Whether it’s the local police cuts, the damaging upheaval of the NHS, our stagnating economy or the soaring cost of fuel and food the Government in London needs telling its policies aren’t working.
Exeter’s Labour run council is doing a good job in difficult circumstances. Through good management it has made big savings while protecting the local services it provides. Once again Exeter has frozen its council tax – already one of the lowest in England – though overall our bills will rise because the Tory & Lib Dem dominated Fire Authority and the Police Authority took the decision to put their share of the council tax up.
Labour has a brilliant group of council candidates in these elections – people who will work hard for you all year round. Although Labour currently runs the city council we don’t hold a majority of the seats. We could do much more for the people of Exeter if we did, like build a long awaited new swimming pool as part of the exciting plans for the Bus Station site, and provide more affordable housing for rent for local people, which is so desperately need.
Every week when I’m out and about in Exeter people tell me they’re worried about their jobs, the cost of living and what sort of prospects their children can look forward to. Local long term youth unemployment has nearly trebled in the last year, while the abolition of Education Maintenance Allowance and the trebling of student fees have made it harder for young people to stay on in education.
Local people on modest and low incomes have seen their living standards squeezed while London bankers and others at the top still rake in their bonuses. Yet the Government still tries to claim “we’re all in this together.”
We could be doing so much better as a country. So I hope you will use your vote to elect a council that will fight hard for you and our city and tell the Government we need a change of course.