The Conservative Party have launched their six point plan for a ‘better Devon’ as they aim to keep control of the county council after May’s local elections. They have been in power at County Hall for the last 12 years, and currently hold 41 of the 60 seats on the council, and will be fielding candidates in all of the wards across Devon.
CONSERVATIVE PARTY MANIFESTO
The Conservative Party have launched their six point plan for a ‘better Devon’ as they aim to keep control of the county council after May’s local elections.
They have been in power at County Hall for the last 12 years, and currently hold 41 of the 60 seats on the council, and will be fielding candidates in all of the wards across Devon.
In their bid to extend their reign, they have launched their manifesto with a six point plan that focuses on improving the economy, climate change, supporting tourism, road improvements, supporting the elderly and the vulnerable, and maintaining vital services, and they say that over the past 12 years, they have delivered their pledges to the people of Devon.
Cllr John Hart, leader of Devon County Council and the Conservative Group, said: “The Conservatives have delivered on the pledges that were made four years ago. Our commitment for the next four years is to keep Devon resilient after Covid-19, regenerate our economy and help businesses and families recover from the damage that this pandemic has done.”
The manifesto adds: “We promised to spend your money effectively and efficiently and we have reduced staff numbers substantially and cut out tiers of management whilst making services for the old, the young and the vulnerable our top priorities. In the wake of the pandemic, it is even more vital to create the right climate for job creation and boost the economy.
“More than £4 million has been invested in a training centre for hightech skills at Exeter Airport. The North Devon Enterprise Centre is now complete and 15 workhubs have been opened across the county with seven more on the way.
“There has been real improvement to Devon’s vital road arteries – the South Devon Highway is complete and work has begun on major improvements to the North Devon Link Road. In addition, a multi-million pound programme to install fast Broadband is under way to halt the digital divide between rural and urban communities in Devon.
“In the last four years the gap in funding between Devon’s schools and the national average has narrowed but the fight must continue to ensure complete equality for our children.”
It continues: “The Conservatives have achieved for Resilience, Regeneration and Recovery for Devon and the Conservatives have delivered on the pledges that were made four years ago.
“Our commitment for the next four years is to keep Devon resilient after Covid-19, regenerate our economy and help businesses and families recover from the damage that this pandemic has done.
“We have invested over £1.3 billion in capital projects Invested in skills and training, e.g. Flybe Academy, created Team Devon, working with the Districts, Towns, Parish and Voluntary sector to support the residents of Devon over this pandemic, organised food Vouchers for the 15,000 young people eligible for free school meals over Christmas and the Easter holidays, and have already reduced the carbon footprint of Devon County Council by 50 per cent with more investment planned for the next four years.”
Their six point plan for a ‘better Devon’ says:
Improving and protecting the Devon economy – We’re doing all we can to protect and improve the Devon economy so we can thrive and prosper after Covid-19. We’ve invested over £4m in buying the old Flybe training academy and working with Exeter College to provide hi-tech training for anyone who wants to re-skill
Major road improvements are boosting the economy – projects including the North Devon Link Road and the South Devon Highway are boosting our economy and helping residents and businesses. We continue to campaign for improved rail services on the Waterloo line and look forward to the re-opening of the Okehampton-Exeter passenger line
Taking the lead on climate change – We’ve cut our carbon footprint by almost half and we’ve pledged to become net zero carbon by 2030, and we’re working with Devon residents as well as public and private and voluntary organisations to set out how we can become carbon neutral
Supporting the elderly and the vulnerable – We will support the old, the young, and the vulnerable, as we have done during the pandemic, with the support of our district, town, and parish councils and voluntary sector partners
Supporting tourism, local producers and hospitality – We’ve launched a major ‘Made in Devon’ campaign to support and promote county businesses to local people and visitors alike. This is already supporting food producers and agriculture and will back tourism and hospitality as restrictions are lifted
Maintaining vital services through efficient management – We have substantially reduced staff numbers and cut tiers of management. We’ve maintained vital services to the old, the young and the vulnerable. We’ve kept our libraries open and taken back responsibility for school nurses.
Elections will take place for all 60 seats on Devon County Council on Thursday, May 6, with voters going to the polls to elect their representatives for the next four years.
The entirety of the 60-strong council will be up for re-election, with 56 ‘single-member’ Electoral Divisions and 2 ‘two-member’ Divisions’.
The current composition of the council consists of 41 Conservatives, 7 Labour, 6 Liberal Democrats, 3 Independents, 1 Green Party, 1 East Devon Alliance and 1 North Devon Liberal.
All elected councillors will serve their usual four year term upon their election.
The Conservatives and Labour are the only parties who are fielding the maximum of 60 candidates, with the Liberal Democrats fielding 55.
The Green Party are fielding 45 candidates, with one from UKIP, five from Reform UK, and 20 from the Freedom Alliance, who are standing on a platform of ‘no lockdowns, no curfews’.
The East Devon Alliance have three candidates, the Trade Unionist and Social Coalition have six, while there are 28 Independent candidates.