democrats have launched their manifesto for the May 2021 county council elections. With the Conservatives only needing to be defeated in four seats to lose control of the council, this manifesto looks set to determine the future of the county.
Cllr Lucy Nethsingha, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group and candidate in Newnham, said,
“The Liberal Democrats have a vision for a Cambridgeshire that puts a green recovery at the centre of our plans for the next four years.
“The pandemic has changed life for everyone over the past year. Its impact has not been equal across society, and we need to ensure that as Covid recedes, the recovery doesn’t mean simply returning things to how they were.
“For too many in Cambridgeshire life before the pandemic was hard. Too many residents lived in areas where air quality was poor, public transport non-existent, health and care support hard to find, and educational opportunities limited.
“Added to these issues, we face a climate emergency which requires urgent action at a scale the Conservatives have not yet recognised.
“These things must and can change.”
Cllr Lorna Dupré, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group and candidate in Sutton, said,
“A Liberal Democrat-run county council will rebalance our transport system, making public transport, walking and cycling more realistic options for many more people.
“We will work with residents to tackle speeding. We will discourage HGVs from rat-running through villages and making life a misery for those living nearby.
“We will ensure our roads are better maintained, with more invested in tackling potholes and cleaning gullies to prevent flooding. The Conservatives have cut £7.5 million from Cambridgeshire and Peterborough’s road maintenance budget this year. We will fight for a better deal for Cambridgeshire, which years of Conservative leadership have failed to deliver.”
Firouz Thompson, Liberal Democrat candidate in Longstanton, Northstowe & Over, said,
“The pandemic has shown not only how vital the county council’s social care services are, but also just how fragile. Boris Johnson promised he had a plan for a fairer social care system, but as with so many of his promises, nothing has been delivered.
“Social care in Cambridgeshire is at breaking point, following years of underfunding from the Conservatives. Children’s Centre closures mean many families cannot get help early, so problems escalate. Carers receive too little help. We will invest in Community Hubs, with access to anyone needing support, when they need it.”
Yemi Macaulay, Liberal Democrat candidate in the Market division of Cambridge, said,
“Tackling the climate emergency is the toughest challenge facing our area. A Liberal Democrat county council will accelerate work to de-carbonise public buildings, and work with villages to reduce reliance on oil for heating. We will stop investing in fossil fuels and work with partners across the county to improve biodiversity and to double nature.”
Cllr Henry Batchelor, Liberal Democrat candidate in Linton, said,
“Liberal Democrats are concerned that local government decisions seem increasingly remote from the daily lives of residents. The county council relocating to Alconbury, where public transport links are poor, could increase perceptions of the council as being secretive and remote. To tackle this problem and bring decision- making back closer to communities, we will work with district and parish councils to establish local liaison committees where councillors from all levels of government work together to set priorities for their area.
“A Liberal Democrat county council will invest in public services, will be utterly committed to tackling climate change, and will bring decision-making closer to people. We have a vision for a greener, fairer Cambridgeshire. Cambridgeshire has been let down by the Conservatives, it's time for a change.”
The Cambridgeshire Liberal Democrat manifesto for the 2021 county council elections can be downloaded here.