The Conservatives will put “rocket-boosters” under an affordable housebuilding programme, according to the party’s senior councillor in Brighton and Hove.
Geoffrey Theobald, leader of the opposition Tory group on Brighton and Hove City Council, also said that major projects such as the extension of Churchill Square would be a priority.
Councillor Theobald set out his party’s position on a range of policy areas in an article for the Brighton and Hove Independent published yesterday (Friday 1 May).
He wrote: “I am hugely excited about the prospect of leading the city council for the next four years.
“By working positively with partners in the community, voluntary, public and private sectors, and with the other councils in the Greater Brighton area, there is a great opportunity to help Brighton and Hove – its residents, businesses and visitors – to achieve their true potential.
“I am proud that we have one of the youngest groups of candidates I can remember who are all keen to drive forward our agenda.
“Working together nationally in Parliament with Simon Kirby, who has been such an excellent hard-working Brighton Kemptown MP, Graham Cox, with all his expertise as a former police chief in the city, and Clarence Mitchell, who has huge experience on the national and international stage, I can guarantee that we will provide the positive vision and dynamism needed to take this great city forward over the next four years.
“To do this we must build on the economic success that this city has enjoyed in the last few years thanks to government support.
“Surveys show that Brighton and Hove is one of the best places to set up a business. Unemployment is at record low levels.
“We will continue to support major projects that will drive growth in the city and restore our vitally important seafront such as the redevelopment of Churchill Square and a new conference centre at Black Rock, New England House and Preston Barracks. These will be a priority.
“The Greens quite rightly talk about the £100 million in outside investment that has been brought into the city in the last four years.
“Most of this has come from the government or its agencies such as the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership.
“This investment has been possible only because the Conservative government nationally has taken the tough decisions to turn around the country’s ailing economy.
“Now is not the time to put the economic recovery and jobs at risk. A Conservative government will take us to the next stage in this recovery which will enable, for example, the £480 million investment in the Royal Sussex County Hospital.
“It is only the Conservatives that have the ideas and conviction to reform the city council and turn it into the efficient, modern, common-sense organisation that residents deserve.
“Our manifesto – which can be downloaded from www.brightonandhoveconservatives.com – sets out our proposals.
“Our refuse and recycling operation is a classic example. We want to see Cityclean become employee owned and led like John Lewis.
“We want to see street sweeping mechanised and co-ordinated with refuse collection. We will tackle fly-tipping, retain weekly refuse collections and introduce a paid-for garden waste recycling service.
“And we want to put an end to the city’s unenviable reputation for ripping off the motorist. We will freeze car parking charges, reduce the cost of residents’, traders’ and business parking permits by 10 per cent, abolish the 15p pay-by-phone tax and have summer parking charges that start in summer, not March.
“Secondary school performance could be so much better. We will focus on eliminating the scandalous gap in performance between those children from more deprived backgrounds and those from better-off families.
“One of the biggest headaches for young families wanting to live in Brighton and Hove is the lack of truly affordable housing.
“We will put rocket-boosters under the new affordable building programme on council-owned land that was started under the previous Conservative administration in 2009 and which has faltered over the last few years.
“This is our positive vision for the city with which we will restore civic pride and return to a beautiful Brighton and Hove.”
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