Cuts to be reversed says Labour in county election manifesto

Dr Nik Johnson, Labour candidate for Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

Dr Nik Johnson, Labour candidate for Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, on BBC Look East speaking about the lack of social and affordable housing. Other party manifestos will be featured. - Credit: BBC Look East

The Labour group on Cambridgeshire County Council has launched its election manifesto, claiming they would reverse cuts made by the ruling Conservative group. 

Included are commitments to make the county council net zero emissions by 2030, “overturn a decade of cuts at the frontline” of council services, and to establish free breakfast clubs at all  

Labour group leader Elisa Meschini accepts that reversing a decade of cuts will require additional funding from the government. 

But she claimed her group can “do a better job” of campaigning for “fairer funding” from the government than the current administration. 

Cllr Meschini said: “For too long, the Conservatives have taken Cambridgeshire for granted. 

"They have stripped out preventive services, dressing up service cuts as ‘transforming lives’ and ‘building community resilience’. 

“This has hit at the most disadvantaged and vulnerable in the county and increased demand for more expensive crisis-point care.” 

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Also included in the Labour manifesto are plans to: 

Support the introduction of more park and ride sites and expand “travel hubs” across the county 

Pay all county council employees the “Real Living Wage”  

Continue the government’s one-off winter support fund into next year so families who qualify for free school meals are supported throughout the school holidays 

Raise the social care precept on council tax by two per cent 

The group also said This Land, an arms-length development company wholly owned by the county council, has “failed to meet its forecast contribution in any of the last four years or to build a single ‘affordable’ house”. 

The manifesto says Labour will “refocus” the company and “work with partners to establish integrated planning for major sites, enabling affordable housing, transport and infrastructure to protect local communities”. 

In the 18-page manifesto, the Labour group has also pledged to improve bus services, deliver a “tailored local Covid recovering plan”, and to work with other authorities to deliver “low carbon infrastructure”. 

The Labour group is currently the third largest party on the council, behind the Liberal Democrats and the ruling Conservative group. 

On May 6 Cambridgeshire will elect all 61 of the councillors on Cambridgeshire County Council to serve for the next four years.