Swansea Labour pledges to build thousands of new homes in local election manifesto
Richard Youle, local democracy reporter
Swansea Labour said making the city a fantastic place to live and work was “within touching distance”, and that this was the goal it wanted to achieve.
The party, which has been leading the council since 2012, is publishing its new manifesto in the run-up to the May 5 council elections.
In the foreword, Swansea Labour leader Rob Stewart said: “The investment we are seeing right now will help us create better paid, high value jobs in Swansea, so people can get the job and career they need closer to home.”
When it came to the significant rise in the cost of living, he said the party “will not look the other way”.
Here are the some of the pledges and considerations in the manifesto.
Aim for Swansea to become the leading urban education authority in Wales.
Invest more than £150 million in improvements to school buildings over the next five years, and spend £1 billion on day-to-day school, teaching and learning costs.
Build new facilities for children who require additional support and care, ensuring children do not have to leave the county for care.
Alternatives to traditional exams to be explored, particularly with a view to equipping young people with the skills needed for 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 both English and Welsh language education to meet the wishes of children and parents.
Establish an investment and growth team to attract inward investment.
Transform Castle Square, the former BHS building, Palace Theatre and support the restoration of the Albert Hall and Elysium building.
Build high-tech office development at the former Oceana nightclub site on The Kingsway, which is one element of a wider city deal project for Swansea.
Work with central Government to secure a public services hub as part of phase two of the Copr Bay scheme. It would be home to council staff, and Welsh and UK Government employees.
Work with commercial development partner to deliver of new homes, offices, hotels, retail, dining and leisure attractions – including an aquarium by the Civic Centre – at seven sites in the city.
Try to secure new tenants for the vacant Debenhams store and other key city locations, invest in Oxford Street, support regeneration of town centres.
Seek to create a low-carbon economy promoting renewable energy, and build a solar farm at Tir John landfill site.
Support the Blue Eden project at Swansea docks, with phase one of the project to be delivered over the next five years.
Continue to build energy efficient new homes, and retrofit others.
Work with Transport for Wales and Welsh Government to support new relationships with bus and rail operators to ensure connectivity and coverage for the city, county and region.
Create an initial “circle line” rail network for Swansea as part of a wider regional Metro transport project.
Trial and roll out hydrogen buses, invest in more electric vehicle charging points.
Continue to focus resources to deal with road and highway repairs in 48 hours.
Bid for grant funding for more cycle and pedestrian routes.
Parks and open spaces:
Invest in new and better skate facilities across Swansea, and continue funding new play areas on council land.
Commit to free use of sports pitches for matches and for local events for the next five years.
Invest in sports facilities across Swansea, including a new all-weather pitch in Pontarddulais, Townhill, and a sports barn facility in Bonymaen.
Provide each area with a dedicated operative to deal with litter, and take tough action on people who fly-tip.
Pledge to build thousands of new homes in the coming years through a combination of delivery models. These homes to be available to people on the Swansea housing list, or for sale as affordable homes.
Refurbish the tower blocks on Croft Street and Griffith John Street, near the top end of High Street.
Support a new 10% saturation limit on homes of multiple occupation (HMOs) in communities not previously been covered by HMO policies.
Invest more than £750 million in the next five years to deliver the best care services to vulnerable adults and children.
Provide people with support to live in their own home with dignity and respect for as long as they want.
Invest in staff and improve wages, terms and conditions, to attract the best care staff available.
Reopen the Tawe walkway on the west side of the river to the public for the first time in decades.
Seek to establish a new hotel and leisure development near the Liberty Stadium.
Encourage the establishment of a river taxi service to take people from the marina to the Liberty Stadium and the revamped Copperopolis areas.
Other pledges include ensuring that Swansea continues to be a city which celebrates and promotes diversity, respect, tolerance and understanding.
Labour also said it will convert more agency roles at the council to permanent employee status, and look at accepting e-petitions from residents to encourage wider public engagement and consultation.
Voters will choose 75 councillors at the ballot box on May 5, three more than currently. Labour at present has 48 elected members, the Liberal Democrat-Independent opposition group 13, Swansea Conservatives nine, and the Uplands party two.
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