June 4 elections: Staffordshire
Staffordshire County Council is Labour run but is an important Conservative target. Labour has 32 councillors, the Conservatives 27, the Lib Dems two and there is one independent. Labour have doubled the Council Tax since they took control in 1997.
Today the Conservatives have published their manifesto. Points include:
- Low Council Tax "top priority." A new Council Tax discount for the over 85s. "Where we can't find a reason or a need for it we will stop it," it says of Council spending.
- They will review the "thousands of properties around the County worth many millions" which are owned by the Council "consolidating some and disposing of others." (But oddly while acknowledging the Council is "one of the largest owners of farms in the country" there is no pledge to sell those. I thought collectivisation of agriculture went out with the Soviet Union.)
- Work more closely with charities, voluntary groups, faith groups and the private sector to improve care provision. Also to make it more personalised.
- Cut school bureaucracy, small rural schools are "vital." "Open minded" on opening new academies.
- Clear the road repairs backlog.
- Zero tolerance of all anti social behaviour.