Strong Support for St Nicholas Square changes
Great to see a warm welcome from most for the proposed new public realm at St Nicholas Square.
Positive and constructive public Q&A session. And over 500 survey responses so far. Over 80% say they support or strongly support the Lib Dem led Council proposals and 20% support. But some great questions and issues we will pick up together with the project team. Fingers crossed for planning approvals and work this spring, and cafe culture and a lovely piazza and place to walk, sit eat or drink later this summer.
Lib Dems Pass 2021 Colchester Budget!
Great Lib Dem led budget for Colchester has been agreed. Delivers an admired strategic plan. We need investment in affordable homes, help to local business and recovery, the environment and great facilities for residents and communities. Despite Conservatives voting AGAINST!
AGAINST housing for those most in need. Against plans they had seen. Against investments they supported. They raised instead home grown untested no warning budget amendments with no funding. Not responsible. But the Budget was passed by a clear majority with the support of all of the independents. Good news for Colchester!
Future Proofing Colchester!
Recovery matters - from pandemic AND recession. As retail moves online more jobs are at risk. Investments can help, not just the look and feel of our town, but to draw in visitors, to help locals make a choice between other towns and ours. The private sector can play their part. Our Lib Dem led Council can make a big difference. So it's great news we are recommending a new capital programme to our Council colleagues.
The Lib Dem led Council Cabinet play a part. By agreement to a new capital strategy and capital programme, which will see it invest upwards of £43 million across the borough over the next few years. From new business units, flexible spaces for modern hybrid working, extra support for creative, digital and start up businesses, to £130,000 for a new lift at Vineyard Street car park. And new monies for the creation of St Nicholas Square.
Investments agreed will help complete the Mercury Theatre’s redevelopment. And provide £40 million to be spent on our Housing Investment Programme, which will see hundreds of affordable homes built over the next few years. This and more, will help bring jobs and sustain many others, invest as we invest in our future as a great place to live, work and visit.
Let's NOT turn jobs away
But HELP our town centre!
Together we support our town, our businesses and those they employ! Lib Dem led Colchester Council has helped keep Colchester covid secure and our shops safely busy, to help us all enjoy what our great town can offer. We couldn't do it with you all.
A huge thank you to all those who kept to the changing rules. And to those who shop local. And to all those in hospitality and retail who have done their very best for the rest of us, to make visiting Colchester such a good experience. From Santa's Postbox to the Elves Workshop, from Lion Walk Winter Gardens to ice rink pleasures and Firstsite, lots to do and see. And despite everything a special seasonal atmosphere. Enjoy.
Our Christmas wish for our residents is clear - we hope for the best, in health and happiness to you and all your friends and family. We will be here for you all, across Colchester, to do what we can to look after those most in need. To take the spirit of Christmas, of care and support for others, so needed this year, into next.
Jobs Businesses and People are OUR priority
The worst economic crisis in 300 years - made worse by the Conservative mishandling of the pandemic.
The most unemployed expected for 10 years, or more, perhaps not since the Thatcher years.
Business closures - accelerating as we change our shopping habits. But, we can turn the tide and reduce the pain, if we act swiftly.
Your Lib Dem led Council is doing that - helping short term recovery, and our town centre, helping businesses survive the crisis and investing in the future. To better insulate and improve the energy efficiency of our homes, to provide 350 affordable council houses for residents in need, to invest in our culture and much more. From the £10 million pound Mercury Theatre redevelopment to the public realm around the Mercury and Jumbo. Plus what makes us an attractive place to invest, from Ultra-fast Broadband, new high-tech CCTV, to better public realm. Homes, sports, leisure, places to walk and enjoy our great town: investments in them all.
We will spend local where we can.
We will help local businesses and jobs and secure long lasting change for better.
We are Liberal Democrats. Leading your Council, for a Better Colchester.
Competence matters. COVID cases are increasing, we’re facing another lock down, and businesses can’t plan for the future when the government will only extend the furlough scheme for a month.
Too many people have already lost their jobs because of the Government’s failure to plan. Some self-employed workers are getting 80% of their profits covered, but millions have received no help since March. And with the furlough scheme extended by just one month only a day before it was to end, families and businesses had to scramble to change plans again.
It’s just not good enough. This government’s incompetence is putting people’s jobs and futures at risk
Liberal Democrats led by Ed Davey are calling on the Government to extend the furlough scheme into 2021. To deliver as promised a 'world class' Track and Trace system. To give certainty to businesses and employees thus protecting jobs and livelihoods.
Help us demand clarity, help, better than now.
Lib Dem Deputy Leader and Culture spokesperson Daisy Cooper has warned the Government must never again be allowed to "force the BBC into a corner where it has to choose between cuts to programming or raising these fees on the most vulnerable.
The Party, which led a cross party group of 106 parliamentarians calling for a review of the decision to cut hundreds of BBC staff working across regional programmes, will put forward plans to protect the long–term future of the BBC.
They will call on the Government to uphold its promise to retain the licence fee model until the end of the current Charter period in December 2027, and for a transparent and independent body to review the cost of the licence next year.
Daisy Cooper said:
'Families around the UK have flocked to the BBC during the coronavirus pandemic as a source of trusted news, entertainment and education, demonstrating the true value of public service broadcasting at a time of national crisis.
Ending free TV licences for the over 75s, which could push some of the poorest pensioners into poverty, jars with common decency.
The responsibility falls squarely at the feet of Conservative Ministers.
We must never again allow Ministers to force the BBC into a corner where it has to choose between cuts to programming or raising these fees on the most vulnerable. That means ensuring the licence fee is set independently.'
Your Liberal Democrats fighting, locally and across the country, for the interests of those most in need.
Lib Dem led Colchester Council have been praised for their local leadership through the pandemic.
Infection rates are low compared to many. We want to keep it that way!
We ask all of our communities to work together to encourage safe behaviours and use of the coronavirus contact tracing app.
As the software is voluntary, its success will depend heavily on how many people choose to download and use it. The app has Bluetooth enabled to keep an anonymous log of people a user has been close to.
If someone falls ill, they can tell the app, which will begin a process of locating those they may have been in contact with.
Lib Dem leader Mark Corey urges us all download the app today and do our bit to fight against this virus. 'Together, with just our phones, we can have an impact and protect ourselves, our loved ones, our neighbours and the town in which we live.'
A QR code scanning feature is also available, allows people to check-in to venues they visit and easily share their contact details for tracing efforts.
To keep us and our families and friends safe. Lib Dem led, your Council will do all it can for us all. Let's help.
We really are in this together.
Lib Dem led Colchester have been awarded £1 million to transform two of the gateways to the town centre.
The cash, won by the We Are Colchester Board enabled by the Council team and Lib Dem leaders will be spent on improvements to St Nicholas Square and the Balkerne Gate area around the Mercury Theatre.
At Balkerne Gate, near the town’s iconic Roman Wall, a new space will be created for theatrical and creative activity to complement the Mercury Theatre’s £10 million revamp.
At St Nicholas Square a new space will be designed to complement Colchester Castle and other nearby attractions.
Council plans will be worked up swiftly and work will start by early next year.
We have the vision for renewal, for a greener and better Colchester. With significant investment in recent years to the St Nicholas Hotel, the conversion of the old Jack’s building and the refurbishment of the old Co-op building Colchester can look forward to renewal of public realm, buildings, places to eat, meet and return.
In difficult economic times this latest Lib Dem led Council designed regeneration is great news for businesses. residents and visitors.
More to come!