Local elections
Jobs and affordable homes top Labour's priorities

By Tim Clarke 28/04 Updated: 30/04 16:17

Buy photos » Lynn Denham is contesting the Cathedral ward for Labour. (s)

LABOUR has pledged to help tackle rising youth unemployment and provide more affordable homes for residents if the party secures control of the city council for the first time in over a decade.

With more than 800 18 to 24 year olds in Worcester currently out of a job, Labour has promised to fund work schemes offering better co-ordinated support for young people looking for work.

The party, which currently has 12 councillors compared to the ruling Conservatives 18, also wants to tackle the city's growing housing waiting list by prioritising investment in new affordable homes to rent.

Labour will be contesting 11 of the 12 wards up for re-election with candidate Bob Peachey having made a late withdrawal from Claines, which is currently held by the Liberal Democrats but is a top target of the Conservatives.

Labour group leader Adrian Gregson, who will be re-contesting his Rainbow Hill seat, said: "The Conservative council has failed to make any progress on creating jobs for young people, building affordable homes to rent, and bringing stability and certainty to the business sector in Worcester.

“For years the Tories have launched grand plans, but they have come to nothing. They said they would support 12 apprenticeships, yet only two have materialised and only one of those went to a young person. Only ten affordable homes were built last year. Businesses are still closing and shops are standing empty. It is just not good enough for Worcester."

Labour has also pledged to support small businesses by developing neighbourhood trade associations, improving access to co-ordinated advice and offering incentives for job creation.

The party will also look to support community energy schemes to tackle fuel poverty, promote sustainable transport and relocate the Croft Road lorry park.

Buy photos» Labour group leader Adrian Gregson is standing for re-election in Rainbow Hill. (s)

Buy photos» Labour's Joy Squires will be re-contesting the Arboretum. (s)

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