On 2nd May the County Council elections take place. The County spends over £700 millions of your money. It has a major impact on almost ever aspect of people’s lives by the services it provides from registering a birth or death, seeking consumer advice from Trading Standards, the schools we provide, the campaigns against anti social behaviour where we live, child protection, caring for the elderly, managing local public health and providing the infrastructure to create jobs. The Conservatives in Buckinghamshire have a long and proud record of providing excellent services and delivering value for taxpayers’ money.
Despite very tough economic times and a large reduction in central government funding, this year we have our third year of a freeze on Council Tax. This has put about £100 back in the pockets of the average resident during tough times. We have done this by cutting out waste and improving efficiency, for example we have saved over £68 million over the past two years from the ‘back office’ and plan to save another £45 million in coming years. At the same time we have been rated as one of the top performing Councils in the country.
Conservatives strongly defend our outstanding schools system which delivers excellent results from both our Grammar and Upper schools. Our schools’ examination results are outstanding. Labour would of course abolish Grammar Schools and destroy a major engine for social mobility. Conservatives care about the environment. We are pledged to keep Bucks special. Defending our Green Belt and National Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. We oppose unplanned urban sprawl and of course have led the national fight against the folly of spending £34 billion on HS2!
We are helping to create jobs with new investment in our town centres in Aylesbury and High Wycombe as well as a major project investing over £4 million in rolling out Superfast Broadband across Bucks. We are also actively supporting new, modern Apprenticeships and leading by example by recruiting many ourselves.
Or roads are in a poor state. For nearly a decade we were denied any Capital expenditure by the last Labour Government. The Coalition is now helping and the current County Council has also reprioritised expenditure and used large amounts of our Reserves to create a major roads programme. £30 million has just been spent on resurfacing and a further £25 million more is planned over the next two years. This is a lot of money but roads are phenomenally expensive and much more still needs to be done to give residents the roads they expect. Given our contribution to the national economy we would urge the Government to help us invest in Buckinghamshire’s roads.
For Conservatives the County Council is about providing good services whilst creating opportunity for all, encouraging our residents’ aspirations and caring for those in genuine need. This is a great record to be proud of and a great future to look forward to.