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