East Devon Alliance manifesto for Devon County Council election, May 2017

“The East Devon Alliance campaigns for transparency, accountability and democracy in local government. It supports Independent candidates who are responsible to the electors rather than a national party machine.

In the County Council elections, we are supporting Independent East Devon Alliance candidates in the Axminster, Seaton & Colyton, and Sidmouth divisions. Our candidates aim to make Devon County Council more accountable and transparent in all its dealings.

Like all local authorities, Devon County Council is facing an unprecedented long-term loss of funding and control. Once elected, Independent EDA County Councillors will use their positions to campaign for fair funding for local services and ensure local democratic control – rather than allowing central government and corporations to increasingly privatise everything which affects our communities.

Our candidates all support the following platform:

1. We will speak up for our constituents and campaign for local needs, not be bound by a national party line.

2. We will work for Devon County Council to support proper funding of the local NHS and the restoration of a fully public National Health Service, and oppose privatisation of NHS services and closures of community hospitals and beds.

3. We will fight to achieve adequate social care, especially for Devon’s growing population of older people, in the face of continued underfunding of this and other key services including mental health and children’s services.

4. We oppose the reductions in funding for many East Devon schools which will result from the supposedly ‘fairer’ National Funding Framework, and any new proposals to force local schools to become academies.

5. We will work to protect library services in the new mutual framework.

6. We will support local residents fighting for proper road maintenance and highway safety improvements.

7. We believe that rises of 9% in Council Tax over 2 years are unfair to many residents, yet not enough to protect services. Until there is a fairer local tax system, the Government should restore national funding for local services.

8. We also believe that small businesses should be protected from the Government’s changes to business rates.

9. We support genuine devolution of powers from central Government to Devon but we oppose the merger with Somerset in the so-called ‘Heart of the South West’ and the central role which the current opaque devolution proposals give to unelected businessmen in the Local Enterprise Partnership. We oppose the priority to the outdated and ruinously expensive Hinkley C project in these proposals.

10. During the forthcoming negotiations with the EU, we will work to represent the interests of all residents in healthcare, tourism, farming, and rural affairs. We also support initiatives to develop Devon’s tourism economy, welcoming visitors from home and abroad.”