Council elections 2021: Liberal Democrats launch Norfolk manifesto

Steffan Aquarone, Liberal Democrat group leader at Norfolk County Council. Picture: Alex Broadway

Steffan Aquarone, Liberal Democrat group leader at Norfolk County Council. Picture: Alex Broadway - Credit: Alex Broadway

The Liberal Democrats have unveiled their manifesto for the Norfolk County Council elections - which includes a pledge to create 'travel hubs' to link villages to major transport routes.

With all 84 seats at County Hall up for grabs on May 6, the nine-strong Liberal Democrat group launched its manifesto on Tuesday evening.

North Norfolk District Council is set to move six polling stations. Photo: PA

Norfolk goes to the polls to elect county councillors on May 6. - Credit: PA

The manifesto includes pledges to make Norfolk carbon neutral by 2030, to improve air pollution by installing 'City Trees' and to restore the council's youth service, axed more than a decade ago.

CityTrees in Norwich's Castle Meadow

The Liberal Democrats want to install CityTrees to cut air pollution. - Credit: Green City Solutions

The Lib Dems say they would also remove charges for getting rid of household DIY waste and would merge adult and children's services at County Hall.

The group also wants to create a series of zones for technology-enabled agriculture, advanced manufacturing, and environmental tech - saying that would attract firms and boost the economy.

The group says it would "resolve the problem of rat-running and congestion encouraged by the gap between the current end of the A1270 and the A47", and said the Western Link is "the least-worst solution".

But group leader Steffan Aquarone said: "The jury is out on whether the current scheme fits, as it stands."

On making Norfolk carbon neutral by 2030, he said the council needed to "show leadership", including using national funding to get home insulation upgrades in Norfolk homes.

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He said: "I am so sick of hearing the administration pass the buck. The bottom line is leadership."

Another pledge is to create a series of 'travel hubs' -  an expansion of the park and ride concept in rural areas, consisting of transport interchanges, so people could drive to a hub and then get on fast public transport to a destination further afield.

Mr Aquarone said: "We have spoken to transport providers and they are very much in favour of it."

Mr Aquarone said funding for the manifesto pledges would come via the council's capital budget, government funding schemes, redesigning services to make savings, generating more income for the council and, potentially, from reserves.

Norfolk County Council at County Hall in Norwich

The county council elections are on Thursday, May 6. - Credit: Archant

The council's political make-up is Conservatives 52, Labour 16, Liberal Democrats nine, Independent three, Independent (non-aligned) one, non-aligned one and two vacancies.

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