Chelmsford Council has spare cash but won't fix congestion and housing crisis

March 10, 2015 12:32 PM

Traffic ScaledChelmsford has major issues with congestion and housing. But the Conservatives who run Chelmsford council refused (at the recent budget meeting) to use its large cash balances to start fixing the problems.

Congestion

A month ago, the Conservatives on the planning committee gave in to a developer request to build extra houses BEFORE the new relief road at Beaulieu Park is built. See here.

They are building 16,000 houses in Chelmsford between 2001 and 2021. We need new houses (especially for young people and others who cannot afford a home) but we need the services and facilities to go with them.

If you agree, please sign our petition "Don't Choke Chelmsford" and share with your friends.

Solutions

A third and even a fourth Park & Ride; better bus services; a complete cycle network; a new station near Boreham. These are all things that could help cut congestion. Last night, the Lib Dem group proposed that the council should act now to find a site for the third Park & Ride. This was rejected by the Conservatives.

They have taken your cash and not spent it!

The Conservatives who run Chelmsford council have stashed away £13 million of your money. In one year's time that will be £16 million. See p.48 of the Budget Report.

Over the last four years they have raised your Council Tax and not spent the extra money. They took £2.5 million off you that they did not need.

In nine of the last ten years they have spent less than they budgeted, by a large margin. Over that 10 years the total not spent is £11.54 million.

Below this is a list of projects that the Liberal Democrats proposed at the council meeting. The Conservatives rejected them.

Liberal Democrat budget proposals on 25th February 2015

a) Cut congestion by preparing for a third Park & Ride car park.

b) Convert streetlights in Chelmsford to LED by lending Essex County Council the money to do it.

c) Avoid use of costly hostels for people who lose their homes by buying emergency houses.

d) Deliver more affordable homes, by restoring the officer post of Housing Strategy Manager cut by the Conservatives, and lending to social landlords so they can build.

e) Deliver stronger communities not just housing, by ensuring there are GP surgeries, community hubs etc. in new developments.

f) Improve local roads and pavements by employing a Highways Officer to deliver the projects that are stalled in the Highways Panel.

g) Support small, local shops with free parking for 30 minutes in the west end of Chelmsford.