On Saturday March 6, Devon Labour members were joined by Ben Bradshaw MP and Shadow Minister for Mental Health Dr Rosena Allin-Khan MP in launching their 2021 Devon wide Manifesto ‘A Better Future For Devon.’
Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw opened the meeting congratulating Labour campaigners on their manifesto commenting, ‘it’s a really impressive piece of work… a radical, progressive document you should all be proud to stand on.’
Labour’s Councillor Rob Hannaford introduced the document which over 19 pages outlines Labour’s vision for Devon and priorities over the next four years. He said, ‘this Labour manifesto I think offers a better, fairer, intelligent and more compassionate way to go forward and is a focal point of hope.’
- Promote enterprise through investment, innovation, improving people’s skills, sustainable jobs and give priority to opportunities for young people and small businesses including cooperatives and other innovative models.
- Tackle the climate and ecological emergency by promoting environmentally sustainable practices and reducing carbon emissions towards a target of net zero by 2030.
- Improve Devon’s health and social care services by making sure people in Devon receive good quality integrated services at hospital and at home that address the long-term effects of Covid-19.
- Promote better Public Health solutions and funding to address health and wellbeing including mental health.
- Support nurseries, schools, colleges and universities so that all young people thrive, catch up on lost education as a result of Covid-19 and reach their full potential.
- Establish county wide fast broadband connection accessible to all.
The manifesto will be central to Labour winning gains across the 60 seats up for grabs in the May Devon County Council elections.
Guest speaker Dr Rosena Allin-Khan MP congratulated Devon for creating such a ‘bold’ manifesto and spoke about the need for more Labour representation in Devon. She said ‘with every single extra councillor we can gain, it’s an extra voice for all the people who are let down by the Government.’
Dr Finola O’Neil, from Labour North Devon, offered some reflections on the manifesto as well, offering a Devon perspective bringing in issues of public transport, social care and healthcare in Devon.
To close the event, Gareth Derrick, candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall launched his campaign. He pledged to ‘try and restore trust and confidence in the PCC role’ through the ‘personal integrity and leadership experience’ he brings to the role.