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Tom Brake

Liberal Democrat MP for Carshalton and Wallington

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Brake Welcomes Launch of Sutton Lib Dems' Manifesto

April 19, 2006 2:26 PM

Speaking after the launch of Sutton's Liberal Democrat Manifesto for the 2006 Council Elections, Tom Brake MP for Carshalton and Wallington said, "The manifesto sets out a serious programme of Government for Sutton in the next four years. It is packed with exciting new proposals, which Sutton's Liberal Democrat Council, recently awarded the maximum of four out of four stars by the independent Audit Commission, can deliver."

The manifesto sets out how, if Sutton's Liberal Democrats are returned in the May elections they plan to raise income for the borough through the sale of locally-produced energy - a positive benefit from their pioneering work on recycling over the past twenty years. That's one of the key proposals in the party's manifesto published recently.

The Liberal Democrat manifesto also gives high priority to new developments in recycling and energy saving, commitments to further improvements in its safer neighbourhood programme, and in services to residents.

In launching the manifesto, Sutton Liberal Democrat Council leader, Cllr Sean Brennan, said: "Over the past twenty years, Liberal Democrats in Sutton have led the way on recycling and this long-term work is now allowing us to recoup some of the investment for the benefit of our residents.

"We will introduce a programme to recover energy from the waste which remains after recycling. Income raised in that way will help to reduce any future rises on Council Tax. Because of consistently low government grants - and the resulting financial pressures - we are having to develop more and more schemes such as this," Cllr Brennan said.

Other proposals in the Liberal Democrat manifesto for the next four years include:

• The development of an investment partnership to build creative arts and sports centres in the borough

• A vigorous campaign in support of new community hospitals, better GP clinics and more NHS dentists for the borough

• Campaigns to protect back garden land from developers and to protect the identity of our local villages

• Schemes for parking permit discounts for fuel efficient cars, and colour-coded parking bays to make parking rules clearer

• Programmes to develop Sutton as a cultural centre, through art, literature and music and to celebrate the borough's heritage and to bring more civic art - such as statues, sculptures and poetry - to the whole borough

• Information packs for new residents about getting involved in their area, and about the variety of local services and facilities

• The promotion of the principle of car-free areas in the borough

• The provision of free compost - Sutton Earth - for residents from the borough's recycling centre

• A proposal to look at making use of new technology to allow residents to use their mobile phones to send information and photographs about street scene problems.

Sean Brennan said the manifesto was bursting with new ideas and plans to benefit the borough's residents.

"This programme is in stark contrast to the sterile view of the future offered by the Tory opposition. They have not produced a budget for the future. On the contrary, their rather brief manifesto makes a large number of uncosted commitments which could cost the Council tax-payer dear.

"From their statements and literature we know what they are against - we have no idea what they are for," Cllr Brennan said.

"That's an insult to the electorate, and I am confident that residents will recognise the difference between our strong record and vision for the future, and the Tories' paucity of ideas," he added.

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