Alan Baldock, Leader of Labour Group

It’s time for change

NEARLY two years ago, the voters of North Kent made history by electing the area’s first Labour MP. Out went the tired old Tory and in came Rosie Duffield, a vibrant, energetic breath of fresh air in the dusty corridors of Westminster.

Now you have the chance to make history again. On May 2, you have the power to change radically, for the better, the way that Canterbury District is run.

You will have read about, and seen for yourselves, the shambles of Serco, the horrors blighting so much of our housing and shameful chaos of a £9 million car park, which most residents just do not want or support. These are just a few of the issues that the Conservatives have failed on. There are many more. It’s time for change.

In this manifesto Labour sets out plans to build a dynamic locally-based economy that will transform the area.  All we need from you is your support.

A different type of council

CIVIC ENGAGEMENT AND PRIDE – we will build a model local authority that encourages every resident to take pride in shaping civic society. We will build on imaginative initiatives in other councils that have proved successful in serving the needs of their communities. 

 WE ARE LISTENING – your voice will count as we create a compassionate, listening and responsive council which puts genuine consultation with all residents at the heart of policy and decision-making.

 FINANCIALLY SOUND – sound financial governance will be at the core of our operations. A Labour-led council will be robust, solvent and dynamic, committed to developing the local economy and creating community wealth.

 GREEN AND SAFE LEGACY – Our council will takes responsibility for our unique heritage, our environment, our impact and our future. 

 HOMES AND TRANSPORT FIT FOR YOUR FUTURE – we will invest in local housing stock, infrastructure and transport, balancing environmental objectives with immediate and long-term local needs. 

Our Pledges

A Labour council will create at least 2,000 affordable, new council homes in 10 years (10% of which will be fully accessible) and plan for residents’ housing needs

WE WILL 

  • Slash the housing waiting list by acquiring or building at least 2,000 quality council homes using local firms and tradespeople.
  • Appoint a dedicated council Repairs Officer and helpline to properly manage maintenance and deal directly with tenants’ problems.
  • Create a Landlords’ Register and start an ethical letting agency with a commitment to fair rents and guaranteed protection for vulnerable tenants. We will campaign nationally for rent controls.
  • Support an all-year-round street homeless hostel in Canterbury.
  • Crack down on developers to make them deliver at least 30 per cent affordable homes on new projects and ensure that the developer contribution is spent for the benefit of the community.

A Labour council will work with the public sector and local businesses to create local jobs, tackle inequality, generate wealth for the community and keep it circulating locally

WE WILL

  • Shift all CCC procurement of goods, services and materials to local suppliers, businesses and tradespeople wherever possible and encourage our largest local employers, including the NHS and the universities, to do the same.
  • Start a community energy scheme to reduce fuel poverty and generate savings for all.
  • Bring in the real living wage, end zero hours’ contracts and eliminate the gender pay gap directly through CCC employment, procurement and our business development role.
  • Develop a five-year innovation and regeneration plan to invest in the knowledge economy by developing themed business parks around our universities and regenerate our high streets to become the best commercial and cultural centres in Kent.
  • Seek to introduce a tourist tax and use the money initially to ensure there is free wi-fi in our town centres.

A Labour Council will put sustainability and the protection of our environment at the heart of all our work

WE WILL

  • Start real-time air quality monitoring, including particulates, and regularly inform the public of progress towards cleaner air.
  • Consult with communities on creating free-flowing urban traffic, congestion zones and car free areas to reduce pollution.
  • Lead consultation on 20 mph zones near schools and in densely populated areas and work with headteachers, parents and local residents to encourage car-free alternatives to the school run.
  • Establish a climate change board aiming for the district to become carbon neutral by 2030, starting by ensuring CCC’s vehicle fleet evolves quickly to use the lowest emission vehicles possible.
  • Rigorously enforce the laws around litter and dog fouling and provide on-street recycling bins.

A Labour Council will bring CCC’s public services back into the control of the local community

 

WE WILL

  • Bin SERCO and end outsourcing, setting up a new waste collection and grounds maintenance contract, both due for renewal in 2021.
  • Demand changes to East Kent Housing, and review whether arm’s-length organisations such as this can deliver the accountability and service standards to which our council tenants are entitled.
  • Fight for our local hospitals, including at least one with an accident and emergency centre, and demand a wide range of outpatient clinics and services in the district. We will work with our partners and residents to campaign nationally to protect our local NHS.
  • Bring council services back into Whitstable, Herne Bay and our rural communities by creating a series of accessible hubs or mobile services to provide “one-stop shops” for council advice.
  • Campaign to reverse austerity by actively lobbying government to restore proper funding of local government so we can deliver essential services, alleviate inequality and end poverty.

A Labour council will work with our communities to map local transport needs now and plan how to provide a transport system that works, and is accessible to all, for the short and long term

WE WILL

  • Start trials of affordable and accessible “hopper bus” services linking Canterbury East and Canterbury West stations via the city centre and St Dunstans within one year.
  • Immediately work with KCC to draw-up a hub-based, integrated transport system for the district to include a publicly-owned bus system at the service of all residents.
  • Do everything in our legal power to cancel the unnecessary Station Road West multi-story car park project and earmark its £9 million budget for future transport integration projects.
  • Complete and promote walking and cycling routes across the city, interlinking them with established long-distance cycle paths to London, Dover and Whitstable.
  • Take full advantage of government grants and other funding to maximise the number of electric vehicle charging points across the district.