In 2007 we published our manifesto for the next five years. We are proud to say that over 95% of that manifesto has been delivered.
We have refreshed our manifesto for 2012. It is summarised below.
The future holds many challenges for local government; Aberdeenshire
Council is not immune to the financial constraints and pressures facing
the whole public sector. Effective, efficient use of public money,
combined with sound financial management, is essential. We recognise
that strong local government is a fundamental requirement of a liberal
democracy; its strength comes from its relationship with the people it
serves. Aberdeenshire Council has an important leadership role and yet
must be accountable and responsive to the people and communities we
serve. We are proud of our record of listening to our residents and
delivering local services in a fair and effective way. We can
demonstrate that we have delivered the overwhelming majority of the
commitments and promises we made in 2007.
Aberdeenshire Liberal Democrats are proud of what has been achieved
in the integration of work, transport, leisure and housing in our
settlements. We will work in partnership with communities, developers
and other agencies to ensure that Aberdeenshire continues to offer the
best quality of life.
Local planning policies and process play a key role in delivering the
aspirations of communities, residents, business and the council. We
have already delivered significant improvements and will continue this
work. Planning must be strongly linked with Economic Development; both
are integral to developing sustainable communities.
We have listened to Residents’ Surveys, which have consistently
highlighted the priority residents give to the appearance and
cleanliness of their communities. We have ensured that as far as
possible, residents’ expectations have been met. We will continue to
give priority to this work and to environmental issues.
Liberal Democrats also value our built heritage and have given a high
priority to both protecting and enhancing it. We will stress the need
for higher design standards in new development, seeking design solutions
that respect the built heritage of Aberdeenshire.
We are committed to the waste hierarchy of ‘Reduce, Re-use, Recycle’
and have worked to deliver an efficient and effective Waste Management
service. We will continue to encourage residents to work in partnership
with the council in managing their waste and driving down the volume of
waste going to landfill.
Economic Development plays a vital role in ensuring that
Aberdeenshire remains a prosperous and economically active region. All
council services must contribute to the goal of an economy that delivers
sustainable growth, low unemployment and a broader economic base. The
current economic situation serves to emphasise the importance of this
Our Economic Development service has built successful relationships
across Aberdeenshire, Europe and beyond, promoting Aberdeenshire across
the world as an excellent place to do business. We will continue to
give a high priority to this work, as well as supporting initiatives
developed within communities. We will deliver the council’s new
Economic Development Strategy.
Our new Local Transport Strategy was developed through consultation
with communities and our partners. It contains our aspirations and
ambitions for transportation in and to Aberdeenshire. We will work to
deliver this Strategy and continue to lobby for significantly better
investment by the Scottish Government in our transport infrastructure.
Liberal Democrats are committed to investing in Education in its
broadest sense. Despite the intense financial pressures in recent
years, we have continued to manage the council’s resources in order to
deliver an integrated and up-to-date life-long education service,
delivered in the best possible environment.
We will offer the best possible opportunities for Education, Learning
and Leisure to all. We will continue to involve all of our communities
in the decisions that affect them. We recognise the great value of our
Education, Learning and Leisure staff, teaching and non-teaching and
the contribution they make to delivering excellence in Aberdeenshire
We also recognise the vital importance of our school estate in the
delivery of a modern education to all. We have committed significant
capital resources to the provision of new secondary and primary schools
and will continue to grasp every opportunity to invest in our schools.
Education is a life long process and there should be educational
opportunities open to all, regardless of age or means. We support the
delivery of such opportunities through Community Learning and
Development and are committed to involving the community fully in this
Culture and Heritage are important to our communities; we will
continue to work in partnership with community groups to widen
opportunity in the face of budget pressures. We remain committed to the
provision of a modern Library service across Aberdeenshire, freely
available to all.
In Aberdeenshire, the Social Work and Housing Service has faced
considerable challenges over recent years, brought about by a steadily
growing but ageing population, increasing expectations and ever mounting
volumes of regulation and inspection by Government and its agencies.
The pressure on housing in a rural area, combined with government
timetables for homelessness, has grown and will continue to grow.
We will continue to foster joint working with other agencies, with
community groups and with the wider community in order to maintain high
quality services in Aberdeenshire, fairly and on the basis of need. The
financial background will require continuing robust budgetary control
and sound management of service finances.
We are committed to the provision of social housing of all types and
tenures and to maintaining the high standards of the Council’s own
housing stock. We have worked in close partnership with our tenants and
this will continue. We have worked with housing associations, other
agencies and with developers to increase the supply of affordable
housing in Aberdeenshire communities. We will build on this work and
seek to improve still further the services we offer.
The issues around health and social care grow ever more complex and
demanding. Aberdeenshire Liberal Democrats are committed to the greater
integration of Health and Social Care and to working closely with our
Aberdeenshire remains our absolute priority. Our approach has been –
and will remain – pragmatic. We are driven by commonsense, local,
decision making rather than by political dogma. Our programme for 2012
to 2017 will build on our achievements to ensure that Aberdeenshire
offers all its residents the best quality of life and all of its
businesses the best possible environment in which to prosper.
The full Manifesto Document can be downloaded by clicking here.
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