Walsall Liberal Democrats had another successful night in the Council Chamber yesterday, with all three of our motions (one an amendment to a Labour motion) winning a majority when it came to votes.
Our first motion noted the important work being undertaken by the Coalition Government on the empty homes problem, welcomed the introduction of the Empty Homes Fund and urged the investment of the remaining Government money available under the Empty Home Fund as a matter of priority. It also pointed out the important work being carried out locally by the LibDem/Tory Coalition on Walsall Council as a result of the Government initiatives. This motion was passed by 28 votes to 25.
Our second motion requested that the Chief Executive writes to the relevant Minister to welcome the Coalition Government’s investment of £9.4 billion to modernise our railways including the electrification of the Walsall to Trent Valley railway line which opens up the opportunity of direct links from Walsall to London and the North West as well as improving links to Birmingham. The modernisation will also re kindle the possibility of stations opening at Willenhall and Aldridge particularly when High Speed 2 gets the go ahead. This motion was passed by 28 votes to 25.
Our amendment to Labour’s motion resolved that Walsall Council inform both Eric Pickles and the Local Government Association of our opposition to the Housing Benefit changes and Council Tax benefit changes being introduced in recent legislation, and recognised the positive work being done by coalition partners and others on the Council to prevent unnecessary hardship caused by the legislation as much as possible. This amendment and the subsequent revised motion were both passed unanimously.
So forget about recent electoral results, Liberal Democrats are winning the battles that matter to the people of Walsall – improving transport, reducing the number of empty homes and sending a clear message to Mr Cameron of our objection to unfair benefit changes whilst doing our bit to protect people locally.