New Rotterdam coalition focuses on safety, greenery & housing; Only one woman in leadership role
The mayor and aldermen taking the helm at the Rotterdam city council will focus on the themes of safety, greenery, construction and beautification over the next four years. The new coalition of Leefbaar Rotterdam, VVD, D66 and Denk presented the plans for the upcoming city council term in an administrative package entitled "One City." It was crafted with the assistance of formation leader Wouter Koolmees, and it was released on Friday.
The four political parties want more safety on the streets, a tougher approach to traffic congestion, stricter handling of gun violence, and better protection for women and the LGBTQ+ community. The coalition also wants to take a tougher stance to the organizations trafficking drugs and the affiliated criminality. Improving safety in nightlife is also a high priority.
The Rotterdam streets must also become nicer with the deployment of more cleaning crews, and stricter action must be taken against polluters and those who place there garbage next to bins, particularly when the dumpsters are full. Twenty hectares of greenery in the city must be added, and an extra 100 million euros will be made available for green innovations. More car-free areas in neighborhoods around the center will provide more space for cyclists and pedestrians. Paid parking will be introduced in more places, and parking in the center will become more expensive.
Despite rising healthcare costs which force Rotterdam to make hard choices, the city's leadership does not want to lose sight of the human dimension. The care must be in line with the needs of the inhabitants of Rotterdam, and become more organized by and in neighborhoods, and more obtainable for the inhabitants of Rotterdam.
Although football club Feyenoord indicated in April that they cannot afford to build a new stadium for the time being, and that they no longer wish to pursue that project, the municipality is keeping all options open to build a new De Kuip stadium in the Feyenoord City urban project in the future. "But if Feyenoord still decides to develop a new stadium, we want to facilitate this spatially, with the condition that the stadium contributes to the socio-economic development of Zuid." As far as the council is concerned, the construction of thousands of homes in Rotterdam-Zuid is being sped up and the stadium must not stand in the way of the progress of housing construction.
Only one female alderman, Chantal Zeegers of D66, will have a seat in the group, which consists of Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb and the nine aldermen. Zeegers will be responsible for climate, construction and housing issues. With the composition of the group, Rotterdam differs somewhat sharply from Amsterdam. There, six of the nine aldermen are women.
As the largest party, Leefbaar Rotterdam will have three aldermen. The other coalition parties will each supply two aldermen. The coalition holds 25 of the 45 seats on the full city council in the city.
Robert Simons (port, economy, administration), Gerben Vreugdenhil (finance and major projects including Feyenoord-City) and Maarten Struijvenberg (healthcare) will represent Leefbaar Rotterdam. Current alderman Vincent Karremans is responsible for enforcement, outdoor space and mobility on behalf of the VVD. His party colleague Tim Versnel will receive the post of work and income, and also the development of the Rotterdam-Zuid region.
In addition to Zeegers, current alderman Said Kasmi will return to his post of education, culture and events on behalf of D66. Newcomer DENK, who will supply aldermen for the first time anywhere in the Netherlands, will see the portfolio of well-being, society and sport together held by party leader Faouzi Achbar. Issues related to poverty, debt relief and language will be handled by Enes Yigit.
Reporting by ANP