The Labour Party has launched District Council and Town Council manifestos this week for the 5 May elections with promises of re-invigorating town centres, putting planning decisions back into local hands, and a focus on fairness not austerity in the way the council is run.
Also included in the manifestos are promises of free car parking, more affordable housing and opposition to fracking.
Councillor Sean Woodcock, Leader of the Labour group on Cherwell District Council said, “The issue of car parking charges is a symptom of the lack of commitment to businesses and shoppers in the town centre which we want to change.
This is just one example in our programme for positive change in the district so that we can make it an even better place to live and to do business.“
Councillor Steve Kilsby, Labour’s leader on Banbury Town Council added, “Our commitment to take over management of Banbury Charter Market and to provide more town WC’s demonstrates our total commitment to maintain the viability and integrity of our town centre.
In Bicester, the local Labour Party will focus on supporting the regeneration of the Town Centre and making the town a better place to live as it undergoes rapid growth.
Chair of Bicester Labour Party Chris Howells said, “Free parking to match what other towns in North Oxfordshire are doing will be a good start. We believe Bicester Town Centre also needs a comprehensive plan, reflecting the views of businesses and residents alike, and including investment in the quality of buildings and environment, traffic management, co-operation of landlords and landowners and a concerted marketing campaign to attract both national and independent retailers. That’s what we will work to achieve.”
He continued, “It’s clear that the level of infrastructure and quality of the local environment in Bicester are not keeping pace with the development of housing. Cherwell District Council has not used the powers it has to make this happen – failing to use the Community Infrastructure Levy for example. If services and facilities do not keep pace with growth, Bicester will experience some of the same problems of the 1960s New Towns – dormitory deserts rather than Garden Towns.”
Sean Woodcock continues, “On May 5th every District and Town seat is up for grabs and offers voters a unique opportunity to choose a better and fairer way of running local government for the benefit of everyone. We in Banbury and Bicester Labour Party care passionately about this area and about unlocking its unfulfilled potential.”