The tragic events of the Grenfell Tower disaster have shown that in many parts of the country significant areas of poverty can sit side-by-side with pockets of affluence, Chichester is no different. The social divide has been made worse by years of austerity and neglect. The lesson from Grenfell that Labour embraces is that our local authorities must represent all, listen to all and act in the best interests of all.
Labour would transform the relationship between our councils and their residents. We would give residents the opportunities to be involved in the running of their council. We would introduce participatory budgeting into the process of deciding spending priorities, especially with the use of the funds raised through the Community Infrastructure Levy.
We will continue to give residents a choice on how they may contact the council as we realise many people prefer face-to-face interaction. We will review how the council’s digital services are delivered to ensure that services are cost effective and easy to use.
With the introduction of Universal Credit, Labour will look to strengthen our support by forming a task group working closely with organisations such as the Citizens Advice Bureau, West Sussex County Council’s Boom! Credit Union and Chichester District Foodbank to ensure those struggling to make ends meet will have early intervention and be supported through any changes.
Chichester Labour opposes the cuts to housing grants which will lead to an increase in homelessness and rough sleeping. The cuts in funding will also threaten the support available to those escaping domestic violence, as shelters will be at risk of closing. We will work closely with Chichester-based Stonepillow and other agencies to support them in their vital work providing the Chichester Hub, hostels and the needle exchange programme.
Labour will continue to support refugees and we will work closely with those local groups who represent refugees and other displaced persons.
Proposals to build an additional 10,000 homes within the district require our councils to ensure all planning considerations include meaningful impact assessments to be acted upon to ensure adequate provision of local services and review community facilities.
Labour councillors will work with all local and national groups to resist further pressures on local government and fight for local government funding at sustainable and realistic levels.
Search for the term LGBT or the word ‘Gay’ on the Chichester District Council website and you will only find one result search. Our councils are failing to reflect the diversity of our local communities. Labour will work with local groups and partners to celebrate and promote diversity and support disadvantaged minority communities. We would create a Community Forum to represent the views of the diverse range of communities within the district, such as the LGBT and BAME communities.
We would proudly fly the Rainbow Flag for such events as Pride and LGBT History Month and would do the same for other similar cultural occasions.