Our offer to voters: Manifesto for the Torfaen County Borough Council Election on 3 March 2012                            issued by Torfaen Constituency Labour Party


Torfaen needs local Councillors who will stand up against the Tory-led Westminster Government. Labour believes in the importance of communities. Working with the Labour Welsh Government, local Labour Councillors will be your first line of defence against the damage being done to our communities by the Conservatives and their Liberal Democrat allies.

Labour’s pledges to the people of Torfaen:

1. Standing up for our older people: We will re-appoint an Older Person’s Champion, to speak up in the Council for the needs of our older citizens.

We wholeheartedly support our older people, who have worked throughout their lives and deserve support and dignity in retirement. We will back our older people and work to protect the services they rely on. We will re-appoint an Older Person’s Champion, whose specific job is to speak up in the Council for the needs of our senior citizens.

2. Standing up for our young people: we will invest over £40m to deliver schools fit for the 21st century

We pledge to continue to monitor, support and challenge our schools to raise attainment standards and to provide the best possible education for our young people. The quality of our primary schools has improved markedly over the past four years. We have also built new primary schools: Padre Pio, Nant Celyn, Blaenavon and Crownbridge at Croesyceiliog, as well as refurbishing several other schools.

As a priority, we pledge to work with our secondary schools to raise attainment at ages 14 to 18, to improve life chances for our young people and to achieve a major decrease in the number of our young people leaving school with no qualifications, employment or training opportunities. We will support proposals to improve post-16 education across the borough.

We pledge to work to deliver the 21st Century Schools Capital Programme and support plans to invest, along with the Welsh Government, £81.6million in transforming our schools between now and 2019.

We support the Labour Welsh Government’s decision to reject the prospect of £9,000 tuition fees in Wales, and will work to help all our young people in having the best possible start in life. We will also continue to fully support the work of Torfaen’s Youth Service.

3. Standing up for local jobs: We will publish a strategy for local jobs to encourage business creation in these tough times.

The current unemployment figures are unacceptable, and particularly tough on our young people, with over 1 million under-30s out of work. Unlike the Conservative-Lib Dem UK Government, we are not happy to sit by and let this happen. We will draw up a strategy for local jobs to ensure that the Council does everything in its power to encourage business creation, by playing its part in attracting and retaining employers in the area and by supporting local businesses.

4. Standing up for the vulnerable: We will continue to support the most vulnerable groups in our communities

Along with the elderly and our young people, the vulnerable people in our communities are suffering the most from the savage cuts of this Conservative/LibDem Government. We will stand up for our vulnerable people and the services they rely on. We are committed to continuing to provide care for those in most need and will work to enhance the quality of life of all local residents.

5. Standing up for safer communities: We will appoint a dedicated police liaison team to help the police and local communities tackle crime and anti-social behaviour

We will work with local police and communities to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour. We back Welsh Labour’s pledge to deliver 500 extra Community Support Officers and will work to ensure that the successes of community policing are not set back by the 20% cuts to police budgets imposed by the Conservative-Lib Dem UK Government. We will continue to ensure that the views of communities are put to the local police, by appointing a dedicated police liaison team, in which the relevant Executive Member, together with Councillors from the north, middle and south of the Borough, can give their views regularly to local police. We also pledge to work with the new Gwent police commissioner once elected in November 2012.

6. Standing up for our local environment: We will continue to invest in cleaner and greener streets, parks and public spaces

Labour believes in sustainability. We will work to regenerate our communities and improve the condition of our streets, parks and open spaces – so that they can be enjoyed by all residents. We will also continue to do everything we can to help local residents increase the amount of waste recycled.

7. Spending wisely in tough times: We will work to keep Council Tax bills as low as possible, whilst maintainng frontline services

We recognise that money is tight for local families at the moment, so we will work to keep Council Tax bills as low as possible, whilst maintaining vital local services - despite the impact upon Councils of cuts in funding for Wales from the Conservative/LibDem Government.

We recognise how many people rely on the services that the Council supplies. We are proud to have avoided the redundancies of staff made by other Councils in the last year. We will only support sensible savings in the Council’s budget, and will not take the Tory slash and burn approach to frontline public services.

8. Standing up for you: We will hold regular local surgeries

We will be there when you need us. All elected Labour Councillors will hold regular surgeries, giving you the chance to put your concerns directly to them. Labour Councillors will be easily accessible, there to listen to you – not just at election times, but all year round.



 Labour – the only team to stand up for our communities:

The choice for voters at this election

In these tough times, with local people and our communities facing the threat of savage cuts from a Conservative-led Government, we need a strong team of Labour councillors to deliver for local people and defend our local services. The last thing we need is Tory or LibDem Councillors imposing their cut and run agenda in Torfaen.

Only a vote for Labour sends a clear message to David Cameron, Nick Clegg and their Government that people in Torfaen reject their failing cuts programme.

Across Wales, Plaid Cymru would rather talk about separating Wales from Britain, and have repeatedly failed to rule out deals with Tories in the past.

Independent Councillors promise the earth, yet have no idea how to deliver for our area. They shout from the sidelines, but have no positive agenda. The ‘independent group’ after the last election formed a group on the Council, meeting and voting with Tories and Liberal Democrats. Some of their candidates were even Liberal Democrat members until recently!

Across Wales, independent run councils are bywords for failure. The three crisis councils in Wales – Pembrokeshire, Blaenau Gwent and Anglesey – were all ‘independent’ controlled. You can’t trust independents with your schools, libraries and social services.

The Torfaen Labour guarantee: We will not do deals with Tories to sell our local services down the river. Can your local Plaid Cymru, Liberal Democrat or ‘Independent group’ candidate match that promise?!

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