Traffford Conservatives have launched their election manifesto for the Council elections. Cutting costs while protecting services is naturally a prominent theme. Surplus office buildings are being sold.
This is a modern council – very much at the cutting edge with transparency and making use of new technology on areas from customer service to road repairs to a Tele care system to help the elderly be cared for in their own homes.
Other points that attracted my interest were protecting grammar schools, reducing car parking charges and encouraging volunteering to keep all the 16 Sure Start Children's Centres open. More volunteering will also be encouraged in the youth service.
On libraries the pledge is: "If re-elected we will keep all of our static libraries open and to further improve value for money, we will look to operate our libraries under trust status."
The manifesto launch follows the visit of Prime Minister David Cameron a week ago where he praised local Conservative action to protect front line services by increasing efficiency further, local Conservatives are urging to voters to support them on May 5th.
If re-elected, Conservatives will continue to strengthen efficiency and value for money by slashing back office and management costs. Technology will be further embraced to deliver better services and bigger savings. By freezing council tax, Trafford will continue to have the lowest council tax in the North West.
Conservatives will also remain tough on crime, ensuring that Trafford continues to be the safest place to live in Greater Manchester.
The Trafford Labour Party opposes the efficiency programme and have no credible plans to deal with future funding pressures. If they were to run Trafford again, their policies would result in a massive £13 million budget black hole – equivalent to a 15% rise in council tax.
Conservative Leader of the Council, Cllr Matt Colledge, said:
"I am delighted to announce the Trafford Conservative 2011 Manifesto, designed specifically to safeguard our borough from Labour's national spending deficit. Our Manifesto shows that only Trafford Conservatives will protect and invest in the services that matter to Trafford residents. We clearly spell out our commitments including keeping all of our library buildings and children’s centres open and investing an extra £4m caring for vulnerable children and the elderly. We will continue in our approach to drive out waste and drive down back office costs ensuring that Trafford Conservatives keep delivering for Trafford residents."
Conservative Deputy Leader of the Council, Cllr Alex Williams, said:
"We have worked relentlessly to maximise the level of efficiency savings so that we can go on protecting front line services – this has been recognised nationally by the Prime Minister. However, local residents need to be warned that the Trafford Labour Group present a clear and present danger to all that we have achieved. Like other Labour councils, the Labour party in Trafford have plans for 'slash and burn' cuts to front line services to fill their £13m budget black hole that would hit our most vulnerable residents the hardest."