Labour Publish Local Election Manifesto Just in Time

Deny Conservatives claim that internal divisions delayed manifesto

labour party manifesto poster

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Labour has denied 'mischievous claims' by local Conservatives that internal divisions with Momentum delayed the publication of its manifesto until 30 April only days before the May 3 local elections.

Cllr Theo Dennison said it was because there were various amendments which needed to be agreed and the manifesto was longer than previous publications.

"Following consultation with members, the manifesto was agreed by the Labour Group subject to various amendments. The amendments required various colleagues to submit alternative text which, as we should have anticipated, took rather longer than anticipated as they were all heavily involved in their local campaigns.

"Once these amendments were finally received I have been responsible for removing the various annotations and attributions that appeared in the earlier draft and preparing a slightly more polished draft for publication. It is a rather longer publication than in previous years and this inevitably takes time to complete and format."

He added: "I understand that Cllr John Todd in his customary mischievous way has suggested that the manifesto had been 'kidnapped by momentum'. I can confirm that this is not the case. All 140 commitments were originally suggested by Labour members, residents or community organisations, this did include a very helpful input from Hounslow Momentum which we have sought to incorporate as fully as possible.’

In the manifesto, Labour pledges 3,000 new social houses, 4,000 new apprenticeships and a living wage for Hounslow in new manifesto. The sixty candidates in the borough pledge:

• Delivering 3,000 new council and housing association homes for rent and 2,000 for shared ownership.
• Creating 4,000 new apprenticeships and training opportunities to help young people into work.
• Introducing a £1,000 business rate discount for local businesses that are signed up to pay the London Living Wage.
• Cracking down on rogue landlords and helping local residents buy their first home.
• Investing £2 million to fix potholes in local roads and inviting residents to nominate the roads that need it.
• Overhauling doorstep collection to make recycling easier and collecting fridges, mattresses and other bulky items to reduce fly tipping.
• Protecting residents from Conservative austerity policies and preventing cuts in older people's care, library closures, building on parks or green belt and council tax rises unless absolutely necessary.
These key pledges are among the 140 policy commitments Labour is making ahead of the local elections on Thursday May 3.

They say, "Labour has controlled Hounslow council for the last 8 years and currently holds 49 out of 60 seats in the borough. With the party predicted to retain control of the council in an election that has seen the Conservatives on the defensive across London including some of their main strongholds, the pledges in this manifesto should set the course for council policy over the next four years.

"Labour's manifesto is a culmination of ideas and suggestions from local residents, community groups, and members, voted on by the Labour Group.

"Other pledges include: creating a new team to tackle anti-social behaviour; cracking down on fly tipping with CCTV and providing more bins; ensuring the council's planning policy is swiftly brought into line with the published London Plan target of 50% of new homes being 'affordable'; supporting the development of the London Orbital Railway; and campaigning for a better, not bigger Heathrow. The full manifesto, including all these pledges can be read here.

Councillor Steve Curran, Leader of the Council, said: “All across Britain, the Conservatives’ cuts are pushing people into poverty and destitution, while an out-of-touch Tory government presides over one of the worst housing crises we’ve ever seen, stagnating wages, growing inequality, failing transport, and toxic air quality. No more. This Labour Council will do everything in its power to turn around these Tory failures and build a fairer, greener, more decent borough for our residents and businesses. The Tories will not make this easy for us. The government has slashed our funding, forcing us to deliver more with less. But deliver it we will. Because that’s the difference a Labour Council makes

Conservatives had claimed that internal party division has prevented a manifesto being agreed and released and they have hinted that Momentum is at the heart of the issue.

Homefields councillor John Todd posted: "When will Labour publish their manifesto?
What influence are the Labour Momentum members, yet to be identified, having on this documents contents?

"The Labour leader is continually promising publication but rumour is that he can't get consensus within his split group and that momentum are in a wrecking mood."

May 3, 2018

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