Local elections: Labour speaks
By Richard Allen, Labour Party election agentMany people in Huntingdonshire have enjoyed the benefits of economic stability and sustained growth since 1997. This has been combined with much-needed investment in hospitals, schools and colleges and other essential services most of us rely on. The new
By Richard Allen, Labour Party election agent
Many people in Huntingdonshire have enjoyed the benefits of economic stability and sustained growth since 1997. This has been combined with much-needed investment in hospitals, schools and colleges and other essential services most of us rely on.
The new treatment centre at Hinchingbrooke is there for all to see, our children are also now guaranteed nursery places and, as youth unemployment has been virtually eliminated, we can also be more confident they will have a brighter future.
Part-time workers, many of whom are women trying to balance work and family, have been helped by new legislation to protect their rights. Pensioners will benefit from the new bus pass system, though we will press to have this extended county-wide.
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Work still needs to be done to ensure everyone has equal access to these improvements. Some of Cambridgeshire's most deprived areas are in this district, as well as some surprisingly isolated rural communities. Much of the planning and spending that can help day-to-day life in these areas, is the responsibility of the district council.
However, rather than investing your money in much-needed services, the Tory administration's priority has been to hold down Council Tax rises to unrealistic levels in order to gain electoral advantage. Unfortunately, they failed to appreciate that they would rightly be capped when they tried to make amends with a high increase the following year. Everyone but them will be blamed for any cuts in services that result from this error.
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There is a desperate need for housing in the area. For years the council ignored its own research that indicated that 40 per cent of new developments needed to be affordable homes. The situation is worse in the villages, as the targets are often not applied.
Where elected, your Labour Party candidates would press for realistic Council Tax rises that will allow for sustained long term investment and for changes to housing policy so more than 40 per cent of the homes in all developments will be affordable two-bedroom properties.
Labour councillors would also get more people involved in the policies of the council to get the voters more interested in what their councillors actually do.