Manifesto

East Lothian Labour has launched its Plan for East Lothian, a manifesto for the 3rd May local elections.

You can download it as a pdf document, a word document or read it online here:

Let's work together for a better East Lothian

A Vision for a Better East Lothian

We are proud of East Lothian. It is a great county with great people and great communities. But it could be so much better.

East Lothian Labour Party is committed to working together with the people and communities of East Lothian to create a prosperous, safe and sustainable East Lothian.

Labour is closer to our communities and so has a greater understanding of the issues affecting our county and Labour will make the real differences that will improve the quality of life for all East Lothian’s citizens and communities.

The SNP/ Lib Dem council has failed to deliver on key manifesto commitments and has let East Lothian down by:

  • Failing to reduce class sizes and cutting teacher numbers instead; there are 83 fewer teachers than when they took office, the number of composite classes has doubled under the SNP

 

  • Breaking their pledge to transfer decision making and budgets to local forums

 

  • Outsourcing care of the elderly services to the private sector

 

  • Cutting the subsidy supporting bus services, isolating many rural communities. Far too much of the county has no public transport at all

 

  • Transferring the management of East Lothian schools to Midlothian Council where schools are performing below the level of East Lothian schools

Worst of all, the SNP/ Lib Dem Council failed to stand up for East Lothian during the recession.

While unemployment has been rising faster in East Lothian than across Scotland as a whole, and youth unemployment even faster still, the SNP Council has been giving orders, contracts and jobs worth over £100 million every year to companies from out with East Lothian.

The SNP have made it clear that they will count your vote as a vote for a separate Scotland; Labour will count your vote as a vote for a better East Lothian.

Let’s work together for a better East Lothian

Our Key Pledges to the People of East Lothian

East Lothian Labour Party makes five key pledges to the people of East Lothian to create a prosperous, safe and sustainable East Lothian where its people and communities can flourish.

We will:

  • Deliver sustainable economic growth and jobs – every policy in a Labour Council will be assessed for the impact it will have on jobs and economic prosperity

 

  • Give our children the best start in life – a Labour Council will work with children and young people, parents, teachers, health professionals and local communities to provide the best opportunities for all children and young people

 

  • Protect vulnerable and older people – a Labour Council will fulfil its legal and moral duties to assist vulnerable and older people to live with dignity and respect

 

  • Help our communities to flourish – a Labour Council will devolve decision making to ensure that our people have a real say in the decisions that matter most and provide communities with the housing, transport links and community facilities that will allow them to flourish

 

  • Ensure women and children who experience domestic violence have access to specialist services and support

Under Labour, East Lothian Council would deliver the highest quality public services and reject outsourcing of council services.

All Labour councillors will be accessible at all times, they will work with and act in the best interests of their local communities.

This manifesto outlines what East Lothian Labour will do to achieve these pledges.

Create sustainable economic growth and jobs

Creating a prosperous East Lothian is our central aim. So creating opportunities for jobs and strong sustainable economic growth will be at the core of the Council’s work.

Every Council policy will be subject to an assessment of its impact on jobs and the economy in East Lothian, policies that threaten jobs will be rejected.

Let’s work together for a better East Lothian

These are the commitments East Lothian Labour makes to support our pledge to create opportunities for sustainable economic growth and jobs.

Ensure the Council’s Local Development Plan supports jobs and opportunities for strong sustainable economic growth. The planning system needs to protect East Lothian’s environment but it also needs to support developments that allow East Lothian’s economy to grow

  • Reduce the time taken to determine commercial planning applications in order to help local businesses grow and to attract new job opportunities to East Lothian

 

  • Guarantee local companies the opportunity to compete for Council contracts and provide dedicated support to enable them to effectively compete for public sector contracts

 

  • Promote Community Benefit in procurement to ensure that local people and communities benefit as much as possible from contracts the Council places with private companies

 

  • Work in partnership with the business sector to develop land zoned for business, where appropriate the Council will fund the infrastructure required to bring economic investment and jobs into East Lothian

 

  • Regenerate East Lothian’s Town Centres and shopping areas; for example by introducing initiatives to re-open empty shops, reduce congestion and fund and promote "Shop Locally" initiatives

 

  • Introduce a new Economic Forum with the business and farming community that gives them real influence over the economic policies that will drive forward the East Lothian economy

 

  • Implement a skills and employment strategy that aims to give every young person either a training opportunity, an apprenticeship or a job; key to this will be the Council jointly funding apprenticeship and training places with local companies

 

  • Increase support for new business start ups and growth through initiatives such as interest free loans, cash flow support and business advice

 

  • Create partnerships with house builders to kick start the construction industry, provide affordable housing of all tenures and help young people to enter the housing market

 

  • Support and develop appropriate tourism opportunities across East Lothian

 

  • Improve communication links across the whole of East Lothian by taking a proactive role to plan, promote and support the roll out of faster Broadband

 

  • Work with the voluntary sector to develop social enterprises, making use of the Social Investment Fund and other sources of funding and support

 

  • Guarantee that East Lothian Council employees are paid a ‘Living Wage’

 

Let’s work together for a better East Lothian

Give our children the best start in life

Every child has the right to be given the best start in life, with access to the highest standard of living, education, health care and play.

We will work with children and young people, parents, teachers, health professionals and local communities to provide the best opportunities for all children and young people to make the right choices.

Following years of continual change in education, we believe our schools need a period of stability and our priority will be to properly resource the development of "Curriculum for Excellence".

These are the commitments East Lothian Labour makes to support our pledge to give our children the best start in life.

  • Guarantee nursery places for all 3 and 4 year olds and begin an ambitious programme to develop children centres across East Lothian

  • Properly resource an implementation strategy to secure the maximum benefit of ‘Curriculum for Excellence’ for all East Lothian pupils

  • Protect school budgets, and reduce the number of composite classes

  • Introduce a £100,000 budget for each secondary school cluster for the schools to determine their joint priorities

  • Take advantage of technological opportunities for senior pupils to access all subjects at their own school

  • Provide vocational training spaces in all secondary schools

  • Develop the Council’s partnerships with Queen Margaret University and Further Education Colleges to ensure that our young people can access higher and further education opportunities, together with an enhanced vocational experience

  • Support and develop the "Support from the Start" initiative and other early intervention projects with families and children

 

Let’s work together for a better East Lothian

Protect vulnerable and older people

You can judge a society by how it treats vulnerable people. While the Council has a legal duty to care for vulnerable people, we believe it also has a moral responsibility to ensure that all vulnerable adults and older people have access to high quality services and to be treated with dignity and respect at all times.

We must ensure that resources are made available to support and help vulnerable adults and older people to live independent lives.

These are the commitments East Lothian Labour makes to support our pledge to protect vulnerable and older people.

 

  • Modernise adult day services led by users, their families and carers in a genuine partnership of equals. We will also guarantee personal development plans for all vulnerable adults

  • Review and improve day centre provision across East Lothian for our elderly citizens

  • Provide high quality regular respite opportunities locally for carers and users of care services

  • Develop early intervention measures for the elderly based on a modernised Home Help/Home Care system

  • Halt the outsourcing of home care services

  • Give guaranteed assessment times for vulnerable and elderly people needing care

  • Explore the opportunity for social enterprise companies to deliver home care and other appropriate services

  • Develop more sheltered and other housing options for older people and reduce the time taken to provide adaptations to houses

  • Protect existing local health care services and work with the NHS to ensure East Lothian residents have access to local community hospitals providing a complete range of services

  • Tackle poverty and mitigate the effects of the UK Government’s welfare cuts; increase access to welfare and money advice; and promote Credit Unions

Let’s work together for a better East Lothian

Help our communities to flourish

All of East Lothian’s towns and villages have a strong sense of community. Our people and communities need a balance of public and private housing, good quality transport links and access to public transport as well as community facilities that will allow them to flourish.

Our people also need to have a real say in the decisions that matter most to their communities.

These are the commitments East Lothian Labour makes to support our pledge to help our communities flourish.

  • Devolve decision making and budgets to Local Area Forums; ensure that all Community Councils and local interest groups have the opportunity to participate fully and have a real input into developing their priorities

  • Build new affordable housing for rent, shared ownership and sale to meet the demands of our communities

  • Introduce sustainable, fair housing allocation policies that create balanced communities and not just house vulnerable people

  • Provide supported temporary tenancies to allow young and vulnerable people to develop the skills to enable them to sustain a permanent tenancy

  • Re-introduce the provision of loft conversions and extensions for tenants

  • Implement a Transport Strategy that improves road and rail transportation links across East Lothian and supports community transport initiatives

  • Improve the quality and accessibility of public transport across East Lothian, including restoring rural bus services cut by the SNP administration

  • Introduce measures to reduce speeding particularly in residential areas, including 20 miles per hour speed limits where they have the support of residents

  • Increase the level of maintenance on road network, our footpaths and improve the surface water drainage on the road network in our towns and countryside to prevent flooding

  • We will meet recycling targets; by providing more opportunities and incentives for people to recycle. We will provide rewards to communities for reaching targets and investigate ways of dealing with the recyclable material we collect in East Lothian locally

 

Let’s work together for a better East Lothian

Help our communities to flourish

  • Press the Scottish Government for the re-regulation of bus services

  • Restore "free special uplifts", take action to reduce fly-tipping and introduce tougher penalties to deter dog fouling

  • We will implement the Council’s Environment Strategy and reduce the Council’s and the County’s CO2 emissions in line with national targets

  • Support measures to protect our coast and towns from flooding and coastal erosion

  • Enhance our natural environment both in the country and in our towns and villages – implement effective weed control; collect grass cuttings in our estates; re-instate summer and winter planting; improve maintenance of parks and open spaces; work with schools to encourage children and young people to appreciate and nurture the environment

  • Keep our school buildings open and available for community use outwith school time and review opening hours of community facilities with a view to increasing activities and use by young people

  • Commission a new sports development strategy, involving local sports organisations to ensure the next step is taken to develop our talented sports men and women

  • Implement our previous commitment to extend our centre of excellence at Meadowmill which included a gymnastic arena and skate board park

  • Maintain and enhance the extra police officers introduced by the last labour Council to tackle anti-social behaviour and reduce crime

  • Support East Lothian’s voluntary sector, social enterprises and community organisations

  • Support East Lothian gaining Fair Trade County status

  • We will honour the commitments made to our communities in the Council’s capital programme.

 

 

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