A return of Brighton’s trams could be on the cards if the Liberal Democrats triumph at the upcoming local elections.

The party, which currently holds no seats on the council, and which has not held a single seat since 2011, is hoping its manifesto pledges will get its foot back in the door.

Some 30 candidates will run as candidates across all but two of Brighton and Hove’s 23 wards - more than ever before.

Ahead of the election on May 4, here are some of the key points the Lib Dems are promising.

Return of the trams

The city could see the return of its trams under the Lib Dems.

The party said it will research the introduction of a tram system along the seafront in a bid to tackle congestion.

Trams were in operation in Brighton and Hove between 1901 and 1939.

The Argus: A Brighton tram and trolley bus from 1939A Brighton tram and trolley bus from 1939 (Image: The Argus)

Seafront parking ban

Another scheme to “refresh” Brighton’s transport system would see an investigation into the creation of a new “cheap” car park under Brunswick lawns and Hove lawns.

A parking ban would then be imposed on the A259.

Crack down on crime

The Lib Dems say Brighton’s crime rate is 41 per cent higher than the rest of East Sussex and 24 per cent higher than the rest of England.

To tackle this the party wants to introduce regular surgeries with police and residents, as well as allowing residents to raise concerns at council committees.

Provide safe spaces for drug users

Proposals would see the introduction of a local “safe space” for drug users.

The Lib Dems also want to work with community groups, schools and the police to tackle the root causes of crime and drug abuse.

Building affordable homes

The Lib Dems would review all council owned land and exclusively build affordable housing on such land – subject to planning conditions.

Limiting short-let accommodation

Licenses on all short-let accommodation such as Airbnbs would be introduced and a limit on the number of licences within each ward of the city (except for individuals renting out rooms in their own house), with the proviso that the licence will be withdrawn in the event of antisocial behaviour.

The Argus: Brighton and Hove Liberal Democrats with party leader Ed DaveyBrighton and Hove Liberal Democrats with party leader Ed Davey (Image: The Liberal Democrats)


Supporting small businesses

A small business forum will be created to support small businesses.

The Lib Dems would also freeze business rates for businesses employing fewer than ten people.

Owners of vacant properties would be approached to make them available for business start ups and pop-up shops.

And business rates would be reduced for NHS dentists operating from council owned buildings.

Children’s health

More support would be made available to parents returning to the workplace as well as free school meal provision being expanded to cover all children whose parents receive Universal Credit.

To tackle air pollution around schools the party would pedestrianise areas around schools and fine motorists who do not turn off engines.

Selling off under-subscribed schools

The Lib Dems say more discussion needs to be had on the academisation of schools and said many are under-subscribed.

“Are schools considering academisation to avoid closure? Would any party be brave enough to close schools?” the party asked.

It suggests selling school sites and using the money raised from sales to improve other schools.

Improving waste management

The Lib Dems have hit out at the Greens for leaving the city’s pavements “unkempt”, “overgrown” and “filthy” and said there is rubbish “strewn all over the streets”.

Proposals would see recycling collections increased, introduce food waste collections, increase litter patrols and remove weeds which are trip hazards.