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#VanishingCouncil

If we are not careful Gloucester City Council will vanish, the Liberal Democrats are warning.

After 14 years running the city council the Conservatives have overseen budget cuts, a decline in services and staff losses.

By the time of the next elections in 2020 the council will have sold its offices and be lodging at Shire Hall. Under the Tories this vanishing council has:

• Sold off its council housing stock. But 3,900 families are on its housing waiting list.

• Cut staff from 432 to 187. Projects councillors want done in wards are being delayed as there is not enough staff to do the work.

• Cut hours at the reception area at the Docks.

• Continues to support a contract with Amey who have missed bin collections and leave paths uncut.

• The Kings Quarter project has stalled. Now on plan B.

• Plans to sell the council offices at the Docks and move to Shire Hall.

Liberal Democrat group leader Jeremy Hilton said: "Gloucester City Council is becoming the 'vanishing council' under the stewardship of the Conservatives.

"They have been in charge since 2004 and staff cuts have been so severe that in future the council will be squatting on the top floor at Shire Hall rather than using the four warehouses at the Docks which it once did.

"Services are in decline and we have so few members of staff that important projects are being delayed or not done at all. The fiasco, which is the management of the streetcare contract is a fine example. The client side lacks decent management.

"The move to Shire Hall will also see our public advice reception area squeezed into two small shop units on Westgate Street. This is a sad day for a once vibrant local council.

"The historic city of Gloucester deserves better." #VanishingCouncil

  • Jeremy, Declan and Rebecca at bus station
    Article: Nov 9, 2018

    The Liberal Democrats are developing a set of radical policies to reverse the Conservatives' Vanishing Council and kick-start the regeneration of Gloucester.

    Underpinning this will be the pledge to relocate the city council offices from the Docks to the King's Quarter.

    They also want to see a new civil justice centre built there as part of the project.

  • Jeremy Hilton - recycling boxes
    Article: Sep 5, 2018
    Liberal Democrat councillors have questioned Gloucestershire County Council's decision to close its household recycling centres one day a week.
    The Conservative-run county council has announced from the end of October changes to the opening hours of the five household recycling centres it owns.
    These are Fosse Cross near Cirencester, Hempsted in Gloucester, Wingmoor Farm at Bishops Cleeve, Pyke Quarry near Horsley and Oak Quarry near Coleford. They currently open at 9am and close at 6.15pm 12 months a year.
  • Rebecca Trimnell
    Article: Aug 31, 2018

    The Liberal Democrats have published a comprehensive blueprint for replacing the broken business rates system, cutting taxes for businesses by 20% in Gloucester.

    Dr Rebecca Trimnell, the Lib Dem Parliamentary spokeswoman for Gloucester, said the plans would boost local investment and ensure businesses in the city thrive.

  • Jeremy Hilton & Declan Wilson outside the proposed much smaller public advice reception on Westgate Street
    Article: Jul 25, 2018

    Gloucester City Council should suspend its planned move of its offices to Shire Hall, say the Lib Dems. The current plan is for the city council to be based on the fifth floor at Shire Hall from 1st April 2019. Shire Hall is the headquarters of the county council.

    The Liberal Democrat group says the business planning behind the project is ill thought out and the office accommodation will be temporary, too small and the financial savings unsound.

  • Jeremy Hilton - recycling boxes
    Article: Jul 19, 2018

    Discussions about the failing Amey streetcare contract must be held in open session with the press and public present says Liberal Democrat group leader, Cllr. Jeremy Hilton.

    On Monday 23rd of July, the Audit and Governance Committee of Gloucester City Council will receive a report (agenda item 16) about the failing streetcare contract that it has with Amey PLC.

  • Article: Jul 6, 2018

    Gloucester City Council's move to Shire Hall has been described as another example of the 'vanishing council'.

    Staff will share premises with the county council while the customer service centre will move to two former shops opposite Shire Hall on Westgate Street.

    The Conservative-run city council says the move is intended to make savings, share resources, facilitate stronger joint working between the two authorities and make better use of the city council's own assets.

  • Gloucester City Council
    Article: Jun 8, 2018
    Liberal Democrat leader, Cllr. Jeremy Hilton has responded to the decision of the Conservative controlled Gloucester City Council to close its customer advice reception and contact centre to the public on the last Wednesday of every month. The first closure will be on the 30th of May.

    Cllr. Hilton has described the decision made by Cllr. David Norman as another example of the 'vanishing council'.

    Cllr.Jeremy Hilton (Lib Dem - Kingsholm & Wotton) said:

    "Under Conservative control the city council continues to contract and services to the community diminish. It has certainly become a 'vanishing council'.

    "Last year the cabinet cut the hours the reception was open every day. It now closes at 3pm rather than 5pm as it once did. In future the doors will be closed once a month for a whole day.

    "Residents arriving at the council on the last Wednesday of the month will be shocked and annoyed to see the doors locked to the council offices. If they phone the contact centre they will find their call will be unanswered. They will be frustrated they cannot speak to a person face to face to help solve their enquiry.

    "Due to staff cuts imposed by the Tories, the council's customer service team is overstretched and no longer has the resilience to cope with the demands placed on it.

    "A good council would keeps its customer reception and contact centre open every working day. It should be able to organise staff training without locking the front doors.

    "This vanishing council is letting the people of Gloucester down. It's customer advice reception and contact centre should be open every day Monday to Friday."