Priority Five – Build Bridges – listening to what residents say

 

Under Conservative control, town centres have been allowed to decline, yet the proposed solution in Tunbridge Wells was to build a hugely expensive theatre, town hall and car park scheme – a twentieth century answer to a twenty-first century problem, bringing with it a mountain of debt.  Labour Councillors helped to stop this scheme. The profound changes to society brought about by COVID19, our altered shopping patterns, transport and entertainment habits, all seem to have passed the Conservatives by. The Borough needs new leadership and direction.

Labour is committed to making the Council more transparent and open to scrutiny. The Calverley Square and Southborough Hub projects show why getting this wrong leads to costly misjudgements at the taxpayer’s expense. Labour is committed to ensuring that more women and other minority groups are represented on the Council and in positions of power.

We want the Council to be more ‘citizen focused’ and open to scrutiny and transparency. We want the younger generation to have a greater role in shaping the future of the place where they grow up.

 

Labour Councillors will:

  1. Engage with residents, town forums and the like, to develop a new vision and direction for the Borough. We need a Tunbridge Wells Town Centre Plan for the redevelopment of the Town Hall estate.
  2. Develop an open, listening and transparent ‘citizens first’ culture which gives residents real influence and challenges waste and poor performance.
  3. Encourage more public involvement by providing greater opportunities for residents to contribute to Council meetings.
  4. Actively seek out the views of other under-represented groups, like women, the young, the disabled, & ethnic minorities, so that the needs of all are taken into account and priorities are set accordingly.
  5. Build stronger partnerships with Town and Parish Councils and ensure we respect their own, locally developed neighbourhood plans.
  6. Work towards better gender balance on Council Committees, including Committee Chair positions and other positions of power.
  7. Improve political leadership, scrutiny, transparency and ability to deliver effective services, and support councillors to be well informed, engaged and effective.
  8. Bring forward proposals on local youth engagement so that the next generation has a greater opportunity to be involved and shape the future of the Borough.