Labour in Herefordshire Manifesto

Education

Without an immediate, substantial and sustained investment in the Education Sector we will continue to see our children’s lives blighted, their potential unrealised and the UK losing its competitive edge in the global economy.

Labour in Herefordshire supports:

Our Party’s aim to create a National Education Service which will provide access to education free at the point of use to everyone from early years through to adulthood.

To give all children the best start – we will reduce class sizes to less than 30 for all five, six and seven year olds and seek to extend that as resources allow.

Divert funding to increase resources available to support Special Needs Units across all schools in the County, Hereford Sixth Form College, Herefordshire and Ludlow Technical College and Hereford Art College.

The establishment of Hereford University.


Housing and Homelessness

Britain is in a housing crisis as a result of chronic underfunding and unless this is tackled we will witness increasing homelessness, rough sleeping and a housing market, which places owner occupation out of the reach of huge numbers of young people

The level of homelessness in the UK is a national disgrace and must not be allowed to continue.  Especially tragic are the number of rough sleepers (in England) which, according to Homeless Link (a homeless charity), have increased from 1768 to 4751 during the period from 2010 to 2017; an increase of circa 269% which is staggering in a nation as prosperous as the UK.

Labour in Herefordshire supports:

A mandatory quota of 40% affordable housing in all new developments regardless of size.

The suspension of the right to buy policy to protect affordable homes for local people, with councils such as Herefordshire only able to resume sales if they can prove they have a plan to replace homes sold like-for-like.

Returning ownership of ‘council’ houses to the council so that they may borrow to build new council homes.

Affording greater priority to building inspections which will include the review of the current number of building inspectors and a recruitment drive where necessary to bring numbers up to the required level to provide a comprehensive service.

Ensuring compliance with the highest environmental standards on all new builds.

Establishing a scrutiny committee to review all affordable, social housing and accessible housing. Regulate Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) in Leominster.

A clear and unequivocal commitment to increase homeless provision across the county beginning with ensuring the homeless shelter in St Peter’s is available for longer than 3 months a year.


Health & Social Care

The insidious privatisation and underfunding characteristics of the Conservative Government must not be allowed to undermine the key principle underpinning the NHS, which must always be the provision of healthcare free at the point of use.

Labour in Herefordshire supports:

The demonstration of our clear commitment to NHS medical and support staff by campaigning for improved working conditions and salaries commensurate with the value that we, as a nation, place on them.

The integration of health and social care which will facilitate appropriate support to our elderly, helping minimise avoidable bed shortages in our hospitals and reduce pressure on the NHS.

The introduction of higher, measurable and fully funded standards of social care – this will allow carers to have sufficient time to fully meet the needs of their clients.

Positive assistance to “Hereford Carers” in their work on behalf of both workers and clients.

N.B. We object in the strongest possible terms to both the further privatisation of the NHS and the Hereford County Hospital car-park PFI contract with its excessive parking charges from which its own staff are not excluded.


Women’s Rights & Welfare

Labour will continue to set the agenda for progressing women’s rights and freedoms.

Labour in Herefordshire supports:

A clear focus on closing the gender gap, especially as it relates to employees working in local government throughout Herefordshire.

Raise public awareness on domestic abuse as it continues to affect the lives of its many victims.

To provide safe sanctuary for women affected by domestic abuse through properly funded women’s refuges.


Local Community Action

Services provided by local government are often the glue which holds communities together so the reckless Conservative cuts to funding have had a harmful impact on all our lives.

Labour in Herefordshire supports:

The introduction of focus groups where key stakeholders such as community and voluntary groups can come together to frame and prioritise the services they consider vital for community cohesion.

Making sure those resources valuable to the people of Herefordshire such as CAB, Herefordshire Carers, SHYPP and the Courtyard in Hereford benefit from the re-introduction of grants.

Moves to make sure museums, archives and records across the county remain within local authority control.

The retention of Post Offices – and particularly those in rural areas.

The ending of cabinet structure of council in order to improve local democratic accountability.

Moving council meetings from daytime to evening.


The Economy & Austerity

The nation’s wealth is concentrated in the hands of a small elite which means that the vast majority of our citizens are relatively powerless and largely disenfranchised. A fairer and more equitable share of wealth will only be realised with a more democratic ownership structure.

The privatisation of the energy sector has led to increased bills leading to unacceptable levels of fuel poverty and an industry beholden to shareholders rather than its customers. Returning the supply of energy into the public sector will help halt and reverse the damage caused by destructive privatisation.

Labour in Herefordshire supports:

The abandonment of expensive vanity projects such as the link road between Aylestone and Edgar Street and the £1m overspend on Council Offices.

Pressing the council to introduce a living wage to all its employees.

Introducing a “living wage” criteria into the counciltendering process to ensure third parties bidding for council work remunerate their staff appropriately.

The re-opening of public toilets.

The move away from PFI contracts and outsourcing, to be replaced with more “in house” provision of services to and for the council.

Labour Party policy to raise the Minimum Wage to match the Living Wage (expected to be at least £10 per hour by 2020) for all workers aged 18 or over.


Infrastructure & Transport

Investment in the nation’s infrastructure (transport, communications and energy systems) has been inadequate and has suffered from a lack of a strategic vision.

Labour in Herefordshire supports:

The development of a Regional Transport Policy for Hereford to facilitate a strategic framework for the county which makes sustainable public transport the key priority for the future. The Regional Transport Policy also to include:-

  • More accessible public transport for the visually impaired
  • Free “park and ride” facilities on the outskirts of Hereford
  • Council responsibility for future road maintenance.

The re-nationalisation of the railway system that would bring train companies such as Arriva Trains back into public ownership.

Opposition to the current proposals for the Hereford bypass.

Improved maintenance of roads and pavements.

Improvement in mobile Internet coverage and expanded provision of free public Wi-Fi in town centres and on public transport.