A LABOUR COUNCIL FOR A FAIRER, GREENER
Labour Party offers a message of hope; that residents should be proud to live in
Cheshire East and staff should be proud to work for their Council.
Four years ago a new Labour–Independent administration was formed that
has brought stability to Cheshire East Council. The 2019 manifesto provided a
blueprint for the work of the new administration. The delivery of the 2019
manifesto has provided a platform for further improvement at Cheshire East
Under Labour leadership Cheshire East Council is on an improvement
journey. In 2020 the independent Local Government Association reported on a
‘transformed’ culture at the Council and found “clear leadership and
commitment, including the determination of councillors to drive and prioritise
improvement. These messages were received from multiple levels within the
organisation and this improvement has been embedded across multiple teams and
The Labour-led administration has:
residents through the covid pandemic, with the People Helping People initiative,
the Swab Squad, providing PPE to care homes and supporting the vaccination
Free School Meal vouchers in the October 2020 half term when the government and
local Conservative MPs refused to provide support for hungry children
ü Become one
of the top ten per cent of English councils in getting out COVID grants to local
action on climate change, with a detailed Carbon Action Plan setting out how the
Council will be carbon neutral by 2025 – and we are on track to meet that
target, which is one of the most ambitious in the country.
planning polices and maintained a robust five-year housing land supply. The
flood of speculative housing applications on greenfield sites has dried up.
Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems designs through a Supplementary Planning
Document - promoting biodiversity and water management.
the culture at the Council. The bullying culture that existed under the
Conservatives is in the past – don’t let the Conservatives back in
the Cleaner Crewe pilot project – addressing fly-tipping, cleaning up
alleyways and restoring community pride
regulation of Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs)
help for households on low incomes
bans of hunting with dogs, restrictions on badger culling and fracking on
ü Achieved a
fully-balanced 4-year budget (with none of the financial black holes and
unachievable budget savings that occurred under the Conservatives)
will achieve so much more if your votes put us in full control of Cheshire East
5. HIGHWAYS AND TRANSPORT
Labour upheld the commitment in the 2019 manifesto and no
Children’s Centres have been closed. We will continue to protect the remaining
Children’s Centres/family hubs and will go further in promoting early help for
those in need.
will expand local provision for cared-for children, reducing the need for costly
out-of-area private placements.
has increased Special School provision in Cheshire East, with the expansion of
Springfield School, but following a decade of Tory neglect there is still a
shortage of Special Educational Needs (SEN) provision. Labour will ensure pupils
with special educational needs have the right school placement, wherever
possible within local mainstream schools and increase specialist SEN provision
in Cheshire East.
Cheshire East schools are some of the lowest funded in the country and
the SEN funding is based on out-of-date figures. Labour will lobby government
for fairer funding for schools and SEN provision. We will promote closer working
between agencies to ensure that educational opportunity for all remains a
priority and vulnerable children do not get left behind.
Labour will increase access to child mental health services, prioritising
earlier intervention, prevention and better access to talking therapies. We will
promote greater awareness of the importance of wellbeing, self-esteem and
resilience for children and young people.
Labour will seek to provide free school meals for all primary-school
pupils and support schools providing breakfast clubs.
Labour will deliver a Youth Zone, providing a high-quality youth facility in Crewe.
will protect communities and the green fields of Cheshire East from speculative
housing applications that make millions for a
few people and cause misery for many.
In terms of socioeconomic demographics, Cheshire East is a hugely unequal
area, with a variance of over ten years in life expectancy between different
areas of the borough. Labour will address health inequalities and address the
wider determinants of health such as improved housing, healthy lifestyles and
access to green spaces. We will continue the work of the Increasing Equality
Labour will be a strong voice within the Cheshire & Merseyside NHS
Integrated Care System, demanding resource allocation is determined at a local
Labour will acknowledge the inextricable
links between physical and mental health, with mental health put on an equal
footing with physical health. We acknowledge that many in our community find
life challenging and will promote agencies which support all parts of our
community to talk, change and grow.
continue and expand community hubs, including the work of the Health &
Wellbeing Bus to promote physical and mental health and support young people,
including with sexual health advice.
Cheshire East Council, as a Trailblazer council, has worked with the government
to test out their social care reforms – providing useful feedback which led to
a pause in implementing the scheme.
streamline the process for applying for blue badges.
Labour will expand the council social
care workforce with decent pay and conditions. It will also promote social care
as a career and, through commissioning, ensure care providers have good
In May 2019 the Labour-led Council committed to being carbon neutral by
2025, one of the most ambitious targets in the country, and then published a
detailed Carbon Neutral Action Plan setting out how this would be achieved.
Labour will continue to take action on climate change – completing the
commitment for the Council to being carbon neutral by 2025 and working with
businesses and residents to make the borough as a whole carbon neutral by 2045.
We will continue tree and shrub planting, including in urban areas, to
support wildlife, improve air quality and help tackle climate change. We will
support bee populations and biodiversity with rewilding environments and
wildflower grass verges. Care will be taken over the location and selection of
tree species to ensure that future root issues are not created. A tree
maintenance policy has been adopted and tree maintenance will be improved.
The successful Cleaner Crewe Project will be rolled out in other areas of
the borough where there is a high prevalence of fly-tipping, wheelie bins on
streets and untidy alleyways, and the issue of unadopted alleyways will be
addressed. We will have stronger enforcement against fly-tipping.
We will maintain and improve up-to-date planning policies to ensure that
we don’t return to the free-for-all under the Conservatives where developers
could pick and choose where to build houses. Since 2019, the Site Allocations
and Development Policies Document has been steered through consultation and
government approval, providing further protection from speculative planning
applications. A Labour-run council will lobby government to allow the council to
demand higher insulation and environmental standards in new-build houses.
In a second term, Labour will renew the Cheshire East Local Plan with a
realistic housing-need figure that provides housing for local residents while
protecting the beautiful Cheshire East countryside. Labour will implement a
Supplementary Planning Document on Net Biodiversity Gain, uphold the Green
Belt and strengthen environmental standards to stop indiscriminate building by
commercial housebuilders intent on concreting over greenfield sites, which are
cheaper to build on, and rake in vast profits for unscrupulous developers.
Labour will support local cultural forums including libraries and
museums, bringing together local dramatic and musical societies, arts groups,
photographic societies, and so on, as well as local sports councils –
promoting health and wellbeing and building local communities.
Labour will invest in sport and leisure facilities – aiming to meet the
requirements of the playing-pitch strategy, more sports pitches for the
community and supporting grassroots clubs to develop.
We will build on the highly successful People Helping People scheme to
address social isolation and reach more into communities which need help,
working with local stakeholders to best reach those most in need.
We will look to improve services for help with benefits and advice for
Under Labour, Cheshire East Council has gained the Silver award under the
Armed Forces Covenant. Now we should go for Gold.
Labour will continue to oppose fracking in Cheshire East.
Labour will maintain the bans on foxhunting and badger culling on
council-controlled land. We will continue to promote the successful
badger-vaccination schemes implemented in Cheshire East.
We will increase the number of homes
available for decent, secure social housing tenancies. We will expand the
Housing Development Framework agreements with social housing providers to
increase the availability of truly affordable housing, encourage development and
regeneration of council owned brownfield sites and the delivery of grants to
improve energy efficiency of buildings. Labour will hold developers to account
to ensure they meet their affordable housing targets.
We will work with partners to attract prospective employers to
choose Cheshire East to relocate and expand their businesses.
We will review support for rough
sleepers, ensuring providers are encouraged to train staff in more than basic
mental health help and recovery so as to give more people a chance of having
their own home, reducing the spiralling cost of supported accommodation for many
years. We will ensure those without addictions or recovering can live in a dry
We will strengthen the Cheshire East cultural framework; to encourage
both our fantastic local talent and to attract the best to work and to perform
in our local communities.
Back to #CONTENTS
When they ran the Council, the Conservatives outsourced highway
maintenance, signing a 15- year contract in 2018 with a private company. The
private company was also responsible
for quality control – ‘marking its own homework’. Labour is appointing a
quality control officer to independently monitor quality control and ensure that
the council is getting value for money.
A huge backlog of highways maintenance has built up over a decade of
austerity and now stands at over £150 million. Central government has cut
highways funding by £3 million a year. The Cheshire East Labour-led
administration has allocated an extra £7 million in 2022/23 to ‘level 2
highways patching’ – pre-emptive work designed to prevent potholes forming
in the winter. This work will help, but to clear the £150 million=-plus backlog
we need government to Fix Our Funding to Fix Our Roads.
We will review car-parking charges on a town-by-town basis to support
vibrant town centres and look into creative solutions to parking provision. We
will make it easier to implement residents-only parking and shared-use schemes.
We will proactively measure air quality and work with local groups
conducting air quality surveys. We will implement measures to help people to use
cars less, with more frequent buses and trains, improved bus connectivity and
better co-ordination between rail and bus services.
We will positively encourage active travel, including introducing
highways regulations where necessary.
We will introduce a more widespread roll-out of electric
car-charging facilities, ideally council owned, all as part of the drive to net
We will expand in-house provision of home-to-school transport and, if the
pilot is successful, expand the GoTo responsive bus service to other areas of
Cheshire East. We will review late-night bus services to support the night-time
A new Speed Management Strategy has been adopted in 2022. Labour will
assist local communities to implement 20mph areas where appropriate and
supported by local residents.
Labour will press central government to allow local authority-controlled
bus services (as in Manchester, Liverpool and London).
Cheshire East Council has had a clean ‘value-for-money’ audit report
for several years and now has a fully balanced four-year budget – something
never achieved under the Conservatives. Labour will continue to ensure that
council funds are spent wisely to obtain maximum value for public services.
Cheshire East Council charges a premium council tax rate on long-term
empty properties and has a council tax collection rate of over 99%. Labour
will ensure maximum funds from all sources are collected and are available for
the Council to spend.
Labour will prioritise essential services to the most vulnerable.
We will build on the newly adopted Social Value Policy to promote ethical
procurement, rewarding good employers and community wealth-building to keep more
of the wealth created in the borough local.
Labour will continue to make sure that that councillors and officers of
the council act ethically and adhere to the Nolan principles in their
actions. Labour councillors have resisted moves by Conservatives to water down
the Code of Conduct for councillors.
In order to recruit and retain staff in the council and its wholly-owned
companies, we commit to develop means of improving terms and conditions for the
lowest-paid employees within the constraints of nationally negotiated pay
scales. Labour will make Cheshire East Council a proud Living Wage employer and
build on our Social Value Policy to promote ethical procurement, rewarding good
provide electric cars to key workers who travel to deliver council services
(e.g. domiciliary care workers).
Labour will promote devolution of services, encourage town and parish
councils to bid for services and support parish councils to form partnerships to
deliver services and revitalise our town centres and high streets.
We will build on the successful apprenticeship scheme and increase the
number of training and apprenticeship schemes in key shortage areas.
Virtual meetings were a great success, with increased attendances and
involvement of the public. We will continue to protest at the government’s
decision to ban virtual council meetings and will press for permission that
council meetings may be virtual or
hybrid and held at times to maximise participation by both councillors and
members of the public.
Labour will review the implementation of the new committee system to
ensure that lessons are learned and internal democracy is further strengthened.
Labour will lobby central government to allow more flexible council tax
banding so that those with millionaires’ mansions pay a fairer share.
A Labour Council in Cheshire East will deliver for everyone. We will
build on the achievements of the last 4 years. Let’s do this together.