Cambridge City Council’s newly-elected Labour team published detailed plans for its first year in office.
Labour’s 2014 Annual Statement outlines the party’s carefully developed and fully-costed plans to share Cambridge’s prosperity more fairly, tackle the housing crisis, and protect essential services. Labour’s plan will outline how the council will assist those struggling with Cambridge’s falling real wages, rocketing rents, and spiralling housing costs. The cornerstone of tackling this ‘Tale of Two Cities’ will be the establishment of an anti-poverty strategy, which will involve a range of schemes designed to tackle the cost-of-living crisis, such as a Living Wage promotion campaign and initiatives to cut energy and water bills.
It will be financed by a new ‘Sharing Prosperity Fund’, created by diverting growth funding.
On housing, Labour plans to work with partners to increase affordable housing for rent in Cambridge, including building more social housing and tackling unfair charges in the private rented sector. Labour will also massively boost efforts to clean up the city by doubling public realm enforcement, targeting ‘cleaning blitzes’ at neglected residential areas, and cracking down on dog-fouling.
Labour will carry out these plans despite the Coalition Government’s 40% cut to the city’s core funding by formulating a more imaginative and ambitious financial strategy and by working with the council’s high quality staff to change the way services are provided.
Incoming Labour Leader of Cambridge City Council, Cllr Lewis Herbert, said: “Cambridge faces massive challenges including a housing crisis and a very high cost of living. However, this city has huge potential and already punches above its weight with unique international links and globally recognised research strengths.
“The newly-elected Labour team will make sure that Cambridge’s huge potential is unlocked. We will bolster efforts to secure the city’s prosperity and ensure that it can be shared more equally: we want an end to Cambridge’s ‘Tale of Two Cities’. We will govern Cambridge for all its residents while ensuring that the Council supports those who most need its help. We will make sure areas of the city which have been neglected, particularly in the north and east, enjoy decent-quality housing and a great environment in which to live.”
Labour’s new Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources, Cllr George Owers, added: “Our Annual Statement outlines, with vision and detail, how we will help those who are struggling to afford to live in Cambridge. Our Annual Statement shows how we can finance our plans by charting a new financial course that departs from the complacency, inaction and lack of imagination of the outgoing Liberal Democrat administration while ensuring prudent financial management. Our plans are both ambitious and realistic, full of pragmatic and costed solutions to problems that the Lib Dems barely acknowledged.”