We will get Gloucestershire back on its feet after the impact of Covid-19. We will invest in our communities and work with our partners to build back better, bringing more sustainable jobs and high-tech industries to Gloucestershire.
- A county-wide Green Industrial Strategy that will deliver sustainable growth and support our climate commitments;
- Support for the huge investment in Cyber – to ensure all districts share in the benefits;
- Super-fast broadband in every business and home across the county;
- Long-discussed highway schemes to finally be delivered to unlock investment, while also offsetting construction and usage emissions, and
- Support to enable the tourist industry to bounce back.
Businesses, local employers and hospitality industries have all been devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic and the new regulations brought in by Brexit.
We know that, as we start to emerge from the other side of the lockdown restrictions, this next council has an enormous role to play in ensuring our county’s economy bounces back with highly-skilled jobs and low environmental-cost businesses.
“WE WILL DEVELOP A GREEN INDUSTRIAL STRATEGY TO DELIVER SUSTAINABLE GROWTH AND SUPPORT OUR CLIMATE EMERGENCY COMMITMENTS.”
And there are many reasons to be optimistic – from seizing the opportunities of tackling the climate emergency, massive investment in the cyber-community being built in Cheltenham and taking advantage of the new ways of working, which for many has enabled them to improve their work-life balance.
We know that such economic benefits cannot be delivered in isolation – so we will work with GFirst Local Enterprise Partnership, industry bosses and district council leaders to develop a Green Industrial Strategy for Gloucestershire, that will deliver growth that is sustainable and supports our Climate Emergency commitments.
Many schemes will come out of the Green Industrial Strategy. However, having placed the green economy front and centre, some of the measures we would implement would include:
- Working with Cheltenham Borough Council to maximise the benefits from the exciting Cyber developments – but also working with neighbouring districts to spread the benefits across Gloucestershire.
- Ensuring the long-discussed highway improvements are finally delivered to unlock economic development throughout the county – including along the M5, West Cheltenham and the A417 Missing Link – while also ensuring our highways partners offset the construction and long-term usage emissions.
- Making sure that super-fast broadband is available in every home and business – not just to the local telephone exchange – to support businesses and employees that continue to work from home.
- Coordinating with our schools and colleges to ensure our young people are gaining the skills to work in the developing green economy.
- Taking advantage of the need to retrofit public buildings to support the green building trade.
- Helping the tourist industry bounce-back in a sustainable manner, working with district tourist bodies to promote Gloucestershire as a green destination to visit and building long-term resilience to protect the hospitality sector from future times of uncertainty.
- Supporting district councils as they develop the county’s high streets to keep pace with people’s changing buying habits.
As we build back better, only the Liberal Democrats will ensure that growth benefits all of our residents equally, by investing in our communities and the frontline services that affect you – including in education, community hubs, youth services, public transport, footways and cycleways and renewable energy.
Looking after your money
To deliver these ambitions, it is critical that the County Council remains financially viable – all this, while Government support for local councils continues to dwindle.
As such, we would develop a commercial model to generate additional revenue to support frontline service. Such models have been used by District Council colleagues in Cheltenham – with the Liberal Democrat run Borough Council recently winning the “Best Commercial Council” award.
You know that a vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote for proven commercial success and financial prudence.