‘PAVEMENT politics’ is top of the agenda for Portsmouth’s Liberal Democrats as they reveal their set of key election promises.
From tackling homelessness and crime across the city to ridding the streets of litter, the party has pledged to bring in a raft of changes to Portsmouth City Council.
And the group has its eyes firmly fixed on seizing power in May’s election.
They are contesting all 14 of the 42 seats up for grabs, with Lib Dem leaders hoping the party’s manifesto will give them the edge over their rivals.
Councillor Steve Pitt said: ‘As the main opposition on the council to the current Conservative-led administration, with 15 seats to their 20, Portsmouth Lib Dems need to gain just three of the 14 seats up for election on May 3, to be the largest party and re-take control.’
The Lib Dems are focusing on nine areas.
Among the party’s plans include boosting the number of community safety wardens to help be the ‘eyes and ears’ for police on the city’s streets.
The party will look to continue the council’s drive to make Portsmouth a greener city by increasing the number of items that can be recycled, reducing single-use plastics and move towards doorstep glass recycling schemes.
Tackling fly-tipping, dog mess and littering are among the proposals being put forward, along with reintroducing a means-tested free bulky waste collection.
Milton ward councillor Ben Dowling is among those up for re-election. He said: ‘Pavement politics is something that the current council leader says that local people don’t care about but we know she is wrong.’
The Lib Dems say they will work to secure 900 additional secondary school places over the next three years while holding an annual anti-bullying summit.
On top of this, the party has vowed to create a Portsmouth investment bank to direct cash into the city.
The Lib Dems have also outlined a vision to create more affordable housing for families on empty land at Tipner as well as continuing efforts to reduce homelessness.
Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, the party’s leader, said: ‘This is a positive plan to address some of the problems in the city but with real solutions that are achievable.’
To read the manifesto in full, see portsmouthlibdems.org.uk