Laura Davies' priorities for Braintree Town
I believe in a United Kingdom that is at its best when it is Open, Tolerant and United. I want the same for the wonderful county of Essex. But the Conservatives running our council - as well as the Hard Brexit Tory Government - are intent on creating a nation that is divided, closed-minded and closed for business. These local elections are a vital opportunity for us to change direction both here in Essex, and the country as a whole.
As the Councillor for Braintree Town I would fight to end the savage cuts the Tory council has imposed on our services - from care, to transport, to recycling, to schools - and to end their wasting of money on expensive consultants, agency staff, and 'jollies' for Councillors.
I want to see a more transparent, democratic Essex County Council - one that really works for the people of Braintree.
My key priorities FOR BRAINTREE TOWN will be:
1) Holding Developers to Account
It seems like the Conservative Councillors are in the pockets of developers. Both housing and commercial developments are being approved without adequate plans in place to provide the infrastructure to support them. From parking, to doctors surgeries, to leisure facilities, to public transport - residents are reporting to me that the promises made by developers to build vital amenities are going unfulfilled. The council has even given back financial contributions from developers which they did not spend quickly enough! This is not acceptable and I will make it my business to chase these unfulfilled promises and to put processes in place to ensure future planning permissions are only granted with infrastructure needs met.
It's time to stop lining the developers' pockets at the expense of our communities.
2) Protect our NHS and Social Care Services
Under the Conservatives, care packages for the elderly have been delayed and the cost of home care has increased more than five fold. This increases pressure on our already strained NHS with patients kept in acute beds instead of receiving care at home. I support the Liberal Democrat's proprosal to create an ear-marked fund of £2.5m for 'Social Care Pressures' and to partner with our NHS to speed the discharge of patients from hospital and increase the supply of urgently needed care outside hospital.
3) Promote and support our local jobs, businesses and industries
As a small business owner myself, I understand the pressures we are facing, with the economic turmoil and high trade tariffs Brexit will bring. I want to see Essex County Council provide support, advice and promotion of local businesses and industries. In particular I would like to see an acceleration of the roll-out of high speed fibre-optic broadband to ensure the many businesses based in Braintree Town have the kind of infrastructure they need to compete in a global economy. I believe the UK's businesses and industries will thrive in a UK that stays in the Single European Market and I will add my voice to calling on the Government not to pull the rug out from under British business.
4) A greener, cleaner, sustainable Essex
I'm passionate about ensuring we find ways to reduce our environmental impact and protect our natural heritage for future generations. That starts right here in Essex. The Conservatives have set a low target for recycling for our County. I will be calling for an increasing the target for recycling to increase to 70% of all waste - one that is both ambitious but acheivable. I will also be monitoring with concern the proposed Waste Management Facility at Rivenhall. Although the plans now include a recycling facility as well as incineration, incinerators like this can discourage recycling because the contractor will expect certain amount of waste to burn over the contract period. It may also cause traffic congestion and increased the movement of heavy lorries on our roads. I will call for all proposals to include clear solutions to these issues.
It's time for a change at Essex County Hall, where Conservatives have taken for granted the people of Essex - The Conservatives have raised your council tax three times and didn't spend the extra cash but instead stashed away £20 million in the council bank account, whilst making huge cuts to vital services.
Vote for me on May 4th for a representative who will stand up for Braintree Town.