“A RECORD of action, a promise of more” – that’s the Liberal Democrats message ahead of the local elections next month.
The ruling party on Bristol City Council officially launched its campaign, ahead of the local elections on May 5.
The Lib Dems will be promoting their record of achievements since gaining control of the authority two years ago when they hit the campaign trail this month.
The party says a vote for them is a “surefire way of backing Bristol’s continuing prosperity”.
They also cite the addition of free WiFi internet spots across the city, the introduction of 20mph zones in the south and the east and high recycling rates as other reasons to keep the status quo.
Council leader Barbara Janke denied allegations from opposition parties that they have “not listened” to the public, particularly in the row over the potential sale of more than 40 green spaces to fund other parks improvements.She particularly targeted their Labour rivals, arguing they have “nothing to say” and an “abysmal record” while in power.
The manifesto launch was held at Netham Park Pavilion in Avonvale Road.
Mrs Janke said: “Voters get a chance on May 5 to back the Lib Dems’ powerful record of competence and achievement – and reject Labour’s empty promises.”
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 half of the 24 seats, Labour have nine and the Conservatives have three.
Overall the Lib Dems have a majority but they would only have to lose four seats for there to be a hung council.
Although they would still have the largest number of seats they would not have overall control, and could lose in voting matters if the opposition parties teamed up against them.
Council leader Barbara Janke – whose own Clifton seat is up for grabs – also criticised Labour’s manifesto, launched last week.
She said: “We aim to maintain our majority on Bristol City Council and give this city – its businesses and its people – the stability and the confidence to plan for a prosperous future.
“Where are Labour’s big ideas? Their latest manifesto for Bristol shows the cupboard is bare.
“They want to put commuter bus fares up – damaging the city’s economy.
“Labour wants free swimming brought back for pensioners but doesn’t explain how this would be paid for long term.
“It’s just another gimmick from a party that has nothing practical to say about the cuts of Bristol’s future.”
Mrs Janke also warned about the possibility of a hung council, a position that has dogged the authority in the past.
She said: “There is little so important to the business community as stability.
“A hung council here – such as we used to have – would mean uncertainty just when business and the people of Bristol desperately need leadership.”
For more on the Lib Dems go to www.bristol-libdems.org.uk
1.Freezing council tax and sorting out council finances
– £28 million worth of efficiency savings and frontline services protected
2.Better recycling and a greener Bristol for everyone
– Doorstep plastic collections and an end to use of landfill within three years
3.Tackling crime and building strong communities
– Effective partnership with the police and community to cut crime
4.Protecting our libraries, sport and culture
– New libraries, sports facilities, parkland and museums coming soon
5.Tackling Bristol’s transport woes
– Rail investment, smart cards and lower bus fares through competition
6.Improving Bristol’s schools
– Primary and secondary schools improving and new schools being built
7.Rebuilding Bristol’s economy
– Bringing in new investment to create quality manufacturing jobs