Fairness and common sense will be the watchwords of the new dynamic Labour team that more and more people are backing to lead Wandsworth.
Fairness means a freeze on the Council Tax because any increase will hit the poorest hardest – people already struggling to pay their bills. We will freeze your council tax this year and next year.
We will be smart and tough with how council cash is spent. This value-for-money approach begins at home: we’ll cut all councillors’ expenses to help pay for much-needed services. We’ll put every contract worth over £1 million under the microscope in the search for savings. We will also scrap the system of bonuses for senior council staff.
Fairness means making sure that older people and disabled people get the care they need so we’ll raise 2% on the social care precept to make sure we can fund those services.
Wandsworth is a great place to live but we can’t be complacent. We are in danger of slipping backwards. People are becoming worried about the safety of their streets and homes. Cuts in policing pushed through by the Conservative Government mean fewer local police. We will challenge those cuts. We’ll also install more CCTV in high crime areas.
Fairness also means looking after the staff who provide vital services. They will be paid at least the London Living Wage of £10.20 an hour. What we know from businesses and other councils is that paying the Living Wage leads to improved services as well as happier staff. Fair pay helps to keep skilled workers – cutting costs and improving standards. A win-win policy.
Many low-paid workers are women so raising pay goes hand-in- hand with our drive to tackle poverty and discrimination and close the gender pay gap.
Common sense tell us that to move Wandsworth forward we need an innovative council that listens to local people. That’s the kind of council Labour will create.
Town Hall meetings will be broadcast live on the internet so you can see how the decisions that affect your community are made.
One of our first moves will be to appoint a Chief Technology Officer to support tech jobs, secure world-class connectivity and make sure your data is safe and secure.
Supporting tech jobs will be vital post Brexit. Leaving the EU is worrying for the large majority of Wandsworth residents: 75% voted to Remain in the Referendum. Wandsworth Labour supported Remain and we will defend local jobs and businesses – and the rights of Wandsworth citizens affected.
Voluntary and community organisations play a vital role in the life of the borough. That’s why we will appoint a member of the Cabinet with the job of strengthening our partnership with these groups.
We will enlist their support in working to end isolation for older people in Wandsworth. We will launch a Loneliness Commission, bringing together experts and residents to tackle the issue. Health services, religious groups and voluntary organisations all have a role to play. Every older person who wants will be able to have a companionable lunch with other people at least once a month.
As an employer, the council will be committed to promoting equal rights and opportunities and creating an open and inclusive environment.
Wandsworth has fantastic diversity and a rich cultural heritage. We’ll encourage community street parties by cutting the council fee, widen participation in the Wandsworth Arts Fringe and mark the contribution of our armed forces.
Labour has a fresh, competent and dynamic team that reflects modern Wandsworth, with the ability and ambition to take on the challenges of the future.
Labour will re-establish accountability, open up the council using modern technology and challenge vested interests. Our partnership with residents will be based on a commitment to listen better to local people.