BRISTOL‘S Conservatives have launched their local election campaign with a 10-point plan to make the city a better place.
Scrapping the green spaces sell-off, new traveller sites and investment in cycling schemes are among the party’s main pledges.
The Tories held their official launch on College Green, ahead of the elections on May 5.
Group leader Geoff Gollop claimed that “Lib Dem rule in Bristol has generally been riddled with controversy, division and indecision”.
He said: “We are bullish over our election prospects this year.
“We have consistently won the political arguments on the big issues – like the need to put a stop to the forced sale of the city’s green spaces – and are confident of winning back wards.
“It is only because of the actions of the Conservative-led government that Bristol households now have the benefit of a council tax freeze this year.
“The May elections are important because they will shape decision-making in the city for the next two years.
“This really is Bristolians’ last chance to change direction, reject the failed politics of the past and use their vote to make a difference.”
There are 24 of 70 seats up for grabs at Bristol City Council, which elects a third of councillors every year with a fourth “fallow year”.
Currently the party holds nine of the 24 seats, the Conservatives have three and the Lib Dems the remaining 12.
Deputy group leader Peter Abraham described their “blueprint” for the city was based on listening to what people want and “common sense”.
He said: “We would scrap all new travellers camps planned for the city.
“We don’t believe the urban setting is appropriate for that.
“We embrace the free schools policy, and St Ursula’s is the first one to come around.
“This weekend we have been bombarded with parents who are concerned about their children’s education.
“Bristol’s education has been at the bottom of the pile for so long, we need to do something different.”
The party claims the Lib Dems have not been listening to the public since they came to power two years ago.
One of their policy ideas is to set up a group that would include three councillors and three members of the public, who would review all strategic decisions made by the council.
Although the group would have no decision making powers themselves, Mr Abraham said he wanted at least one of them to be under 18, so that the council can hear what young people want.
He said: “The Lib Dems have really failed.
“There has been controversy, division in their ranks and indecision.
“It’s no good Labour popping up now – they’re not the solution.
“The truth is we can’t stick with the Lib Dems and we can’t go back to Labour. With more Conservative councillors, we could do a better job.”
For more on Bristol Conservatives, go to www.bsgconservatives.com.
Conservative manifesto for Bristol
1.Scrap the sell off of green spaces and give final decisions to Neighbourhood Partnerships.
2.Scrap all new traveller camps planned for the city.
3.A review of all council jobs with a salary of £70,000-a-year or more.
4.An all through free school on the former St Ursula’s site.
5.A “value for money” test on all big council decisions, which would be reviewed by a cross party panel of councillors and residents.
6.Genuine consultations to make sure the public are listened to.
7.Support for the new Enterprise Zone proposed for the city.
8.Support the government’s New Homes Bonus scheme, giving money to councils for all new housing developments approved.
9.Scrap Cycling City and cut back on expensive traffic management schemes, with the money put back into public transport.
10.Tackle the city council’s debt problem, estimated to rise to £537 million this year.