Liberal Democrats are committed to working together with others, in local politics as well as nationally, in order to improve services, and to promote our beliefs and values. As the Chair of Trafford Liberal Democrats, I have been proud with what we have achieved for local people through the Agreement that Councillor Ray Bowker and Councillor Jane Brophy reached with Labour back in May last year. Having Liberal Democrats in local government has allowed us to improve the lives of residents across Trafford.
Through working with other parties, we have:
If we can achieve so much, with just two Councillors, just think how much we could achieve with more! The reason is that the Liberal Democrats promote policies which are:
Despite the hard work and dedication of health and social care workers, patients and service users across Trafford demand better: NHS and social care cannot recruit enough staff; GP appointments are rarely when you need them, and often not with a GP you know; real joint working is a piped ream; hospital services move further away; and community care for the elderly is stretched to breaking point. Services should be patient-centred; but they are not. We understand the day-to-day experiences that people have of health and social care services.We will fight for them to be:
As early as possible
It is clear that preventing ill-health, both physical and mental, is best done during pregnancy and in the early years of life. We will:
As responsive as possible
Every day, thousands of patients experience the frustration of not being able to get a GP appointment when they need it. We will:
As local as possible
It is simply not good enough that we expect older people and their carers to travel long distances for treatment. We will:
As holistic as possible
Much is now known about the damage caused if our mental health is not given at least equal attention to our physical health. We will:
As joined-up as possible
Whilst much has been said and promised in Greater Manchester about joined-up working between Health and Social Care (Children and Adults), the reality is still short of the ambition. We will:
As competent as possible
The mothballing of the Altrincham Health Hub has become a national scandal. Under the Conservatives’ oversight, the incompetence of all those involved has been staggering. We will:
When you look around the world, the most affluent cities aren’t those where everyone drives their own car – nobody wants to live in a city where the air is thick with pollution. The cities with the highest standards of living are those where the public transport is so good everyone wants to use it. Trafford has so much potential to improve our existing transport systems. Liberal Democrats want to make getting around our borough easier, to keep our air cleaner and make our lives healthier.Here’s how we’ll do it …
Prioritising road and pavement maintenance
The long-term impact of the last Conservative administration was to leave Trafford with a road and pavement network that is dangerous for pedestrians, cyclists and cost highway users expensive repairs. A council administration that includes Liberal Democrats will:
Making buses work
Buses should be accessible to everyone. Trafford Lib Dems want to:
Protecting walkers & cyclists
Lib Dems will encourage the healthy options of walking and cycling by investing in infrastructure to:
Introducing integrated ticketing
In other parts of Greater Manchester, you can buy a Metrolink ticket that is valid for onward rail travel, such as at Rochdale. Trafford Lib Dems want to see joined-up transport tickets across trams train and buses. Trafford Lib Dems will work with Transport for Greater Manchester, so you can:
Travelling to the south of the country by rail can be impracticable from Navigation Road because the connections at Stockport are badly timed. Trafford Lib Dems will lobby Virgin and Northern Rail for:
Expanding Metrolink capacity
Metrolink has become a victim of its own success. Transport for Greater Manchester’s Transport Strategy 2040 provides a blueprint for increasing capacity, which includes buying more double units. But there is a risk most units will go to other lines. A Lib Dem led council will:
Trafford Liberal Democrats would also campaign for:
Effective policing is at the heart of safe and self-assured communities.
Trafford has suffered the effects of cuts to police funding, from increased antisocial behaviour to the loss of confidence that comes from fewer officers on our streets. We want to reverse that.
Trafford Liberal Democrats will work with Greater Manchester Police so they can best provide our communities with the security they deserve.
We will deliver this by:
Putting the emphasis on community policing
Liberal Democrats understand the importance of community policing in building social cohesion and community confidence.
In Trafford, police and community support officers work across a geographically and economically diverse area, from rural communities to the Manchester suburbs.
We will forge a stronger relationship between police and residents by:
Making Metrolink safe for everyone
Metrolink is one of Greater Manchester’s, and Trafford’s, most valuable assets. Unfortunately, crime and anti-social behaviour continue to pose a challenge to staff and police, blighting thousands of journeys each year. Liberal Democrats believe that everyone has the right to feel safe and travel without intimidation on Metrolink.
We think the best way to achieve this is to:
Tackling youth and violent crime
Knife crime is harming communities and spreading fear across Britain. Trafford is not immune. Youth offending more generally is also a concern in the Borough, not helped by cuts to services for young people. Trafford Liberal Democrats will work with local police, other authorities and our communities to systemically tackle violent and youth crime.
Britain faces a crisis due to a lack of affordable and sustainable housing. It is harder than ever for people to get onto the property ladder with more and more people being pushed into the private rented sector. Liberal Democrats believe that access to an affordable and sustainable home is key to social mobility and personal prosperity. That’s why we’re committed to making sure that Trafford builds communities for the future, incorporating the rural and green spaces that make our borough special but taking ambitious and progressive steps to provide future generations with a safe, affordable and sustainable place to live.
Here is how we’ll do it …
Raising affordable levies
Trafford is divided into three residential zones, each with their own guidelines for affordable housing. Trafford Lib Dems will:
Closing legal loopholes
Despite efforts from local authorities to enforce affordable levies, many developers do not adhere to demands because legal loopholes -such as Viability Assessments – allow them to prioritise profits over affordability. Liberal Democrats will work to close these loopholes by:
Prioritising sustainable developments
A key obstacle for many would-be homeowners is sustainability and fuel efficiency. There is now strong evidence that new build properties with solar panels drastically reduce the cost of bil Is, help tackle fuel poverty and allow homeowners to ‘sell energy back’ to the national grid. We will lobby government for more national investment in solar energy. Trafford Liberal Democrats will:
Consulting local residents
We will make sure planning applications are more visible and increase consultation with residents. We believe there is a place for local authorities to promote public meetings and online forums, to enablecommunity engagement. Trafford Lib Dems will:
Improving Recycling Performance
So much more can, and needs to be, done to continually improve Trafford’s performance in recycling. We support the Four Rs of waste management – Refuse, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, and we will:
We have a long and proud history as a Party that campaigns effectively on the environment. We will:
Looking after our Greenbelt
No issue is likely to cause more concern for local people than this. On the one hand, we need to build more houses – especially affordable ones. On the other hand, our diminishing greenbelt is a precious asset, for which we are the custodians, to hand on to future generations.
Councillor Jane Brophy, often working in partnership with the Green Party, has led the local Liberal Democrat campaign in the Council on a range of environmental issues, with great success: single-use plastics, climate change, against fracking, planting trees, and air pollution. Jane is now a member of the Climate Change Emergency Task and Finish Group. The next set of Liberal Democrat priorities will focus on:
Implementing decisions made in 2018-19
We will work with all other interested groups to:
Demanding a Better Environment Strategy
Given the climate change emergency, Trafford Council now needs to forge a comprehensive, and effective, strategy for environmental sustainability.
Liberal Democrats will introduce strong local policies to combat air pollution in Trafford and climate change.
We will fight to ensure that this strategy prioritises:
Improving Recycling Performance
So much more can, and needs to be, done to continually improve Trafford’s performance in recycling.
We support the Four Rs of waste management – Refuse, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, and we will:
We have a long and proud history as a Party that campaigns effectively on the environment.
Looking after our Greenbelt
No issue is likely to cause more concern for local people than this.
On the one hand, we need to build more houses – especially affordable ones. On the other hand, our diminishing greenbelt is a precious asset, for which we are the custodians, to hand on to future generations.
We do not accept that a thriving local economy has to mean sacrificing our passion for a cleaner environment, healthier living, and stronger communities.
Instead, we see these as essential components of creating ‘space’ for local businesses to flourish.
Recognise Europe’s value to Trafford
Trafford voted decisively to remain in the European Union.
Our local business leaders know just how vital continuing open access to European markets is to our economy and to local jobs.
Our Liberal Democrat Councillors led the successful motion, resulting in the decision by the Council to back a People’s Vote.
Transform our town centres
Some of our town centres have seen some improvement, but there is still a long way to go before local people will want to return in numbers to shop and seek entertainment in their local neighbourhoods.
Elected Liberal Democrats will:
Work in partnership with the business community
We are not assured that the local business community, especially small businesses, feel fully engaged in a partnership with the Council and others to make the Trafford economy thrive.
So, we will:
Promote sustainable development
There is still much to be done to build sustainability principles and practices into the council’s economic and planning strategies.
Your Liberal Democrat Councillors will:
Liberal Democrats have long been advocates of localism, as a guiding principle for everything a Council should be doing.
In relation to the Trafford economy, we will:
Abolish the Amey contract
When they were in power, the Conservatives were responsible for the disastrous contract with Amey, to provide many local services.
Trafford Liberal Democrats support a mix of selective and non-selective schools, which enables all pupils to have an excellent education, so that they reach their potential, and, at the same time, maintain social mobility. However, our education provision faces huge challenges.
This is what we will do to tackle the challenges:
Fighting for proper funding for our schools
The Conservative Government, since 2015, has gone far beyond what was necessary to complete the work the Liberal Democrats started in 2010 to rescue the economy.
The Conservatives’ abandonment of previous commitments – to put education first – is a betrayal.
Liberal Democrats will:
Giving priority to the early years
The research is clear: Early Years’ education has a positive effect on equalising opportunity.
Recognising the importance of teachers
Research also tells us that the pupils of good teachers make the most progress in fulfilling their potential.
Good teachers make learning enjoyable, as well as stretch and excite their pupils’ minds. This leads them to want lifelong education.
Offering a broad and balanced experience for all
Liberal Democrats believe that the Conservative Government’s national curriculum is excessive, and overly proscriptive. This means that it disadvantages the least able, the most. Therefore, at a local level, we need to compensate as much as we can for this.
We will encourage schools to:
Trafford Liberal Democrats believe that residents should know that their voices are being heard, regardless of whom they voted for, and that Council decisions and spending plans are transparent, and take into account the views of all of its residents.
Using Council Tax wisely
As a resident, you should know that the Council is spending your money wisely, that it is keeping to a balanced budget, and that it is ensuring that priority services are of a good standard. This will be a challenging task, in the next 12 months, given the massive funding cuts to Local Government made by the Conservative Central Government.
We believe that:
A Liberal Democrat led Council would use its resources to promote a balanced economy, and one that fosters the growth of local businesses:
Strengthening local democracy
The UK suffers from an overcentralised political system and because of our voting system, one that is unrepresentative of the electorate.
We believe that:
Holding Trafford Council to account
Liberal Democrats recognise the need for honesty and openness between the Council and the community it serves.
We believe that:
Involving local people
Trafford Liberal Democrats aim to keeping our public spaces clean and open, whilst saving the council money that can be better spent elsewhere.
We believe that: