With the Gloucester City Council elections taking place on May 22, public affairs reporter Michael Wilkinson asked the leaders of the three political groups on the council why readers should vote for their party.
JEREMY HILTON, LIBERAL DEMOCRATS
The financial affairs of the city council are tenuous. The Tory administration squandered £240,000 on additional audit fees because of the late filing of the council’s accounts – money that could have been better spent on council services.
Under the Tories, the political and professional management of the city council has been in decline. Liberal Democrats will work hard to resolve outstanding management issues in the next twelve months.
Recently, we stopped the Tories offloading the freehold of Llanthony Secunda Priory to the management trust that runs the priory, without proper safeguards. This now cannot proceed until stage two of Heritage Lottery funding is secured.
Gloucester must become a better place to live and work, Liberal Democrats will:
1. Improve council’s financial control
2. Levy a “Tesco Tax” on large out of town retail stores raising up to £2m per year to support the city centre’s economy
3. Deliver the Kings Quarter regeneration scheme including a new bus station
4. Construct social and affordable housing
5. Protect and enhance our open spaces
6. Maintain our council’s interest in the 50% ownership of Gloucestershire Airport
7. Work towards the cathedral becoming a World Heritage Site
8. Build new city centre public toilets
9. Introduce free Wi-Fi in the city centre
10. Freeze garden waste collection charges