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Standing Up for Bedford Borough – Mayor Dave Hodgson and the Lib Dems Launch Manifesto

March 20, 2019 1:51 PM

Mayor Dave Hodgson, Cllr Bridget Smith and Bedford Borough Lib Dems at the 2019 Manifesto LaunchMayor Dave Hodgson has launched the 2019 Bedford Borough Liberal Democrat Manifesto with a pledge to Stand up for Bedford Borough and maintain their proven record of action.

The manifesto is headed 'Standing Up for Bedford Borough' and has four key themes:

  • Supporting People
  • Looking After our Environment
  • Standing Up for Bedford Borough
  • Working Hard all Year Round

The programme sets out how Mayor Dave and the Lib Dems will build on the remarkable record of action since Mayor Dave was first elected.

Employment growth has rapidly outstripped the regional and national rates; services and facilities such as Libraries, Children's Centres and Leisure Centres have all been saved despite government funding cuts and widespread closures elsewhere; and key projects such the final section of the Western Bypass and the Riverside Bedford regeneration scheme have been delivered.

At a manifesto launch event this week with the Liberal Democrat Leader of South Cambridgeshire Council Bridget Smith, Mayor Dave explained that the manifesto sets out how this record of progress will continue under each theme.

Commenting, Mayor Dave Hodgson said: "We've saved services facilities that have been lost elsewhere, protecting our communities from the government cuts to funding for services which have caused such misery elsewhere. This manifesto sets out how we will continue to do so, standing up for Bedford Borough and getting the best for residents in tough times.'

"Local residents know that Liberal Democrats work hard for them all year round. That's why they hear from them more often, and it's why we have saved frontline services, protected facilities such as libraries and children's centres and campaigned successfully in support of Bedford Hospital, for example.'

"The manifesto is a blueprint for achieving even more in the four years to come, on behalf of local residents in all communities right across Bedford Borough."

Commitments in the manifesto include:

  • Be ambitious in tackling homelessness and ensure no one needs to sleep on the streets
  • Seek a minimum of 30% affordable homes for all new housing developments
  • Protect the poorest by retaining a comprehensive and fair council tax reduction scheme
  • Move towards a cleaner, greener future for transport and clean air by developing electric charging points and delivering the Transporting Bedford 2020 decongestion programme
  • Introduce more 20mph zones and continue to install average speed cameras.
  • Continue to prioritise job creation
  • Oppose any cut in services at Bedford Hospital
  • Keep working with Government and BT to roll out superfast broadband access to all residents and businesses.
  • Demanding fair funding for local schools
  • Continuing to work all year round to get the best for all communities across Bedford Borough

You can read 'Standing Up for Bedford Borough' here.

The record of Mayor Dave Hodgson and Bedford Borough Liberal Democrats stands in stark contrast to that of nearby Conservative Councils, for example:

  • Northamptonshire, which effectively collapsed financially, imposing sweeping emergency cuts to services and imposing a 4.99% core council tax increase next year (compared to Bedford Borough's below-inflation 1.49% rise)
  • Essex, which is consulting on proposals which could see 44 libraries closed across the county.
  • Central Bedfordshire, which has increased its external debt from £154m to £274m since 2010 (compared to a reduction in Bedford Borough's long-term borrowing from £90m to £70m)

You can volunteer to help Mayor Dave Hodgson and the Liberal Democrats here: www.bedfordlibdems.org.uk/elections