Residents First

Residents Come First

Amber Valley Lib Dems believe residents come first. This is, after all the place where you are making a commitment to live, and where you are the main user of services and businesses.

Labour and the Conservatives have run Amber Valley borough between them for the last 30 years with little appreciable benefit for local people. Amber Valley may be the biggest local government district in Derbyshire, but resources have been thinly spread, parts of our area still look like run-down former mining towns, and it feels like we are a commuter extension to Derby and Nottingham, rather than a special part of the county, with a rich history and identity. The key should be proper funding of the planning system, and one which puts residents’ involvement at its heart.

Underlying this problem is a timid approach to investment and partnership working, a centralised and out of touch approach to including local people in decision-making. Amber Valley’s Local Plan saga is the worst example of this – a process which started with a ‘core strategy’ six years ago. Two failed Plans later, the Borough is only now submitting its new Local Plan to a Government inspector, with no timescale for sign off. Meanwhile, housing developers from outside the area are trying to pick off green field sites for inappropriate development, in the knowledge that the Council has little up-to-date planning protection in place. The result is massive heart-ache for local residents, wasted council resources in handling applications and appeals, and loss of trust.

Chevin by Eamon Curry

Our Plan

Liberal Democrats will ensure that the planning system is opened up, not just to parish and town councils, but also proactively with residents to establish real local needs. Then Amber Valley will be able to engage openly with developers to unlock brown field ‘land banks’ such as the ex Stevenson’s site at Bullbridge.

Many of the same arguments also apply to the future planning of our health services – in Belper there is real concern about the replacement of the Babington Hospital.

Alan Heardman [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Belper Mill by Alan Heardman

Unlike our current councillors, elected Liberal Democrat community representatives really will keep in touch regularly, and consult on major local issues.

“I promise to keep you informed.”

Adam Raphael