AHEAD of next month’s local elections, the Solihull News speaks to Lib Dem group leader Councillor Ian Hedley.
LIB Dems have led an administration that has listened to local people, argues their group leader.
Coun Hedley said that his party has had a “stimulating” year, running the town hall alongside Labour.
Twelve months ago, the two-party deal ended ten years of Conservative rule, promising greater dialogue with residents.
“I think we need to listen to what people want and use that to take action,” Coun Hedley said this week. “I am pleased with the consultations we have had, more than twice as many residents had their say on the budget than last year.”
He listed a council tax freeze, the scrapping of the waste incinerator project and an overhaul of recycling collections as key achievements.
“There have been no library closures, no children’s centres have shut - we will now look how we can expand what these are used for. It’s also important to make clear that we have protected funding for three Citizens Advice Bureau and Solihull SUSTAiN. I think it would be crazy to cut the money to the third sector at just the time when people need it the most.”
Coun Hedley said that if the Lib Dem-led administration continues, the aim would be for another freeze in council tax.
He said that a decision on the future of the Lib-Lab agreement would be made after the electorate had spoken.
And he felt that local people should vote based on local issues, as opposed to decisions being made nationally.
“This isn’t about Nick Clegg and David Cameron, nor a referendum on the national coalition, it’s about who runs Solihull Council. Locally, in the past five or six years. we’ve always bucked the trend and achieved more than people thought we would. I think people need to decide if they want to continue with an administration that listens or go back to Conservative deafness.”