Labour launches manifesto of Cambridgeshire County Council election on May 6
The Labour group on Cambridgeshire County Council has launched its election manifesto, claiming they would reverse cuts made by the ruling Conservative group.
Included in the manifesto are commitments to make the county council net zero emissions by 2030, “overturn a decade of cuts at the frontline” of council services, and to establish free breakfast clubs at all schools “to ensure that all children receive at least one nutritious meal a day”.
The manifesto’s tag line is “one Cambridgeshire fair for all”.
The leader of the Labour group, councillor Elisa Meschini, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that her group accepts that reversing a decade of cuts will require additional funding from the government, but she claimed her group can “do a better job” of campaigning for “fairer funding” from the government than the current administration.
Coun Meschini said: “For too long, the Conservatives have taken Cambridgeshire for granted. They have stripped out preventive services, dressing up service cuts as ‘transforming lives’ and ‘building community resilience’.
“This has hit at the most disadvantaged and vulnerable in the County and increased demand for more expensive crisis-point care.
“I am excited to show the people of Cambridgeshire what a Labour county council could do for them. We will be there for them immediately, from day one, addressing inequalities in the Covid recovery process, and we will be there for them long term, reversing the trend of the last ten years where every year has brought more ‘efficiency savings’.
Also included in the Labour manifesto are plans to:
– Reduce poverty and inequality by “prioritising funding for the poorest areas”, and carry out a “social audit of all council spending, directing scarce resources to services for low income and struggling groups”
– Support the introduction of more Park and Ride sites and expand “travel hubs” across the county
– Expand the number of residents’ Parking Schemes across Cambridge city
– Pay all county council employees the “Real Living Wage” and reform the council’s agency policy to introduce the same requirement for contracted workers
– Continue the government’s one-off winter support fund into next year so families who qualify for free school meals are supported throughout the school holidays
– Raise the social care precept on council tax by two per cent
The group also said This Land, an arms-length development company wholly owned by the county council, has “failed to meet its forecast contribution in any of the last four years or to build a single ‘affordable’ house”.
The manifesto says Labour will “refocus” the company and “work with partners to establish integrated planning for major sites, enabling affordable housing, transport and infrastructure to protect local communities”.
In the 18-page manifesto, the Labour group has also pledged to improve bus services, deliver a “tailored local Covid recovering plan”, and to work with other authorities to deliver “low carbon infrastructure”.
The Labour group is currently the third largest party on the council, behind the Liberal Democrats and the ruling Conservative group.
On May 6 Cambridgeshire will elect all 61 of the councillors on Cambridgeshire County Council to serve for the next four years.
The county council takes the largest share of council tax each year, and is responsible for highways and footpaths, schools, libraries, adult and children’s social care, household waste disposal and other community services.
The Conservative group currently holds the majority on the county council and has done since 2017.
Of the 61 seats on the council, the Conservatives currently have 34 seats, the Liberal Democrats 16, Labour six, the St Neots Independent group two, and there are two independents and one vacant seat.