Introduction

We are all proud to call our own part of Horsham District home. We are often the envy of the country – prosperous towns and villages in a beautiful Sussex setting.

But over the past 24 years the Conservative run Council has under invested in growth, public services and infrastructure. Our aspiration for what could have been has been slowly stifled.

Horsham Liberal Democrats believe better is possible.

As our numbers in opposition have grown, the Liberal Democrats have worked hard for residents across the district:

  • We have provided a stronger response to the Cost of Living Crisis, with more support for those most in need in spite of Tory resistance;
  • We have protected treasured assets and green spaces such as the Drill Hall and Rookwood from Conservative plots;
  • We have secured commitments to more genuinely Affordable Housing in any new developments, which the Conservatives are now desperately trying to row back on; and
  • We have increased public and community involvement in our response to climate change, even though the Conservatives are still not prepared to go far enough.

All this and more has been achieved from opposition.

Imagine how much more the Lib Dems can do if we wrest control of the Council from the Tories.

This May we all have a chance for a fresh start – a chance to leverage new opportunities and implement new ideas, as we tackle the many challenges our communities face.  As a Liberal Democrat-led Council, we would push the boundaries of how and what our local authority can provide for you. 

Believe in better for your District.
Vote for Better.
Vote Liberal Democrat.

Manifesto themes

  • The cost of living crisis is still the number one issue affecting many of our residents. We want to:

    • Provide additional Council Tax relief for the most vulnerable
    • Extend funding to organisations supporting residents through the cost of living crisis
    • Connect volunteer helpers to local organisations
    • Provide community drop-in advice sessions
  • The Climate Change Emergency needs real action from Horsham District Council at a community level:

    • Tough but achievable carbon reduction targets
    • Stop sewage dumping in our waterways and hold water companies to account
    • Support nature networks across our district and embed the importance of biodiversity in the planning framework
    • Green hubs and approved supplier networks to share practical solutions with residents and businesses
    • Higher environmental standards for new building
    • Reducing and collecting food waste to achieve the next big jump in recycling rates
    • Cut food mileage with ‘grow local, eat local’ and more allotments
    • Create a Horsham Recycling App for always up-to-date advice
    • Help for residents to plant trees in roadside verges
    • More dog bins!
  • After 4 years of internal bickering, the Conservatives have failed to pass a Local Plan. This leaves us at constant risk of unrestricted development in the wrong places. We aim to:

    • Provide infrastructure before the houses - schools, clinics and community services
    • Build more affordable homes and fewer executive mansions
    • Treat Neighbourhood Plans with more respect
    • Insist on net zero and sustainable building
    • Ensure green gaps between settlements are maintained
    • Secure land for community premises in new estates (e.g. halls; scout/guide huts)
    • Improve our green spaces (e.g. a new hard surface track for Horsham Park Run; upgraded walkways)
  • Medical and social services have not kept pace with development and population growth. We aim to:

    • Provide health infrastructure before development
    • Expand Wellbeing services, including mobile services in rural communities (Wellbeing on Wheels)
    • Support mental health and combat loneliness
    • Hold local Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) to account over standards
    • Promote and prioritise active travel
  • Residents everywhere are frustrated with their lack of control over local roads and especially with speeding traffic, rat-running and air quality. We aim to:

    • Empower parishes to decide road maintenance priorities
    • Provide proper cycle lanes, safe enough for children to use
    • Work with the County and Parish Councils to enable neighbourhoods to set local speed limits (e.g. Quiet Lanes, 20 is Plenty)
    • Prioritise people over cars, supporting initiatives such as School Streets and Gear Change
    • Create new mobility networks – dropped kerb routes for mobility vehicles
    • Ensure walker-friendly pavements and country paths
    • Secure a Downs Link bridge over the A281
  • We will address real need by tackling the housing register and providing homes that local families and workers can actually afford. We want to:

    • Build more social housing
    • Reserve homes for locals and key workers
    • Help finance affordable housing deposits
    • See more houses retrofitted with better insultation, cutting heating costs
    • Change the rules to allow 100% affordable housing on public land
    • Explore new housing lifestyles and offerings such as Solohaus and Co-living
  • We want the best for our children and young people. We want to ensure they grow up in a safe and active community, full of opportunities to enjoy everything our district can offer. We aim to:

    • Expand the Community Safety programmes and the Neighbourhood Warden service to divert young people away from future criminal behaviour
    • Invest in girls’ sport
    • Improve access to sports for disadvantaged kids
    • Support post-16 sport when many teams fall away
    • Set up a district skateboard competition
    • Find support for smaller clubs which currently slip under the radar
    • Improve access to affordable childcare
  • Local business is the backbone of our community. To keep our businesses and high streets thriving, especially in rural areas, we aim to:

    • Fast-track new businesses with start-up packages and pop-up shops
    • Support flexible workers with hot-desking and meeting facilities
    • Grow our successful community of brewers, distillers, vineyards & wineries
    • Promote Horsham District as a destination for food and drink tourism
    • Grow Horsham Market and look for opportunities to create a covered market
    • Support local artisans and crafts
    • Partner with the Horsham Business Initiative to help deliver Horsham’s first Business Improvement District
    • Improve digital access in rural areas
  • We passionately believe in transparent, open and honest democracy. We aim to:

    • Provide a People’s Budget – a special fund which residents can choose how to spend by voting every year
    • Protect and enhance community spaces and facilities
    • Look again at governance arrangements in Horsham Town, ensuring local voices are heard and Town residents don’t lose out
    • Partner with Parish Councils to deliver the services and facilities residents want

Our plan for a
fair deal.

Read our plan View