By Michael Prowse / Latest News / 0 Comments

Alan Baldock, Northgate councillor and Labour Group leader, launched the party’s manifesto for the Canterbury City Council elections this afternoon saying “it’s time for a change”.

He told Labour candidates and ward organisers gathered at the Thanington Resource Centre, that the vision was to put local communities first. Labour was not ashamed to promote civic pride and recognise the value of local people’s voice in decision-making. “This is a manifesto that faces head on the appalling housing crisis in this Council that rips hope and security from the lives of too many local families, it offers them change and a better future,” he said. “It recognises the responsibility of leadership that we have to deliver a green and safe legacy for future generations.” He pledged that any Labour-controlled council would operate within a “financially sound administration”.

To applause he added: “Every one of the 39 seats contested has a Labour candidate standing and 19 are women. This simple fact makes Labour wiser, stronger and more inclusive.”

Supporting the manifesto, Paul Todd, standing in the Wincheap ward, said: “The Labour Party is truly part of the communities in which we serve, this manifesto sticks up for Thanington, a place which is special but largely forgotten by our council.” His fellow candidate in the ward, Zoila Santos, said  “I meet people who don’t want have to leave their home to find work. Our manifesto helps secure local work and pay people a decent wage.”

One of the cornerstones of Labours vision for our district is the establishment of a five-year innovation and regeneration plan to invest in the knowledge economy and turn our high streets into the best commercial and  cultural centres in Kent.

Mel Dawkins, candidate for St Stephens, said the current council was “doing nothing to protect us from air pollution”.  Drivers at Canterbury’s level crossings needed to turn their engines off when waiting for trains to pass. “Its a simple message – but strong”, she said. In power Labour would start real-time air quality monitoring and aim
to get the district carbon neutral by 2030. This would hugely improve
public health and save many people from an early death.

Dave Wilson urged candidates and canvassers to spread the message that this Tory-controlled council was a disgrace. “They are hiding behind austerity which is their fault in the first place. We have to get the message across – it’s time for change.

“We can make an absolutely massive change to our city; we can make it more welcoming, more accommodating, more positive. The Tories manifesto is full of things they have failed to achieve over the last 12 years, we have a sensible, considerate plan for tax payers money.” Mr Baldock finished by saying our candidates were “united by a passion for change.”

“Our incredible team brings a very diverse set of skills and talents, they are young, old and in between,  – I am proud of every one of them.  They are determined to ensure Labour’s values will be woven into everything a future Canterbury City Council does. It is time for change.”

Download a copy of our manifesto here

By Anne Belworthy / Homes for EveryoneHousingLatest News / / 0 Comments

Whitstable tory councillor Neil Baker, used the pages of the Herne Bay Gazette to criticise Herne Bay Labour for not stating clearly that we would campaign nationally for rent controls on private houses and flats. This we clearly state now along with our plan to build 2000 new council homes over 10 years; to launch an ethical lettings agency; ensure 30% of new homes are affordable; and speed up repairs through a dedicated team across the district.


In Herne Bay we have a high level of privately rented poor housing; much of this is in Heron Ward which covers roughly the centre area of the town. This ward was deemed to be highly deprived by the previous NHS Health & Social Care committee following surveys carried out.  This has been confirmed by the Citizens Advice Bureau particularly because of the level of poor and disabled people.


This ward is represented on the District Council by three tory councillors; one of them is also a county councillor. Yet we hear nothing about this and during the present term of office they, along with the other five tory councillors in Herne Bay, have overseen the building of highly priced private houses across Herne Bay, and not one council house; agreed the closure of our City Council office and failed to support any campaign to keep the job centre here open. All policies that ignore the fact that there are nearly three thousand people on the district housing waiting list, and these closures, along with the proposed reduced hours of our library, affect the poorer people of Herne Bay considerably.


Whilst the conservatives are eager to criticise the local Labour Party for supporting our district manifesto containing a programme of fresh ideas to transform our town for the benefit of everyone;  and we have explained our policies in a series of leaflets delivered across Herne Bay, we have seen very little information from the local tories on their plans, except for their  support for the building of a new grammar school on the coast which will take £20 million of tax payers money, at a time when the majority of the schools our children attend  are seeing the biggest cuts to education carried out by this conservative government, since the second world war. They fail to explain that education is within the province of the County Council and not the district one, which is the election we are presently campaigning for. They have failed to stand up for Herne Bay and gone along with all the vanity projects in Canterbury that have wasted millions of pounds of our council tax payers money, and clearly nothing on their horizon for Herne Bay will change.

Our full Labour District Manifesto is available for viewing on