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Wednesday, December 11, 2019

General Election: Labour outlines its East Midlands manifesto

The East Midlands manifesto includes pledges to create 60,000 ‘good green jobs’, including to improve insulation in homes.

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The Labour party has set out what it plans to achieve in the East Midlands if it came to power.

The regional manifesto was launched during a trip to the NCT depot on Lower Parliament Street.

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Labour says NCT would be a blueprint for improving bus services throughout the country.

The East Midlands manifesto includes pledges to create 60,000 ‘good green jobs’, including to improve insulation in homes.

The party says it would build 9,000 social and council homes in the region every year, and electrify the Midland Mainline – something promised by consecutive Governments.

The party also said it would ramp up devolution, giving regions like the East Midlands more power to decide where and how money is spent.

Andy McDonald is Labour’s shadow transport secretary and was given a tour of one of NCT’s fleet of new environmentally-friendly biogas buses.

While areas like the North has seen improvements with the Northern Powerhouse, the East Midlands has lagged behind in terms of investment, and efforts to foster greater co-operation in the region have floundered.

Asked how Labour planned to increase co-operation, Mr McDonald said: “I think the regional manifesto we’re announcing today will be such a huge incentive for people to coalesce around a common agenda, I think this will break through any of those tensions that exist (between councils) because the prize is enormous.

“We’re talking about 60,000 new jobs in the East Midlands with our immediate uplift in people’s wages,

“We’re talking about real delivery in a short space of time, 1.9 million homes are benefitting from full-fibre (internet).

“This is a £9 billion investment programme for the East Midlands, and I’m convinced this will focus minds and bring people together on this agenda.”

Mr McDonald said he would relocate ‘offices of Government’ from London to the East Midlands.

The party also says it would replicate the Nottingham City Transport model in other areas of the country.

Unlike most bus companies, NCT is a municipal company, meaning it is primarily owned by the local authority, so does not have to pay shareholders, and can re-invest profits.

On the subject, Mr McDonald said: “We should have a roll-out of municipal bus services across the country, we should restore the services which have been lost – 3,000 services since 2010, we want to put those back, and double them, with free travel for under-25s.

“Nottingham is an exemplar. It’s been a terrific success story of partnership working, and if we take the expertise from places like Nottingham and translate that across the country I think we’ll see a massive shift and a level up for everybody.”

Mr Mc Donald was joined on the trip by Labour’s candidate for Nottingham East, Nadia Whittome.

Asked about the East Midlands manifesto, she said: “I’m delighted that Labour’s fully-costed manifesto will give the East Midlands a £9 billion investment from our green transformation fund for electric vehicles, Midland Mainline and full-fibre Broadband for all.

“We’ll get 60,000 new green jobs, 9,000 new council homes a year by the end of the Parliament, and an immediate pay rise for 604,000 workers aged 16 and over.

“This will transform lives in areas like mine, and save us from climate catastrophe too.”

Candidates standing in Nottingham East are:

Christopher Michael Leslie, The Independent Group for Change

Damian Stephen Danial Smith, Brexit Party

Victoria Anne Stapleton, Conservative Party

Robert Andrew Swift, Liberal Democrats – To stop Brexit

Michelle Kim Vacciana, Green Party

Nadia Edith Whittome, Labour Party

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