Following a day in the chamber debating the Conservatives’ “business as usual budget”, Gloucestershire Liberal Democrats secured £460,000 for a variety of road safety schemes.
Successful changes to the budget included more money for local highway priorities, £50,000 for new bus shelters as well as ringfenced funding for suicide prevention.
The full breakdown of Liberal Democrat successes is:
- £265,000 for local highway priorities, to fix the terrible state of your local roads
- £30,000 for a study into barriers to mobility for people with a disability
- £50,000 for a Traffic Regulation Order fund, to cut through bureaucracy preventing road safety schemes
- £50,000 for new bus shelters
- £15,000 revenue for a Think Travel coordinator to support sustainable travel
- £50,000 ringfenced for suicide prevention fund.
Despite these successes, the Conservatives refused to support over £2 million of initiatives targeted at the Climate Emergency, including more funding for cycleways, sustainable transport and renewable energy.
Finally, the Conservatives refused to support funding young carers to travel for free on public transport.
Speaking after the Budget meeting, Cllr Hodgkinson, Lib Dem Group Leader, said:
“The group is delighted to win funding for road safety schemes across the county. As councillors, we hear of near misses on our streets every day, so it’s critical we fund local priorities and cut through the red tape holding life-saving schemes back.
“However, the Conservatives showed their true colours when tasked with tackling the climate emergency. Gloucestershire Lib Dems proposed over £2million of measures to cut our county’s carbon emissions, from enabling people to make sustainable transport decisions, to investing heavily in renewable electricity – yet the Conservatives binned every single one.
“It is clear that that the Conservatives cannot be trusted with our environment or to tackle the climate emergency.”
After seconding the Lib Dem proposals, Cllr Hilton, Spokesperson for Finance, said:
“A third of our county’s emissions come from road travel, which is why we were proposing £1.6 million of funding to enable Gloucestershire’s residents to travel sustainably. This included a massive injection into our county’s bus network which has been completely neglected by the Conservatives.
“I am particularly upset by the Conservatives’ refusal to provide funding for young carers to travel for free on the bus network. Young carers are some of the county’s most vulnerable citizens and it is particularly heartless for the Conservatives to throw this out.”
The initiatives the Conservatives refused to support included:
- £500,000 for solar panels, which would reduce the council’s energy emissions by up to ten per cent, fully funded from the Council’s “Invest to Save” fund.
- £1 million to support our county’s buses, making bus networks fit for purpose and a true alternative to the car
- £400,000 for cycleway networks, enabling people to commute sustainably in safety
- £200,000 to “green” our county’s buses, funding at least 10 buses to upgrade to “Euro 6” engines, which are cleaner and less polluting.
- Funding for young carers to travel for free on the county’s bus network