Major political parties make their pitch for Banbury Town Council in upcoming election on May 6
Voters will be heading to the polls to cast their ballot for Banbury Town Council on May 6.
47 people have been nominated as candidates to fill 22 seats on the Banbury Town Council.
Ten of the 22 councillors currently serving on the council have chosen not to run for office in the election next month.
We asked the parties with the most representatives to provide reasons why you should vote for them.
Here are their replies (in alphabetical order).
Banbury Town Council:
"We have been custodians of Banbury Town Council since its formation in 2000. We are genuinely proud of Banbury and we remain as committed to its future now as we did 20 years ago.
"Our record speaks for itself.
"We have worked closely with the Banbury Business Improvement District and others to promote our eclectic mix of independent retailers and eateries, helping to ensure our historic trading streets continue to thrive. Our popular calendar of free-to-enter civic events, including Banbury Show and food fairs, have helped showcase all that Banbury has to offer.
"We have also campaigned alongside residents to protect the Horton General Hospital and stood up for the local services residents rely on.
"Since 2016, we have spent over £600,000 refurbishing children’s play areas and financed a £95,000 redevelopment of the skate park in Spiceball Park. We have also subsidised every swim at the open-air pool and worked to make our parks and green spaces safer and greener.
"And we have done all of this efficiently and at a sensible cost to residents – under Conservative leadership, Banbury Town Council has not increased its share of the council tax for 11 years in a row.
"The past year has been tough for everyone but, together, we can help our great town thrive once more.
"Your vote on 6 May will decide who runs Banbury Town Council for the next 3 years. If, like us, you want Banbury to continue moving forward then, please, vote Conservative."
"Never has there been a better time to rebuild community spirit in Banbury. The Covid crisis has made many people realise the need for us all to pull together, and create something better than before.
"The Green Party wants to see Banbury thrive again by making sure our town rejuvenates itself - a place we can be proud of and want spend time in.
"We want business rates reform, helping small businesses to survive, recover and thrive. That means the right sort of businesses and leisure activities that encourage people not just to shop, but to meet, connect and socialise.
"This needs to be backed up by local services, buses to outlying areas, clean roads without potholes safe for cyclists and cars. Adequate cycle paths, pavements and green spaces which after lockdown, so many value for the positive effect they have on mental and physical health.
"For those whose health has suffered, we need to protect our local health services too.
"To achieve all this, we don't just want to tell you what we will do, we want to encourage individuals, community groups and businesses to tell us how they want to rejuvenate our town.
"Unlike other parties, Greens have no party line whip to adhere to, so we are free to make decisions based what you, the public want. We will engage with all of our community to plan a strategy to rebuild a town and a community we can be proud of."
"Labour is proud of our town. And as Banbury grows, services for our residents and businesses, and our precious spaces need to be carefully and sensitively cared for. We also have to act now on climate change, adapting the way we live to minimise the impact on the environment. Conservative cuts have left residents fearful of crime and anti-social behaviour and, as a direct result of Conservative economic policy, we now suffer from areas of chronic destitution and child poverty.
So there are many reasons to vote Labour in Banbury Town Council elections.
"Labour will put tackling the climate emergency at the centre of everything we do and help to build a strong, sustainable low-carbon jobs revolution.
"Labour will promote and protect our parks and open spaces, developing a sensory garden project and town centre WC provision.
"Labour will institute a town council lottery scheme to help support town events.
"Labour will introduce power sources for electric vehicles and make charging points available for electric vehicles on council-owned land.
"Labour will work collaboratively with police and social services to robustly address the issues of drugs, child poverty, modern slavery and child sexual exploitation.
"Labour will provide full access to meetings and decision-making processes to all town citizens, as well as increasing consultation with our local communities.
"Labour will work to reverse the trend of increasing poverty, destitution and unequal health outcomes for those in less affluent areas.
"Vote Labour on Thursday 6th May for an even better Banbury."
"The Liberal Democrats stand for a fairer, greener, more caring Banbury. We will invest in walking, cycling and public transport throughout the Banbury area, ensuring walking and cycling routes are maintained, clear and well-lit for all residents.
"We will look to implement 20 mph speed limits in residential areas and near schools, working with local communities in Banbury to understand their needs.
"Much development has been carried out in Banbury in recent years, which has provided employment opportunities and new facilities for the town, however this must be matched by top level infrastructure that can be accessed by all members of our community. We will ensure that Banbury’s public services are levelled up across the area by investing in improvements to be able to support our growing town.
"We are proud of Banbury and will provide funding to keep the town clear of litter and unwanted graffiti.
"We will aim to make Banbury’s open spaces such as Peoples Park and Spiceball Park tidy and safe for the local community.
"A vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote for the fairer, more caring and more responsible management of Banbury’s public funds."
Berenice Westwood, who is running as an Independent for the Hardwick West ward of Banbury Town Council, said:
“The best way to effect change in your community is to get on the local council”; this is what someone told me over a year ago, and so I made the decision to run in these elections. This is the first time I have done anything like this, but I feel very strongly that I want to have a positive impact on my home town. I feel totally disenfranchised with party politics, especially on a local level, but I feel inspired by DIY democracy. I believe in community-led politics, and I hope to involve you as much as possible when it comes to local council matters; I will ask your opinion, run polls, and maintain a consistent line of communication.
"What I really hope to get stuck into is cleaning Banbury up a bit – the quality of our air, tackling the litter problem, and reducing the amount of single use plastic in our town.
"Our local councils can achieve more than we know – small changes in a community that can make all the difference – and I hope to realise some of these changes (with your help).
"I’m not an expert on any of this stuff, and I haven’t got all of the answers, but I feel certain local democracy needs a shake up, and I am getting fed up with waiting for other people to do it. I am proactive, and I am a do-er, so here I am, hoping to make a positive difference."
The Banbury Guardian published a story online of the candidates running for Banbury Town Council, which can be seen with the following web link: https://www.banburyguardian.co.uk/news/people/here-are-the-candidates-for-the-banbury-town-council-election-next-month-3195851