Essex Liberal Democrats announce their priorities for the County Council elections

April 26, 2017 8:48 AM

Our Priorities for the 2017 Elections

Essex County Hall

End the Tory cuts to public services

Over the last four years Conservative run Essex County Council has been savagely cutting services

• Children's Centres have closed
• Meals on Wheels have ended
• Community Transport has been cut
• Bus services have been cut
• Side roads and pavements have deteriorated
• Care packages for the elderly have been delayed
• Charges for Home Care has increased five fold
• Youth Services have been dismantled
• Recycling Centres restrict home DIY waste
• Local Highways budgets have been halved
• Charges for home to school transport in rural areas has rocketed
• Traffic congestion has got worse

Our recent survey showed the County Council is considered by residents to be remote and uncaring

The Liberal Democrats will change that by:

• Council meetings to be audio and video webcast
• Ending the cabinet system and re-introducing the committee system to ensure open debate and pre decision scrutiny
• Ensuring decisions are not made behind closed doors
• Make sure resident's enquiries are dealt with quickly and sympathetically
• Making the £14.5m of ECC held art treasures hidden away from public view available

During the last four years the standard of basic services has fallen.
The Liberal Democrats will change that by restoring services and improving others by:

• Repairing roads properly, not just patching up
• Improving poorly performing schools
• Lobby government to restore cuts in school budgets and ensure every child has a school place
• Ensuring the under 5's nursery provision is fully taken up
• Providing swimming concessions for the under 16's
• Improving youth provision
• Work with large and small businesses by investing to create sustainable jobs and keep the economy growing
• Providing concessionary fares passes for those on Job Seekers Allowance and undertaking Apprenticeships
• No more cuts to Library opening hours
• No more Recycling Centre closures and ending restrictions on home DIY waste
• No more increases in car parking charges in ECC Country Parks
• Protecting concessionary fares for pensioners
• Reviewing the night time street light switch off and introduce more LED street lighting
• Introduce '20 is plenty' - 20mph speed limit near schools and in residential areas
• Campaign for Community Policing to be fully restored

The Liberal Democrats will ensure value for money by:

• Cutting waste and bureaucracy at County Hall
• Using the £millions sitting in the Council's Bank reserves
• Cutting business trips and conferences
• Reducing the number of Cabinet members and Deputies receiving allowances
• Cutting the publicity budget, £4,000 was spent on self promotion just before the election
• Slashing the use of expensive consultants
• Cutting the number of temporary agency staff (£116m in the last five years)
• Ensuring Developers contributions (Section 106 monies) are spent in time and not returned