Our plans for a better Somerset West and Taunton

How we will protect our environment and tackle climate change

Labour councillors will ensure that the ‘shadow’ council’s Climate Emergency declaration is backed up by a robust strategy, with action plans for reducing carbon emissions and responding to global climate change. We will work with the Local Government Association and other councils to fulfil the ‘Climate Local Pledge’ and monitor the new council’s progress and achievements.

Working in collaboration with environmental and transport lobby groups we will develop and evaluate policy proposals with the aim of making Somerset West and Taunton carbon neutral by 2030. As a priority we will develop a 5-year local sustainable transport plan to reduce reliance on fossil-fueled vehicles, encourage walking, cycling and use of public transport, embedding these criteria into infrastructure planning for new housing developments.

We will:

  • Monitor and publicise air quality levels.
  • Encourage the establishment of community energy co-operatives.
  • Campaign and vote to prevent fracking.
  • Invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency technology for all new housing developments and in district energy systems where possible.
  • Argue the case for disinvesting pension and other funds from carbon intensive industries.
  • Seek to reduce single use plastic and improve levels of plastic recycling.
  • Encourage provision of sustainable drainage systems in developments of more than two houses.
  • Encourage the development of community gardens.
  • Work with the Environment Agency and other partners to identify vulnerable sections of our coast and protect those areas where there is risk of erosion.

Labour councillors will lobby the County Council to dedicate more funding to promoting safe and sustainable access and mobility across the new council area.

We will:

  • Promote and support the establishment of a Bus Users’ Group.
  • Lobby the County Council to improve the reliability, affordability and accessibility of public and community transport, including real-time and on-board audio and visual information systems.
  • Support and develop car clubs, community transport groups and moped schemes.
  • Prioritise safe walking and cycling, establishing safe pedestrian and cycle routes and extending the Steam Coast Trail cycle path.
  • Support the switch from diesel and petrol cars to electric vehicles and move towards charging points in public car parks and new housing developments.

How we will reclaim our County Town

Labour councillors will actively promote and support the early establishment of a single Town Council within the current unparished area boundary.

We will work with local communities to identify projects that celebrate the town’s heritage and increase its contemporary appeal, maximising its value to those who live there and increasing its attraction for visitors.

To make the change vote Labour on Thursday, 2nd May

Somerset has suffered too long under Conservative rule in government, at County Hall and in District Councils. Somerset West and Taunton people deserve better.

To find out about your local Labour candidate/s go to: http://www.tauntondeanelabour.org.uk/candidates or call 0800 861 1642.