I had a few local people complain to me recently that they hadn’t received a polling card to vote on Thursday 3rd May. I had to tell them we didn’t have elections this year but next May we do.
The elections next May are for North Warwickshire Borough Council and they matter. They matter because the Borough Council has so many roles and responsibilities.
It provides our leisure centres, some of our parks, collects our Council tax, clears fly tipping, keeps our streets clean, provides housing, handles planning applications, promotes town centre regeneration and much more.
Some of these things, the Borough Council does well but on others, it’s not so good. In North Warwickshire, we’ve sort of just ticked along, nothing ‘big’ ever happens here. There’s little investment, rarely any major improvements in public services and for to long, the only thing to change, has been for services to be cut and access to them reduce.
The Conservative Government are cutting local government to the bone but local councils have a choice. They can either cut frontline services or they can radically rethink the way the Council works.
In North Warwickshire, our Conservative Council are cutting services. They have slowly top sliced budgets and then made major decisions to charge for the Borough Care service and to try and close Arley Sports Centre. At the same time, they’ve done nothing to tackle the nearly £1million senior management bill. It’s a scandal that Conservative Councillors would rather cut the services local people rely on than tackle excessive waste at the top.
Take Borough Care, a service that was provided for free to those over 60. It’s an emergency alarm system, installed in your home, providing emergency assistance 24 hours a day. It was free under Labour but now costs over £180 per year because the Conservatives decided to charge for it. The result is that hundreds have cancelled their subscription. Hundreds of pensioners have decided they can’t afford it.
We shouldn’t live in a Borough where the Council keeps paying senior managers so much money but can’t afford to protect our elderly. So next time you see your Conservative Councillors, ask them why they voted to charge our elderly for Borough Care and if they can do that, why else are they going to charge for in the future?
It’s for this reason and many more, that next year’s election is so important. Over the next few months, Labour will set out it’s manifesto and reveal it’s candidates.
Already, we’ve committed to producing the boldest manifesto yet with our most diverse set of candidates e