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Cost of living help and community investment fund pledged in Torfaen Labour manifesto

THE Labour group in Torfaen has launched its manifesto ahead of the forthcoming local elections, pledging to help residents through the cost of living crisis as well as making investments in schools and other services.

Launching its manifesto and key pledges ahead of the elections on May 5, the group said it will “make it our priority to help people through” the cost of living crisis.

Several pledges have been made in the manifesto, including for ‘A Stronger Torfaen’, ‘A Fairer Torfaen’, ‘A Greener, Cleaner, More Active Torfaen’ and ‘A More Prosperous Torfaen.’

The group has pledged that, if re-elected, council tax will be kept “as low as possible”, with rises of no more than 1.9 per cent for the next two years.

Other pledges around the cost of living include the roll-out of free school meals to all primary school-aged children, and supporting community groups and foodshare schemes stay stocked.

The Labour group says it will aim for Torfaen to become the first ‘Right to Food’ borough in Wales.

Action to provide more affordable homes has also been promised, with the group saying it will work with social landlords and developers on the issue.

Anthony Hunt, leader of the group, said: “Our pledges – for a stronger, fairer, cleaner, greener, more active and more prosperous Torfaen – are a clear vision for the future of our communities, ambitious yet pragmatic and deliverable.

“In the past few years, we’ve worked hard with our communities to keep services going and to help people through during the pandemic.

“Now with the cost of living crisis hitting people and the Tories in government failing to act, we need Labour councillors to stand up for our communities more than ever.

“Others may talk our area down, or make impossible promises they can’t keep, but it’s Labour councillors who can work as a team to deliver for the future.”

The group is also pledging investments in schools, social care and other services.

The council has already committed £1 million into a Covid recovery fund, but the Labour group is proposing to double that and transform it into a new £2 million community renewal fund to make further investments in the borough.

Investments in roads and public transport are also included in the manifesto, including £1 million to improve road surfaces, pavements and dropped kerbs in the borough this year.

Projects to improve the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal and The British in Talywain would also be progressed, according to the manifesto.

Action to tackle the climate emergency, a zero-tolerance approach to litter and promoting the borough’s open spaces forms part of the pledge for a A Greener, Cleaner, More Active Torfaen.

The group also says it will work with businesses to support jobs and investment in infrastructure and transport, as well as encouraging the roll-out of the real living wage across the borough.

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Cost of living help and community investment fund pledged in Torfaen Labour manifesto

Group of council candidates with placards
Torfaen's Labour group has launched its manifesto ahead of the elections