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Priority One – A post COVID recovery plan for all

The COVID pandemic has exposed just how deeply unequal Tunbridge Wells is. The economic and social impacts of the pandemic will be felt for many years to come and the Council needs to consider a range of measures to support residents and businesses affected the most. Labour will fight for a fairer Tunbridge Wells, backing business growth and job creation at the same time as addressing poverty, low pay and the high cost of living. We will work with and support partners in the voluntary, community and faith sectors to create a stronger and more cohesive Borough.

We will continue to campaign against cuts and support the much needed investment in our vital public services.

Labour Councillors will work to:

1. Support local businesses, job creation, the provision of jobs at or above the real local living wage and high quality apprenticeships for our young people.

2. Encourage home working and support flexible public transport ticketing as a way of helping our local economies and reduce our carbon footprint.

3. End zero hour contracts and other insecure employment arrangements and encourage the adoption of the real local living wage by the Council and its contractors.

4. Promote in-sourcing as the default model of providing council services – as it’s usually cheaper, more accountable and protects workers’ rights.

5. Ensure that the awarding of public contracts is assessed on the benefit to residents and the local economy rather than multi-national corporations.

6. Support actions to deliver real benefits to the nearly one third of children and their families growing up in poverty in some parts of the Borough.

7. Protect grants to voluntary and community sector organisations and target additional funding to organisations providing community services to residents.

8. Restore 100% Council Tax Support to our lowest income residents, starting by urgently reducing the minimum contribution from 20% to 15%.

9. End local food insecurity by supporting our local Food Banks and Larders to enable residents to access good quality and affordable food.

10.Promote a borough where everyone is valued and welcome – taking action to promote equality and address discrimination, domestic violence and hate crime.

Labour Councillors will hold local Conservative decision makers to account for the damaging economic and social impact of their policies both nationally and locally. All of our manifesto plans will contribute to a more positive post pandemic Tunbridge Wells. 

It is the wrong time to be imposing council tax rises – we see no justification for this whilst services continue to be reduced. After a decade or more of cuts and underfunding, we know that it doesn’t work – and our residents deserve better. The well funded public services which they are being asked to pay for.