Ian Ward has said Labour will have a ‘clean and green’ blueprint for power for the upcoming local elections. And he told party members at the Labour manifesto launch in Birmingham that only Labour can bring about the city’s ‘golden decade’.
The 60 page manifesto, released at Victoria Square, signified a focus on levelling up and for a ‘cleaner, safer, and better’ Birmingham. The leader of Birmingham City Council told supporters that Labour’s programme would modernise Birmingham and its international image ‘for the better’.
Mr Ward said: “The golden decade Birmingham is about to enter is based on two things. Firstly, we’re hosting the Commonwealth Games, which will be an amazing spectacle for everyone who lives and works in Birmingham. It’s the Labour party who bid for a successful games. For every £1 the council spends on the games, the government is investing £3 into our city.
“At the end of this decade, HS2 will be on our doorstep, and that will create tens of thousands of jobs that we are going to need for our growing population.”
Flanked by his deputy, Brigid Jones, cabinet colleagues, and candidates seeking election, he said the “golden decade of opportunity” was at the heart of the party’s plans; essential for rising living standards, and shaking off long-standing inequalities.
What else has Labour said about the ‘Golden Decade’?
Mr Ward said: “Our plan is not a four year plan for a council term. It’s a ten year long-term vision to make our city great. Politicians are often criticised for short-term thinking. We aren’t. We’re going to ensure Birmingham emerges from the fallout of the pandemic with a new deal so Birmingham is cleaner, safer, and better.”
At the manifesto launch, Mr Ward promised to build more than 3,500 homes through Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust, making it the largest social housing builder in the country.
On schools and hospitals, Mr Ward said Labour would “continue to lobby [the] government” for a fairer financial settlement for schools. Labour would implement the co-produced ‘Birmingham Food Strategy’ to create a ‘healthier, affordable, safe, and sustainable’ food system for the city.
Mr Ward also said if Labour was re-elected, they would generate 100,000 new jobs in Birmingham.
What are the key Birmingham Labour Party policies?
Some of Labour’s key policies include:
Planting thousands of trees so that at least 25% of Birmingham has tree cover and establishing 400 more green spaces and parks, including a new park in the city centre.
Developing a green, affordable and reliable bus and public transport system and making it easy and safe for people to walk and cycle around Birmingham.
Building two new cycle superhighways, segregated cycle routes on our main commuter corridors
Bringing all residents within an accessible 30 minute public transport journey of the city centre through bus priority measures, rail improvements and sprint buses.
Support the £2 billion Midlands Rail Hub plan to improve rail services in Birmingham and across the Midlands, and allow more services on the Camp Hill line stopping at Moseley, Kings Heath and Hazelwell.
Roll out 20mph limits on residential roads and local centres in Birmingham.
Make the Mobile Household Recycling Centres a permanent programme for every ward in the city to collect bulky waste free of charge.
Upgrading 60,000 social homes to make them warmer, greener, and cheaper to heat.
What about the national picture?
Labour’s manifesto has had a buoyant birth, after the prime minister and the chancellor were named with a fine for attending a birthday party for Boris Johnson. The chancellor himself faced further fury after revelations that his wife does not pay UK tax on her international income and that the chancellor himself held a US green card while living in Downing Street.
Polls open on May 5. You can view a list of candidates here.
How many seats are up for grabs in the election on Thursday, May 5?
All 101 seats on Birmingham City Council are up for grabs at this year’s local elections, taking place on Thursday, May 5.
Voters from Birmingham’s 69 wards will head to polling booths to choose their local councillor, with the count taking place from 9am the following day on Friday and results expected by late afternoon.
Labour currently hold a strong majority in the city with 65 out of the 101 seats. Conservative councillors form the opposition with 27 seats, while the Liberal Democrats hold eight and the Green Party holds one. In total there are nearly 400 people standing for election.
As ever, the results of local elections often reflect how the country feels about politics happening on a national level, so issues like the Ukrainian crisis, party-gate, and the cost-of-living crisis are expected to have a significant impact. On a more local level, issues affecting Birmingham such as bins, transport and education are also expected to influence voters. Both Labour and the Tories appear to be placing a lot of stock in cleaning up Birmingham’s streets.
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