Iain Grant, chair of St Albans CLP
statement on behalf of St Albans Labour Party
It’s clear the Labour vote was squeezed in the two-party fight over control of the District Council. In many ways, it will be something of a liberation to see how the Lib Dems manage council business under their own control. Right now, they seem to be out to destroy the character of our traditional market, with nothing more than token consultation. We’ll be urging them to think again. It is simply not good enough to expect traders to transport and erect their own stalls, or to insist on flimsy gazebos to replace the more robust stands they have used. This is no way to treat loyal traders.
When will they deliver affordable housing on sites such as the former King Offa in Sopwell, for instance (vacant and idle for four years at a time of continuing housing need; not to mention the loss of a community asset)?
There can be no more buck-passing over the failure to deliver a Local Plan either – which the Inspectors’ report clearly indicates as a political and not a technical failure, in not securing agreements from neighbouring councils. Our representatives in London Colney, for instance, are very aware of how that failure exposes our district to speculative applications on Green Belt land.
In or out of office, Labour councillors and activists will continue to campaign and to press for the things we believe in – decent homes and jobs, sustainability and a safe, healthy environment, with the facilities and infrastructure to match.
And nationally, it is only Labour who will have the leverage to reverse the continuing Tory squeeze on local government finances.