Press Release: Totnes and S Devon Labour Party, SW Devon Labour Party, South Hams Labour Campaign Group

Date: 23 April 2019

Contact: Peter McIlven, Election Agent, 07955 730372; Helen Beetham, Press Co-ordinator, 07866 762760

Candidates are available for interview

On May 2nd, residents of South Hams have the chance to vote out the ruling Conservative party and bring some real local democracy to our area.

Under the Conservatives, the District Council has:

  • privatised waste collection services – without any consultation
  • gambled and lost taxpayers’ money on Icelandic banks
  • wasted tens of thousands of pounds pursuing a failed merger with West Devon – that nobody wanted anyway
  • failed to stand up to central government cuts in local government funding
  • failed to defend local hospitals, children’s centres and libraries

Labour are ready to step into the democratic hole left by decades of Conservative neglect. Labour is ahead in national opinion polls and for the first time is fielding a slate of 16 candidates in the South Hams. Activists are finding a warm welcome at street stalls and on doorsteps around the district, including in villages that have only ever had a Conservative or conservative ‘independent’ to represent them.

Labour’s manifesto for the South Hams focuses on housing, local finances, children and young people, and the environment, as well as local democracy and accountability. A full copy is available here: https://www.facebook.com/download/preview/413213505907211. You can follow our daily policy bulletins and find details of all our candidates on our facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/laboursouthhams/.

Across our district, the housingcrisis has deepened. Homes are among the least affordable in the country. More people are sleeping rough. We need a planning system that focuses on really affordable homes, especially for rent, and we need to invest in our infrastructure so new homes are sustainable for everyone.

The environmentis in crisis. While the Government whips up hatred and division, and argues about how best to rip us out of the European Union, Labour councils are declaring a climate emergency and committing to a carbon-neutral future. Labour will pledge South Hams District Council to becoming carbon neutral by 2030, will divest from fossil fuels, ban fracking and single-use plastics, and work for clean air and water. We’ll also reverse the recent decision to privatise our waste services.

Labour will work with community groups and other progressive councillors to provide community transportto isolated residents. We’ll campaign to restore youth services and Children’s Centres, invest in tourismand the digital economy, and support our regional arts and culture. We’ll raise council taxon second homes, and make sure that low income families do not pay more under changes to the council tax reduction scheme.

With hundreds of local members across the District, Labour can stand candidates who really understand the local issues. Our approach to local government will be open, transparent and democraticfrom the start. No more decisions taken behind closed doors. No more money wasted on failed mergers or ‘consultations’ that are then ignored. Labour will stand up to every attack on our local services, giving dignity and support to those in need.

It’s time to take our District back. Labour in the South Hams will rebuild our communities and transform our area – for the many who live and work here.

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