‘Huge opportunity’ for Lib Dems at Chichester District Council election

Chichester Liberal Democracts at their manifesto launch
Chichester Liberal Democracts at their manifesto launch

Lib Dems have launched their manifesto ahead of next month’s Chichester District Council election.

The document argues the Conservatives, who currently dominate the council, have become ‘complacent and lazy’, with their plans ‘too often just the easy way out’, while Liberal Democrat policies and ideas are ‘fresh and inventive’.

The Lib Dems are standing candidates in all 21 wards. Polling day is Thursday May 2.

At the manifesto launch last Thursday (April 4), Lib Dem group leader Adrian Moss described how many residents feel the Tory-run council is ‘out of touch’.

He outlined the ‘six to fix’ priorities including demanding residents have a real voice on the council, a citizens assembly for the A27, while on development green spaces are preserved while housebuilding is truly affordable and energy neutral.

The manifesto also promises support for local businesses and job opportunities locally for graduates and apprentices as well as plans to improve the environment from better air quality to cutting the use of plastic and encouraging sustainable transport such as cycling.

The last pledge is to demand better for the whole district by reinvigorating Chichester city as well as the rest of the towns and villages across the district.

Mr Moss said: “Too often residents’ concerns are ignored by the out-of-touch council. Decisions are imposed with either little or no consultation by the Conservative leader and his cabinet. The council is too Chichester-centric.

“The needs of the areas north of the Downs and south of the A27 are often seen as irrelevant.

“It’s not about spending more money. It’s about engaging with the people who know their towns and villages better than anyone. Resources are scarce so it’s more important than ever to find solutions that work for residents.”

On the current Southern Gateway project in Chichester Mr Moss said the Lib Dems wanted to ‘deliver something that changed the dynamics’.

They feel an underpass to replace the two level crossings would transform the area and make it really attractive part of the city and increase tourism.

Kate O’Kelly, Lib Dem councillor for Rogate, also raised concerns about the council being too Chichester-centric and highlighted Velo South and the former Grange site in Midhurst as two examples of residents not being listened to.

She added: “We are going to take Chichester by storm in May 2019.”

Mr Moss added: “I think we have a huge opportunity this time. I have been campaigning almost every day canvassing for the last few weeks.

“People are fed up, but not fed up with people who campaign for the issues that matter to them.”

The Liberal Democrat manifesto is available to read online.