Parties set out election pledges

THE three main political parties have set out their stalls for the council elections on May 5.

The Conservatives have made affordable housing their number one priority, while the Liberal Democrats have pledged to try and ensure that council savings are not made through cutting front-line services to the public.

And Labour have vowed to lead the way in creating jobs, supporting businesses and regenerating town centres.

Conservative leader of the council Lewis Rose OBE said: “Despite having to save over £2.3 million over the last eight years, we have kept council tax increases to below inflation, have made no cuts in front line services, and are rated amongst the top seven per cent of the best run, most efficient councils in the country.

“Increases in council tax have been less than inflation, and this year council tax has been frozen.”

David Fearn, leader of the Liberal Democrat group on Derbyshire Dales District Council, said: “Liberal Democrats believe in fairness, freedom, and justice. We are down-to-earth people, living and working in your local communities. We need your votes so that we can work for these things in the district council, as Liberal Democrat Councillors working for you. The more votes we get, the more of this we can do.”

Irene Ratcliffe, leader of the Labour group, said: “Labour is the party of social justice. It works to provide high quality services for all and to make sure that the vulnerable are supported, so that everyone can live in dignity and participate in their local communities, and that the tax payers get value for money.

“All Labour councillors will work hard and with integrity for their communities and the greater good of all residents in the district of Derbyshire Dales.”

The district’s only two Green Party candidates Chris Spencer and Josh Stockwell are standing for the Wirksworth seat. Josh is already a town councillor.

The Green Party is concerned that the government policy in privatisation of services will weaken the ability of councils to respond to local needs. Josh said: “Councils are democratically accountable, private companies are not. Greens believe that public services should be provided fairly to all who need them and not just for those who can afford to pay.”

Chris said: “We need to generate employment to support the local economy. Wirksworth should be a vibrant community but there is a danger of it becoming another dormitory town as people travel to Derby and Sheffield to find work.”

Conservative promises

to give the best possible value for money, and subject to Government constraints, maintain front line services and keep Council Tax down.

to enable more affordable houses to be provided in the district and encourage self–help and community groups to join us.

to continue to encourage voluntary groups to get involved in all aspects of local life. The Matlock Bath Pavilion Group will be encouraged in their efforts to save the Pav.

to make the ARC Leisure Centre in Matlock the best in the county when it opens later this year.

to increase recycling rates to over 50 per cent, collect plastics from the kerb side and use the new refuse contract to improve the service.

to work with and encourage local businesses and work to get broadband into all of the Dales.

Labour promises

to lead the way in creating jobs, supporting businesses and regenerating town centres.

to lobby for improvements in public transport.

to speak out against rises in car parking charges and seek a review of parking facilities.

to oppose attempts to close public toilets or the Wirksworth Learner Pool.

to keep streets clean and promote respect for the environment.

to bring all homes up to decent standards and vacant properties back into use.

to make it easier to recycle, reduce the amount of rubbish that goes to landfill and fly tipping.

to support measures to increase road safety and respect for speed limits.

to promote leisure services.

to keep our localities safe, secure and free from nuisance.

Liberal Democrat promises

to try and ensure that council savings are not made through cutting front-line services.

to listen to the public and pay attention to what we hear.

to seek to develop towns and villages within their existing built areas and to maintain their distinctiveness.

to set up a Youth Forum to find out and reflect young people’s views.

to seek to increase the kerbside collection of recyclable materials.

to introduce a reduced parking charge for stays up to 30 minutes and lower charges in less popular car parks.

to share the management of public parks and recreation grounds with councils and community groups.

to support the Government’s Localism Bill, which gives greater power to local residents.

The full list of nominated candidates for the 39 seats is available to view on and in the Mercury on April 28.

How do you rate the promises? comment here.