Lib Dems point to success of coalition

Andrew Arbuckle and Elizabeth Riches launch the Liberal Democrats'  Dem manifesto
Andrew Arbuckle and Elizabeth Riches launch the Liberal Democrats' Dem manifesto

FIFE’S Liberal Democrats have launched their local government election campaign with a claim that they have helped make ‘record improvements‘ over the past five years.

Unveiling their manifesto in the run-up to the elections on May 3, the group’s leader, Councillor Elizabeth Riches, said that during their term in administration in coalition with the SNP they had proved how ‘effective’ they can be in running Fife Council.

“The past five years have not been easy for councils as after years and years of increased expenditure, budgets have had to be trimmed,” said Councillor Riches.

“Through increased efficiencies and a planned reduction in the workforce, we have managed that while protecting all-important front line services.

She continued: “We have also achieved records of improvements such as increased money going into road repairs, increased recycling rates, building new council houses for the first time for a generation, building new schools and new sports facilities and continuing to deliver the necessary services for the most vulnerable.

“The current joint administration’s prudent handling of the council finances means that we have left a £34 million reserve ready to deal with the big challenges ahead.

“This is a healthy situation compared with the previous administration which left the coffers empty.

“We know that much more needs to done to make sure our young people reach their full potential, that there are jobs for them, that communities have space to encourage local businesses, that our town centres receive a boost, that more housing is available to rent, that our elderly are cared for in the best way to suit them and that more family centres are able to support young families.

“We need to continue to step up measures to make Fife greener, protecting the environment and creating jobs and improving local roads and transport.

“Liberal Democrats believe we can take Fife forward if we work with communities and keep decision-making as local as possible.”