2017 County Council Manifesto

Somerset Solutions to Somerset Problems


Dear Somerset Resident,

In 2009 and 2013 the people of Somerset voted for a Conservative administration to run our precious services. They have betrayed your trust; brought the County to the verge of bankruptcy and failed the most vulnerable in our communities, and are now failing the clients of the Learning Disability service.

On May 4th you will be able to choose again and make a change for the better, by voting Liberal Democrat. This Manifesto will inform you of our plan for the future of our County. We believe that we have Somerset solutions for Somerset problems, and have consulted widely to develop this manifesto.

Over the last 8 years the Conservatives have systematically destroyed critical services and squandered the Council’s finances:

  • They have frozen the County Council share of the Council Tax for 6 years. They have lost £24 million from the base budget; money which would have prevented many of their savage cuts to services. All for the sake of asking each household for an extra 38p a week, year on year.
  • They have failed to borrow to invest in infrastructure when interest rates are at an all-time low, when other local Conservative run councils have been borrowing at very low interest rates.
  • They have outsourced £1.1 billion of services through long and expensive contracts which they cannot control. They have turned Somerset County Council into an impotent contracts manager.
  • They continue to spend £1 million a month on agency staff whilst they have made hundreds of redundancies
  • They have short-changed our children by failing to deliver new schools and classrooms on time
  • They have failed to respond swiftly to residents’ requests for road safety schemes and highway maintenance. Our roads are falling apart and are now gridlocked and a disgrace.
  • They have failed to protect our most vulnerable children. OFSTED have rated Somerset Children’s service to be inadequate since 2013.
  • They have completely lost control of the County’s finances. We will need an emergency budget at the first Council Meeting in May, if we win control! We know the finances are in a dire situation.
  • Elderly and disabled residents are left waiting too long for poor services, whilst our staff do their utmost to help.

Over the next 4 years we will strive to return to outstanding services, protecting vulnerable people, creating prosperity and strengthening the partnerships we need to provide quality, responsive services for everyone who needs our help.

When you go to the polling station please remember two things.

- Firstly, remember the financial mess the Tories have created in Somerset.

- Secondly, only the Liberal Democrats can change Somerset County Council for the better.

On Thursday 4th May 2017 please support your local Liberal Democrat candidate.

Jane Lock

Leader of the Somerset County Liberal Democrats

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