The Conservative Group of Norfolk County Council launched their manifesto, pledging a further freeze in Council Tax, extra investment in highways improvements and to keep all of Norfolk County Council’s libraries open.
Chairman of the Conservative Group Councillor Bill Borrett unveiled the Group’s Manifesto outside County Hall. Unveiling the key pledges of the Group, he said, “The Conservative administration at Norfolk County Council has an incredibly strong track record – we have saved the authority £105m since 2009 and are due to save another £34m this year. We have frozen Council Tax for three years in a row and protected critical, front line services, such as education, social care services, highways and libraries.
“This manifesto builds on the work we have already begun here at County Hall. Our manifesto looks to the future: investing in critical services for the people of Norfolk while driving out inefficiencies and generating outside income to support those services.
“In the last four years we have achieved a great deal, but we are not complacent and there is always more to do.”
The Conservative Manifesto makes a number of key pledges across several areas:
Maintaining an Efficient Council:
- Carefully manage your money. We are committed to a council tax freeze in 2013/14 and for at least one more year and will keep your Council Tax as low as possible.
- Continue to find ever more efficient ways to deliver our services and use better procurement to buy more effectively. We will look to boost our income from commercial activities to support services.
- Look to partner with other organisations, such as the police, to share costs and scarce resources.
Investing in Norfolk’s Transport:
- Continue to Invest to further improve Norfolk’s roads and highways safety schemes.
- Lobby the Government and the EU to fund a fully dualled A47. We will provide as much support as necessary to turn this long held aim into a reality.
- Implement the Norfolk Rail Prospectus, calling on the Government to use the £1.3bn local rail investment to improve train journey times to and from Norfolk and reduce the disruption to rail services.
Helping People Stay Independent:
- Ensure that services are joined up with the health service and GPs so there is an integrated ‘door to door’ service. Work with health professionals to continue to develop and provide Assistive Technology - aids to support people at home.
- Continue to invest in new, high quality dementia-care units for Norfolk people.
- Invest in improved customer services to offer more ways for people to engage with services than ever before
Supporting Norfolk’s Young People:
- Work with schools and communities to ensure small rural schools will not be forced to close.
- Work with schools and governing bodies to continue to raise standards, ensuring Norfolk's children reach their full potential. We will create target action zones to improve standards.
- Work to ensure that decisions on skills funding are determined by local priorities.
Protecting Norfolk’s Libraries:
- Continue to keep ALL of its libraries open, delivering a comprehensive and efficient library information service, run by the County Council.
- Maintain its mobile library service and maintain the number of mobile libraries.
- Continue to invest in new technology to improve and enhance the learning, reading and research experience.
Stimulating Economic Growth:
- Continue to work to provide better mobile-phone coverage across Norfolk.
- Continue to run the tremendously popular Community Construction Fund.
- Wherever possible, we will buy goods and services locally.
Keeping Norfolk Safe:
- Maintain and develop the operational capability of Norfolk’s Fire & Rescue Service.
- Continue to run the tremendously popular Parish Partnerships for Highways Safety.
- Seek to increase the number of preventative fire measures in new housing developments.