Introduction

The last nine years of austerity have been disastrous for local councils and our communities. Since 2010, when the Conservatives and Lib Dems set up their coalition and then under successive Conservative Governments, Dover District Council has had its budget slashed. By 2019/20, your district council’s budget will have fallen by 60%.

Right now, Dover District Council is led by local Conservatives who have just accepted the savage cuts imposed by their Tory colleagues at Westminster. Instead of fighting your corner, Dover District Council’s Conservatives have tried to balance the books using risky and desperate measures. They have raided the District Council’s capital reserves – meant for emergency use – with no idea when they could build those reserves up again. There is hope. A Labour Government would put more money into the public services you use and local councils, including Dover District Council, would see their funding rise sustainably. If the Conservatives stay in power, though, don’t expect the ‘end of austerity’ that Theresa May promised. Expect Dover District Council’s budget to fall by another 20% beyond even the massively reduced levels of 2017/18.

Dover & Deal Labour take a prudent approach to the future. We know that there is only so much any local council can do, especially with finances stripped back by the Tories and some council staff now having to do jobs previously done by two or three people. Conservative policies will leave a legacy of damage which it will be hard for us to undo and which may limit our ability to meet some of our aspirations. Still a Labour-led Dover District Council will work as effectively as possible for our communities, using
partnership working or campaigning for solutions when we can’t make things better alone.

We hope and work for the best – a Labour Government that will put money back into the services the Tories have slashed.

We also plan for the worst – a Conservative Government clinging on to power, cutting services you use and pay for to the bare bones, while the
wealthy few get tax giveaways. This manifesto sets out how we will work for you in either case.

Cllr Kevin Mills

Leader of the Labour Group