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Lib Dems launch post lockdown plan for Gloucester

May 25, 2020 3:00 PM

Jeremy Hilton and Declan Wilson prepare budget amendments 2020The Liberal Democrats have launched a plan to help Gloucester recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown.

The six-point plan covers economic recovery, housing, supporting communities, the environment, culture and rebuilding council services.

The Liberal Democrats will be urging the city council to introduce this plan as soon as possible.

Among the key pledges is to set up a housing company to provide affordable homes and properties for rent in the city.

The Lib Dems also want to see a fund set up to award grants to local groups running community buildings so they can make their facilities safer for the public.

They also believe that free hand sanitisation points should be installed across the city centre - particularly for public transport users.

The key to Gloucester's economic recovery will be recovering the full costs to the city council of the Covid-19 lockdown from the Government.

Councillor Jeremy Hilton, leader of Gloucester Liberal Democrats, said: "This is a long-term plan as it could take Gloucester five years to recover from the economic and social damage caused to the city by coronavirus.

"Experts are predicting the economic downturn in the UK will be more severe than the 2008 banking crisis.

"The city council needs to work with local residents, businesses, charities and other organisations to help Gloucester recover.

"Our six-point plan is a measured response to the challenges Gloucester faces as the city slowly comes out of the lockdown and faces the challenges of the next few years.

"It is not just about the economy but also supporting improvements to housing and recognising and building upon some of the fantastic volunteer-led community work that has been taking place day in, day out across Gloucester."

Councillor Declan Wilson, deputy Liberal Democrat leader, added: "Getting Gloucester back on track will be the biggest challenge the city has faced in our lifetime.

"It is absolutely vital that the Government meets the council's full costs of the coronavirus pandemic.

"But that is just the start because the city council's budgets have been cut year and year and starved of cash over the last decade.

"Meeting the costs of the pandemic only puts the city council back to the financial position of the turn of the year.

"To re-start Gloucester's economy, the council is going to require a large cash injection to help local businesses and communities recover.

"The Conservative-run city council needs to start lobbying the Government now for this financial support."

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