Local manifesto

Salisbury Labour Party 2013 Manifesto
Speaking up for Salisbury and South Wiltshire
Labour’s Priorities for the 2013 Elections

Our priorities for the City

The Labour Party plans to turn the city council into a campaign platform fighting for the people of Salisbury and carrying the fight into Wiltshire Council.

To that end it will introduce four main policy initiatives:

  • Working to turn the city council into the Voice of Salisbury
  • Introduce a brand new Scrutiny Function
  • Campaign for the Living Wage
  • Building its environmental policies around the launch of Salisbury Transition City.

One Nation society means a fairer and more equal society that harnesses the energy of everyone for the common good.

Labour councillors will champion the causes of the people they serve, consult widely on local issues and support people who want to make Salisbury and South Wiltshire a better place to live.

To that end Labour aims to ensure that the city council engages more with the people in order to support appropriate campaigns, award grants or investigate proposals.

There will be a brand new scrutiny function to probe the services provided by other organisations including Wiltshire Council.

The economy is central to everyone’s lives, particularly now that we know that Salisbury is the second least affordable place to live in the UK. A s part of its policies Labour is campaigning for the Living Wage – currently standing at £7.45 a hour outside London – including plans to provide it for all city council employees over the lifetime of the council and encouraging other employers to follow suite.

Other measures include supporting the creation of a ‘grot-spot’ scheme to enhance areas in need to sprucing up and campaigning for the refurbishment of local landmarks like Fisher ton railway bridge.

In a major new initiative on the environment Labour will work with others to launch Salisbury Transition City – part of a national project to raise awareness of sustainable living and build local ecological resilience.

Our priorities for Wiltshire Council

In these difficult economic times front line services need to be protected while ensuring that these services are provided as efficiently as possible. Labour believes that the vulnerable and poorer members of a community need to be especially protected.

The high cost of housing relative to average wages also gives impetus to Labour’s plans to build more council houses using surpluses from the Housing Revenue Account.

But there will also be a range of other measures including reducing car parking charges, listening to businesses, ensuring there are adequate car parking spaces for the disabled, encourage businesses to the city and support organisations campaigning against regional pay.

On transport Labour councillors will support the balanced car parking plan for the city along with measures to encourage walking and cycling, improve public transport and support Trans Wilts rail proposals.

Labour will also channel its energy into supporting the police, improving education; and engaging with the city’s cultural life.

Especially important is a commitment to ensure that Wiltshire Council achieves a good rating for its protection of children following being rated as inadequate in past inspections. Labour also believes that the Council has a duty to ensure that there are adequate services for the elderly with a choice a facilities provided by both the private and public sector.

Following the success of the Olympics Labour will encourage initiatives aimed at encouraging a healthier life style and encouraging more involvement in sport.

Labour will also support local cultural and arts organisations and will promote opportunities for young people e.g. the Unit

Labour councillors will listen to local residents, businesses and local organisations when making decisions on the development of the Maltings. We will pay particular attention to its design, sustainability, transport issues and the effect of the development on the city centre.

OUR POLICIES FOR THE CITY AND COUNTY COUNCILLORS THAT ARE FAIR AND WHO SUPPORT LOCAL PEOPLE.

We know that there are many challenges for local people. Many people are suffering as the policies of this out-of-touch government begin to bite. Labour believes that in a One Nation society everyone should have equal access to a fair society and that is what we wish to campaign on. This should be the main force of our campaign.

As local residents we feel that the residents in Salisbury and South Wiltshire are often ignored and left with no effective voice in our community.

Labour councillors will champion the causes and the views of the residents they serve. We will consult widely on local issues and support local people in their efforts to make Salisbury and south Wiltshire a better place to live.

At the core is our belief that councillors are there to serve local residents. We will do that to the best of our ability and that belief is shown for example on planning issues. We will allow councillors to speak on local development issues allowing local councillors to represent local people.

The city council has an important role to play. We want the city council to be at the heart of the community in Salisbury. To that end we will support the following initiatives:

At city council meetings we would allow local people and groups to raise their concerns about the services provided by the public bodies that serve the city. On hearing the evidence from local people the council could:

  • Publicly support the campaign or issue.
  • Grant monies, provide staffing support or facilities to help the local group in its campaign.
  • Establish a scrutiny investigation into the issue (see below).

A scrutiny function that supports local people

We will establish a scrutiny function for the city council. The council will establish scrutiny investigations into issues of concern to councillors or members of the public. The investigations could look at the services provided by any organisation that provides services in Salisbury including services provided by Wiltshire Council, the health authorities, Salisbury Vision, tourism organisations, government bodies and other organisations that receive public monies.

Councillors at the heart of the community

We will give all city councillors a greater role by asking councillors to link up with different community groups. Councillors will represent the council, attend meetings with these groups and be their champion in the council. Groups could include arts groups, allotment groups, environment groups, business organisations.

The values and polices that we support

Value for money

We all know that times are hard and that both Councils must be as efficient and cost effective as possible in the provision of services.

We will continue to make savings where we can, learning from the best example of others.

We will conduct and review the staffing levels at Salisbury City Council and look at more flexible ways of working to ensure that they have the correct staffing base to provide good services.

An education system that fair for all

Labour councillors will:

  • Support the role in the local authorities in providing the support and help needed for local schools.
  • Support Sure Start centres.
  • Support the provision of an enhanced sixth form provision in the city.
  • Support the provision of more university level courses in the city.
  • Actively encourage the take up of apprenticeships including only awarding contracts to those companies that provide apprenticeships.
  • Support provision for students with learning disabilities.

 A good home for all

Labour councillors will support any suitable way possible to provide more social ownership and shared equality housing in the district including:

  • Maintaining the proportion of social housing in all developments.
  • Using surpluses from the Housing Revenue Account to build more council houses in Salisbury.
  • Work with the private sector to promote and support Government schemes such as NewBuy.
  • Support and develop flats above shops initiatives.
  • Enhance the private landlords forums.
  • Enhance advice and support for tenants and landlords of private sector housing
  • Support schemes to bring empty houses into use.

Labour councillors will support a review of the working of Homes for Wiltshire. The aim of the review will be to ensure that it provides a fair service for those in need of its service.

A social services team that protects the elderly, vulnerable and the young

Labour councillors will:

  • Work with staff and users to ensure that Wiltshire Council achieves a good rating in its protection of children and vulnerable adults. Also working with representatives who support services such as the Swan Advocacy service and the Citizen Advice Bureau
  • Ensure that there are adequate services for the elderly with a choice a facilities provided by the private and public sector.

Culture, sport and Leisure for all

Labour Councillors will:

  • Support local, cultural and arts organisations in maintaining their grants from the Local authorities.
  • Promote opportunities for young people to get involved e.g. the Unit.
  • Support the provision of more public art schemes such as the Milford Street mural.
  • Encourage and support public events in the summer building upon the experience of the Jubilee and Olympic events in the city.
  • Reduce the costs of swimming in the city for over-65s and under-16s.
  • Support the developments of our local parks e.g. Victoria Park. We will involve and listen to local residents and user groups in their development.

Living in a safe Salisbury and south Wiltshire

Labour Councillors will:

  • Maintain and enhance the work with local organisations like the Street Pastors to reduce anti-social behaviour at night and maintain the Purple Flag status of the city.
  • Support a high visibility police force and support keeping the Police Station in Salisbury with a custody suite for overnight prisoners.
  • Support neighbourhood watch schemes.

A local economy that provides jobs and opportunities

Labour Councillors will:

  • Support the campaign for a living wage. We will introduce a living wage for all employees over the life time of the council and actively encourage other employers to do so as well.
  • Listen to local residents, businesses and local organisations when making decisions on the development of the Maltings. Our aim will be to provide an attractive, sustainable development which will enhance the city leading to more visitors and more employment opportunities.
  • Reduce car parking charges.
  • Protect the attractiveness and viability of the Charter Market.
  • Provide a range of activities and events which will enhance the attractiveness of the city both for local people and visitors.
  • Work to attract and keep companies to and in the district especially those that will provide good employment opportunities in a sustainable way.
  • Ensure that there are adequate parking for those with disabilities.
  • We will support the organisations that are campaigning against regional pay.

Protecting the environment

Labour Councillors will:

  • Work to launch Salisbury Transition City to raise awareness of sustainable living and build local ecological resilience.
  • Support the city council in establishing a `grot spot’ scheme to enhance areas that are in need of a clear up.
  • Support the refurbishment of Fisherton Railway bridge.
  • Sort out those areas that have problems with fortnightly bin collection supporting if necessary the reintroduction of weekly collections.
  • Support local groups in their efforts to enhance their locality.
  • Support environmental groups such as Wiltshire Wild life Trust.
  • Support the establishment of a Greenspace partnership to improve and enhance the number and quality of green spaces available in South Wiltshire.
  • Support suitable schemes that increase the level of energy produced locally.

A sustainable transport system

Labour Councillors will:

  • Support the balanced parking plan for the city.
  • Support the condition of roads and pavements in South Wiltshire.
  • Extend walking and cycling networks ensuring that S106 agreements are used to deliver components of the networks.
  • Support schemes to encourage people walking and cycling.
  • Support Trans Wilts rail proposals.
  • Develop and maintain a viable public transport network which serves Salisbury and South Wiltshire.
  • Develop Bemerton activity trails.
  • Support the extension and development of residents parking schemes if a majority of local residents want this.

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