Edinburgh council elections 2022: Lib Dems launch manifesto

Liberal Democrats today launched their manifesto for next month's Edinburgh council elections, promising to reverse school budget cuts, invest more in road and pavement repairs and deliver 10,000 more affordable homes.
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The party is fielding 22 candidates across the city's 17 multi-member wards and aiming to increase its current contingent of six councillors.

Other pledges include improving the city's public transport network and expanding park-and-ride sites and EV charging.

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The Lib Dems say they would review existing Spaces for People schemes and work with communities and active travel groups to deliver higher quality projects more sensitive to local concerns.

The manifesto says: "We will seek to expand the planned low emission zone so it covers buses, coaches and goods vehicles across the whole city, not just within the core city centre."

They say they would ensure "genuine public consultation" before key decisions are taken, reintroduce locality committees and introduce a question time for the public at council committees.

The manifesto says they support a "modest tourist tax" and would campaign for Edinburgh to receive a special payment in recognition of its capital status.

Lib Dem candidates helped launch the manifesto outside the City ChambersLib Dem candidates helped launch the manifesto outside the City Chambers
Lib Dem candidates helped launch the manifesto outside the City Chambers
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On education, the party pledges to continue free instrumental and vocal lessons for primary and secondary children and expand nursery provision across the city.

And it says: “Year on year cuts to devolved school budgets by the SNP and Labour coalition administration have resulted in teachers buying supplies for their classes from their own salary. Liberal Democrats will reverse the SNP and Labour cuts which stop our schools deciding at a local level what their schools and their young people need.”

The party says it would increase the percentage of affordable homes required in new housing developments as part of delivering 10,000 more affordable homes by 2030.

On care, it says it supports moving the balance of care towards care-at-home where possible and appropriate and believes there should be a diverse range of providers in the public, private and not for profit sectors.

Lib Dem group leader Robert AldridgeLib Dem group leader Robert Aldridge
Lib Dem group leader Robert Aldridge
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It says it would invest extra in staffing to tackle littering and dog fouling; scrap the charges for bulky uplifts; review the “garden tax”; halt the decision to remove gull-proof bags in historic parts of Edinburgh; ensure more public bins in key locations; and open new permanent public toilets.

And it says it would seek a new partnership with local police, with additional funding for enhanced speed enforcement, a stronger emphasis on community-based policing and a targeted increase in the use of CCTV.

Lib Dem group leader Robert Aldridge said: “A decade of SNP and Labour control has failed our city. Under the arrogant ‘we know best’ attitude of SNP and Labour councillors, too many people feel the council doesn’t listen or, worse still, doesn’t care.

“In too many areas, Edinburgh is not working as it should. Too many people don’t have a safe place to call home. Getting around the city is not as easy as it should be. The quality of your child’s education too often depends on where you live. Recycling rates are falling, roads and pavements are crumbling, and streets are dirtier and more littered.

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“Liberal Democrats believe the people of this city deserve better. With more Liberal Democrats elected to Edinburgh council, we can get the new approach and the fresh start our city desperately needs."

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