Liberal Democrats issue ten point plan for Gloucester City Council

Jeremy Hilton with Lib Dem colleagues Isabel Brazil & Sebastian Field

Jeremy Hilton with Lib Dem colleagues Isabel Brazil & Sebastian Field

Gloucester City Council Liberal Democrat group have issued their ten-point plan to improve services in Gloucester.

The manifesto “Keeping Gloucester Moving Forward” focuses on how the Liberal Democrats will do better in regenerating Gloucester and improving council services in the future.

Group Leader Jeremy Hilton said: “Liberal Democrats have an imaginative ten point plan to improve services of the city council. We will progress the regeneration of our historic city, with more panache and urgency than the current Tory administration.

“Gloucester City Council needs a new administration that has the energy and ideas to take the city into the 21st Century.”

Deputy Leader Cllr. Sebastian Field said: “Gloucester as a city is on the up, with regeneration projects happening all across the city.  But in many areas of the city, the Conservative council has failed to live up to its promises.

“Recycling rates are low in this city, and these must improve to avoid fines for sending too much waste to landfill. The Kings Quarter redevelopment has been delayed over and over again, and residents are now tired of waiting.”

Gloucester City Council Liberal Democrat Group 2015 Manifesto

Keeping Gloucester Moving Forward

Our Ten Point plan for Gloucester:-

1) Regeneration of our city is a top priority. King’s Quarter has been delayed again and again. We will make sure that the city centre is not forgotten, and will press developers to deliver on time, with developments that local people actually want.

2) Our idea to provide free wifi in Gloucester city centre is being implemented. We will make sure it is delivered in time for the Rugby World Cup. We will create a modern welcome for visitors to our historic city.

3) Liberal Democrats in Gloucester are working to ensure there are clean, modern public conveniences in the city centre. The Tory administration’s Community Toilet scheme is a failure, and Gloucester deserves better.

4) Gloucestershire Airport Ltd (GAL) is owned by the city council, jointly with Cheltenham Borough Council. We shall continue to support GAL as a general aviation airport to provide jobs and air transport services. We shall also deliver our plans to enhance the railway station and the building of a new central bus station.

5) We will lobby the government to provide better infrastructure for Gloucester, from roads and public transport, to superfast broadband for all new developments.

6) We have consistently opposed the massive waste incinerator planned for Javelin Park, Quedgeley. Local Tories on the county council rammed this plan through with the help of UKIP councillors, despite it being unanimously rejected by the planning committee. We will ensure that household waste that is collected by the city council is not burnt in an incinerator when it can be recycled.

7) Gloucester Liberal Democrats will listen to the residents of Gloucester in making their budget decisions. In these challenging times, councils have to make tough choices and innovate to save money and create revenue. We will listen to all ideas for how best to do this.

8) Gloucester Cathedral is a magnificent building at the heart of our city. It could be a World Heritage Site, which would make it even more of a tourist attraction. Liberal Democrats chair a group trying to make this happen.

9) Gloucester has a rich heritage and cultural history. We currently do not have an Arts Council-supported venue in the city, and we would work to make that a reality. Gloucester should be a creative hub for artists, writers, musicians and performers. We will bring more Festivals and events to Gloucester, including a literary festival.

10) Gloucester Liberal Democrats will ensure that the Rugby World Cup is a fantastic celebration enjoyed by all. The city must be spotlessly clean and there must be adequate facilities to accommodate all the extra fans. The council must work with England Rugby to ensure a lasting legacy from the World Cup. We will assist Gloucester City Football Club to return home to Gloucester in their plans to build a new stadium at Meadow Park.

 

 

 

Jeremy Hilton’s vision 4 Gloucester –

Jeremy Hilton explains his vision for Gloucester and why he is standing for parliament.

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I was born in Gloucester and I have lived and worked within ten miles of the Cathedral all my life.

Having served Gloucester for more than 23 years as a local councillor, I believe I can do an excellent job of representing our historic city in Parliament.

If elected, I would be the first MP to represent Gloucester, who was born here.

It would be a great honour to serve as a Member of Parliament for this city, which has been my home for so many years.

I am proud of the achievements of the Liberal Democrats in government. We have worked hard to deliver our manifesto, from the Pupil Premium that is helping disadvantaged children, to the ‘triple lock’ that means pensions rise by at least 2.5% a year. The increase in the income tax threshold means people can now earn £10,600 tax-free.

Vince Cable has led the way on delivering two million new apprenticeships, which equates to more than 1,000 in Gloucester every year.

I remember Labour’s attempt to stamp on our civil liberties with compulsory ID cards. This was scrapped by the Lib Dems in government.

In Gloucester, we must see the regeneration of our city to completion. This will mean the delivery of an upgraded railway station with improved connectivity and a new bus station.

The regeneration of the Kings Quarter and the Blackfriars area around the old prison must be delivered with panache and completed in good time

As the MP for Gloucester, I will want to complete the work I have started on a bid for UNESCO World Heritage Site status for our magnificent Cathedral.

Too many Gloucester children leave the city to go to secondary school – this is unfair. I will work to ensure that young people from Gloucester are able to get into good local schools.

Fighting Labour’s plan to nationalise or regionalise the fire service, which would see the end of our county fire brigade, would be on the top of my list as a new MP. I remember successfully fighting Labour over plans to move our fire control to Somerset.

Top Five Priorities for Gloucester

· Better public transport, with new/improved bus and railway stations
· Successful regeneration in the city centre and WHS status for the Cathedral
· More apprenticeships, more jobs and strong local economy
· Quality public services, better NHS and a local fire service
· Good local schools open to all Gloucester children

Lib Dems celebrate success – free public WiFi for city centre

Lib Dem councillors Sebastian Field and Jeremy Hilton celebrate free wifi for Gloucester City Centre

Lib Dem councillors Sebastian Field and Jeremy Hilton celebrate free wifi for Gloucester City Centre

Liberal Democrats are delighted that Gloucester City Council is to introduce free public WiFi within the city centre. The Lib Dem group first proposed the idea in March 2014.

The council last week agreed to award a contract to British Telecommunications to run an upgrade of the CCTV system, including free public WiFi and 4G coverage.

The contract with BT will be for five years and work will start in May on the upgrade.

It is planned that free public WiFi will be available ahead of the Rugby World Cup, which starts in September.

Lib Dem Leader, Cllr. Jeremy Hilton said: “If we want to attract visitors to Gloucester and get them to return we must provide a 21st Century Service. Visitors will enjoy the latest information of what is going on in Gloucester on their tablets or phones. This will be good for local businesses, help boost our economy and protect jobs.”

Deputy Leader, Cllr Sebastian Field added: “It is vital that the system is operational by the time of the Rugby World Cup. Four big matches are to be held at Kingsholm. A modern welcome to Gloucester will hopefully encourage fans to tour the attractions of our historic city as well as enjoying some rugby.”

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Lib Dem motion approved by council March 2104

Moved by Councillor Wilson and seconded by Councillor Hilton:

“This Council agrees to investigate the current provision of WiFi access provided within the city centre, with the view to considering the provision of free public WiFi access across the city centre for all visitors to use, as is being provided in other cities across the UK.”

 

All Gloucester libraries should have free WiFi

Jeremy Hilton ready to use his tablet computer at Gloucester Library

Jeremy Hilton ready to using his tablet computer at Gloucester Library

All libraries in Gloucester should have free public WiFi says Jeremy Hilton the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Gloucester. Cllr Hilton has already succeeded in his campaign to get free WiFi provided at Gloucester Central Library. He now wants it installed into the five other libraries within the city boundaries.

The free WiFi service started at the Brunswick Road library on the 2nd of February, but this is currently the only library in Gloucester with this service. Free WiFi is also operated in Cirencester & Cheltenham libraries.

Jeremy Hilton said: “Libraries must offer a 21st Century service. I am delighted that free WiFi is now available in Gloucester Central Library. The users of our main library will be delighted.

“If McDonalds can do it, so can our county libraries. The county council must now provide free public WiFi at Longlevens, Hucclecote, Quedgeley, Tuffley and Matson libraries.

“There is no excuse in not modernising Gloucester’s libraries. They are a great place to study or work. The public should be able to access free Wifi on their phones, laptops or tablets in any library in Gloucester.”

 

Astronomical costs to cancelling incinerator contract

In response to the costs associated with cancelling the UBB incinerator contract that have been shared with the Liberal Democrat Group.

Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Cllr. Jeremy Hilton (LD: Kingsholm and Wotton) said that:

“We have seen the figures for exiting the waste incinerator contract with UBB and it is astronomical. The figures quoted are between £60m and £100m, which is far greater than the £33 million quoted for cancelling a similar contract in Norfolk.

“Labour have acted irresponsibly in calling to cancel this contract before knowing these costs. The Conservatives were reckless in signing such a rigid contract before the planning committee had even considered the application.

“The Liberal Democrats have always been opposed to the building of an incinerator and have continually pushed for alternative technologies such as Mechanical Biological treatment (MBT).

“We will now be looking at these figures in detail and seeking legal advice.

“Both Labour and the Conservatives should be ashamed of themselves in allowing this diabolical situation to develop in a ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’ position.”

ENDS….

Firefighters praised – Now it’s time to do something about Bakers Quay

Jeremy Hilton inspecting the fire damage to the former warehouse at Bakers Quay

Jeremy Hilton inspecting the fire damage to the former warehouse at Bakers Quay

Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Gloucester, Cllr. Jeremy Hilton has praised the fire and rescue service for their quick action in saving one of the derelict warehouses at Bakers Quay on Monday 5th January. The site has a number of listed buildings on it and it is subject to a regeneration plan approved by the city council in 2006.

The fire service arrived before 5pm on Monday evening with six fire appliances to contain and put out the fire, with the last appliances leaving at 9pm.

The roof and first floor of the two-story warehouse next to Llanthony Provender Mill was badly damaged by fire.

Jeremy Hilton has called on the city council to consider using its compulsory purchase powers to acquire Bakers Quay to enable the regeneration of the site as has been achieved elsewhere in Gloucester Docks.

Cllr. Jeremy Hilton said: “The work restoring other warehouses in Gloucester Docks and the Quays shows what can be done to improve former listed industrial buildings. It is time action was taken to achieve the same at Bakers Quay. The council approved outline planning permission for this site in 2006. It will be renewing this permission in few days. This recent fire shows how these historic warehouses are at risk. Compulsory purchasing Bakers Quay and working with a reliable private investor to regenerate the site seems to be the best option.”

Cllr. Hilton’s proposal to ask the leader of the council to consider using compulsory purchase powers will be debated at the city council meeting on the 22nd of January.

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Don’t leave us in limbo Mr Pickles

 

Liberal Democrats on Gloucestershire County Council have today requested an extraordinary council meeting to be arranged in January over the Secretary of State’s failure, for the third time, to announce a decision on the £500m Javelin Park incinerator.

Jeremy Hilton, Steve Webb & Kevin Daws - thumbs down to incinerator 2

A written request has been submitted by five Liberal Democrat County Councillors to the Chairperson, Cllr. Awford, voicing disappointment with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles MP, in delaying to make a final decision.

Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Cllr. Jeremy Hilton said that:

“Once this meeting has been arranged, we’ll be insisting the Leader of this Council, Cllr. Mark Hawthorne writes to the Secretary of State immediately.

“Two years ago, the county council’s planning committee unanimously rejected permission to build a massive waste incinerator at Javelin Park. It is a disgrace that Eric Pickles, has for the third time, failed to make a decision on whether or not such a facility should be built.

“We demand that Mr. Pickles makes his decision no later than the start of the 2015 general election purdah period, i.e. Thursday 26th March 2015.

“The Conservative’s shambolic approach during the previous council meant the contract was signed before planning permission was considered. The consequences of has already cost this council millions of pounds. Any further delays will undoubtedly add to this cost and to the taxpayer.

“The Liberal Democrats have always been opposed to the building of this incinerator, but being ‘left in limbo’ like this is totally unacceptable.”

Cllr. Paul Hodgkinson, who has also put his name requesting for an additional meeting, also said that:

“The situation has gone beyond a joke. I cannot see any legitimate reason why the Secretary of State cannot make a decision one way or the other over the building of a mass burning incinerator at Javelin Park.

“The Conservatives are undoubtedly nervous about any decision made this side of May’s elections.

“Of course it may well hamper the Tories chances in holding seats, especially the parliamentary ones currently held by Richard Graham in the City and Geoffrey Clifton-Brown in the Cotswolds.

“It is time the Leader of the County Council stood up for residents and demand that this decision is made before the elections in May.”

ENDS

Jeremy Hilton welcomes £15million roof repair scheme for places of worship

Jeremy Hilton, Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Gloucester has urged places of worship, serving Gloucester to apply for a new £15million fund available for the repair of roofs and guttering. The fund is available for churches, mosques, temples, gurdwaras and synagogues.

The Coalition government announced the Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Fund in the Autumn Statement and grants between £10,000 and £100,000 will be available to listed places of worship of all faiths and denominations across the UK, where roof repairs are deemed to be urgent and necessary.

Jeremy Hilton said: “Places of worship play a huge part in many people’s lives in Gloucester and this fund will help ensure some of our most significant buildings remain open as safe and sustainable places in our communities.

“I hope that places of worship in Gloucester will take advantage of the extra money available to keep the roof of their building in good condition. The deadline to apply is the 30th of January.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

Applications for a grant must be made by midday on 30 January 2015, with awards to be allocated by the end of March 2015. Enquiries can be made by email to enquiries@lpowroof.org.uk or telephone 01392 223 979.

Further information about the scheme is available online by visiting www.nhmf.org.uk and clicking on the link to the Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Fund.

Flood defences to be improved at Alney Island says Jeremy Hilton

Liberal Democrats have welcomed the £2.3bn investment into flood defences announced this month as part of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement. There are 15 schemes earmarked in Gloucestershire with an estimated total cost of £7.5million.

Jeremy Hilton behind the flood wall at Alney Terrace

Jeremy Hilton behind the flood wall at Alney Terrace

In Gloucester, four schemes will benefit from this money, including a scheme to improve the flood defences at Alney Island. The work will be led by the Environment Agency and cost £400,000. The start date is 2019.

Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Gloucester, Cllr. Jeremy Hilton said:

“This investment is welcome news for a lot of residents in the county who know what it is like to have their property damaged by flood water. I hope these schemes will give some comfort and reassurance to residents whose homes are most at-risk.

“Being prepared for future severe weather will undoubtedly bring a lot of security to those who every year face uncertainly over whether or not their home will be flooded.

“I am particular pleased about the four schemes that are being funded to protect homes in Gloucester. At Alney Island 59 properties will receive added flood protection from the River Severn as the Environment Agency improves the flood protection to the island. This year the floodwaters came within a two inches of breaching the floodwall at Alney Terrace.

River Severn rising February 2014 it came within two inches of the top of the flood wall

River Severn rising February 2014 it came within two inches of the top of the flood wall

“Three other schemes are being funded at The Rea in Hempsted, Deans Walk in Kingsholm and Tewkesbury Road at Longford. We have seen how the investment in flood protection following 2007 has worked. We must continue to invest in flood protection. I applaud the new money being provided by the coalition government in Gloucester and the rest of the county.”

Four schemes in Gloucester are

· Tewkesbury Road, Longford, Gloucester. Individual property level protection measures to reduce flood risk for up to 6 properties. Currently £30,000 has been allocated for measures to be implemented in 2018. . Scheme to be led by Gloucester City Council.

· Deans Walk, Gloucester. Individual property level protection measures to reduce flood risk for up to 46 properties. Currently £230,000 has been allocated for measures to be implemented in 2020. Scheme to be led by Gloucester City Council.

· River Severn, Hempsted and Rea, Gloucester. Currently local levy funding has been allocated to develop a scheme to improve the existing defences to reduce flood risk to 132 properties and businesses. The earliest expected construction start date is 2021, subject to approval of a full business case and securing other funding contributions. This is to be led by the Environment Agency.

· Alney Island Improvements, River Severn. A project to improve the standard of protection offered by the existing defences at Alney Island, Gloucester to 59 properties. £400,000 has been provisionally allocated towards a scheme. As the options develop the scheme costs are likely to increase. Currently construction estimated to start 2019, subject to approval of a full business case and the securing of any other funding contributions needed. This scheme will be led by the Environment Agency.

 

“Time for Free Wi-Fi at Gloucester Library” – Jeremy Hilton

Jeremy Hilton ready to use his tablet computer at Gloucester Library

Jeremy Hilton ready to use his tablet computer at Gloucester Library

  Follow Jeremy Hilton on Twitter @jeremy4glos

Gloucester’s main library in Brunswick Road is to get free public access Wi-Fi in the New Year, says Cllr. Jeremy Hilton the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Gloucester. It is anticipated that free Wi-Fi should be operational by the middle of January.

Jeremy Hilton said: “I have made enquiries at the county council about the lack of free Wi-Fi in Gloucester’s central library.

“It is unfair that this service is provided at Cheltenham central library, but not in Gloucester. The quality of service provision in both central libraries should be comparable.

“There are free internet access desk top computers in all libraries, which the Lib Dems introduced when I was the cabinet member. It is time that free Wi-Fi is also available.

“The good news is that the county council has recently gone out to tender to install public Wi-Fi provision in Gloucester Library. The county council tell me that it should be operational by the middle of January. I hope they meet this deadline.

“Many people now have a tablet computer. Being able to use such a device in Gloucester Library would be a welcomed additional service.”

Currently two other libraries in Gloucestershire have public Wi-Fi, they are Cheltenham and Cirencester libraries. Jeremy Hilton has requested that Hucclecote and Longlevens libraries should be next on the list for free public Wi-Fi, once it is operational in Gloucester Library.

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