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LibDems launch their Suffolk manifesto to join Labour for attack on cuts

PUBLISHED: 08:23 05 March 2017 | UPDATED: 09:08 05 March 2017

Lib Dem leader on Suffolk County Council  Dave Wood with national Party President Baroness Sal Brinton at the launch of the manifesto  Picture by Ashley Pickering

Lib Dem leader on Suffolk County Council Dave Wood with national Party President Baroness Sal Brinton at the launch of the manifesto Picture by Ashley Pickering

Two of the major opposition parties in Suffolk have launched their manifestos in a bid to take control of the county council in May’s local elections.

Liberal Democrat manifesto launch which was attended by the national party president, Baroness Sal Brinton at Henley village hall

Lib Dem Chairman, Jon James (far L) goes through the main points of the manifesto as Baroness Brinton and Deputy Leader, John Field look on

Picture by Ashley PickeringLiberal Democrat manifesto launch which was attended by the national party president, Baroness Sal Brinton at Henley village hall Lib Dem Chairman, Jon James (far L) goes through the main points of the manifesto as Baroness Brinton and Deputy Leader, John Field look on Picture by Ashley Pickering

The Liberal Democrats are hoping to make gains after losing several seats the last time the county council was elected in 2013.

On Saturday party president Baroness Sal Brinton visited Suffolk to formally launch the party’s manifesto.

Meanwhile Labour has had its manifesto in place for the May 4 election for several months – and is stepping up its campaigning, especially in parts of Ipswich and Waveney.

The LibDems have six priorities for the county council:

1: Provide a £5m boost to adult social care

2: Invest in the infrastructure to support new housing – roads, schools, and doctors’ surgeries

3: Fund a county-wide mental health programme in schools

4: Fix roads and pavements

5: Invest in local bus services and make park and ride buses more frequent

6: Protect Suffolk libraries

It is promising to spend some of the reserves built up by the Conservative administration over recent years.

The party is hoping to win back some of the seats it lost in 2013 – although none of its sitting councillors were voted out of office in that election.

It has already started a fightback, winning Hadleigh back from the Tories in a by-election last November after Brian Riley was forced to resign 18 months after emigrating to North Carolina in the US.

Baroness Brinton said: “The Party had demonstrated that it was winning back support having had a net gain of over 30 local council seats in the last six months with party membership in Suffolk having doubled since the General Election.

“When I heard that the majority Conservative group in Suffolk had built up such large reserves over the past four years at the same time as cutting vital services I was flabbergasted.”

Meanwhile Labour is also promising to spend some of the council’s reserves to reverse some of the cuts that have been brought in over recent years.

Among Labour’s pledges are to reverse the recent cuts to the fire service and to spend more on road repairs. It is also planning to increase the spending on social care, especially the money available for the most vulnerable.

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