Liberal Democrats have pursued their own agenda

Jeremy Gale is Liberal Democrat candidate for Central Hove on Brighton and Hove City Council
Jeremy Gale is Liberal Democrat candidate for Central Hove on Brighton and Hove City Council

With just 271 days until polling day, election fever will soon be in full swing.

With just 271 days until polling day, election fever will soon be in full swing. This gives an opportunity to reflect on some of the Liberal Democrat achievements in coalition government.

We have created 1.8 million new apprenticeships, made education fairer via the Pupil Premium, restored the link between the state pension and inflation, raised the threshold for income tax to £10,000 - and this year saw the first same-sex marriages take place.

None of this would have happened without the Lib Dems in government.

The Lib Dems have pursued and delivered a Liberal agenda, while acting as a handbrake on our coalition partners. We have shown maturity and delivered in government.

The same cannot be said about the performance of Brighton and Hove City Council, led by the politically-immature Green Party.

They have put their own ideological agenda above and beyond what is right for the city. Their actions, supported by the other parties on the council, have caused misery and disruption for many of our residents.

We have have astronomically-high parking charges that are socially and economically illiberal. The costs are such that many residents now see less of their friends and families. This is fundamentally wrong. Many business-owners have also told me they back free Sunday parking as it will help their trade and our local economy to grow.

I led the campaign for free Sunday parking, backed by more than 1,250 residents. The proposal was blocked by the Green and Labour parties, with the Tories confused as to what they would actually do.

The message is clear: if you want free Sunday parking, vote Liberal Democrat.

To support our proposal of free Sunday parking and to help ease the city’s congested roads, I am pleased to announce our plans to make bus lanes multi-use on Sundays and after 6pm every weekday evening. Bus services are much reduced at these times so, to help get our city’s traffic moving, we propose using the bus lanes to help make your life easier.

The message is clear: if you want traffic moving in our city, vote Liberal Democrat.

The Greens have proposed a 5.9% rise in council tax. There has already been a 1.99% increase and yet they are still unable to get the basics right. The filthy streets and missed rubbish collections are just one example. In contrast, Liberal Democrat-controlled Eastbourne Borough Council has frozen council tax for the last four years - and maintained and delivered services for their residents.

The message is clear; if you want ‘value-for-money’, vote Liberal Democrat.

Our parliamentary candidates, as well as the rest of our city council candidates, will be announced over the coming weeks. You will continue to hear from us, as we put forward policies to make our city a better, and more liberal, place to live.

To summarise: You should vote for Liberal Democrat councillors on May 7 2015, if:

•    you do not want to pay for parking on Sundays;

•    you want less congestion on our roads and traffic moving freely;

•    you want an effective, efficient and value-for-money council.

Jeremy Gale is Liberal Democrat candidate for Central Hove on Brighton and Hove City Council. This is part of a series of articles by leading figures in all parties in the run-up to the local and parliamentary elections on May 7 2015.