Swansea Labor pledges to build thousands of new homes in local election manifesto

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Swansea. Photo by Numero007 (CC BY-SA 4.0).

Richard Youle, local democracy journalist

Swansea Labor said making the city a fantastic place to live and work was “within reach” and was the goal it wanted to achieve.

The party, which has led the council since 2012, is releasing its new manifesto ahead of the May 5 municipal elections.

In the foreword, Swansea Labor leader Rob Stewart said: ‘The investment we are seeing now will help us create better paying, high value jobs in Swansea, so that people can get the jobs and careers they need closer to home.”

Regarding the significant increase in the cost of living, he said the party “will not look the other way”.

Here are some of the commitments and considerations from the manifesto.

Education:

Aim for Swansea to become the main urban education authority in Wales.

Invest over £150m in improving school buildings over the next five years and spend £1bn on day-to-day school, teaching and learning costs.

Build new facilities for children who need additional support and care, ensuring that children do not have to leave the county for care.

Alternatives to traditional exams to be explored, in particular with a view to equipping young people with the skills needed for the jobs created by the city deal for the Swansea Bay City Region.

Freeze the price of school meals for at least three years.

Aim to provide the right number of places in English and Welsh education to meet the wishes of children and parents.

Economy:

Establish an investment and growth team to attract foreign investment.

Transform Castle Square, the former BHS building, Palace Theater and support the restoration of Albert Hall and the Elysium building.

To build a high-tech office development on the former site of Oceana nightclub on The Kingsway, which is one part of a wider City Contract project for Swansea.

Work with central government to secure a utility center as part of phase two of the Copr Bay program. It would house council staff and Welsh and UK government employees.

Work with a business development partner to deliver new homes, offices, hotels, retail, restaurants and leisure attractions – including an aquarium near the Civic Center – at seven sites across the city.

Try to find new tenants for the vacant Debenhams store and other key locations in the city, invest in Oxford Street, support the regeneration of town centres.

Environment:

Seek to create a low-carbon economy by promoting renewable energy and build a solar farm at the Tir John Landfill.

Support the Blue Eden project at Swansea Docks, with the first phase of the project due to be delivered over the next five years.

Continue to build new energy-efficient homes and retrofit others.

Transportation:

Work with Transport for Wales and the Welsh Government to support new relationships with bus and rail operators to ensure connectivity and city, county and regional coverage.

Creating a first ‘circular’ rail network for Swansea as part of a wider regional metropolitan transport scheme.

Test and deploy hydrogen buses, invest in more electric vehicle charging stations.

Continue to focus resources to meet road and highway repairs within 48 hours.

Subsidy request for more cycle and pedestrian paths.

Parks and green spaces:

Invest in new and better skate facilities across Swansea and continue to fund new play areas on council grounds.

Commit to free use of sports grounds for local games and events for the next five years.

Invest in sports facilities across Swansea, including a new all-weather pitch at Pontarddulais, Townhill and a sports barn at Bonymaen.

Provide each area with a dedicated officer to deal with trash and take tough action against tippers.

Lodging:

Commit to building thousands of new homes in the years to come through a combination of delivery models. These homes will be available to people on the Swansea Housing List or for sale as affordable homes.

Renovate the Croft Street and Griffith John Street towers near the upper end of the High Street.

Support a new 10% saturation limit for multiple occupancy homes (HMOs) in communities not previously covered by HMO policies.

Social Protection:

Invest over £750 million over the next five years to deliver the best care services to vulnerable adults and children.

Help people live in their homes with dignity and respect for as long as they want.

Invest in staff and improve salaries, terms and conditions, to attract the best caregivers available.

Tawe River:

Reopening the Tawe Footbridge on the west side of the river to the public for the first time in decades.

Seek to establish a new hotel and leisure complex near Liberty Stadium.

Encourage the establishment of a water taxi service to take people from the marina to Liberty Stadium and the renovated neighborhoods of Copperopolis.

Other commitments include ensuring that Swansea continues to be a city that celebrates and promotes diversity, respect, tolerance and understanding.

Labor also said it would convert more agency roles on council to permanent employee status and consider accepting electronic petitions from residents to encourage wider public engagement and consultation.

Voters will choose 75 councilors at the polls on May 5, three more than currently. Labor currently has 48 elected members, the Liberal Democrat-Independent opposition group 13, the Swansea Conservatives nine and the Uplands party two.


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