Colchester Lib Dems launch manifesto

COLCHESTER'S Liberal Democrats have launched their manifesto for next month's local elections, promising to deliver “a better Colchester for everyone”.

Elliot Furniss

COLCHESTER'S Liberal Democrats have launched their manifesto for next month's local elections, promising to deliver “a better Colchester for everyone”.

The party has pledged to make a number of key policy changes for the running of the town with a focus on street cleaning and the environment.

Increasing recycling rates to more than 60% is also on the agenda and the group has said it would oppose any plans to incinerate waste while maintaining the weekly black sack collection.

“It's clear that this Conservative administration has failed Colchester in so many ways,” said Martin Hunt, leader of the Liberal Democrat group on Colchester Borough Council.

“We want to give the people of Colchester a town that all of its residents can be proud of - one where there aren't piles of litter and leaves on the streets, where traffic isn't continually snarled up through overdevelopment and where the council delivers value for money for all residents all the year round.”

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Other proposals within the group's manifesto include plans for a “proper” park and ride scheme for the town and ways to cut congestion in the town centre.

Mr Hunt said that while the council's investment in new road sweeping machines was to be applauded, they would only provide value for money if the streets were clear of cars and the machines could do their job.

He said: “Extra street cleaning machines don't help if they can't get into the gutters. We would also publish a street cleaning schedule so people know when their streets are due to be cleaned and move their cars.”

Mr Hunt said the group would also look at the enforcement of licensing rules and how to work with the police to make the streets “safer for everyone”.

Protection and promotion of Colchester's history and heritage would be a top priority as well as making the council open and accountable to all residents by holding “proper” consultations over new schemes.

In February, the Liberal Democrats proposed freezing Colchester's council tax rate. They said the plans would have cut waste from the council budget and still allowed for more to be spent on street cleaning, but were opposed by both the Conservatives and the Labour Party.

Mr Hunt added: “The people of Colchester need a council that will not only deliver the services they want, but also provide value for money. The people of Colchester can't afford more Tory waste.”

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