People feel that local government is hobbled by central control and that they have no effective means of making known their concerns and priorities. It’s no wonder they feel frustrated and angry at the system.

This anger found its most recent expression in the result of the EU referendum, but ironically this was as much a verdict on the performance of British political institutions as European ones. The Conservatives’ proposed Great Repeal Bill threatens to centralise power even more.

We believe in a United Kingdom where people have power over their own lives and how their country is run. To make this happen we need to revitalise our political system – strengthen devolution, make the argument that we are stronger together than we are apart, and increase trust in our institutions.

Local groups working together

Liberal Democrats believe in community politics – in the power of local people to come together to solve their own problems and make a better life for their neighbourhoods. This means rejuvenating democratic local government in England and also supporting other forms of community organisation and empowerment.

Supporting families & communities

A fair society is one in which everyone has the means to get by and the chance to get on. It means being able to provide for your family, afford somewhere to live and work within your community. That’s why we will increase the availability of childcare to help parents who want to work and why we will ensure that the benefits system is fair – focusing on helping people and not just saving money. It’s why we will work to build more houses and make them affordable. And it’s why we will empower local councils and communities to run their own services – free from the interference of central government.

Access to culture and sport

Arts, media and sports are essential for personal fulfilment and quality of life – they are part of what turns a group of people into a community. Funding for these organisations is put at risk with Brexit and the Liberal Democrats will ensure that we continue to invest in our cultural capital

Better politics

Unfair votes, overcentralisation of decision-making, the power of patronage and the influence of powerful corporate lobbies mean ordinary citizens and local communities are too often excluded and left alienated by politics today. We need to reform British politics to make it more representative and more empowering of our citizens so it earns greater public confidence.

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