Still not decided who to vote for? Here are the pitches by the local political parties as Warwick district residents get ready to go to the polls

The Warwickshire County Council elections take place on May 6

The Warwickshire County Council elections take place on May 6

Warwick district residents will be casting their votes on May 6 for the Warwickshire County Council elections. We asked the five parties with the most representatives put forward to pitch their reasons for why you should vote for them. Here are their replies (in alphabetical order).

CONSERVATIVES

As we enter the last week before the county council elections, people will be making their choices as to who will be best placed to take forward the future of our county. I urge you to entrust the next four years to the Conservative Party, to vote for your local Conservative candidate, and to help us to continue the important job of recovery.

The Conservatives have over the last few years helped to build a strong economy within Warwickshire, providing jobs for our residents and helping to build skills to serve and support businesses. We have created ‘Skills for Business’ funding to guide school leavers as they start their working life, and are creating an ambitious Recovery Investment Fund, a multi-million support fund which we know will result in new long term jobs and thriving businesses. Our recovery must also look to a future that reduces air pollution, creating a programme of projects that encourage energy efficiency and new ways of working. We have achieved a Government grant for a further 400 more electric charging points around the county.

Conservatives continue to support those in our society who are the most vulnerable through Extra Care Housing which provides quality living accommodation with support in your own home. We will continue to support our town, village and rural communities to make them safe and vibrant for their residents. We are also creating a programme of cycle ways providing greener and healthier ways to travel.

The Warwickshire County Conservatives have an ambitious plan to make the county a great place for you to live, work, grow up and grow old. We have a clear and ambitious plan for 2021 and beyond. To help us to deliver the best Warwickshire, be sure to vote for Conservative on Thursday May 6.

GREEN PARTY

Thank you! In 2019 residents in Warwick district elected eight Green Party district councillors. Since then, we’ve successfully stopped inappropriate house building, led a pilot to increase wildlife diversity in Kenilworth, and helped negotiate one of the most practical and ambitious Climate Emergency Declarations in the country.

Green voices in the room holding the other parties to account make a big difference. Voting Green works.

At Warwickshire County Council, our two Green councillors have done a fantastic job bringing that fresh perspective.

Their hard work has meant that the council now has a costed programme of cycling and walking routes which wouldn’t exist otherwise. At the recent 2021 budget, the Green Party intervened to highlight cuts to domestic violence funding making the Conservatives unusually amended their own budget.

Will you help to strengthen that Green voice further at the county council? The current Conservative deputy leader of the county council doesn’t even think that climate change is real (take a look at his Twitter!) He is making decisions that directly affect the future of Warwickshire’s transport, and countryside, backed by the other Conservative councillors who choose to have him as their deputy. Your vote can help elect more Green Party councillors who will take the challenges that face us seriously.

Three Priorities:

- Scrap the proposed air-polluting £40 million A46 link Road and reinvest in safe, affordable, enjoyable walking, cycling and electric bus routes for short journeys.

- Invest in Warwickshire businesses and skills. As the economy recovers from COVID our companies can be at the forefront of quality, low-cost housing, sustainable battery technology and more.

- Sustained investment in mentoring, activity and mental health services for young people.

A vote for the Green Party is a vote to do things better in Warwickshire.

LABOUR

Vote Labour for a fairer future for Warwickshire.

Warwickshire Labour leader Helen Adkins says: “It has been inspiring to see people across Warwickshire come together in the pandemic and we must keep drawing on that community spirit. Post Covid, we have a historic opportunity to transform our county for the better; a chance to deliver a fairer future for Warwickshire.

“Labour is committed to rebuilding our economy, protecting and creating jobs, supporting the elderly, bringing back youth services, and increasing funding to education and health. We will do this by:

- Fighting the climate crisis. Labour led the way by successfully declaring a climate emergency in Warwickshire. A Labour-run council will invest in cleaner air and travel, eco-friendly schools, and a climate change fund to support our initiatives, creating jobs in our county. We only have one planet and the time to take action is now.

- Combating crime with prevention and education. Petty crime is a blight on our communities, so Labour will take real action, starting with prevention. We will invest a further £5 million in education, bringing back our youth centres and giving our children the best start in life.

- Tackling racial inequalities. We will instigate a Task Group to look at the distinct issues our Black, Asian and Minority communities each face across the county. Its recommendations will be geared towards dismantling systemic issues in Warwickshire.

- Investing in health and social care. Labour will further make a historic investment of £4 million in health and social care to tackle disparities across the county. Care should be based on need, not postcode.

“This is our costed, bold plan for Warwickshire. But we can only make it happen with your support. Please vote for your Labour candidates in May to deliver a fairer future for the people of our county.”

LIBERAL DEMOCRATS

As we emerge from the pandemic, our ambition is to build a strong, green economy with sustainable and resilient communities, and to achieve greater equality in health and opportunities. We want to build communities that are fairer, more caring and greener.

- Fairer Opportunities for all. We will tackle health inequalities and work with food banks and their partners. We believe a portfolio holder should have responsibility for addressing welfare issues and reducing food poverty. We support the establishment of community hubs that offer access to IT, advice, and information.

- Caring for all our residents. The pandemic has increased isolation, loneliness, and depression, and shown that we must care for all our residents. There is an urgent need to tackle the toxic trio of domestic abuse, and drug and alcohol misuse. We believe a dedicated task force is needed to join up resources and strategies, building a more resilient community.

- Greener there is no planet B. To meet our target of being carbon neutral by 2030 we must act now. We need to create new jobs and skills for the future, using new, greener technologies, and to integrate them by using light railway schemes, giving bus companies 18 months warning of a total ban on all non-electric or hydrogen powered buses in our heavily polluted towns, and providing easily accessible electric charging points.

We will also reinvigorate our forestry services and tree planting, and upgrade eco schools.

For a fairer, caring, and greener Warwickshire elect active, caring, and effective councillors. Vote Lib Dem on Thursday May 6.

SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY

The SDP is fielding five candidates in Warwickshire: Wayne Harris (Kenilworth St John’s), Dhesh Chehal (Leamington Brunswick), Josh Payne (Warwick North), Chris Burr (Warwick South), Tim Griffiths (Wellesbourne).

The SDP seeks to break the two-party dominance in our political system. For too long, Labour and the Tories have taken voters for granted and done nothing to help ordinary people. This needs to change. We represent not private industry nor the public sector, but only the interests of the British people.

Locally, there are many issues that are not being addressed. Bus services and bus shelters are in a sorry state. The SDP will lobby Stagecoach for improved bus services around Warwick. For many youths and senior citizens, the bus is their only method of transportation. This means better-planned routes (especially to Warwick Hospital) and lower fares are needed. Additionally, we will repair run-down bus shelters.

In the past few years, there has been a sharp rise in anti-social behaviour and drug-related crimes. For a quiet and family-friendly area like Leamington and Warwick, this is simply unacceptable. We will fight for more community police officers on the beat and a magistrate system that properly punishes offenders.

We oppose Police and Crime commissioners and want a return to police committees. We believe that local residents are the best judge of how law enforcement operates in their community.

There is a severe lack of affordable housing. New property developments cost more than £500’000 to buy, well beyond the means of many people.

We will pressure to build new council houses and flats which will bring new jobs and businesses to the area and allow people to start families.

You deserve better. If you want to see real change, then please, vote SDP this election.

If you wish to contact the SDP please email us on [email protected] or view www.sdp.org.uk

OTHERS

(independents and other parties)

Judy Falp will be standing for the Whitnash Residents Association in the Whitnash ward. The Whitnash Residents Association is an independent party that has been ‘supporting and listening to the needs of Whitnash for many years’.

Sue Gallagher will be standing as an independent in Lapworth and West Kenilworth ward, with a keen focus on improving adult social care, transport and efficiency to ensure council tax is used as effectively as possible.

She said: “I believe in putting the people first and concentrating on one role at county level independent of any political interference. I firmly and increasingly believe that for people to have faith and belief in democracy it has to work as effectively as possible. That’s why I am self-funding my campaign and standing as an independent.”

Ahmed Hafeez will be standing as an independent in the Leamington Clarendon ward. He said: “I’m standing for the county council because Covid has changed the shape of my life and it’s changed the face of the town in which I continue to raise my young family. It’s been a big reminder that whatever we do, none of us can have it all, but, that said, it’s a good time to try and seize upon some of the good side-effects of lockdown.”

Luis Perdigao is standing for the Volt UK party in the Cubbington and Leek Wootton ward. Volt was born as a pan-European movement and party after the Brexit vote. In its words, the party aims to push for a “more progressive, pragmatic, evidence-based policy approach to transnational issues such as populism, discrimination, social and economic inequality, corruption and climate change”.

Benjamin Spann will be standing for the UK VOICE safer and stronger UK in the Leamington Brunswick ward. He is the founder of a nationwide anti-knife campaign group, Change Your Life, Put Down Your Knife. “I believe you should be able to walk down the streets and feel safe, be able to relax in your local park without looking at drug paraphernalia,” he said. “I have a grassroots background and the ward I represent the community will always come first.”

The UKIP Party has put forward two candidates for the Warwickshire County Council elections, within the Warwick district.

Gerry Smith is standing in the Leamington North ward and Laurie Steele is standing in Whitnash ward. UKIP successfully campaigned to take Britain out of the European Union but it is keen to point out that since Brexit, it has also put forward policies to ‘help make Britain a free, fair, and independent nation’.