The elections on 4th June will be, in many ways, the most important in Suffolk’s recent history. In 2005 we won control of the County Council promising a ‘Better Way for Suffolk’.
We were determined to reinstate some good, Conservative values – running a County Council that gave value-for-money, looking after the pennies, protecting the most vulnerable and providing the top-quality services people want and need at a price we can all afford.
Over the last four years we have done just that – restoring strong financial management, saving £60million in the last three years by cutting bureaucracy and waste, while safeguarding vulnerable children and adults, providing more services to more people than ever before, and, crucially, keeping council tax down.
The momentum is still being maintained. We are currently saving over £240,000 a week through greater efficiency, and, this year, delivered Suffolk County Council’s lowest ever council tax increase: 2.45%.
However, we now face a very different economic climate. Having taken the difficult decisions, fixing the roof while the sun was shining, we have, in four years, laid the foundations for the next forty – preparing Suffolk for the difficult economic times that lie ahead.
This election is important because it will allow us to bring our long-term reforms to fruition, to deliver the results of the transformation we have undertaken; results that will help lead Suffolk out of recession.
In launching our manifesto for the next four years, our priorities are:
- Leading Suffolk Through the Recession
- Protecting the most vulnerable
- Improving education and skills
- Making Suffolk the Greenest County
Key policies include:
- Four more years of working to keep council tax as low as possible
- Free home visits offered to the over 80s and other vulnerable older people, to advise on home and fire safety, and to check for any social care needs
- New, state-of-the-art care homes for older people
- A Suffolk Apprenticeship Scheme – leading a county-wide project to improve skills and training opportunities in both the public and private sector.
- Press ahead with our re-organisation of education in Suffolk, and the school rebuilding / refurbishment programme.
- New community transport schemes, and the roll-out of real-time passenger information across Suffolk
All our policies will be built on the bedrock of sound financial management.
This manifesto builds on our proud record of achievement, it indicates the height of our ambition for Suffolk, and it signals our clear intent to press ahead with this over the next four years.