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Local Election 2019 Manifesto

council

At the last council election in 2015, the Conservatives won all 50 seats and this has led to a council that has no need to listen to local people or to have its decisions scrutinised.

Since then 4 of them have become independents, 2 have left and there was 1 by-election that was won by the Liberal Democrats.

Liberal Democrat Sophie Bell believed East Herts deserved better so stood in the Watton-at-Stone by-election last August with the offer of an opposition voice on the council to provide scrutiny of the ruling party. The people responded decisively by electing her with two thirds of the vote. This showed there is a desire for something better when people can see that change is possible.

Cllr Bell is now working tirelessly for Watton-at-Stone and for all of East Herts, trying to provide the scrutiny and opposition we all deserve, however it has not been easy. The Conservatives have not allowed her to sit on any committees and even the seat on the Overview and Scrutiny Committee that was left open for the winner of her by-election, was subsequently filled with a Conservative.

There is so much more she and the Liberal Democrats want to do for the residents of East Herts but we will need a team to help her do that. In this election the Liberal Democrats are offering to provide the scrutiny the council desperately needs so better decisions are made in all our interests.

If elected, our priorities would be:

Safer Streets
We believe suitable provision can be made for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers across our towns and villages.

Cleaner Air
Air pollution is a serious health hazard and has reached unacceptable levels in East Herts. Provision can and should be made at problem spots such as the Hockerill crossroads and Gascoyne Way to tackle this problem and to better manage traffic flows.

More Affordable Housing
There is a huge need for housing; there is a risk of many people being excluded from decent housing for generations to come. It will however be essential for any new housing to have adequate infrastructure (schools, healthcare, roads, parking etc.) to support it but we also need to protect villages from unsustainable development. As is done in other Liberal Democrats councils, we would like the District Council to borrow to build its own houses so they can charge genuinely affordable rents.

Scrutiny, Transparency and Better Consultation
We will provide much-needed scrutiny and opposition to the ruling Conservatives and bring transparency and accountability by reporting back council activities to residents. We will consult fully and openly with residents when anything which might affect them and their area is proposed.