Commenting on the announcement that the Tory-led Government is to U-turn on its hated Pasty Tax, Cllr Tudor Evans, Plymouth City Council’s Labour Leader noted: “The Pasty Tax U-turn is a victory for the Westcountry against out of touch Tories. Not only is the pasty a symbol of Westcountry identity but local jobs were put at risk by the Tories decision to impose a 20% tax on our pasties. I congratulate all those local businesses and individuals that joined with Labour to oppose this tax.”
Alison Seabeck, Labour MP for Plymouth Moor View added: “George’s Osborne’s Budget gave millionaires tax cuts and put tax on pasties. This should tell you all you need to know about how out of touch the Government has become. Whilst the Chancellor is in the mood for turning, perhaps now he should turn his attention to his woeful economic policies that have produced this double dip recession that is hurting businesses in Plymouth.”
Responding to today’s news that the UK economy has slid into a double-dip recession, Cllr Tudor Evans, Leader of Plymouth’s Labour opposition on the City Council said:
“Today bleak news confirms what many in Plymouth know all too well – that the Government’s economic policies are hurting but they are not working. Sticking to a failing economic plan is not leadership, its foolhardy. What businesses and employers in Plymouth need is an economic policy that makes it easier for them to do business within a growing economy where people feel confident to spend money, make investments and employ others.
“On 3 May voters in Plymouth will have their say on how well this Government is doing and how well the Tory Council has done. To get to the polling station many will cross potholed roads and meet people who are out of work not through any lack of will but through a failure of the Tory’s economic plans. Plymouth deserves better and if Labour wins on 3 May in Plymouth getting people back into work will be our top priority.”
Labour’s Jobs and Growth manifesto published last month for the local elections makes ten pledges:
1. Issue a new plan for jobs, with a specific focus on jobs for young people. Retaining young people and graduates in the city must become a priority.
The Tory-led government’s VAT hikes on pasties, churches, fixed caravans and heritage buildings will hit the South West hard.
The budget has introduced 20% VAT on hot pasties, 20% VAT on improvements to church buildings, 20% VAT on improvements to listed buildings, and 20% VAT on holidays in fixed caravans.
For the heritage, tourism & leisure sector in the South West, already struggling in a tough economic climate, this is another body blow and the extra costs in alterations to listed buildings represents a possible future additional cost to Plymouth council taxpayers by hiking the cost of any necessary adaptations to the Civic Centre.
Sites like Woodlands Fort, Crownhill where local people are struggling with the cost of repairs before they even get to the desire to adapt and improve this community resource, will simply have to stand back and watch it decay.
Plymouth Labour Party has launched its full 2012 City Council manifesto promising a new vision for Plymouth. The 100 point plan has been created following thousands of doorstep conversations had across Plymouth in the last year.
Launching the manifesto, Cllr Tudor Evans, Leader of Plymouth’s Labour Group said; “I think this is the most exciting manifesto Labour has produced in many years. Elections are fought often on negative campaigns because quite often political parties have little to say that is fresh or exciting. But this programme, with its 100 pledges for action, gives all voters something positive to vote for. It is a vision of how to create a fairer, greener, cleaner Plymouth where more people can share in prosperity.”
“Plymouth needs a new sense of purpose to tackle the scar of unemployment, housing shortages and the state of our streets. We need to start punching above our weight as a city again. Labour has ambition but also the plan to make things happen.”
Plymouth Labour launched the environment section of the manifesto last week which detailed plans by the party to continue to oppose the Devonport incinerator and to extend recycling across the city.
Plymouth Labour has released the first chapter of its 2012 City Council election manifesto. The Environment section outlines how the party would address environmental issues if Labour wins control of the City Council in May.
Councillor Tudor Evans, Leader of the Labour group, said: “Our environment manifesto outlines a clear determination to make Plymouth a greener, cleaner and more pleasant city. Plymouth faces many environmental challenges from dealing with our waste, to protecting our green spaces and to improving the cleanliness of our streets.”
“We have prepared this manifesto based on thousands of doorstep conversations. That’s why we know that introducing better recycling, maintaining weekly bin collections and trialling collection of food waste and glass is not only popular, it is also the right thing to do. We have looked carefully at what other councils are doing and that’s why we know that we can introduce affordable technology to keep our streets clear of dog mess and create new ways of tackling fuel poverty by creating energy co-operatives.”
Councillor Brian Vincent, who speaks for Labour on environment matters, said: “Whether it is about tackling carbon, problems with rubbish or clearing up dog mess on our city’s streets this manifesto responds to the concerns that have been raised with us on the doorstep. The Tory Council has failed to tackle the environmental challenges facing the city – Labour will not shirk from the huge environmental task at hand.”
Plymouth Labour is demanding action from the Conservative-run Plymouth City Council to replace a ripped and embarrassing Union Flag being flown over the Hoe. The Union flag which is currently being flown is torn and ripped.
Councillor Brian Vincent, former Lord Mayor and Labour’s spokesperson for the Hoe and Foreshore said: “As a former Lord Mayor I feel the need to speak out about this. In the year of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics where people are going the extra mile to celebrate being British it is embarrassing and offensive that the Council is flying a ripped and torn Union flag. Why has the City Council not invested in a new flag, one we can all be proud of? It is just embarrassing that this is the image we present to residents and tourists – ripped and neglected. Plymouth deserves better.”
“I have written to the Leader of the Tory Council and demanded she takes immediate action to replace this flag. A new flag can cost less than £50.”
Councillor Ian Tuffin, Labour councillor for St Peter and the Waterfront ward where the flag is being flown added: “Flying a ripped flag is just another example of this Tory Council not getting the basics right.
Councillor Tudor Evans, Leader of Plymouth’s Labour Group, has issued an invitation to Liberal Democrat voters and activists in the city to join Labour ahead of the city elections on Thursday, 3 May.
Plymouth Labour’s invitation comes only a few days after the Liberal Democrat Spring Conference in Gateshead where Lib Dem activists voted to reject the Government’s NHS reforms.
Councillor Tudor Evans said: “Lib Dem voters in Plymouth are telling me that they feel let down by Nick Clegg and ashamed of their party’s U-turns on the NHS and tuition fees. Many recognise that going into coalition was the only option available to the Liberal Democrats after the last General Election but their conduct in coalition is within their control – and they’ve let their own voters down.”
Jon Taylor, Labour’s candidate in Budshead, who works in the NHS said: “It is no wonder Lib Dem voters feel betrayed – their MPs are voting through the privatisation of the NHS and are closing their ears to the legitimate concerns of people in Plymouth about these reforms.”
It comes after the latest private canvassing figures for Plymouth Labour show a continuing collapse in support for the Liberal Democrats across Plymouth. National opinion polling puts Nick Clegg’s party on 8%, some 32% behind Labour.
Today, Plymouth Labour Party has announced that it is standing a full slate of candidates for Plymouth’s local elections on Thursday 3 May. Labour will contest every ward in Plymouth as the party sets its sights firmly on winning control of the City Council.
Labour’s full slate of candidates includes veteran Councillor and Dockyard Industrial Secretary, Pete Smith, who is standing for re-election in Honicknowle ward and former Plymouth Youth Parliament member and Notre Dame student Kate Taylor, 18, who is standing in Devonport. If elected in May we believe Kate Taylor would be Devon’s youngest ever councillor.
Cllr Tudor Evans, Leader of the Labour Group said: “May’s elections come at a crunch time for our city. Over the next few months Labour will be outlining a vision for a more vibrant, fairer and successful city that will see more people back in work, a more transparent and open Council and priorities aligned to what Plymouth residents want.”
“Thanks to the terrible legacy of Tory neglect and financial mismanagement whoever wins the elections will have a tough challenge to put the Council back on the right track. This Tory Council have run out of ideas and what Labour will be offering is a positive alternative that restores the pride in our city and helps us weather the economic storms.
Labour members in Plymstock have re-established their local party and elected a new chair with a mandate to win seats at the local elections in May 2012.
Retired social worker, Shirley Smith, who doubled the Labour vote when she contested the Plymstock Radford ward in the local elections this year was elected unanimously by local party members.
Shirley said: “Labour is making a come back in Plymstock. We know from our doorstep canvassing that people are struggling to find work locally, that our roads are getting worse and the Council is supporting a lot of inappropriate development in Plymstock.
“Restarting the Plymstock Labour Party is just the start of a new effort by Labour to win in the local elections in May. Over the next few months we will be launching a big membership drive and will be campaigning against local police cuts.”
After many years of decline of local parties the national Labour Party has been encouraging branches to be set up again. Plymstock is the only part of Plymouth not to have a fully functioning Labour party until now.
Luke Pollard, Labour’s last Parliamentary Candidate for the South West Devon constituency that includes Plymstock welcomed Shirley Smith’s election as Chair of Plymstock Labour Party saying: “Labour is making a come back in Plymstock. People angry at the way the Lib Dems have sold out the Tories are joining Labour at the fastest rate since 1997.
Plymouth Councillors have joined forces with local MPs and campaigners to launch a petition opposing the Government’s plans to repeal the Adventure Activities Licensing Act. The petition, the wording of which has been agreed by politicians of both parties, is now on the Government’s online petition site. It is hoped that if 100,000 people sign the petition that this issue will be debated in the House of Commons.
On 22 March 1993 Claire Langley, Simon Dunne, Rachel Walker and Dean Sayer, pupils from Southway Comprehensive, Plymouth, tragically lost their lives whilst kayaking on a school trip organised by the St Alban’s Activity Centre. In response to that, and other tragedies, in 1995 ‘The Activity Centres (Young Person’s safety) Act’ gained Royal Assent. The Government are proposing to abolish this act and instead introduce a voluntary code of practice for adventure activities. We believe that learning outside the classroom should be supported, unhelpful processes removed but that sustained increased participation is only possible when underpinned with an effective quality safety framework. Parents and schools will not be assured by measures they believe incapable of deterring those who would cut corners and therefore call on the Government to retain some form of compulsory licensing of these activities.