Labour launches ‘Manifesto for Bridgwater’.

A scene not dissimilar to 'Reservoir Dogs' as Mister Red, Mister Red and various other shades of red take to the streets.
A scene not dissimilar to ‘Reservoir Dogs’ as Mister Red, Mister Red and various other shades of red take to the streets.

Bridgwater Labour Party has launched its third and final campaign before the elections on May 7th with the release today of their newspaper ‘the Bridgwater Rose’ aimed at the Town Council election. Currently Labour controls the town council with 14 out of 16 seats and with the Tories refusing to stand in the only 2 seats they currently hold, the fight now is on to take all 16 and send a thumping message back to Sedgemoor Tories that they don’t speak for Bridgwater.

The newspaper, which is being delivered to every household in the town and was being handed out to shoppers in the streets today makes the key point that a vote for Labour is a vote for Bridgwater.

Bridgwater is not in control of its own destiny. Everywhere you look, decisions taken by someone else, somewhere else, are shaping our lives and the future of our town.

Whether it’s a Coalition Government in London making cuts, imposing austerity and claiming a recovery while food banks and zero-hour contracts are the order of the day, or whether it’s Conservative led Somerset bringing pointless chaos to our roads and Conservative led Sedgemoor knocking down our swimming pool against our wishes, it’s always at the expense of the people of Bridgwater.

The Bridgwater Rose - coming to a letterbox near you shortly.
The Bridgwater Rose – coming to a letterbox near you shortly.

Blaming the right council

So when people blame ‘the council’ for everything they may have a point. But there are three councils. And two of them usually are to blame. However, there’s one council that’s consistently been on the side of the people of Bridgwater, and that’s the Labour-run Town Council. On Thursday May 7th we need to keep it in Labour hands.

The Tories pulled down the Sedgemoor Splash and wanted to replace it with a huge Tesco that everyone knew would badly impact our town centre and take away even more much needed green space – so we opposed it and did so to the bitter end.

Sedgemoor stopped funding to the Arts Centre, the Museum, the Town Hall and to our community centres on the estates – Bridgwater Town Council helped to save them by stepping in to pick up the bill.
Somerset County Council and EDF have turned Bridgwater into a giant car park with their unnecessary ‘junction improvements’ – which the Town Council opposed, repeatedly arguing that the town needs a bypass.

A vote for Labour is a vote for Bridgwater

Kathy Pearce standing for Bridgwater Westover
Kathy Pearce standing for Bridgwater Westover

Whatever the issue, Bridgwater Town Council is the only authority that reflects the majority view of the townspeople, and will continue to do so whether it’s fighting the developers who are destroying our heritage, campaigning for the leisure amenities that local people are clamouring for, or holding the County and District to account when they steamroller over the wishes of the people of Bridgwater.

On Thursday May 7th you can help us draw that red line in the sand by voting Labour in the Town, District and General elections. A vote for Labour is a vote for Bridgwater.

Bridgwater Town Council, under Labour leadership, has consistently represented the views of the people of Bridgwater and, unlike the Tories, offers a manifesto and a vision for Bridgwater.

More Leisure and Recreation amenities

• Full consultation with local people for Recreational and Leisure Development on Northgate whilst preserving the green space.
• As Bridgwater grows, the amenities needed to cater for an increasing population will grow too. Bridgwater Labour councillors have worked hard to maintain support for existing centres of culture such as the Arts Centre and to help bring about new sports facilities such as the Kingsdown Pavilion .

Funding our neighbourhood communities.

Dave Loveridge (Bridgwater Eastover) and Diogo Rodrigues (Bridgwater Dunwear)
Dave Loveridge (Bridgwater Eastover) and Diogo Rodrigues (Bridgwater Dunwear)

• Maintain core funding for Bridgwater’s Community Centres, including Sydenham Community Centre, Victoria Park Community Centre and the Hamp Community Association.
• Promote a system of Ward grants to support community development such as play schemes, sports clubs, luncheon clubs, the arts, cultural and educational links, public halls, and a clean natural environment.

Developing Youth Provision

• Retain and develop youth provision in the town, such as the Rollercoaster in Sydenham, multi-use games areas in Victoria and Eastover and outdoor gym and play equipment in Hamp.
• Continue to campaign with young people to provide new youth facilities – like the town skateparks, finally built after a 30-year battle led by local young people and Labour councillors.

Benefitting from Hinkley C

Wes Hinckes standing for Hamp (District) and Wyndham (Town)
Wes Hinckes standing for Hamp (District) and Wyndham (Town)

• Securing the benefits of Community Impact Mitigation funding for the people of Bridgwater
• Hinkley C offers the possibility of jobs and new prosperity for Bridgwater – but EDF’s mitigation payments aren’t enough to cover the chaos being caused on the town’s roads. Furthermore, the money needs to go the place bearing the brunt of this disruption – and that’s Bridgwater.

Brownfield Development

• Supporting housing development as a priority on Brownfield sites.
• Protecting our parks and green spaces.

High skilled, well paid employment

• Promote high skilled, well paid employment for Bridgwater people.
• Labour will end zero-hour contracts and fight for a Living Wage – but this process has to also include good local jobs, and the apprenticeships and other training opportunities that would allow local people to get them.

Graham Granter (Bridgwater Fairfax) and Mick Lerry (Bridgwater Victoria)
Graham Granter (Bridgwater Fairfax) and Mick Lerry (Bridgwater Victoria)

Revitalising the Town Centre

• No more ‘edge of town’ supermarkets. A Labour Town Council will consistently oppose planning decisions that degenerate our town centre, and will fight to retain key town centre attractions such as the Post Office.
• Encourage projects that will clean up the streetscape and benefit our town like the Celebration Mile, fight rigid planning rules that prevent local initiative and work with local traders to complement and develop their businesses.

Preserve Bridgwater’s Heritage.

Siobhan Wilson (Bridgwater Victoria)
Siobhan Wilson (Bridgwater Victoria)

• Bridgwater Town Council is working with key local groups like the Civic Society and the Heritage Group, and will continue to support Community Right to Bid initiatives.
• Proud to continue support for Bridgwater traditions such as the Carnival whilst promoting newer initiatives such as ‘Snowflakes and Shopping’, ‘carnival weekend fireworks’ and ‘canal and waterway’ based projects

Genuine Community Consultation.

• The Labour Town Council has consistently worked with community groups, holding public meetings on key issues and widening committees to encourage public participation.
• The next Labour Town Council will further develop this by setting up Community Forums on issues such as Transport, Planning and new major projects as and when they arise, so we can strengthen those links and harness the knowledge and experience of local people when making planning decisions.

On May 7th Vote Labour-Vote for Bridgwater

lab 2
Labour candidates line up to take aim at Sedgemoor District Council

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