Rebuilding North Somerset: Local Manifesto 2019
This Manifesto for Rebuilding North Somerset is the work of those living in North Somerset who want fairness, equality and opportunity for all –
and are not afraid to ask those who have the most to contribute the most.
We believe –
- North Somerset should be run by the people, for the people.
- Well-funded services are vital because sickness and poverty can happen to us all.
- The people of North Somerset are an asset rather than a liability.
We are Labour – and we want to rebuild North Somer-set to work for the many, not the few.
With your vote on 2nd May, we will.
Labour’s vision for North Somerset
North Somerset’s a great place – for some. But it could be much better for all without the failings of the Tories who’ve enjoyed power here for so long.
The Conservatives – in government since 2010, firstly with their Liberal Democrat allies – have stripped our Council of a whopping £100 million. The Tory-dominated authority’s choices – cutting services to the elderly and young, hard-working families and people with disabilities – are imposing hardship on those who can bear it least.
There’s greater inequality in North Somerset than almost everywhere else in the UK: North Somerset is the third most unequal local authority in England (English indices of deprivation 2015, gov.uk).
What does that mean for us locally? Fifteen per cent of young people live below the poverty line. There’s a third less affordable housing available for local people than the government’s own estimate of the minimum needed. And we’ve taken our share of police cuts – 116 fewer community support officers and 659 fewer police officers across Avon & Somerset.
Labour sees things differently.
We believe there’s another way.
For decades local tax money has gone to profit-making private companies providing Council services. But it was once normal for councils themselves to run the things residents need – enough public toilets, beautiful parks for locals and tourists, affordable housing, well supported social care services for children and adults, reliable rubbish collection and so on.
We say that, wherever possible, North Somerset Council must run its own services or provide them through not-for-profit organisations such as social enterprises and co-operatives, making them better and more affordable – and saving the profits that would otherwise go to shareholders in private companies.
We will build on North Somerset Labour’s Alternative Budget (2019). This means taking a fresh look at Council spending and doing all we can to bring in more money. We will look at possibilities such as taxing empty properties, cutting costs of North Somerset Life and trimming councillors’ expenses.
We also believe it’s worth borrowing to invest in the future of North Somerset – to make a start, for example, on building the council housing that local families need.
This local manifesto for District Council elections in May 2019 contains practical policies to improve the lives of all residents and create a more equal and prosperous community in North Somerset.