Our Local Manifesto From May 2019 Local Elections

INTRODUCTION: After many years of Conservative & Liberal Democratic led austerity, the Labour Party in Teignbridge offers a plan to improve the lives of local people through a programme that will deliver for every resident. Austerity has had a devastating effect on local services. Labour Councillors will highlight the effects of the cuts and will work to increase transparency and accountability at all levels of local government.

In the May 2019 elections we have the opportunity to break the stranglehold of Conservative & Liberal Democrat dogma and offer a programme that, through simple cost effective changes, can effect a real and lasting change to the way in which we manage our local services.

The Labour Party offers a new way of approaching the issues of: Housing and Town Planning, Education, Health and Wellbeing, Employment and Business, Youth and Community Services, Poverty and Benefits, and the Environment, Crime and Policing.

HOUSING For too long housing policy has not been based on the best interests of the towns and villages of Teignbridge. The needs of developers appear to have taken precedence over what residents want and need. Building developments feign ‘Affordable housing’, but it is anything but affordable to  local people. There is little or no new social housing or affordable rental property. 

Your Labour Councillors will work to achieve the following:

  • To double the Council Tax on Second Homes to help fund affordable housing.
  • To actively support the building of Local Authority homes to rent. 
  • To increase the proportion of social housing in new planning applications. 
  • To improve provision of supported housing for those in need  
  • To support applications of housing developments that include genuinely affordable homes, particularly on brownfield sites. 
  • To oppose unsustainable developments that are not in the best interest of residents

EDUCATION Our local schools are desperately underfunded. Each school in Teignbridge receives nearly £300 per pupil per year less than the national average. The Labour Government has pledged to bring funding for Devon up to at least the national average. Your Labour councillors will lobby Devon County Council to improve the funding to our schools and will highlight the shortcomings and costs of the Conservative underfunding of education. Your Labour Councillors will lobby to:

  • Increase school funding in our schools to at least the national average
  • Return Academies to Local Authority Control 
  • Review the Reduction in School Crossing Patrols and work to reinstate them where there is a local demand

The NHS and Social Care are in crisis across Teignbridge, with severe underfunding and failing care services through privatisation. The District, Town, and Parish Councils must speak up for local residents and challenge the plans of the Clinical Commissioning Group. The Council must not allow the closing of our local hospitals and their services. It must speak out for the residents of Teignbridge, whose views have been clearly shown – they wish to keep their hospital and its services.

Your Labour Councillors will campaign to:

  • Continue to fight to retain Teignmouth Hospital and re-instate the rehabilitation beds
  • Oppose the closure of the services currently offered by Teignmouth, Dawlish or Newton Abbot Hospitals
  • Support the creation of a GP hub in Teignmouth as part of the Brunswick Area Redevelopment
  • Bring back outsourced care provision to Local Authority Control 
  • Oppose further privatisation of Care Services 
  • Actively oppose the closure of Children’s Centres and support their expansion
  • Improve Mental Health Services across Teignbridge 
  • Support the introduction of befriending services for isolated adults

EMPLOYMENT & BUSINESS To successful provide employment for all our residents, our District Council, and Town Councils need to ensure that there is a vibrant business sector that will provide opportunities for all our residents, especially the young. Labour Councillors will take a fresh look at the Town Plans and support sustainable business opportunities.

Your Labour Councillors will: 

  • Support Actions to review Business Rates 
  • Use local residents and businesses rather than consultants in developing our Town Plans 
  • Develop a strategy to reduce the number of empty shops in our towns 
  • Support the creation of more start up-units for small businesses 
  • Bring Council Services back into Council Control

YOUTH & COMMUNITY SERVICES The services for our residents, especially our youth, have been devastated under Conservative austerity. Labour Councillors will reject any further cuts to Youth and Community Services and will campaign to improve the opportunities for young people to achieve their full potential.

Your Labour Councillors will: 

  • Support voluntary organisations with the setting up of Youth Clubs across Teignbridge 
  • Reject any further cuts to Library Funding

POVERTY & BENEFITS The rollout of Universal Credit across Teignbridge is having a significant impact on the poorest and most vulnerable in our society even at local level. Tenants are at increased risk of running into rent arrears and eviction. The number of children dependant on foodbanks is already rising fast, as will homelessness as the impact of the changes to benefits bite.

Your Labour Councillors will: 

  • Monitor the rollout of Universal Credit, lobby to abolish it, and work to support tenants from getting into arrears. 
  • Work with voluntary groups to identify issues and highlight them to officers. 
  • Encourage the setting up of Credit Unions, and fight against high interest loans. 
  • Fight against pensioner poverty

TRANSPORT Local transport services need to be reviewed to assess whether they are genuinely meeting the needs of the residents who use the services. Labour Councillors will consult with all interested parties to review current bus provision and provide a report on future needs. They will lobby Devon County Council to implement changes that are needed. It is vitally important to the residents and businesses of Teignbridge that the rail link between Exeter and Plymouth, through Dawlish, remains open and is protected for the foreseeable future. Labour councillors will hold to account all the stakeholders, to ensure that this is the case.

Your Labour Councillors will: 

  • Work with local residents to suggest improvements to local bus and train services.
  • Campaign to maintain the railway line from Exeter to Plymouth through Dawlish

THE ENVIRONMENT All levels of Government, both local and national, need to urgently address the dangers to our environment. There are many small steps we can take to improve where we live and Labour Councillors will take into consideration the environmental impact of all the decisions that they make.

Your Labour Councillors will: 

  • Support actions to improve air quality 
  • Campaign for a more proactive approach to Air Quality Management Areas 
  • Support actions to reduce plastic waste
  • Assess the viability of Park & Ride Schemes in all our towns 
  • Promote ‘Park & Walk’ Schemes to reduce congestion and pollution around schools 
  • Finance ‘Walking Bus’ Schemes for Local Schools. 
  • Campaign for the completion of the Teignmouth/Newton Abbot Cycle Path 
  • Promote the maintenance of the street scene through hedge & verge cutting 
  • Work with local artists to replace unsightly graffiti with art

CRIME & POLICING Devon has suffered massive cuts in the police budget, which has significantly reduced the numbers of police and PCSOs on the streets of Teignbridge. Labour Councillors will assess the effect of these cuts on the wellbeing of residents and businesses, will lobby on behalf of their electors to stop any further cuts, and will campaign for an increase in police spending.

Your Labour Councillors will: 

  • Oppose any further cuts to police spending. 
  • Campaign for the funding and recruitment of more PCSOs

WHY SHOULD YOU VOTE LABOUR? Your Labour party believes that there is an alternative to Conservative and Lib Dem austerity and cuts. By voting Labour, you can: 

  • Give voice to an alternative view of how we run our services locally 
  • Hold to account the Conservative & Lib Dems, who have run Teignbridge for too long without challenge 
  • Ensure that Teignbridge is run for local people and local businesses