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Cardiff Council Election 2022: Our Response to the Welsh Liberal Democrats’ Manifesto
<< Back Posted on 3rd May 2022

By Emily Cotterill

Head of Projects and Engagement

Cardiff Council Election 2022: Our Response to the Welsh Liberal Democrats’ Manifesto

The final part of our local manifesto review series focuses on the Liberal Democrats plans for the city centre.

  • Clean up our dirty streets… invest in more street sweepers

It’s not immediately clear if this relates to the city centre or elsewhere but getting the basics right is key – FOR Cardiff provides extra street cleansing above what the council offer but we would love to be working from a higher baseline!

  • Build the new bus station and review bus fares including piloting free bus travel

Build the new bus station is pretty much a given for any new administration given how far along construction is but the free bus travel suggestion is interesting. Clarification on who this free bus travel could be for, young people, city centre workers, people on low incomes etc. would be useful as this would require even more funding provision that Labour’s £1 bus fare experimentation – it’s a worthy ambition but with no further detail it’s hard to comment much further.

  • We will roll out a new programme of highway repairs and resurfacing to fix our crumbling roads, pavements and footpaths

Again this may or may not mean the city centre but it certainly should – in our manifesto we draw attention to Queen Street in particular. Shoddy paving quality is unattractive and creates significant accessibility issues for disabled people and anyone trying to navigate with a pushchair!

  • We will work with landlords to help new businesses set up in vacant units

A positive approach, and one that will need to become more innovative and flexible as the city centre continues its transition away from retail dominance. We’ve done work on vacant sites and meanwhile uses before and we’d like to see this project focus on long term sustainable uses for sites as well as potential short term pop ups.

  • Establish a tourism information office in the city centre, and support the establishment of music venues in the city centre such as Womanby Street

There’s a Visitor Information Point within Cardiff Castle but we agree that the city centre could benefit from a more obvious tourist hub.

We love music venues and we would love to see more in the city centre, alongside the necessary support for our existing cultural infrastructure of course. Can we please discuss somewhere other than Womanby Street though?!

  • We will protect Cardiff’s heritage and community facilities and listen to organisations such as the Cardiff Civic Society and wider society to develop planning policies that encourage high quality buildings in keeping with our history.

Cardiff’s heritage is clearly a vital part of the make up of the city and we agree that there are parts of the city that need protection. We’d love to see more specifics around what this protection might look like or which assets the Lib Dems particularly value though.

In relation to community facilities this is a key moment to point out again that we view the city centre as a district as well as a regional hub and we advocate for the maintenance of community facilities in the city centre and suggest that the city centre should be a key site for future public sector facilities.

  • We will review planning policy with a view to protecting long-standing music venues even when flats or hotels are granted planning permission nearby.

Great stuff. There’s clearly some playing politics here as the Lib Dems probably don’t want to name the Labour led Agent of Change principle but we suspect this is what they mean. When venues were there first venues deserve to stay there.

Setting ✓

Culture ✓

Transport ✓

You can read the full manifesto here.