What your Liberal Democrat Council has done

Your Liberal Democrat Council has delivered a fairer, greener, and safer Richmond upon Thames. Read below for an extensive list of what we've done.

Local Lib Dem leadership through the pandemic

  • Kept our schools open for key workers and vulnerable families all through the pandemic, and ensured that all children had access to the IT they needed for home learning
  • Funded Free School Meals when the Conservative Government wouldn’t. Ensured that all pupils who needed them had holiday food vouchers.
  • Continued provision of a wide range of short break activities to support families whose children have special needs
  • Distributed £80m of Covid grant funding
  • Extra £150 in Council Tax support for the most hard-pressed
  • Maintained the weekly waste collection of household rubbish and recycling
  • Increased investment in Park Guard during difficult pandemic days to keep parks safer and reassure
  • Held virtual Community Conversation on policing and safety for Twickenham Green, Richmond Green and local areas across the borough
  • Provided £100k to help community groups to deliver activities and extend reach during the pandemic
  • Supported community centres to reopen in a covid secure way during the lockdowns
  • Setup the Community Hub to help those shielding and the most vulnerable at the beginning of the lockdown
  • Effective use of data analytics enabled the very swift roll out of support to the clinically vulnerable
  • Using the Reopening the High Streets Safely grant, established the major Shop Local Campaign to promote town centres across the Borough, with a Shop Local brochure delivered to 85,000 households across the borough.
  • Worked to ensure rough sleepers had a safe place to live during the pandemic
  • Kept, and continued to keep, residents informed through weekly Council Leader videos giving vital information relating to case numbers, vaccination numbers and other public health messages
  • Ensured supply of PPE to our care homes and front line staff was maintained and not impacted by national shortages
  • Worked with third party suppliers, including schools, to make PPE such as face shields for front line workers
  • Worked with our voluntary service partners to co-ordinate emergency food aid parcels to those most in need of support

 

A fairer borough for all

  • Signed up to the London Living Wage which applies to council staff and contractors
  • Removed the Conservative 15% Council Tax charge for the most hard-pressed
  • Collected Community Infrastructure Levy money from developers including millions the previous administration failed to collect.
  • Using council sites to deliver more affordable housing
  • Lobbied the Chancellor to permanently retain the Universal Credit uplift
  • Established Richmond Workmatch service to support borough residents into work, and to coordinate other skills and employment provision
  • Removed the Tory charge for storing personal belongings of those made homeless
  • Created an unprecedented pipeline of hundreds of affordable homes to be built within the next 7 years
  • Gave social housing residents a voice: 18-point Social Housing Resident Participation Charter; 3-monthly Social Housing Forum; Community Ambassador Scheme to help tenants and leaseholders make positive social and physical change to their communities; match-funding for estate improvement projects
  • Launched ‘Housing First’ to help rough sleepers get a home and maintain their tenancy with wraparound support
  • Worked with Citizens’ Advice to campaign against ‘No DSS’ discrimination from private landlords
  • Launched ‘Empty homes’ scheme to stop much-needed homes standing empty
  • Created ‘Downsizers’ Forum’ to support and help downsizers move
  • Appointed a disability adaptation expert to ensure quality and suitability of adaptations for all new affordable homes for disabled people
  • Worked with private sector landlords to provide homes for refugees including those fleeing Afghanistan
  • Established a new dementia friendly communities and Dementia Champions initiative, creating an inclusive borough for all those affected by dementia and supporting those with dementia and their carers
  • Ensured unpaid and informal carers are at the heart of our health and care plans, and represented on the Health & Wellbeing Board
  • Improved access to effective support for carers, ensuring they are recognised and valued and can access support when they need it.
  • Closed the gap between social care services and NHS services, particularly in better supporting discharge from hospital and community health services and rehabilitation at home
  • Co-produced a plan for seamless transition of young people with learning and complex disabilities from children’s services in to adult services and enhanced training and employment opportunities with council partners.
  • Established a disability action group on planning
  • Accessible health walks in parks
  • Invested in affordable housing in high profile new development
  • Removed the unfair Community Pavement Repair Fund, where those with the loudest voices got roads repaired.  We have invested more than any other Richmond council in history – in road and pavement repairs and have made sure roads are prioritised by need.
  • Simplified CPZ request rules, so that residents could determine whether to introduce controls.  Before, residents could be ‘out-voted’ by non-respondents.
  • Achieved significant additional funding from DfE to reduce deficit on high level SEND provision to support schools, parents and children.
  • Independent travel training to support school-leavers with learning needs to develop skills and confidence to get to their work or college placement
  • Over 93% families were offered secondary school places at one of their top three school choices
  • All children have a school place offered at the start of each Autumn term
  • Strong opposition to Brexit and supported our EU friends and neighbours to get their settled status sorted
  • Worked in partnership with Citizens’ Advice Richmond to provide regular information sessions to EU27 nationals seeking advice and support on Right to Remain and Settled Status
  • Introduced a Disability Champion

 

Liberal Democrats putting the environment at the heart of all that we do

  • Around £2m per annum being spent of climate strategy
  • Audit of energy efficiency of council buildings completed and upgrade work started
  • Hundreds of thousands saved in council energy bills after street light replacement
  • Made Ham Close regeneration possible with funding for major zero-carbon development
  • Worked with housing partners to ensure retrofitting works are undertaken to existing housing to comply with energy efficiency and zero-carbon targets whilst tackling fuel poverty
  • We have planted 800 trees and surveyed the borough for historic planting sites (long overdue)
  • Reduced chemical use
  • Prioritised biodiversity in parks
  • Increased number of green flags in our Parks including Heathfield Rec
  • We supported legal action against Conservative plans for Heathrow expansion
  • Revoked the previous Council’s widely derided Air Quality Action Plan and replaced it with a radical (and well supported) alternative.
  • Introduced fines for non-compliance with idling enforcement officer instructions
  • Deployed more EV charge points – making Richmond the Outer London Borough with the highest number of charge-points in London.
  • Rolled-out dozens of cycle hangars for residents in need of cycle storage, but without the indoor space for their bicycles
  • An environmental audit for school buildings
  • School meals contract provides funding for school kitchen gardens
  • Supported schools with borough-wide ‘no car days’ and ‘anti-idling’ campaigns to keep air clean in our communities

 

A safer borough for all

  • £100k to support and expand the Neighbourhood Watch Scheme and crime prevention
  • Worked with housing partners to ensure fire safety works undertaken in all tall buildings
  • Ensured Public Health and Environmental Health are a formal consultation partner in all non-domestic and large planning applications, championing health promotion and prevention, wellbeing and air quality initiatives
  • Introduced measures which has reduced the speed of vehicles in the borough. Making roads safer for all. Figures on speed reduction are available!
  • Introduced the borough’s first segregated cycle lanes (starting with Kew Road) – in last six months Kew Road has seen an increase in usage of 82% based on the weekly average of cycle users.
  • Undertook a programme of street light replacement that will see over 11,000 lamp posts upgraded to new LED technology.
  • Introduced the borough’s first School Street and making 12 such schemes permanent - to encourage active travel to school and to ensure child safety in the area around school sites.
  • Opened Hope House, a new Children’s Home in Teddington providing supported living for children in care in a family-style environment.
  • Provided top quality safeguarding training for teachers and governors
  • Provided training to schools in ‘attachment theory’, to help them support their vulnerable pupils with attachment needs
  • Oversaw the Richmond Adoption Service extend the number of families available to adopt by joining the new regionalised adoption service, Adopt London South
  • Oversaw the LA’s successful transition to becoming an Independent Fostering Association, maintaining a pattern of strong fostering families for our children
  • Considerable investment in schools for mental health support through the schools’ Trailblazer project
  • Increased opportunities for young people to access counselling through the Richmond Voluntary Fund
  • Adopted the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism
  • Adopted the all party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims definition of Islamophobia
  • Public Space Protection Order around the Rosslyn Road clinic
  • Introduced a borough-wide 20MPH limit
  • Approved new school streets to make our children safer on their journey to school and improve air quality near schools during drop off and pick up

 

Liberal Democrats delivering a better borough for all

  • Worked with residents, businesses and local amenity groups to create a new plan for Twickenham Riverside aimed at ending 40 years of dereliction and decay on this key riverside frontage
  • Strengthened our relationship with our Twinning Partners in Fontainebleau, Konstanz and Richmond, Virginia
  • Invested in new community playgrounds including brand new facilities on Sheen Common
  • Supported Park Lane Stables in their campaign to remain in Teddington
  • Worked with our MPs to help secure the £20m Special Education Needs and Disability funding shortfall
  • Richmond upon Thames Voluntary Fund introduced
  • Pedestrianised Church Street in Twickenham – with significant benefit to traders and the community at large.
  • Designated new Conservation Areas and new Buildings of Townscape Merit
  • Restored the Independent Review Panel for planning and design
  • Refurbished York House
  • Improved website
  • Digital Innovation and the introduction of a data analytics team
  • Enterprise and Business support, extended the Phoenix Enterprise programme being digital business learning courses and workshops for local businesses
  • Launched a ‘Business Hub’ on LBRUT’s website as a local gateway to business support and advice
  • Community Ambassador Scheme - supporting residents to improve where they live and create a community to be proud of
  • We’ve kept every library open and improved the online offer
  • Orleans House and the cultural offer
  • Stopped the dither and delay over the White Hart Lane Footbridge – investing the money for this project within days of taking office.
  • Supported residents during the closure of Hammersmith Bridge – providing emergency funding for towpath improvements and security.
  • Pioneered play streets (achieving the highest number of all London Borough’s in 2019).
  • 167 additional places for a range of special needs provided between 2018 and 2022 as mainstream additional resource provisions or at our special schools.
  • Celebrating the achievements of all our young people as our schools continue to provide top quality education, and through the success of programmes like the DofE Award Scheme and the Achievement Awards given by our Children in Care Council
  • Community Conversations have enabled thousands of people to have their say about their local area or big issues in the borough
  • Civic Ceremony for Holocaust memorial day
  • Introduced an armed forces champion and gave Freedom of the Borough to the Poppy Factory
  • Introduced the Local Area Fund to enable councillors to support ward initiatives from local people or groups
  • Plans for the reprovision of Elleray Hall Social Centre in Teddington
  • Secured funding for Richmond CVS, the organisation that supports our local voluntary sector, for another four years. Following Conservative attempts to break up and outsource the contract during the previous administration.
  • Established with my town shops an e-trading platform specifically designed for small businesses, with the service supported by 3 e cargo bikes

 

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