Oxford Labour has set out its Oxford City Council election manifesto – a promise to the residents of Oxford of what it will deliver if Labour wins power again in the May 6 City Council elections.
At its heart is a bold agenda for Oxford City designed to tackle poverty and inequality, to continue Labour’s drive for an inclusive, more equal city with fair opportunities for all, building the social housing we so desperately need and leading the way to becoming a carbon neutral city.
It also includes plans to support people and businesses grow back to health after the damaging impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our city’s economy.
What will Labour do to support jobs and Oxford’s economic recovery?
- Continue to make Oxford a first-choice city to attract new funding for innovations to tackle climate change, helping develop “green “ skills and jobs while meeting our Zero Carbon targets
- Pay the Oxford Living Wage to council staff and direct contractors and continue to campaign and strongly encourage others to do so
- Use the Council’s buying power to support local businesses, social enterprises and Co-operatives and urge others to do so
- Encourage more social enterprises and co-operatives in our city and support start-ups, using empty retail and business space
What will Labour do to tackle inequality?
- Continue our Council Tax Reduction Scheme for our poorest citizens that takes those least able to afford it completely out of paying council tax
- Grant aid £0.5 million to local advice agencies in Oxford to provide free financial, housing and immigration advice
- Have reduced prices for council leisure facilities for the least well off and those in receipt of disability benefits
- Support asylum seekers and refugees affected by the government’s policy of creating a hostile environment and continue to decline to provide information designed to support immigration enforcement
What will Labour do about Housing?
For the half of Oxford residents that live in privately rented accommodation:
- Set up a licensing scheme to improve conditions for tenants in the private rented sector and support good landlords
- Continue to campaign for the ban on evictions to protect tenants in the private rented sector and against so-called ‘no fault’ (Section 21) evictions
For council house tenants – invest to make city housing carbon neutral, reducing energy bills for tenants.
For those in need of homes:
- Build 620 council houses in the next 4 years.
- Continue to provide enough accommodation for homeless people, as we have done in the COVID crisis, so that no one has to sleep rough.
What will Labour do to accelerate Oxford’s journey to becoming a Carbon neutral city?
- Make the Council’s activities carbon neutral by 2030
- Work with others to make Oxford city carbon neutral by 2040
- Reduce air pollution by supporting transport changes
- Support Low Traffic Neighbourhoods to reduce rat-running traffic and encourage active travel
- Plant more trees and create better wildlife habitat in verges and parks
- Support a comprehensive network of dedicated cycle tracks
- Install electric vehicle charging stations in residential streets
What will Labour do to improve the quality of life and make our neighbourhoods fantastic places to live?
- Continue to provide generous grant support for voluntary organisations to support community activities, cohesion, access to culture and to tackle loneliness
- Maintain Oxford’s beautiful parks and refurbish playgrounds to provide green space for all to enjoy
- Redevelop East Oxford and Bullingdon community centres
- Offer reduced costs to council leisure facilities for over 60s
- Enable Oxford’s children to swim for free in the Council’s pools
- Work with police to tackle drug dealing, domestic abuse, child sex exploitation and county lines, modern slavery, anti-social behaviour and crime
Cllr Susan Brown, Labour Leader of Oxford City Council, said “We have listened to local residents and are responding to their vision for an Oxford fit for the future. Labour is constantly thinking about what Oxford needs in order to be a fantastic city for us all to live in and thrive in. Our manifesto and policies will help the city to grow again after the pandemic and also accelerate progress towards the big goal of being a Carbon neutral city by 2040.
“We believe that our Labour values – tackling the extremes of inequality, building more decent affordable homes, valuing inclusiveness and communities, and making sure everyone in Oxford can lead a fulfilling and enjoyable life in this diverse and exciting city are widely shared by the people of Oxford.”
To read the full manifesto go to https://tinyurl.com/4bhhf57h
For more information and to arrange media interviews with Cllr. Susan Brown, Labour Leader of Oxford City Council, contact Cllr Nigel Chapman, Oxford City Council Labour Group Media Officer on 07850763708.