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Do not waste opportunity at County Hall say Warwickshire Lib Dems

January 30, 2020 9:38 PM
By Rugby Lib Dems

Warwickshire CC OfficesLiberal Democrats on Warwickshire County Council are calling on the Conservative administration to not waste the opportunity to invest and protect: Climate Change & Adaptation; Families and Young People; Healthy Communities; and Safer Communities.

We accept that in Warwickshire the Conservatives are in the majority, but we seek to be a constructive opposition.

Warwickshire County Council has reduced services by over £90 million and there is still more to be cut.

The financial risks facing Warwickshire are large and come from four main sources:

  1. Increased demands on Children & Adult Social Care
  2. Infrastructure and waste needs resulting from Warwickshire's growth
  3. The level of one-off resources from Government which are not allowing longer term funding of services.
  4. The wider economic changes resulting from leaving the EU.

In Warwickshire the Liberal Democrats have been supportive of the principles of the "Stepped Approach" which is about building greater community resilience and capacity in order that communities can support each other and the people that live in them. For Liberal Democrats, investing in the next generation by supporting families and our young people, building healthy and safe communities which have sustainable funding, and investing in measures to tackle Climate Change are top priorities.

We believe the administration can go further,

Climate Change & Adaption - substantial investment is needed, not just one-off money, to deliver adaptation taking Warwickshire to Zero Carbon and an environmental leader in the country.

Integrate the approach across all departments, Towns, Parish, Districts Councils on Climate Change. Substantial increases towards Warwickshire's Climate Change and Biodiversity environmental action plan is needed.

  • The County should become a leader in developing a "Circular Economy" working with Coventry & Warwick Universities and other partners. This requires long-term revenue funding.
  • Councillor grants could be increased to enable small local grants for environmental projects in the local community.
  • Greater support should be given for ECO schools.
  • Investment is needed in Warwickshire's Forestry to enable greater planting of trees.
  • Investment is needed in household waste sites to introduce a new comprehensive recycling and collection centres for such items as paint.
  • More investment for cycling infrastructure and pedestrian's capital fund which can invest a faster rate than at present working with Cycling UK and living Streets.
  • Extra capital funding for overhauling the bus infrastructure and greater investment in a modern fleet along with cross ticketing.

Families and young people - The continued pressure and demand with children and families is recognised as a major challenge. There is a need to invest and put in place long term sustainable funding.

  • The principle of "Wrap around family" services and using the findings from "Adverse Childhood Experiences" clearly demonstrate that long-term sustainable funding targeted at increased support for families especially around mental health is needed.
  • A new improved youth offer is needed that is long-term with a real increase across Warwickshire by allocating grants to grassroots youth organisations.
  • No more cuts to family services.
  • We urge the Council to introduce new criteria to make the first call on the sale of council-owned land towards social rented housing projects.

Healthy Communities - Pressure on the voluntary sector and local communities is increasing, and the County Council through its stepped approach wants more services delivered by local communities. Liberal Democrats will press for:

  • No further cuts to Public Health and will press for resources to be focused towards greater prevention.
  • Increasing Health Visitors and Family Nurse Practitioners.
  • Extra resources available to develop support for groups on local food initiatives in our communities enabling greater resilience working with our Universities and Ryton Organic.
  • Scrap the proposed residents' car parking scheme instead work with communities on a long-term solution.

Safer Communities and Fire & Rescue

  • A school safety zone capital investment fund should be established.
  • Liberal Democrats will not support the further erosion of our front-line Fire Service.
  • Liberal Democrats want to see greater resources being made available to the Youth Offending Team and in tackling the complex issues of mental health, drug and alcohol abuse, domestic abuse and rough sleeping.

Commenting, Cllr Jerry Roodhouse, Lib Dem Group Leader, said:

"We are seeking to be a constructive opposition and it is clear politically that the Conservative are the controlling administration. We are seeking changes around the proposed residents parking scheme they should scrap it, also on climate change they need to step up and invest with the communities and we need to see long term investment to ensure children's services are sustainable the statement we have produced is clear it calls for the proposed increases in residents parking to be scrapped. It calls for long term commitments to be made for families and young people and sitting above all of this a coordinated investment into climate change and creating a new circular economy ."