Birmingham Lib Dems have promised a major crackdown on fly-tipping in the city with enforcement targets set for an army of wardens.
Their manifesto for the up and coming local election is focused heavily on cleaning and greening the city – including an earlier promise to contract out the bins service to private operators.
The Lib Dems currently have just ten councillors out of 120 and are unlikely to take control. But as recently as 2012 they helped run the council in a coalition with the Conservatives.
They have concentrated on the clean streets agenda in the wake of last year’s bin strike and continuing disruption to refuse collection.
Their pledges including offering households two free bulky waste collections per year and providing extra wardens, with strict targets, until the city’s streets are clean of fly-tipped rubbish and waste.
The manifesto states: “We have proposed serious investment to tackling fly-tipping. This includes purchasing surveillance cameras and ensuring that flytippers are prosecuted for offences on all open land, whether or not it is owned by the Council.”
They will also re-introduce free household garden waste collections from 2019 and cancel a proposed cut of £1.5 million to street cleaning.
Birmingham Liberal Democrat leader Cllr Jon Hunt (Perry Barr) said: “This is a manifesto that sets out what needs to change in Birmingham City Council after years of chaos and mismanagement.
“The city has had three Labour leaders in three years and last year was forced to cave in over the bin strike.
“The streets are dirty, the waste is not collected properly and the roads and pavements are not maintained. People don’t feel safe because of the collapse of community policing. Cuts have not helped but nor has the ‘head in the sand’ approach of repeated Labour leaders.”
Further pledges include:
- Plans to offer community budgets to councillors in the city’s 69 wards to spend on local priorities – such as further street cleaning, anti-crime initiative, dangerous driving or youth services.
- Urging the police commissioner to make the non-emergency 101 number more ‘customer friendly’
Support for child health through measures such as holiday meals clubs and encouraging walking to school
Working with police to find local bases for neighbourhood PCs
A petition of 10,000 names would secure a debate by the full council
- £5 million investment in temporary emergency facilities for the homeless
- Council to build more low carbon or zero energy properties
- Create a city wide series of festivals around the 2022 Commonwealth Games
- Beef up planning rules to protect cultural venues from demolition
- Investment in school bus services to cut school run congestion
- End free evening parking in the city centre
Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable MP said: “The residents of Birmingham are suffering from a breakdown of basic services because the Labour-led council is putting ideology before people.
“I am delighted that the Liberal Democrats have strong and practical ideas to keep the city clean and green, keep services running, and empower local communities.”