A positive, realistic and ambitious plan for Brighton and Hove

17608_805721472816664_2112969511938700015_nSpeech at The Argus council hustings and debate, 24th April:

Labour has a positive, realistic and ambitious plan for Brighton and Hove. Labour has the leadership, the candidate team and the unity to deliver it. Labour will deliver a city that works for you, for every neighbourhood and every community in this city.

We want to promote a prosperous economy that delivers better opportunities and better wages for all, that helps move some of the thousands of people in our city out of low-wage, in-work poverty. It is a scandal that thousands of our neighbours now rely on food banks for something to eat. There were just two food banks here in 2012; now there are a dozen. It is a scandal that dozens of people sleep on the streets of our city, a prosperous city in a prosperous nation.

We will do whatever we can to end reliance on food banks and end the scandal of street homelessness.

We will set up a landlord licensing scheme to tackle bad landlords, end rip-off lettings agent fees, and get a better deal for tenants in the private rented sector. We will build at least 500 new council homes, and as many more truly affordable homes as we can possibly deliver, to tackle the enormous housing crisis in our city.

It will not be an easy task, but it is one to which we are firmly committed.

No-one should be denied access to a decent and affordable home because of high rents, the buy-to-let student market or the thousands of people escaping rocketing house prices in London.

A Labour council under my leadership would get the city moving again, and push for more affordable public transport especially for those starting training or apprenticeships.

We will wipe out youth unemployment by 2019.

We will make our city’s streets cleaner, deliver a refuse collection service residents can rely on, and get our city’s recycling levels at least back up to where they were before the Greens took over. We will ensure a new secondary school is built  and that all pupils have access to excellent and accountable education under powers restored by a Labour government.

We will prioritise work on improving mental health, on tackling domestic violence, on combatting prejudice and on putting council services back into the heart of our neighbourhoods.

Achieving all this under pressure from massive Conservative government cuts will be hard, but we will work in partnership with communities, charities, businesses and others, providing leadership based on our values of fairness and co-operation, setting a new tone and direction towards a city that is cleaner, fairer and more prosperous, a city we can all be proud of, and a council that works for you.

ManifestoFront

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