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Cardiff Council Election 2022: Our Response to the Conservative Party’s Manifesto
<< Back Posted on 28th April 2022
Blog

By Emily Cotterill

Head of Projects and Engagement

Cardiff Council Election 2022: Our Response to the Conservative Party’s Manifesto

Today, we’re looking at how the Welsh Conservatives manifesto for Cardiff stacks up against our ambition for a city that prioritises setting, culture, and transport. We’ve read through their manifesto and picked out some pertinent points for discussion:

  • We will look to enhance local distinctiveness, including shop frontages, pavements, and other improvements to the public realm.

This is key to all of our conversations about the public realm, make it clear that Cardiff is Cardiff. We’d be interested to see what this means to the Tories? For us its Welsh architectural styles, sustainable urban drainage, Welsh language, and cultural markers – it is not, and we cannot state this clearly enough, dragons and leeks.

  • Review and improve the noise pollution service, by increasing the capacity to handle complaints, and improve the weekend service currently on offer.

We’d be interested to know about these suggested improvements – we’re all for efficient and well-run council services but there’s an implication here that this could be bad news for the night time economy and live music venues in particular. Our nightlife is part of what makes Cardiff Cardiff and, in the city centre at least, you’ve got to expect some noise!

  • Seamless ticket integration between buses.. rail and OVO bikes.

Short answer, yes please. Long answer: we think this is a key issue for transport in the city and mentioned it in our own city centre manifesto document – of course the reality of delivering this will be hugely complex, we would be very interested to read any further thoughts on this approach.

  • Improve secure cycle storage (including cargo cycle) facilities across Cardiff’s district and local centres.

Yes! An absolutely vital intervention for the next council term to nail down and we particularly like the specific reference to cargo bikes. It would be good to know for sure whether the city centre falls under the heading of districts centres, we believe it does due to the increasing density of residents in the area, but it’s still a grey area.

  • Save our heritage buildings…using public and private investment so that they become useful assets for Cardiff.

Cardiff’s heritage buildings are a key part of the fabric of the city, and we totally agree that they should be protected and properly looked after. Our manifesto asks the next council to commit to maintaining the castle grounds as a public park. ‘Useful assets’ is a confusing phrase though, if turning them into money making assets which disrupt interventions such as keeping the castle as a public park that would be a shame for the city centre.

  • Lobby Welsh Government to reduce the burden of business rates on Cardiff’s businesses and increase the proportion of the rates retained in Cardiff to help improve the city.

As we said with Common Ground, we recognise that business rates are a key issue for all city and town centre businesses. We’d like to see this regressive tax rebalanced to no longer punish the high street – Conservatives in Westminster have tinkered around the edges of this issue in the past, we’d like to see real progress no matter the party in power.

  • Re-establish Cardiff as an attractive holiday destination, showcasing all the city has to offer. We would work with the tourism professionals to help promote our hotels, businesses, and attractions to increase the average length of a stay in the city.

Increasing the length of visitor’s stay is a key issue for the city’s tourist industry and it plays into our three main themes, tourists want a good setting, great transport links, and engaging local culture. The ‘showcasing all the city has to offer’ approach is positive, but we’d suggest it should come along with enabling the city to increase what it does have to offer.

Setting ✔️

Culture ? Whilst the Conservatives frame a section of their manifesto around culture the focus seems to be entirely on architecture

Transport ✔️ There’s good stuff in here about seamless ticketing, bike storage etc. would be good to see how it could come to fruition

You can read the full Conservative manifesto here.

FOR Cardiff’s manifesto for the city centre is available to read here.

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