April 26, 2022 1.45 pm

Local Elections 2022: Labour targets climate change, inequality and growth

“We will engage with what matters most & deliver what we promise”

Tackling the threat of climate change locally, reducing inequality, and promoting inclusive economic growth are among the big promises of the Labour party in this year’s local elections.

Voters in Lincoln will head to the polls on May 5 to pick their choice in the local elections where a third of seats are up for grabs – one in each ward and a total of 11.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service asked the leaders of each of the main parties a series of questions and gave them a chance to have their say.

For an analysis of the key battlegrounds, including where Conservatives will be looking to make strong advances or where Labour will be keen to defend, visit here.

A full list of candidates, along with those in North East Lincolnshire, can be found here.

For the latest election coverage visit here.

Here’s what the leader of the Labour party in Lincoln Councillor Ric Metcalfe had to say:

What is your party hoping to achieve?

Our priorities are to tackle locally the threat of climate change, to reduce inequality, to promote inclusive economic growth, build more affordable homes and through a wide range of place making measures, improve the quality of life for everyone in Lincoln.

What calibre of candidates do you have?

This year Labour are fielding 11 strong candidates for the 11 seats being contested.

These include a mixture of experienced existing councillors standing again, such as Councillors Pat Vaughan for Glebe, Loraine Wooley for Castle Ward, Bill Bilton for Abbey Ward, Adrianna McNulty for Moorland Ward and Gary Hewson in Boultham Ward .

There are also a younger new generation of Labour hopefuls standing for the first time, for example Emily Wood  in Carholme, Calvin Bissitt in Witham Ward, Sean Burke in Birchwood and Callum Roper in Hartsholme.

A big issue right now is the cost of living crisis, what will you do to address this?

Without doubt, the electorate’s main concern is about the impact of the cost of living crisis as gas and electricity and other prices continue to spiral.

Labour nationally has been calling for urgent government action to protect people from the worst effects of these price increases.

Labour has long believed that more people in the City should share in the benefits of how the city has been growing and that inequalities in income and opportunity need to be actively addressed.

The council has a long standing programme to bring more and better paid jobs to the city and a new project is planned to increase opportunities for people who find it difficult to break into the job market.

The council also has a very important income support role when people are without income from employment.

Whilst people are out of the job market our welfare advice and support team enable people to navigate their way through the complicated benefits system. 

The council has continued its council tax support scheme and actively promotes the support available through discretionary payments to help with rent costs.

The council supports the Citizens Advice Bureau who is actively supporting people with mounting debts due to the energy and cost of living crisis faced by many households in the city.

It’s not just residents facing financial strain, councils are too. How will you address the funding situation?

Under Labour control, the council has demonstrated its resilience in withstanding a very challenging period and the council’s finances are in good shape.

Significant efficiency savings have been delivered without severe impact on services and the council now has some capacity make some new investments to benefit the city

There’s a lack of faith in politicians lately, particularly when looking at the national picture, how will you build that trust with your communities?

Labour has always sought to be judged by what it does rather than by what it says.

Under Labour control a whole range of projects which were promised has been delivered.

We have delivered the 500 new homes to rent we promised, built a new central car park, a new bus station, a new city square at the Cornhill,made  significant improvements to our Park and open spaces and much more.

We are now embarking on a major refurbishment of the Lincoln central market

We think the best way of inspiring trust is to do what you say you are going to do, be honest and open, involve communities whenever you can in the decisions that affect them

What do the people on the doorstep care about?

Many people are very angry about the parties that are revealed to have taken place at 10 Downing Street during lockdown and Boris Johnson’s dishonest attempts to pretend these never took place.

This is felt most strongly by people who were unable to see sick and dying relatives during lockdown because they obeyed the rules set by Boris Johnson.

Finally, tell us in 10 words why readers should vote for you?

We will engage with what matters most and deliver what we promise