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Plymouth Liberal Democrats 2022 Manifesto is here

April 19, 2022 8:44 PM


Plymouth Liberal Democrats 2022 Manifesto

A better city for all

The Plymouth Liberal Democrat Manifesto 2022

On Thursday 5 May 2022, voters in Plymouth will elect 19 out of the city's 57 councillors. Elections will take place in every city ward except Plympton Erle. No one party currently has overall control of the council.

In this manifesto, the Plymouth Liberal Democrats set out some of the ideas they want to bring into the council chamber. Even a small number of Lib Dem councillors could hold the balance of power post-election, and we would use that to help create a safer, greener, better connected, more vibrant and more democratic city.

A safer city

Everyone should feel safe and be safe here in Plymouth. As a cornerstone of delivering on that we support the city's Violence Against Women and Girls Commission and believe this work should be a priority both now and over the long term.

There are many steps that can be taken to help make the city safer. We should, for example, improve street lighting and lighting in parks and cut-throughs, look to install CCTV in bus shelters rather than going forward with the planned ripping out bus shelters, and look to make the Christmas night buses a more regular service, helping to support the city's weekend nighttime economy and keeping people safe.

A greener city

Plymouth has so many great green spaces, from Devonport Park and Central Park to Freedom Fields Park and Ham Woods. The city also finds itself in an enviable position, surrounded by areas of great natural beauty: the Rame Peninsula to the west, the Tamar Valley and Dartmoor to the north, the South Hams to the east, and of course Plymouth Sound to the south.

We need to bring our parks to life with more activities and things to do, and map and nurture pocket green spaces across the city. We have to expand what residents can recycle: food waste, for example. It is not recycled here but is recycled elsewhere in Devon, where it is turned into energy.

We have to accelerate the widespread rollout of electric vehicle charging points. This would help residents with electric vehicles, and encourage holidaymakers in electric vehicles on their way to and from Cornwall each summer to stop and discover our great city while their car gets topped up.

In this as well as many other areas, we want to see a council that is more innovative, creative and ambitious.

A better connected city

Plymouth needs to be better connected for local people. Being able to touch in and touch out of buses, for example, without even needing to explain where you are going to the driver would speed up services and give drivers more time to help passengers who need more assistance. A similar Oyster card system has been in operation in London since 2003.

The council needs to be a more effective champion for better, faster rail links between the city and the rest of the country, and should continue to explore options for the reopening of Plymouth Airport.

We want to see the city better connected in a broader sense too, beyond just transport. Remote and flexible working is on the rise. Increasingly, people will be able to choose where they live, rather than being tied to where their job is. Plymouth lies in a beautiful part of the country and could be an attractive place to live for people who are location-independent. Coworking spaces like the Market Hall in Devonport, as well as Ocean Studios and BLOCK at the Royal William Yard, amongst others, offer attractive workspaces for this emerging workforce.

We want to see the council working on how to attract these often innovative, creative workers to the city, with investment and new jobs and businesses likely to follow. Data speeds are one potential barrier to this, as well as a problem for existing residents and businesses.

A more vibrant city

The nearness of National Trust properties like Antony, Cotehele and Saltram, as well as the natural beauty offered by Dartmoor and the South West Coast Path help make Plymouth a great place to live. But Plymouth plays its part too, boosting the culture that is available to people living in our part of the far South West.

Institutions like The Box, the Plymouth Arts Cinema and the Theatre Royal, alongside new public art like Messenger and LOOK II, help the city contribute to the energy and life of the region and its attractiveness to visitors.

We want the city to be brave in supporting culture in the city. It should not be afraid of challenge or debate. Indeed, as a democratic institution, the council should hope to trigger challenge and debate. There is a clear role for the council in nurturing the cultural life of the city.

A more democratic city

Currently, a third of Plymouth's 57 councillors are up for election every year, with no elections every fourth year. The city has used this system for almost 20 years and it gives voters a regular opportunity to pass judgement on the council and how individual councillors are performing.

Plans are afoot to slash the number of elections, with Plymouth's 193,000 registered voters only getting to vote on the council once every four years. Given this city's record of 'here today, gone tomorrow' council leaders, large numbers of councillors quitting their parties, bickering and political backstabbing, this is far too infrequent.

The city is let down too often by clownish goings-on in the council chamber. Councillors should feel that the voters' judgement is always just around the corner. That's healthy for democracy.

Manifesto Published and promoted by Dennis Draper on behalf of The City of Plymouth Liberal Democrats 58 Bowden Park Road, Plymouth, PL6 5NG