Cardiff’s Common Ground Alliance releases manifesto for May’s local elections
The Greens, Plaid Cymru and local activists in Cardiff have launched their joint ‘People’s Manifesto’ as the Common Ground Alliance for May’s local elections.
Describing the alliance as a “new dawn for Cardiff politics” they criticise the current Labour administration for presiding over inequalities in the city and say residents have been ignored as “countless controversial and damaging developments” have been given the green light.
The document pledges to make Cardiff “a green Capital City with functioning public services, supporting a thriving culture, communities and local economy, and planning the infrastructure it needs to be prepared for everything the future throws at it.”
Tessa Marshall, a campaigner with Save the Northern Meadows who will be standing in Whitchurch, says: “There is a huge amount of anger and frustration in the city and it’s so great to be able to turn some of that energy into something positive.”
“We hope the vision it represents of a democratic city – a city for communities, a city of culture, a city that cares – is one that will inspire beyond the election itself and sets the standard for how our wonderful city is governed into the future.”
Mike Deem, a Plaid Cymru member who will be standing in Radyr, added. “It has been really exciting and positive experience to work with the Green Party and community activists in bringing this campaign together, and on the doorstep we are now seeing that we’re tapping into a real desire on behalf of Cardiff residents to see change.
“I’ve never experienced such a positive response and it’s great to now launch the manifesto and share with the people the ambitious vision we have for the city.
“As with all our work, it’s been a real collective effort, listening to the ideas and hopes of experienced campaigners who are embedded in their communities. I think it’s fair to say that it truly is the People’s Manifesto.”
Key pledges in the manifesto include:
Create 20-minute communities, where everyone can access their local high street and amenities via a safe, clean 20-minute walk or cycle.
Make it an absolute priority that Cardiff finally gets a bus station which can connect people to all parts of the city and region.
Clean up public transport by transitioning buses to zero emissions by 2028.
Plan transport hubs to the north and east of the city that enable quick connections in, out, and across the city and work for local people.
Provide free public transport for under 18’s and those in full time education.
Develop a network of quality bike lanes.
Speed up the council house building programme, and commit to supporting the people on the council house waiting list and in council houses to have safe, secure, quality, homes.
Use extra revenue from taxes on second homes to invest in council housing, taxing second homes at the highest possible rate, committing to the new maximum premium of 300%.
Where practicable take long-term empty properties into council ownership.
Insulate homes properly and create new builds that are equipped with Solar PV systems and heat pumps instead of gas boilers as their heat source.
Recognise the private sector currently delivers most housing in this city, and build working relationships to ensure public needs are delivered from the start, clearly communicating to developers the requirements and standards on matters such as fire safety that we want for homes in Cardiff.
Involving communities from the point of pre-application, ensuring developments respond to local needs and wellbeing, with community groups and individuals involved at all stages.
Stopping the practice of developers paying for advice from Planning Officers who then recommend the granting of permissions. We’ll ensure the Planning Officers operate independently in preparing the planning report sent to the Planning Committees.
Protecting human health and wellbeing and caring for our environment by rejecting applications to build on open green and biodiverse areas, in line with the sustainable development principle of the Planning (Wales) Act 2016 and Planning Policy Wales.
Fostering a culture that is not permissive and instead interprets national policy frameworks in a manner that benefits residents not developers.
Holding a free and open vote amongst Council Members for an independent Chair of the Planning Committee, rather than one elected by the ruling party.
Recognise education is not just about tests; sporting, musical, artistic, and cultural opportunities have been curtailed and we will work with stakeholders, including teaching unions to develop a plan to deliver opportunities in these areas for our young people.
Work with regional consortia and national government to realise these aims.
Review the current schools decision-making process that sees many children making longer, expensive, and sometimes unsafe journeys across the city.
Develop a sustainable, environmentally friendly, and active school infrastructure; our 20 minute community plans apply to education and we will endeavour to provide education opportunities within active travel distances for most people.
Expand and improve access to the Welsh language, both amongst school children through a strategy for moving all schools and early years providers along the language continuum, and amongst marginalised groups in the community through adult classes.
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