Copyright © Nottinghamshire Liberal Democrats 2021
Published and promoted by Leon Duveen on behalf of Nottinghamshire Liberal Democrats, all of 37 Lincoln Street, Worksop S80 2LZ
Manifesto for Nottinghamshire 2021
Liberal Democrats want Nottinghamshire to be:
- a green county,
- a caring county,
- a county that is fit for the future.
Following the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of Brexit, we also face the huge problems of climate change and diversity loss. These challenges drive our priorities for Nottinghamshire County Council, which are to look after the environment, to provide good care services and to invest in the county's future.
Liberal Democrats will listen to individuals and community groups about the problems in their area. We want everyone to be heard, including voices from diverse communities and less affluent areas. We will set up community assemblies to guide Nottinghamshire's response to the climate emergency and other major issues.
Nottinghamshire is a great place but the opportunities and benefits of living here are unevenly distributed. We will work tirelessly to reduce the inequalities that exist across our county.
Liberal Democrats are champions of equality. We are determined to make public services work for everyone.
We believe that politicians should work together for the benefit of their communities. Nottinghamshire's Liberal Democrats are willing to work with other progressive parties on the County Council.
We are opposed to the County Council becoming a unitary authority. We believe that decisions should be made as close as possible to the communities they affect.
A strong Liberal Democrat voice on the council will ensure that politicians are accountable to the people of Nottinghamshire for their decisions.
A caring county
During the pandemic the staff of Nottinghamshire's health and social care services have gone above and beyond their call of duty, with little recognition from the County Council's leadership.
Funding cuts have caused savage reductions in support services and huge increases in cost to the most vulnerable residents: children, those with disabilities and the very elderly.
The Conservatives at Westminster and Conservative councillors here in Nottinghamshire have short-changed our local care services and let down local people.
Liberal Democrats will press for more money for health and care services. We will not support any County Council budget that does not make care services a priority.
The effects of COVID-19 will be with us for some time. Long Covid, mental health issues and financial difficulties have all been caused by the pandemic. A caring Nottinghamshire must provide the services that people need as a result.
A Liberal Democrat-led council will save children's centres and Sure Start services.
Extra care facilities for residents who are elderly or disabled are important - we want to see more of them.
Liberal Democrats will ban the use of unregulated providers of residential care for children and young people.
Nottinghamshire must invest in its social care workforce. We will look out for those who look out for us.
A green county
The climate emergency and loss of biodiversity are major threats. There is no Planet B. We must take urgent action. The first act of the newly elected County Council should be to declare a climate emergency.
Our targets for Nottinghamshire are net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and net negative emissions by 2040. The council must work with the wider community to help the whole county reach these targets.
Nottinghamshire County Council must lead by example, becoming carbon neutral in its own operations as soon as practical. Under the Liberal Democrats the council will commit to major reductions in carbon emissions by 2025. Improving the energy efficiency of council buildings and switching the council's fleet to electric vehicles will be important steps towards this goal.
Global heating is already happening. We must prepare our county for the impacts of climate change.
Nottinghamshire's pension fund should divest from fossil-fuel businesses.
We should aim for a doubling of nature. We must protect and enhance Nottinghamshire's natural habitats and open spaces. New development must not be to the detriment of local habitats or water courses. Rewilding of appropriate areas should be part of the strategy.
Liberal Democrats will not sell off any of the parks or public open spaces under the Council Council's control.
Although our county includes Britain's most famous woodland, Sherwood Forest, the amount of tree cover across Nottinghamshire is not high. To help meet climate change goals, it is essential that more trees are planted. The County Council should work with district, town and parish councils and other landowners to achieve this. Good management of woodland is also important. Additionally, every tree removed from council-owned land should be replaced three new trees within the same part of the county.
Waste collection should be consistent across the county. Nottinghamshire County Council and the district councils should work together to develop a common waste management strategy.
Food waste should be collected in separate small bins and dealt with appropriately.
Our ambition is to extend kerb-side collection to accept many more types of items for recycling. The County Council's current PFI contract has been a disaster for recycling; it must be reviewed. We will explore every avenue to give Nottinghamshire a better recycling service.
We want to see more local recycling points in town centres and supermarket car parks. These local recycling points should accept a wide range of items including most types of plastics.
We will eliminate single-use plastic from council premises.
We will monitor the county's Minerals Local Plan. Any new extraction sites must meet all the required standards, including the protection of wildlife habitats and the prevention of flooding.
We are opposed to any fracking in the county.
Better transport as part of a green county
We have many aims for our transport policy: fighting against climate change, improving air quality, improving quality of life, improving safety, helping economic development.
It is important for all roads in all parts of the county to be maintained to a good standard. Potholes are a problem for all road users. Road safety must always be a priority.
In residential areas a speed limit of 20mph should be the norm, not the exception. The benefits of 20mph limits include improved road safety, reduced traffic noise and increased uptake of cycling. Twenty is plenty for Nottinghamshire's residential streets.
We will work with the district councils to tackle the problem of air pollution around schools.
Liberal Democrats want walking and cycling to become people's choice for a larger number of journeys. The County Council should invest in a joined-up network of good quality cycle routes across Nottinghamshire.
The trams are a crucial part of the public transport network in and around Nottingham. The County Council should work closely with the City Council to bring forward plans for expanding the tram network beyond the city boundary. We want to see trams brought to Gedling and the east side of Nottingham.
We support the extension of the Robin Hood Line to Edwinstowe, Ollerton and Retford.
We want to see a new Trent crossing to the east of the city, near the Victoria retail park, linked to the tram. This would take the pressure of Lady Bay and Gunthorpe bridges.
We will review community transport schemes to reduce the impact of funding cuts to bus services.
We want to see a simple integrated ticketing system for public transport across Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Derby and Derbyshire. We support the longer-term aim of a smart ticketing system covering the whole of the Midlands.
Under the Liberal Democrats the County Council will stop buying or leasing fossil-fuel vehicles. All replacement cars or vans for the council's fleet should be electric.
Public charging points for electric vehicles must be available in all areas of the county. Businesses and the government funded D2N2 project are installing public charging points across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. At the moment these charging points are concentrated in Nottingham city with relatively few points across the much larger County Council area. We believe it is the County Council's job to ensure all local communities have easy access to public charging points for electric cars; it should work with other councils, organisations and companies to achieve this aim.
We will encourage remote working for council staff and councillors as far as practical. Recent experience has shown this can work well.
A county that is fit for the future
We are proud of today's Nottinghamshire. We are ambitious for Nottinghamshire's future. The County Council has a central role in planning, investing, and preparing Nottinghamshire for the challenges ahead.
Manufacturing has been central to the Midlands' prosperity in the past. We believe it has a significant role to play in the region's economy in the future.
For Liberal Democrats investing in Nottinghamshire starts with investing in Nottinghamshire's people. Skills and training are key.
We are campaigning for central government to make up for the loss of EU funding for training schemes and economic development.
Farming and the rural economy must not be neglected. We are calling for central government to give smaller farms the support they need.
Nottinghamshire is a growing county. More homes are needed. Liberal Democrats believe in building communities, not just houses. The infrastructure and community facilities are vital.
Education is always a priority for Liberal Democrats. The County Council must take action to ensure there will be enough places at good local schools. West Bridgford is one area where school capacity is an issue.
Youth services in Nottinghamshire have suffered severe cuts. The County Council could and should do more to protect these services for young people. Liberal Democrats will redirect money away from vanity projects to our youth services and schools. An increase in funding from central government is needed to provide a good level of youth services in all parts of the county.
Liberal Democrats will continue to campaign against cuts to Nottinghamshire's Fire Service. We call for a review of the effects of the cuts to fire stations made in 2018. Evidence such as response times and incident patterns indicate where investment is most needed.
All County Council staff should be paid at least the "real living wage" recommended by the Living Wage Foundation.
Liberal Democrats believe that local public services should not be outsourced other than to mutual social enterprises. We insist on openness, with contracts not hidden behind "commercial sensitivity".