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Norfolk County Council Elections May 2017

LIBERAL DEMOCRAT GROUP MANIFESTO

Norfolk's Liberal Democrat County Councillors will continue to work towards a fairer and better future for the residents of Norfolk.

SAVING YOU MONEY AND PROTECTING SERVICES: Over the past four years Liberal Democrats have worked across political lines to ensure that the Council spends money more efficiently whilst protecting vital services. We will continue to do so.

HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE: Liberal Democrats recognising the importance of reducing pressure on GP and acute hospital services welcome the move towards community based care and support for patients within their own homes. We will continue campaigning against cuts to the budgets for vulnerable people and to ensuring that the vulnerable and elderly are cared for with dignity. We agree that greater investment in primary and community care is necessary. Above all else we believe that the chronic underfunding of Adult Social Care should be a central Government priority not left to local councils.

MENTAL HEALTH: Liberal Democrats will promote awareness and understanding of mental health issues. We will work with local associations and voluntary groups promoting and supporting initiatives for those with dementia and their families. We will place pressure on the Clinical Commissioning Groups to commit a larger proportion of their resources to mental health and press for a simplified access pathway to services.

SCHOOLS: Liberal Democrats will never be content with mediocre schools. We will continue to have a strong local authority focus on supporting schools to become outstanding. We will work with schools and sixth form colleges to ensure young people are ready both for work and higher education. We will keep Children's Centres open.

LIBRARIES: We value libraries and will continue to support staff as they play an increasingly important role in developing libraries as community hubs, offering a wide variety of services ranging from computer training to dementia awareness. We will continue to support mobile libraries.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: Liberal Democrats will take the lead in ensuring that Norfolk County Council, the Local Enterprise Partnership and Norfolk Chamber of Commerce co-operate fully to promote growth of the business community; attract and encourage new companies to invest in Norfolk; continue backing Norfolk's thriving life sciences, automotive, wind and solar energy industries; protect investment and increase skilled jobs. We will continue to encourage the growth of apprenticeships.

GOVERNANCE OF THE COUNCIL: Liberal Democrats successfully fought to implement an open and transparent committee system which enables your elected county councillor to be involved in decisions which affect you. With the Tory-favoured cabinet system a handful of councillors made all the decisions, no matter how important. A committee system avoids a small group having the power to make costly and contentious decisions such as the incinerator.

ROADS: Liberal Democrats will continue to play a major role in prioritising completion of the final link of the Norwich Outer Ring Road. This link will extend the NDR to join the A47, allowing direct access to and from North Norfolk. We support the proposed Gt. Yarmouth third River Crossing and giving priority to the Long-Stratton By-pass. We will fight to have these projects delivered.

ROAD REPAIRS: Having regard for public safety and residents' vehicles we will keep our roads in a safe condition; we will ensure our Highway Rangers have the capacity to tackle a range of repairs as well as pot holes; we will promote the county policy of recovering the cost of repairing damage caused by large vehicles.

TRAVEL: Norfolk is a rural county. Consequently we will strive to maintain and improve transport, allowing everyone full access to education, work and recreation. We will maintain the Post 16 Transport Policy for 16-19 year old students; we will maintain the Coast Hopper bus service and work with the bus companies to extend its route; we will encourage and support Community Transport.

SPEEDING: Liberal Democrats are committed to keeping speed limits under constant review and will promote appropriate levels of compliance within our villages and towns. We will promote Community Speed Watch schemes, speed warning systems, and other transport management measures.

RECYCLING AND WASTE MANAGEMENT: We will support good management of recycling centres ensuring they are open at times appropriate to use and demand. Because our aim is zero waste we will continue to promote super centres for the collection of extended ranges of recyclable materials. We will always oppose incineration.

EMERGENCY SERVICES: Liberal Democrats will promote a rural network of well organised, integrated and responsive emergency services. We will resist further cuts to the Fire, Police, Ambulance and other services.

FLOODING: Coastal flood remains Norfolk's most serious threat and residents inland know that flooding from rivers, surface water, foul sewers and flash flooding can also damage homes and businesses. We will ensure official bodies with responsibilities for flooding work together and provide a clear policy for the maintenance of drainage and surface water systems, the assessment of systems for new developments and protection from coastal flooding.

BROADBAND: 95% of Norfolk properties will have access to superfast broadband by the end of March 2020. It is our intention that 100% of Norfolk properties will have efficient broadband. The remaining Norfolk properties will be the very hardest and most expensive areas to reach, and whilst this is technically possible it relies in part on advances in technology. Last year we budgeted an allocation of money to be used to be used as new technology emerged.

MOBILE PHONE CONNECTIVITY: Mobile phone connectivity is no longer a luxury, it is a necessity wherever you are in Norfolk. Mobile phone operators promised the government that there would be at least 90% geographic voice coverage across the country by the end of 2017. We will strive towards 100% indoor connectivity for Norfolk. Whilst mobile phone operators will continue to use masts we will pursue new and alternative technologies.

SECOND HOMES COUNCIL TAX: We will continue to return an element of Norfolk County Council's share of second homes council tax. We will ensure it reaches those areas which, because of the large number of second homes in their parishes, generate the tax.

RESTORATIVE APPROACHES: We will continue to support Norfolk County Council Children's Services use of Restorative Approaches. These approaches reduce offending and repair damage caused to victims; maintaining and repairing relationships with families and communities.