Getting the Basics Right
Labour Party Manifesto 2020

Labour Councillors understand the job of local government, and we get it done well.

Local councils deliver the basic things that matter to people, like clean streets and parks, road repairs, street lighting and recycling facilities.

Labour believes local councils should provide local services, to provide better quality services and better value to the public. We will return control of local services to our local councils because outsourcing and privatising vital services often does not deliver value for money or good quality, and workers’ pay and conditions are very often worse. Labour will fight for decent pay and conditions, and the right to trade union representation, for any worker working directly for local councils or contracted by them.

We will demand that a larger portion of your local council budget is allocated to the basics, so that they are delivered for everyone, in every community

  • With proper investment we can see improvements in public lighting, street furniture, and the design and upkeep of paths and roads to cater for cyclists and pedestrians as a priority, including for buggies and people using mobility aids

We think that it is important that we see quality standards and continuous improvement across everything local councils do. We think it is important that our local councils are meeting key targets

We will:

  • Call for ambitious performance improvement targets for each local council
  • Call for a greater exchange of know-how between local councils, so that councils can learn from best practice

Many European countries are taking back control of basic services – like waste collection and road repairs – or never privatised them in the first place. We’ll insist that local councils provide services directly rather than contract them out to private companies

  • We’ll improve the quality of waste collection by direct employment by local councils where possible, and strong enforcement of regulations on private operators

Labour councillors know the importance of having someone respond to local concerns. We will seek to establish a new role of Community Warden to be a familiar face in every locality. Community Wardens would keep an eye out for anti- social behaviour and be quick to respond to issues like illegal dumping, dog fouling, persistent noise or anti-social behaviour, with the power to issue fines

  • We will increase the number of people working as litter wardens, traffic wardens or dog wardens
  • We’ll call for zero tolerance on dog fouling and introduce intensive enforcement “brown zones” for streets and roads where persistent offending occurs

We’ll make sure local council services are accessible to all

  • If you want to deal with your local council in Irish, we will make sure that there is someone able to help you with your request
  • We’ll encourage local councils to produce materials in Plain English to meet the needs of people who do not have strong English or who have literacy problems

We will work with local council officials to ensure that their websites are fully accessible for people with additional needs

We will:

  • Work with local council officials to ensure that council websites meet the standards of the EU accessibility directive (guaranteeing that persons with sight, hearing or dexterity needs can use local council websites as two-way communication portals)
  • Advocate for mandatory disability equality training for all local council staff, to include understanding of autism, mental health issues and learning difficulties, for example to simplify application forms
  • Seek for more weekend services for people with disabilities, especially in rural areas where many supports are only available on weekdays