Carmarthenshire Labour has released their local government manifesto ahead of the elections on May 5th, arguing that it is the ‘most comprehensive and credible plan’ for local residents.
Under the slogan of ‘Standing Up For Carmarthenshire’, the Labour Group have made some ambitious announcements that they hope will excite voters to support them in the elections.
The glossy 32-page document contains around 113 policy commitments across nine chapters, with six key pledges – ‘No One Left Behind’, £45m ‘Play and Sports Revolution’, a council-owned bus company to improve public transport in the region, 2,500 new homes, investment in local green energy schemes and creating safer, cleaner streets.
No One Left Behind is a pledge to fast-track school investment, make all primary schools 3-11 years, protect small and rural schools from closure, overhaul the school bullying policy, revising the Welsh in Education Plan to increase welsh education opportunities whilst protecting pupil choice, launching a new meals on wheels service for older people and provide more support for carers and those with disabilities. Their play and sports pledge will seek to build two new leisure centres, three new all-weather sports pitches and create and annual fund to support the renovation of children’s parks.
Many of the policies being promoted by the Labour Councillors would mean significant policy shifts in a number of areas – the adoption of a town centre first stance and preventing further out of town development; planting one million trees over the next decade; focusing on dual-stream education rather than moving English schools to welsh only and pledging to safeguard small and rural schools; a public vote on a 300% council tax for second homeowners; focus on renovating or repurposing old buildings rather than building new; banning the use of external consultants, and an in-house staff bank system to cut down on agency staff.
Carmarthenshire Labour states that their plans are fully costed and highlighted that they believe there is a great deal of wastage in the system – £2m spent each year on external consultants, millions spent on external bank staff, ‘vanity projects’ such as the Hollywood Carmarthen sign and overspends in projects such as the Towy Cycle Path – once estimated to cost between £3 – £5 million is now being projected as a £20m project.
Labour Councillors will have to hit the ground running if they are to deliver on their agenda.
Councillor Rob James, Leader of Carmarthenshire Labour said “We are extremely proud to be releasing our manifesto today ahead of the local elections – this has been a team effort and five years in the making.
“We believe this is the most comprehensive and credible plan to bring real change to our communities. For the last seven years, we have been frustrated that our sensible alternatives have been ignored by Plaid Cymru and Independent Councillors for the sake of party politics and to the detriment of local residents.
“If elected, Carmarthenshire Labour Councillors will work tirelessly to stand up for our communities and bring about the necessary changes in County Hall. We have exciting plans that will preserve our county’s history or culture, whilst enhancing opportunities for local residents, local businesses and third sector organisations.
“I hope residents provide us with the opportunity to deliver on our plans for Carmarthenshire on May 5th.”