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Archive - Friday, 28 May 2004
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Political groups set out their priorities
LIBERAL Democrat group leader Brendan Jameson said that their main policy was to "axe the tax", and to replace Council Tax with a local Council Tax which would be much fairer, particularly for people living on a low income in a high-value house.
They also wanted to retain the money raised from the increased Council Tax on second homes for housing, particularly in areas where there was little opportunity for people to buy homes.
The Lib Dems would also "examine every opportunity" to encourage businesses to relocate to the area.
Colin Hodgson, who heads up the Conservative group, said that their campaign supported the upgrade of the Furness line and the A590 bypass.
On environmental issues, they wanted to see improved street cleaning and footway maintenance, and wanted adequate access and parking facilities in the area of the new primary care resource centre at Ulverston.
The local economy was still of concern and, in the wake of job losses, they would do everything they could to lobby outside bodies for grants and support. Upgrading parks, play areas and leisure facilities was also on their agenda.
Phil Lister, the leader of the Labour group, said they wanted to establish housing available at fair rents and affordable prices, because much of the district was closed off to first time buyers.
The group was interested in a fair and affordable Council Tax, and wanted to ensure that people appreciated that SLDC's contribution to the tax was by far the lowest of the three organisations that charged a precept. They would lobby Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott for an urgent reform of the Council Tax system.
Labour also wanted more facilities for young people, and to ensure there were proper jobs coming into the district, particularly as many had been lost in Ulverston and Barrow.
Former Ulverston Victoria High School pupil Karen Stack is standing for the Green Party in Ulverston North. A self-employed dance teacher and body worker, and a Green Party member for 15 years, she joined after completing a degree in environmental studies and biology.
She would like SLDC to have a zero waste strategy like New Zealand, Western Australia and California, where they are all planning to landfill or incinerate nothing by 2020, but reuse, recycle or compost everything. She also supported a ban on water fluoridation, plus an education-based strategy for reducing tooth decay, and a GM-free South Lakeland and local procurement wherever possible.
Ted Walsh, who is standing as an Independent in Staveley-in-Cartmel ward, said by keeping his view independent, rather than tied into a party, he would be able to give the best back to people, and be able to focus on issues like planning, roads and services.
His views were orientated towards benefiting local people and businesses, he said, and promoting tourism and farming. The businessman said he was concerned about traffic in Kendal.
David Foot is an Independent candidate in Low Furness and Swarthmoor. The sitting councillor said he was standing on his record of getting things done for local people and the parish councils.
He wanted to continue to make an active contribution to the review and scrutiny of council services, and to show that to be an effective councillor it was not necessary to be a member of a political party. It was important to make the improvements highlighted by the Audit Commission inspection last year.
Alan Beach, who is standing for the United Kingdom Independence Party in Ulverston Town, was born on Walney and moved to Ulverston almost 30 years ago. He has previously been a director of Renaissance Theatre Trust and was involved with Ulverston Carnival for many years.
Although he is standing for an anti-European Party, he is contesting the election on local issues, including expanding Ulverston's festival calendar; the need to attract industry into the town to provide good jobs; campaigning to restore free car parking in Ulverston, and for a road link across Morecambe Bay.