There is a good article on the Islington Labour website that lists 10 ways Islington’s Labour Council has pursued progressive policies that demonstrate the real difference Labour values can make to local communities.
Islington is one of the most deprived parts of the country with shockingly high levels of child poverty. The Tory-led government has dramatically cut the Council’s funding and the funding for other services our residents rely on. In these tough times it is really important that Councillors demonstrate how Labour makes a positive difference to peoples’ lives.
1. Becoming one of the first accredited Living Wage Councils in the country. Thanks to our lead there are now 760 Islington based staff across all sectors being paid a living wage.
2. Introducing a student bursary scheme of £300 per year to Islington students who were in receipt of free school meals to help them continue studying past 16, after the Tory led government scrapped EMA.
3. Saying no to extortionate ‘affordable rents’ of 80% market rate and building new homes at social rent. We’re on target for 2,000 genuinely affordable new homes by 2015, Islington’s biggest affordable house building programme for 30 years.
4. Winning London Citizens’ ‘Local Authority of the Year’ award for paying the living wage, helping young people stay in education and turning council buildings into CitySafe Havens.
5. Launching Bunhill Heat & Power, a council owned alternative to the private utilities that will provide cheaper, greener energy to more than 700 homes on local estates.
6. Being rated top ten in the country by Ofsted for good and outstanding schools and celebrating Islington’s best ever Key Stage 2, GCSE and A-level results.
7. Launching the Islington Fairness Commission report, the first in the country, setting out actions we’re taking to create a fairer borough including supporting hundreds of parents back into work and piloting a mentoring programme for 18-24 year olds.
8. Introducing 20mph speed limits on all the roads Islington Council manages to help cut accidents and reduce pollution.
9. Introducing a new local lettings scheme so local people enjoy the benefit of new council homes in their area.
10. Standing up for Islington with campaigns against the Tory Mayor’s proposed fire station closures, legal loan sharks and the new Tory poll tax hitting 20,000 of Islington’s lowest income households.
With the Tory-led government planning further cuts to local authority budgets, life will get tougher for many hardworking people. This makes it more important for Labour Councils to show leadership and how they are on the side of local people.