Political parties explain why you should vote for them in Cherwell election

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The Banbury Guardian asked all the political parties with candidates standing in Thursday’s election why people should vote for them.

Conservative Party

A vote for your Conservative candidate on Thursday, May 3, is a vote for a positive future for our town.

Thanks to Conservative-controlled Cherwell District Council, Banbury is undergoing an exciting phase of transformation with a £60m investment in Castle Quay II, the regeneration of canal-side, a new country park and a town centre boost in the shape of the Business Improvement District.

By building three homes a day we are helping people achieve their dream of homeownership.

Banbury Conservatives will continue to be at the heart of the campaign defending the Horton General Hospital. Our mums and babies still deserve an obstetric-led maternity unit to be reinstated locally. Action, not noise, we will be the strong voice for residents.

We are proud the Conservative-controlled council has not raised its share of council tax for nine years. If you want a low-tax council committed to delivering for you, and for Banbury, vote for your Conservative candidate next Thursday.

Green Party

Cherwell is bearing the brunt of government aspirations to build more houses regardless of true need or the damaging impact on green spaces and wildlife habitat in areas such as Gavray Meadows and around Kidlington.

The North Oxfordshire Green Party supports the building of truly affordable housing, but not the destruction of green belt simply to enrich major landowners.

We call for a re-think on all such proposals and for a new definition of affordability based on average income rather than an over-inflated housing market. We feel there should be more strenuous resistance against government austerity and the damage it’s doing to our communities, especially on local services, health provision and social care.

We’re calling for the district council to be more vocal critics of the county council on the crumbling state of our road, pavement and cycling infrastructure.

We’re also campaigning in Cherwell to increase provision of EV charging points to facilitate improvements in air quality.

Labour Party

Banbury and Bicester Labour Party’s manifesto is a series of commitments to provide decent, affordable homes, thriving towns and villages, a cleaner, greener environment and a more caring and responsible way of running the council.

Labour group leader Sean Woodcock said: “This manifesto promises real change to our area with a cast-iron commitment to protect the public purse.

The party wants to increase the requirement for affordable housing in all new developments to 50 per cent, create a landlord register, provide more homes for social rent, and prioritise sales on housing developments to local, first-time buyers.

The manifesto promises a new masterplan for Banbury and Bicester and provide a genuine devolvement of decision-making to villages to ensure rural development is based on neighbourhood plans.

Labour also promises a renewed focus on sustainability when considering planning and development, and develop a new financial strategy for the council.

Liberal Democrats

Banbury Liberal Democrats want to see Cherwell District Council listen to residents and do more to tackle their concerns.

The Conservatives currently have a large majority on the council, and that has led to complacency and an arrogant approach.

With housing development taking place at a fast pace, we want to ensure that there is a more balanced mix of housing types, so that those on average and lower incomes can afford a decent home in the town they grew up in.

We are also concerned that the infrastructure and local services are in place to support new development across the district.

For the last few years, the Conservatives have delivered ever larger numbers of houses while cutting local services such as children’s centres and rural bus services.

Furthermore, the roads are in a worse state than ever before.

It is time for change, and Liberal Democrat councillors are committed to delivering it.