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Guest opinion: Liberal Democrats outline their local election pledges for Preston

Posted on - 14th April, 2019 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Opinion, Politics, Preston Council, Preston News
Neil Darby (far left) out canvassing with fellow Lib Dems
Neil Darby (far left) out canvassing with fellow Lib Dems

As we go into these local elections it is probable that public confidence in politics and politicians is at its lowest ebb in living memory – and let’s be honest, the bar was not set especially high to begin with.

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Arguments over Brexit continue to rage backwards and forwards at Westminster and it feels like everything else is being neglected. And it is. We only need the briefest of looks around Preston to see the results: potholes on our roads, police services stretched, our local NHS pushed to the limit, school starved of funding, the list goes on.

The Liberal Democrats Demand Better.

We demand better because you deserve better and because Preston deserves better. Better than services and infrastructure at breaking point. And better than distant politicians in Westminster who seem not to care and seem not to listen. We want to change this poisonous political culture and change begins at home.

In Preston, the Liberal Democrats make you three simple promises: we will listen to you, we will talk to you, and we will work with you. The decisions we make and the policies we put forward or support will be guided by the principle of fairness. And our actions will be based upon what is best for Preston and every resident across the city.

We will listen to you because you know Preston. You know your neighbourhood – whether it is Cottam, Ingol or wherever in our city you call home. You know the local services. You will see day to day where improvements can be made.

All too often politicians seem to like the sound of their own voices and are easily drawn into vanity projects, but in Preston the Liberal Democrats will listen to what you have to say. We want you to know that we are here for you and we will work for you.

We will talk to you because you deserve to know who your local councillors are. The Liberal Democrats work hard to be the local champions for the wards we represent. We do not believe it is right to only be seen at election time.

Instead, we work all year round knocking on your door and talking to residents twelve months a year. We believe that your local representatives should be there for you all year round, we promise to be present and active all year round, and we can demonstrate our commitment to this.

In fact, since last year’s election we have knocked on the doors of over 12,500 people to talk about what issues are affecting them locally and to act on their behalf to make the improvements they suggest – from getting potholes fixed to working with police and others to tackle Antisocial Behaviour.

We will work with you alongside local groups and services like the police because ‘partnership works’.
This is a lesson which has been well learned in Ingol and Tanterton where hard work from local residents in partnership with local councillors, police, housing associations, community groups and others came together over a number of years to see a wide range of local issues successfully tackled.

In today’s continuing austerity it is important now more than ever that local councillors work with local residents and the rest of the community for the betterment of our city and our neighbourhoods. We believe that Preston City Council also has an important role to play here and should be fully supporting such local partnerships throughout the city.

Finally, Preston Liberal Democrats stand for a fairer city. We do not believe in penalising you because of where you live, nor do we believe in penalising you because of the type of home you have.

Nationally, the Liberal Democrats are calling for a wholesale reform of Council Tax to make it fairer – instead of basing how much you have to pay on the nominal value your home would have had thirty years ago. Here in Preston, we have stood strongly against Labour’s ‘Parish Tax’ – where residents who have a parish or neighbourhood council are effectively charged twice to have their communal green spaces maintained. This is clearly not fair and we remain disappointed that neither Labour nor the Conservatives have supported our calls to reverse this decision.

On May 2nd, vote for your Preston Liberal Democrat candidates for a team who will work for you all year round. Vote for a team who will listen to you, who will talk to you, and who will work with you.

And vote for a team who put fairness at the heart of our policies. A vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote to put an end to politicians’ neglect of our city and a vote for a brighter tomorrow for Preston.

This is a guest piece by Liberal Democrat candidate Neil Darby. We’re giving each party a chance to outline their vision for the city and why you should vote for them.

Here’s what Preston Conservatives had to say.

Here’s what UKIP Preston had to say.

Here’s what Preston Labour had to say.

You can see a full list of Preston local election candidates.

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