Local Elections 2023 - Decision Day for All of Us
On May 4th 2023, we, the people of Tendring, will elect our representatives for the next four years. Who we elect will determine what kind of council we get and set the course for decisions to be made that will affect us all. Sometimes, the consequences aren't obvious. In 2019, the people of Tendring elected a council in which no one party had a majority BUT some independents joined with the Conservatives, keeping the same Conservative politicians in power. Life is hard and things are worse than most of us can remember. Many people are fed up with the council and with politics but the answer isn't to stay at home and not vote. That just gives a free run to councillors who don't work hard and don't listen to their electors.
In 2019 the Tendring Liberal Democrats increased our share of the vote. Councillor Gary Scott (Alresford & Elmstead) was re-elected and Ann Wiggins (Alresford & Elmstead) was elected for the first time. The Tendring Liberal Democrats also came close to winning further seats in Burrsville and Manningtree, Mistley & Lawford. In 2023, we will be standing on the manifesto below, a manifesto that lays out a plan for a fairer, more hopeful future for Tendring.
Cost of Living
- Plans to create a fund to provide financial support for small Tendring businesses affected by the cost of living. (See full manifesto below for funding plans)
- Work with the voluntary sector, Social Services, GP practices and the Department for Work and Pensions to ensure those residents who need advice or help get it.
- Aim to increase the supply of accessible and adaptable social housing.
- Press for new housing developments to have access to adequate services and infrastructure, including Fibre Optic broadband.
- Introduce a Tendring Standard, with a quality mark, for private rented accommodation, to ensure decent standards and seek funds to support this work.
- Require that planners check that planning conditions have been met and hold housing developers accountable.
Crime and Police
- Press for increased Police funding from central government.
- The district council to consider funding more Police Community Support Officers and Community Ambassadors as Colchester (under Liberal Democrat leadership) has done, and checking that the officers are actually used in those areas.
- Press the County Council to reverse savage cuts to youth services, which have contributed to youth crime increasing.
Health and Social Services
- Establish "Healthy Tendring", a body to promote, and spread information to enable, healthy living throughout the district, including in particular food preparation and healthy eating.
- Work with voluntary and community groups to promote leisure activities for lonely people, people with heart disease, mental health issues and dementia.
- Work to improve the inadequate support for young people and adults with mental health problems throughout Tendring.
- Press for improvements to GP services through regular meetings with the Clinical Commissioning Group, and local MPs.
- Encourage the retention of staffed rail ticket offices.
- Examine the viability of a free bus pass scheme for younger people not in education, employment or training, working with relevant organisations. This would help young people to gain employment or training.
- Campaign for local authorities (as Liberal Democrat-led Colchester has done) to devolve the budget for highway repairs so we can take charge of potholes being properly repaired.
Regenerating Our Area
- Tackle youth unemployment by working with community hubs and employers.
- Set up a fund to promote retraining for older workers, including support (either loan or grant) for families while they are training.
- Revive the Micro and Small Business Growth Grants for Tendring to respond to small businesses in difficulty because of energy prices and other cost of living increases.
- Create a strategy for the regeneration of Clacton and Dovercourt town centres, including lower business rates for startup businesses.
- Ensure that Freeport East brings maximum benefits to Tendring people and minimum disruption and environmental damage.
- Clamp down on littering and continue the clamp-down on dog mess.
- Review the increase in the charge for green waste collection to ensure no reduction in take-up; examine the possibility of abolishing the charge and reassessing the plan to charge for additional red and green boxes.
- Create a fly-tipping action plan involving the district and town/parish councils, police and Essex Highways.
- Aim towards all new and refurbished council buildings being carbon-neutral or as near as possible.
- Promote good insulation, solar panels and grey water use (details under Housing).
Power back to the people - a council that listens to you and acts for you
- All councillors to share in decision-making. Powers and services currently held by the district council to be given to town councils, parish councils and groupings of parish councils where agreement can be reached and there is no extra cost.
- The views of Clacton people on a Town Council for Clacton to be sought and implemented.
- Open meetings and as much information given to the public as possible.
A Fair Deal for All
- Implement an annual audit of the council's equality policies and performance in delivering services and employment.
- Addressing problems in accessibility of council services including online services and physical access to buildings.
- The council to take an active part in supporting and integrating refugees in Tendring.
Paying for it All
- Review Council spending to identify areas where economies can be made without hurting residents.
- Review the council's investments and reserves to make sure money is being used appropriately.
- Successful regeneration will raise money through increased business rates and council tax payments.
- Adopt a local plan with the aim of reducing the number of appeals against planning refusals, saving the Council costs.