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Published on Thursday 16th February 2012
Week in, week out, Liberal Democrat Councillors are tackling decisions made by the Conservative Administration in County Hall which ignore the needs and demands of local communities.
We’ve seen an increasingly unaccountable Council take decisions over which they have little understanding. Wiltshire Liberal Democrats know that local people know best, and a key theme in our work is returning power back to local communities.
In the 2012/13 Budget, we’re proposing that each community gets to decide how it spends money on roads and infrastructure. If a Local Community Area Transport Group wants a new zebra crossing, it will no longer have to wrestle with County Hall for the cash.
Currently local communities have devolved budgets for local Community Area Transport Groups that don’t give sufficent funds for anything but the most basic of projects. Most towns don’t even get enough money each year to cover the cost of putting in a basic zebra crossing.
We want to increase the funding to local communties and give them more opportunity to decide how their money is spent.
This is a big step. It involves Wiltshire Council trusting local people to make the choices. It will move power away from the centre and out around Wiltshire. It is the right thing to do.
Our Proposed Amendment
Tripling the cash available to Community Area Transport Groups is a revenue neutral proposal. The money will be move from Wiltshire Council’s strategic transport funds, and out to local communities.
Where local communities wish, they can remain in a County-wide strategic fund where the additional funding instead contributes to major infrastucture projects decided by County Hall.
Communties in the central fund would need to remain in the fund for a minimum of three years.