Sheldon Ellis is a bright young Labour Candidate, who will have a great future in Local politics. He writes about how the Tory manifesto affected his thoughts, we think he is spot on…
Broken Tory Manifesto Promises
At first when I read the pledges of the local Conservative Party in the Grimsby Telegraph, I laughed. But then I became angry. Because in among the ‘usual suspects’ of vague and empty promises, there were two that stood out for me.
Firstly, as the Labour candidate for Humberston and New Waltham, I expected the Tories to commit to scrapping the traffic lights at Tollbar roundabout, given how vocal they have been about the decision. But instead, they’ve given a rather pathetic assurance to ‘try’ to stop the development – a pledge intended to give them wiggle room without actually committing them to scrapping the traffic lights. Expect to see a ‘we tried, we failed’ excuse within months if they gain a majority. They are knowingly misleading the public about this, as they are fully aware that their pledge is undeliverable. They know that an appeal to overturn the decision imposed on the council by the Planning Inspectorate would cost millions in potential legal fees – money that would have to be taken from funding essential services – and the outcome would be the same. So will the Conservatives pledge to keep Tollbar Roundabout and scrap the development of traffic lights? Cllr Shreeve, a simple yes or no will suffice. At least with Labour, we are being honest about having to make difficult decisions that are unpopular because we know the limits of what we can, and what we legally can’t do.
Secondly, the Conservatives have already broken their pledge to ‘support and protect vulnerable members of our community’. The Conservatives filed a council budget amendment in February which proposed taking £650,000 from services that support vulnerable people such as those at risk of homelessness and family services, to finance ground maintenance and drain and gully repairs. Luckily, the amendment was rejected. But this offers an insight into what life would be like if they gained a majority: carrying out extensive spending cuts to essential services, demonstrating that they care more about drains than they do about actual people. But as someone who has been homeless, and who currently works for a local homeless charity, I see how the vital money of the Home Options Budget is spent on providing emergency accommodation for vulnerable people – women fleeing domestic violence, people subject to human trafficking. I find their proposal appalling.
That’s why I am proud to stand for Labour as a party that has acted to protect funds that support the most vulnerable in our society at a time of austerity. We have chosen to do what is right, rather than what is easy. Please don’t throw this all away with a Tory-led council who will not listen to local people, and who will siphon off money from those who need it most.