Our district is a rich mixture of historic towns with strong and proud identities, and small rural communities. We need to recognise the specific rural challenges many people face, and make sure that access to services and housing is fair wherever you live.
The months of the pandemic have challenged us in a way we’ve never seen before. Our high streets were already fragile, and now after months of restrictions, we all want to see our town centres come back to life, and our high streets thrive again.
We have also seen incredible mutual aid networks grow up, with volunteers, charities, local councils, the public sector and business, working together to respond quickly to get support to those households who’ve needed help more than ever before. And yet, the pandemic has affected some more than others, and inequality is growing in our district, as it is across the whole country. We need to work together to ensure no one is left behind and everyone can get the support they need.
Labour believes we can use the creativity and commitment of our communities to fight these challenges. This is not about a top-down approach, as communities have the power and potential to manage their own resources and assets, and each solution must reflect that each community is different.
A community-led district
• Strengthen local democracy through quality citizen participation, developing a Community Engagement Strategy and putting the voice of the community and key stakeholders at the heart of council priorities and plans
• Create a district network of local neighbourhood partnerships
• Continue to develop community hubs, working to support existing ones become more sustainable, and helping communities grow new hubs out of the mutual aid work of the pandemic
• Continue to invest in communities experiencing high levels of discrimination and disadvantage, supporting them to lead their own change
• Continue to support local community-led housing trusts, working with them to expand to other parts of the district especially in rural areas
• Work with communities to support the registration of community assets so local people can take ownership of valued local buildings, land and community shops as well as protecting publicly owned land and assets so communities have more say and control in how they are run.
• Learn from best practice how to keep town centres and high streets thriving, working in partnership with town and parish councils and local businesses and traders
• Work with partners to improve the accessibility and welcome of public spaces and shops, and improve awareness of impairments both visible and invisible
• Work with towns to increase incentives for clean transport and reduction in private car use and explore measures to reduce air pollution including no-idling zones
Care for our neighbourhoods
• Continue to fund neighbourhood wardens and their work in partnership with the police to combat anti-social behaviour, fly-tipping and dog fouling.
• Protect and enhance green spaces on estates and in town centres
• Promote ‘no mow May’ and adopt best practice for road verges to encourage wildflowers across the district