Telford and Wrekin Council is a unitary authority with all the seats up for election on Thursday. It was last contested in 2011 when Labour had strong results, gaining control by a clear margin.
So far as constituencies are concerned The Wrekin was won last time by Mark Pritchard for the Conservatives with a majority of 9,450. So he should be returned safely.
Telford, however, is rather more exciting. Labour won the seat last time with a majority of only 981. So Lucy Allan needs to win it for the Conservatives if we are to secure an overall majority.
For two years the Labour Council put up Council Tax – rejecting the offer of fund for a Council Tax freeze.
The Conservatives are fighting to stop “inappropriate” planning developments.
Cllr Andrew Eade, the Conservative Group leader says:
“The current Labour Administration has failed to deliver adopted planning policies and we are now faced with a Council that is determined to build on our green field spaces without regard, wrecking both our urban and rural communities.”
It might be easier to win support for new housing if it was of an attractive, traditional design.
The Conservatives also pledge to bring debt down to “safer” levels. The Conservative manifesto says:
“In 2012 Council borrowing stood at £94 million. In three short years this has spiralled to £217 million.”
They propose savings through sharing services with Shropshire Council while maintaining a distinctive identity. The alternative Conservative budget included common sense savings – such as reducing the mileage allowance for council staff from 52.2 pence per mile to the HMRC rate of 45 pence. This change would save half a million pounds. Another £100,000 would be saved by scrapping subsidies to trade unions.
If the Conservatives regain control of the Council on Thursday they will come in with detailed, carefully thought-out proposals to tackle the failings they will inherit.