Carol Hayton, Horsham Labour Party agent and candidate for Forest ward
Horsham is a great place to live but nine years of the Conservative’s austerity agenda and neglect of our public services have taken their toll. Lack of investment has resulted in rising crime, littered streets, poorly maintained parks and green spaces and cuts to services for the most vulnerable.
That’s why these elections are so important; because it doesn’t have to be like this, especially not here in Horsham. Whilst local authorities across the country have seen their spending power per household fall by an average of 23 percent since 2010, Horsham has seen an increase of almost 3 percent per household.
Whilst Labour councils, which have been hardest hit, have worked hard to protect vital services, Horsham has continued with unnecessary cuts to spending on services. The council has even failed to ensure that the developers building thousands of homes in our District have complied with the councils own policies and delivered the affordable housing, schools, health services and infrastructure we need, so placing an unbearable strain on existing services.
That’s why we need a change. A Labour council will prioritise council spending, not on risky retail property development, but on services that ensure that everyone in our district has a decent quality of life.
We will ensure that skilled staff are in place so that money is not wasted on consultants and failed service outsourcing projects.
For too long Horsham council has failed to meet its affordable housing targets, so we will not approve any planning application unless it complies with council policies on the level of affordable homes we need.
As well as spending council tax payers money wisely, we will achieve the highest level of planning gain for our community to ensure that every Horsham resident has a home appropriate to their needs, set in a decent environment and served by the highest quality public services.
This piece is part of a series where all the major parties were invited to share their priorities for the district in the lead up to the Horsham District Council elections.
Polling day is Thursday May 2.