A Fairer, Greener and Safer Tunbridge Wells

Labour’s Local Election Manifesto 2024

Dear Resident

This year we have ‘all-out elections’ for a new slimmed down council. Our local manifesto is focused on creating a better future for all our residents. Our vision is for a Borough with great opportunities for all to have good homes, good jobs, good schools, good support and live in places which are strong vibrant communities.

Tunbridge Wells Labour has helped run your Council since 2022. Our values and vision have shaped the second year of the three-party Borough Partnership and Labour currently has two Cabinet members for areas which are Labour’s top priorities.

I have Housing and Planning and Jayne Sharratt has Carbon Reduction and Sustainability. All of our seven Borough Councillors are working hard for their communities and are active members of the Council.

We must tackle our major challenges now to secure a prosperous future for Tunbridge Wells. We are being held back by the chronic lack of affordable housing, low wages, high rents and traffic gridlock. We need to support our residents to be able to stay here while encouraging others to visit.

A vote for Labour is a vote for the only party that has the ambition and vision to change Tunbridge Wells for the better. By electing more Labour councillors working hard for their communities, alongside a future Labour government, we can deliver a fairer, greener and safer Tunbridge Wells.

Download our Manifesto for 2024.

Best wishes

Hugo Pound

Leader of the Labour Group, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council

What we’ve helped to achieve so far

1  Cleared up the previous Tory financial mess, blocked the failed theatre project and achieved the first balanced budget in the last five years.

2  Delivered a second round of £100,000 Community Support Fund to help our most vulnerable residents hit by the cost-of-living crisis

3  Speeded up climate change action including a plan to protect our bio-diversity and reducing carbon emissions from our buildings and vehicles.

4  Progressed a new local plan that will provide much needed genuinely affordable and social housing across the Borough.

5  Purchased the leasehold of the Royal Victoria Place in Tunbridge Wells to revitalise our shops and provide leisure opportunities to revive our town centre.

Our Priorities for 2024/25

1. Build more homes

– Adopt the new local plan so we can ensure that genuinely affordable housing is delivered – particularly homes for social rent.

– Ensure the right mix of housing to rent and buy is provided with supporting infrastructure, while protecting land not identified for development.

– Create a small social housing scheme to build and showcase energy efficient and accessible homes on a council owned site.

2. Grow our local economy

– Support local businesses and the revival of our towns and village centres by creating a business-friendly environment.

– Bring more jobs to the Borough paying better wages, with growth in new inclusive apprenticeship opportunities.

Grow our creative sector, arts, leisure and tourist scenes to help our Borough thrive.

3. Make our communities greener

– Install solar panels on all Council owned buildings.

– Produce our own clean green energy to help decarbonise Tunbridge Wells.

– Reduce traffic gridlock with improved walking and cycling routes and cheaper, more frequent and reliable public transport.

4. Make our communities safer

– Work with the police and local communities to increase resources available to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.

– Ensure women and girls and other targeted groups are safer, especially at night, with improved lighting and CCTV, safer travel and a more visible police presence.

– Remove graffiti quickly and support the development of litter picking groups across the Borough.

5. Support residents and protect public services

– Manage finances well and provide the services you need.

– Make permanent the £100k Community Support Fund.

– Bring under-used community buildings back into use or dispose of them, investing in new, more appropriate community buildings