Education and housing are Labour’s top priorities, revealed in the party’s manifesto ahead of the local elections.
Called “Forging Fairer Futures”, the manifesto sets out the policies required to deliver what Labour calls a fairer, more prosperous future for Sheffield.she
New homes and better protection for tenants is a pledge. Labour says it is committed to providing 1,500 new council houses in the next five years, including from its extensive council house building programme. Labour has enacted the first council house building programme in a generation.
Council Leader Julie Dore said: “For the growing number of people who rent privately we will publish a charter of tenants’ rights and responsibilities.
“Labour is committed to tough action on rogue landlords and we will bring the full force of the law down on landlords whose properties are unsafe, including through prosecution.
“Homelessness is a national scandal and needs national action. However, we will also strive to do what we can in Sheffield and proactively prevent homelessness, by working with people earlier in their lives to resolve housing problems and provide options.
“We will work to improve access to health care, education, training and employment for homeless people.
“The government’s welfare reforms have pushed many people into poverty. We are fighting back and we have ensured that no one is evicted from council tenancies solely as a result of delays in Universal Credit and we maintain our opposition to the cruel ‘Bedroom Tax’.
“To help those most in needs we will maintain our Council Tax Support at current levels and increase the overall Council Tax hardship fund.”
The party says it is committed to providing services for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities and their families, including working to prevent unnecessary exclusions.
Labour would also provide extra funding for schools to support young people’s emotional wellbeing and mental health.
Coun Dore added: “We believe that these elections are Sheffield’s opportunity to send a clear message to the Conservative Government: that we have had enough of government cuts to vital services, from hospitals to schools. That austerity has hit our city hard.
“Since 2010 there has been £430 million taken from the council’s budget. That has meant deep cuts to services which we did not want to make, and that would not have happened under a Labour government.”
Other manifesto pledges include:
Committing to a Clean Air Strategy
Delivering the Heart of the City 2 regeneration
Further investment in road safety and more 20mph zones
Building a new Central Library and culture hub for the city
Fulfilling plans to build two new secondary schools