As council leader my focus is on delivering on the promises the Labour candidates made at the last city council elections in 2015.
The promises that candidates make on the doorstep, or in the press, are something that most politicians I know, and of all party allegiances, take very seriously. They are the recipe for what ‘flavour’ council we are promising to deliver… and the time is coming very soon for all local politicians in the city to find out if they are being kept on or let go.
Obviously to some extent the actions of the council are often dictated by party political approaches to problems, in some cases we are simply responding to national government instructions or demands. But the manifesto hopefully gives a clear intention of the key priorities and areas of work that political groups wish to see addressed should they be given the responsibility to deliver them.
The danger of manifestos is that they become a wish list of unachievable aims, or become a bidding war of increasingly undeliverable promises simply aimed at securing electoral support, rather than having any intention of being delivered.
Over the past six months many hundreds of Labour party members have been considering hundreds of proposals for inclusion within our manifesto – some more workable than others. We have been clear in developing the final manifesto that the promises we make to the city’s residents have to be deliverable, yet at the same time demonstrate the ambition that we have for the future of the city.
I’m delighted to say that this process is now drawing to an end. The final spelling checks and proof reading are being completed and in the next few days we will start to share the manifesto with residents and be able to discuss and demonstrate our commitments to the city.
Other parties are reaching this point too. This for me is the most exciting part of an election campaign, as politics is truly a battle of ideas and vision. All residents will have the chance over the next seven weeks to compare and contrast the differing visions of those who wish to govern the
city for the next four years. I look forward to those debates.