Lib Dems vow to put the heart back into Gloucester with manifesto launch

The Liberal Democrats have launched their local election campaign in Gloucester with a vow to end 20 years of Conservative rule in the city.

They are promising to improve core services, support the local economy, deliver more affordable housing and make Gloucester carbon neutral by 2030.  

The Lib Dem manifesto, Putting the heart back into Gloucester, makes a series of pledges to improve important local services should they take control of the city council.

Voters go to the polls on Thursday May 2with the opportunity to elect 39 councillors to represent 18 wards.

The Conservatives currently have 21 councillors, the Lib Dems are the official opposition on 14, the Labour Party has just two councillors and there are two independents.

Councillor Jeremy Hilton, leader of the Liberal Democrat city council group, said only the Lib Dems could realistically form an alternative administration to the Conservatives.

“After 20 long years it is quite clear that it is time for a change,” Councillor Hilton said.

“The Conservative administration is exhausted and leaderless. 

“Several senior Conservative councillors are standing down and others are doing the same. They know they have run out of ideas and public support.”

 The Conservatives have a poor record in Gloucester and in recent years presided over the Marketing Gloucester scandal, the cyber attack, the collapse of the Aspire Trust and there are fears of the true financial health of the council after failing to publish the audited accounts.

“Our streets, parks and opens spaces are unloved and scruffy,” Councillor Hilton said. 

“Council services have been cut to the bone that even simple jobs take too long to do or do not get done at all. No wonder the council has been described as the ‘vanishing council’.

“Our manifesto Putting the Heart back into Gloucester has the vision and policies to make Gloucester a much better place to live, work and study. It can be so much better than it is today.” 

Councillor Declan Wilson, deputy Liberal Democrat leader, added: “Getting Gloucester back on track after years of Conservative decline will be the biggest challenge the city has faced in our lifetime to ensure no one is left behind.

“We will work with the private sector, charities and community groups across Gloucester to boost regeneration, create jobs and transform services in the city.

“That starts by rebuilding council services after years of underfunding and poor management by the Conservatives.”

The manifesto can be downloaded here:

Progress on refuse collection at Earls Park

I’ve been pushing the developer Matthew Homes and the city and county council to come up with a solution to refuse collection problems in Millstone Way, Earls Park.

With the installation of new lockable bollards, refuse crews can access Millstone Way from Manu Marble Way, to collect refuse and recycling. I’ve also arranged for the blocks of flats at 33 and 46 Millstone Way to get recycling boxes etc.

I hope the new system will be operational soon, now that it has had the final sign-off from the council.

Any residents of Earls Park or wider Podsmead who have issues with their refuse and recycling collection can email me on

Joseph and his amazing fundraising achievement

It was great to be able to introduce young Podsmead resident Joseph to the Mayor of Gloucester Kathy Williams.

Joseph is fundraising for the National Deaf Association by running the mini London marathon in April. He lives with hearing issues so this is a cause close to his heart.

I arranged for Joseph, his sister Elsie and his parents to come up to the civic suite and meet the Mayor and Sheriff before council last week. The Sheriff also was kind enough to show the family the civic suite.

Joseph has already more than doubled his fundraising target of £500, raising a whopping £1108 as I write.

You can support Joseph via the link here.

What a star! ⭐️

Podsmead fun day

I popped along to the Podsmead fun day this week. It was brilliant to catch up with Linda and Nicola from the charity Read with Me, who we’ve helped since their foundation.

Read with Me said this:

Out in the sunshine at Podsmead Not So Secret Book Club today with our wonderful volunteer, Nicola, and Podsmead Councillor Sebastian Field, our champion and supporter since we began four years ago!💛 Thanks to everyone at The Venture: White City for the marvellous food!🍽

Thank you Tesco!

Tesco Quedgeley do great work in the community by donating food and domestic goods to local charities and groups.

I asked Theresa Fisher if Tesco could help the Poets Pantry with some supplies, to replenish their store cupboards.

She came back with all this – what a star! 🌟

This donation will really help families in Podsmead.

Thanks to Incito McDonald’s for support

It was great to welcome Amanda Toner and Marketa Murgasova of Incito McDonald’s to the Poets Pantry in Halford House, Podsmead.

They were dropping off a donation of Easter eggs for distribution to food club customers, as well as some much-needed supplies of pasta and tinned goods to help restock the cupboards. They got to see the Pantry in operation and learn more about how it works.

The food club at the Pantry is an excellent local service helping Podsmead residents to eat well and using a previously disused space on the ground floor of Halford House, and run by volunteers on behalf of the community.

Many thanks to Incito McDonald’s for another example of their generosity to the Podsmead community they serve.

If would like to help the Pantry please get in touch. They always welcome financial donations and in terms of food donations tinned goods, pasta and rice are most useful.

From left to right Marketa Murgasova (Incito), Terry Hook (Podsmead resident and volunteer at Poets Pantry), Sebastian Field (Podsmead councillor), Amanda Toner (Incito).

Fly-tipped sofa on Podsmead Road

I was surprised to see a two-seated sofa had been fly-tipped by the bus shelter on Podsmead Road. I immediately reported it to the council for collection, and to the police for their information. Fly-tipping is a crime which can come with a hefty fine if you are caught. It costs the council money to respond to fly-tipping and it is a blight on our city.

Let me know about the poor condition roads and pavements in Podsmead

The Liberal Democrat group are proposing a motion at Gloucester City Council next week, on the state of the roads in our city. I am aware of many poor road surfaces and pavements in our area that the Conservative administration at Shire Hall have failed to deal with. I also want residents to let me know their experiences and I will push for all the problems to be dealt with.

The motion text reads:

‘This council expresses deep concern about the state of many roads and footways in the city of Gloucester. They are riddled with potholes or crumbling to bits.

This council notes that Conservative run Gloucestershire County Council is responsible for the maintenance of the highway network in Gloucester.

This council agrees that it should lobby robustly Gloucestershire County Council to improve the condition of Gloucester’s roads and footways to a level acceptable to this council and the residents of this historic city.’

You can let me know via the usual methods below: