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North Somerset's Liberal Democrat opposition to table Alternative budget this evening

January 8, 2019 12:41 PM

North Somerset's Liberal Democrat opposition will table their Alternative Budget for 2019/2020 at a council meeting tonight.

The fully-costed Lib Dem Alternative Budget will propose additional investment in key services neglected by the Conservative administration:

  • A £200,000 'green action fund' to enable community groups and town and parish councils to improve our local environment, including support for community litter picking, community recycling and other green initiatives.
  • £100,000 for further support for rough sleepers, the homeless and in homelessness prevention.
  • £200,000 for improvements to cycling and pedestrian-friendly streets in our town centres to promote sustainable forms of transportation.
  • £100,000 investment in improved supported bus routes to enable communities across North Somerset to use public transport.
  • A practical plan for fairer parking across the district, including residents' parking zones, reduced parking charges, free parking after 6 pm and introducing a 30 minute free parking period on street in Weston.
  • A feasibility study to explore options for a park and ride scheme for Bristol Airport to tackle parking problems in the area around the airport.
  • A feasibility study to explore options for a park and ride scheme for Weston-super-Mare to reduce the amount of traffic in town.

The proposals will see the Conservative council's current budget black hole of over £1 million filled and identify a further £2.1 million in savings and increased income.

Cllr Mike Bell, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group said: "After 12 years in charge of North Somerset, the Conservatives are holding our community back. They've stopped listening to local concerns and ignored sensible alternative ideas from opposition groups.

"The Lib Dem Alternative Budget is a chance to invest in key neglected services while keeping the Council Tax rise below inflation.

"Our fully-costed plans invest in vital services that the Conservatives have ignored: a plan for fairer parking, tackling homelessness and rough sleeping and backing our community groups trying to make North Somerset cleaner and greener.

"This Alternative Budget shows that a better North Somerset is possible. If Councillors won't vote for this Lib Dem plan, then local people will know that the only way to secure it is for North Somerset to vote Lib Dem in May's elections."