Liberal Democrat Manifesto - Ambitious for Bedford Borough

March 18, 2023 11:30 AM
Originally published by Dave Hodgson - Mayor of Bedford Borough

Manifesto 2023Since being elected to lead the Council, the Liberal Democrats have supported our most vulnerable residents, while investing in our Borough to make it more sustainable and improving opportunities for current and future generations.

The Council supports over 2,600 vulnerable adults and children every single day. We have done this while keeping Council Tax rises low - since 2009 we have had the 4th lowest percentage rise out of all unitary authorities.

This has been achieved in spite of consecutive Conservative governments cutting our funding from £30 million in 2016 to £7 million this year. The last few years in particular have been very difficult for all of us, as we have had to deal with the impacts of a global pandemic and the cost of living crisis.

I am incredibly proud of how the Borough has responded to these crises and how communities have come together to help one another. Despite the many challenges, throughout this period we have successfully protected key frontline council services and have delivered important projects for the residents of Bedford Borough:
- Built a 4.2 MW Solar Farm at the former Elstow landfill site
- Reduced the number of people sleeping rough to single figures by offering temporary accommodation
- Reduced the Council's carbon emissions by over 62% since 2009 and on track to achieve Net Zero by 2030
- Protected every village library, town library and the mobile library service
- Planted 30,000 trees in the last planting season
- Created and protected over 8,000 new jobs in the Borough
- Installed twice the regional average number of electric vehicle charging points
- Invested in accessible playgrounds, The Embankment and Riverside
- Amongst the first councils to set up the COVID Community Hub providing direct help to residents
- The fantastic return of the River Festival after 4 years
- Delivering Wixams Station

The Liberal Democrat Team will work to keep protecting and supporting people, especially the most vulnerable in our Borough

We will continue to tackle climate change and protect our local environment by investing in sustainable technology and reducing carbon emissions to achieve a Net Zero Carbon Council by 2030.

We will ensure that the Borough is a hive of opportunity for learning, skills development and business growth.

We will respect and celebrate our many different cultures and traditions.

We will stand up for Bedford in the face of government cuts to transport and health services.

We will lobby government to ensure that our current and future communities have the necessary infrastructure to allow them to thrive.

We will do all this by working hard for every resident in the Borough all year round.

You can read the full manifesto at