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Hounslow Liberal Democrats’ 2015 Local Election Manifesto

June 24, 2015 10:12 PM

If you want to understand a political party's values, look at one thing: how do they spend your money? Waste and incompetence becomes endemic in places where political control rarely changes. Hounslow Borough labour party (with the exception of one brief period) has been in continuous control of the local council for thirty years. The results are evident for all to see.

The Liberal Democrats exist to represent individual and community needs in a fair, efficient and fiscally responsible manner without abandoning the fight for the environment.

We are deeply concerned with Labour's local area plan and housing plans, developed without seemingly considering the implications. Hounslow with its high population density already has an education, health and transport system under severe strain. The loss of Metropolitan open land at Brent Lea is but the most recent example of a failure of long-term planning by the Labour Council.

We have fought many campaigns with this theme in mind here in Hounslow Borough.

A few examples

- We have fought together with local residents to get the council to address the Feltham Arena disaster. Through gross incompetence the previous Conservative and current Labour administrations allowed a criminally convicted fly tipper to bring 7,000 lorry loads of construction spoil to Feltham North under the guise of creating football pitches. The result has been a facility ruined and misery for the local residents (would a disqualified director with a talent for making lots of money from fly tipping be your choice to 'develop' a public site?). The Labour administration dismissed a 400 strong residents petition hiding from action behind the multi-stage complaints procedure until being forced to hold an enquiry and spend £300,000 to 'turf-over' the site. We may still invoke the local government ombudsman as we feel they should be pursuing the developer to make it usable as a recreational facility not turfing-over to hide their mistakes.

- We have fought for people to be allowed to drop off passengers at Feltham station. Extracting over £600,000 from the local community from poor signage isn't fair as dropping off at a railway station is not a public nuisance. Our campaign included a visit from Vince Cable resulting in the council allowing out of hours drop-off.

- We organised and chaired a public meeting on the future expansion of Heathrow Airport in Brentford. We invited the Lib-Dem transport minister Norman Baker to attend along with several airport group experts and a representative from Heathrow airport. Lib-dem policy is currently against further Heathrow expansion although we understand the critical importance of the airport to the economy and the massive advantages of a large airport hub to the UK.

Reasons to vote Liberal Democrat in the Hounslow Borough elections

  1. Liberal Democrats take their lead from individuals, families and communities not big business or big unions.
  2. In local politics, the vested interests Liberal Democrats stand up to include commercial developers, landowners, and overbearing councils themselves.
  3. Liberal Democrats believe local politics should be far less party-political. We oppose heavy political partisanship, block voting, and suppression of individual councillors' views by party bosses.
  4. Liberal Democrats object to the three-line-whip on development issues. Such issues should be determined by the whole Council after open debate.
  5. Liberal Democrats recognise that council officers and the local Council ruling group all too readily cooperate to lock out the views and opinions of the local community..
  6. Councils often ask Councillors to be their uncritical cheerleaders. Other parties often agree. Liberal Democrats do not. We are there to serve the electors, monitor what the Council does, criticise and get things done better when necessary.
  7. Other parties use words like strategy and leadership. That basically means imposing an agenda on the public. Liberal Democrats do the opposite. We go out and talk to people, we listen, and we try to give people what they actually want.
  8. We prefer to do useful and pragmatic things rather than waste time in petty politicking.
  9. We talk to people as fellow residents, as equals, as friends. We talk about things that matter in their lives - not things like committee meetings that might matter in councillor's lives.
  10. We get things done!