Manifesto for Worcester 2019
Welcome to the Labour Party Manifesto for Worcester
Values & vision
The Labour Party has a long and proud tradition of supporting the residents of this great city, and of attracting jobs, improving skills and opportunities and making our services more accessible and available for local people.
At the heart of our values is the desire to support and represent local communities, campaigning for fairness and equality and fighting injustice.
Our vision is one of a society that works for the many and not just the privileged few.
The next Labour Government
The next government will be a Labour Government, elected because places like Worcester recognise the desperate need for change. Policies will be implemented that bring an end to the Tory austerity landscape of cuts, pay and benefits freezes and public services closures. The NHS will be prioritised and saved. Measures will be introduced to protect the environment and improve air quality, and to build new affordable homes and drive up skills and performance overall. These measures will contribute towards rebuilding our fractured communities.
The next Labour Council
The policies outlined in this manifesto will improve the lives of all of Worcester’s residents so it is vitally important that Worcester has a Labour Council to deliver them and to support and secure the next Labour Government.
A HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT FOR ALL
Labour will improve air quality, protect and enhance Worcester’s green spaces and take on the challenge of meeting the government’s climate change 2050 target.
Worcester faces many environmental challenges in the future and Worcester Labour is committed to facing up to these. Climate change will affect our lives in the coming decades and we need to prepare for this and to meet the 2050 targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Our air quality is of critical importance and in Worcester we need to take immediate action to improve this. Our health and well-being depends on us having plenty of green spaces to enjoy, but also for wildlife, especially pollinating insects. Worcester Labour’s environmental pledges will create a healthier, more sustainable city which is fit for the future.
→ create a Green Infrastructure strategy for the city that recognises the value of a healthy urban environment for people and wildlife.
→ relocate the Croft Road lorry park and reduce the number of HGVs in the city
→ implement a safe cycling strategy and promote safe walking and cycling, including better targeting and enforcement of traffic regulations
→ promote the use of public transport
→ create funding streams for local food growing projects and assist local groups who want to start community gardens
→ put an end to the unnecessary felling of trees
→ improve air quality to meet government targets. As part of this we will address the issue of pollution from idling vehicles
ECONOMY, JOBS AND SKILLS
We will actively support local businesses and invest in local people and supply chains.
Labour’s vision for Worcester is to have an economy that works for all. We will create an environment in which businesses have the opportunity to thrive, where young people can expect high quality apprenticeships and where graduates want to stay and contribute. We are committed to ensuring our “High Street” is able to adapt and survive as a vibrant centre.
→ provide growth and start up grants to local businesses
→ support local businesses to provide high quality apprenticeships and to employ graduates
→ work with education partners to provide young people with the skills that local businesses need
→ take a radical approach to rebuilding the “High Street” working with local partners to create opportunities for community hubs, city centre living, and independent shops.
→ Support and promote local shops and business areas
→ Optimise the use of council properties and other publicly owned premises to benefit local people
→ Endorse local businesses who pay the real living wage
HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS
We will take action to meet the growing housing crisis in the city.
Worcester has a significant shortage of affordable homes and social housing, leaving too many families in bed and breakfast accommodation. Labour is committed to improving the quality and affordability of housing available, and to supporting rough sleepers.
→ crack down on rogue landlords and enforce minimum standards of accommodation by introducing a confidential reporting system for tenants
→ introduce planning policies which will deliver high quality social housing
→ work with partners to tackle the problems faced by rough sleepers
→ reduce the numbers forced into bed and breakfast accommodation
→ support and invest in capital schemes for more social housing initiatives and genuinely affordable homes
→ prioritise a comprehensive survey to bring into usage empty properties suitable for accommodation
INVESTING IN OUR COMMUNITIES
We will work with local communities to improve health and quality of life.
The government’s political austerity policies have resulted in cuts and closures that impact on facilities for families, young people and the elderly. We will continue to work with communities to improve health and well-being.
→ minimise the impact of cuts to services to rebuild fractured communities
→ work with partners to deliver services which tackle loneliness, mental health and dementia
→ provide support for people affected by benefit cuts and universal credit
→ support and enhance measures to improve personal and community services including CCTV, street lighting and cracking down on speeding cars
→ expand our work to eliminate modern day slavery
TOURISM, CULTURE AND SPORT
We will ensure sporting and cultural activities are accessible for all.
Worcester has something for everyone, a great heritage offer including buildings, collections, and a vibrant music and cultural scene. However, this is at risk from budget cuts at national and local level. Our tourism and sporting attractions provide fun and enjoyment as well as bringing in prosperity to our local economy and providing jobs and opportunities for local people which must not only be protected but enhanced and increased.
→ actively plan to make public places accessible to people with disabilities and to make them family friendly
→ work with the BID (Business Improvement District) and the hospitality industry to improve working conditions and pay
→ introduce a cultural calendar to publicise arts, culture, music and sports events happening across the city
→ support local sporting initiatives including the return of Worcester City Football Club to the city
→ protect and develop our parks, riverside and publicly owned green spaces and promote their use for recreation and health