Read Surrey Labour’s 2017 County Council Election Manifesto here
On Thursday 4 May, I am standing as a Labour Party candidate for Cobham in the Surrey County Council elections.
Vital services are closing across Surrey as a result of Conservative mismanagement and spending cuts in areas in which it is in the public interest to invest. Over the past 4 years, Conservative Surrey councillors have made undemocratic decisions to the detriment of our communities, and particularly our most vulnerable residents.
Here are 500 words on why I am standing and what I hope to achieve if elected as a Labour Councillor:
Lana Hylands is the Labour Party candidate for Cobham. Lana has lived in Cobham all her life, and is passionate about developing fair policies which protect our residents, community services and environment. Lana is a law student, and works with charities to support disabled young adults, help disadvantaged youth and promote inclusivity and community cohesion. As such, Lana believes that when making changes in Cobham it is vital to hear the views of residents from all backgrounds, conduct grassroots and big-picture research, and actively seek solutions.
Mismanagement of Surrey County Council by the Conservatives over the past 4 years has led to a huge budget deficit, for which locals are paying the price. SCC is currently closing 15 of 18 family planning clinics across Surrey. Lana believes this will result in extra pressure being placed on already overwhelmed GP services, redundancy for many local workers and loss of essential specialist support. The proposed 15% council tax increase was an out-of-touch Conservative proposition which would impact harmfully on many locals, and conceal the £170million cut to Surrey’s social care budget by the Conservative government as the cause of this funding gap. The 5% council tax rise was also made undemocratically by the Council, without local consultation. Lana aims to provide positive alternatives to policies which are currently not serving the best interests of Surrey residents.
Lana wants to reduce delays in making Surrey’s roads safer for drivers and cyclists, by improving contractor competition and coordination. Lana will oppose Conservative councillors’ intentions to switch off streetlights at night, as this policy will reduce security and likely lead to traffic accidents. Rail fares have increased by 27% under the Conservatives, three times faster than wage increases. The Labour Party has been challenging Conservative cuts to vital bus routes across Surrey, and Lana will push for Oyster Card zone 6 to be extended to Surrey’s commuter routes to bring down costs. Lana will pressure the government to safeguard Surrey’s wildlife, biodiversity and environment, including protecting greenbelt land, tackling life-shortening air pollution and developing the M25 with the least disturbance to surrounding habitats.
Lana supports ethical business initiatives and Labour’s plans to create Business Improvement Districts and Community Benefit Societies in Surrey, creating profit for the advantage of the community. Food bank use in Surrey continues to rise as too little is being done to reduce local poverty and support local families. Moreover, Short-sighted Conservative policies such as scrapping housing benefit for young people are predicted to cost taxpayers money due to a resulting rise in homelessness. Therefore, Labour will invest in locals by providing discounted office spaces, council funds to encourage entrepreneurs and free legal and tax advice. Conservative Surrey Councillors also plan to close more fire stations and libraries. Instead, Lana would push to expand the services which local libraries offer and increase the efficiency of the Surrey Fire and Rescue Service by merging it with West and East Sussex. Lana also aims to penalise developers who leave sites undeveloped or empty in Surrey, and instead encourage low-cost, affordable housing and council housing to support locals.