Labour will use the relaxed borrowing rules to invest in building a new generation of council housing, offering cheaper rent than private rates. We will ring fence rental income to spend on maintenance and build new homes. Labour would introduce an aggressive Empty Homes Strategy that would give the council new and innovative ways to bring empty homes back into use, including allowing the council to serve compulsory purchase orders; and the introduction of greater financial disincentives through the Council Tax system.
While organisations such as City Angels and Stonepillow do great work, Labour believes it is wrong to outsource such responsibilities solely to charities or the third sector.
Labour would tackle the rising levels of crime by working with Sussex Police to ensure a police presence in Chichester city at weekends. We need to return to community policing and would continue to support the role of PCSOs. We would seek to broaden the involvement in the Community Safety and Crime Partnership by involving local residents, local parish and town councils, businesses and organisations in the creation of the local Police and Crime Plan to address the concerns and needs of our local communities.
We would introduce a Women’s Safety Charter, working with venues throughout the district to tackle harassment of women in bars and nightclubs. A charter would ensure that all staff working at licensed premises act in a responsible and supportive manner, taking all reports seriously. We would publish a list of all those venues that have signed up to the scheme.
Labour-run Southwark Council has introduced a Women’s Safety Charter, adopted by 81 licensed premises. This has sent out a clear message that female harassment in these premises will not be tolerated.
Labour commits its full support for Equality & Diversity and will work with all partners to combat the rise of hate crimes and all forms of discrimination.