Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, visited Matlock this weekend to launch Derbyshire Labour’s campaign to retain control of the County Council.
This was Mr Corbyn’s second visit to Matlock in six months to support the work of local councillors and activists. In a rousing speech he gave to party faithful, he said: “There’s so much to gain and so much we could lose. Let’s make those gains, let’s bring people together, let’s be proud, let’s be strong, let’s be Labour.”
Party members attended a conference to celebrate the successes the Labour-run administration has achieved over the last four years, and to hear from Mr Corbyn. Cllr Anne Western, leader of Derbyshire Labour Group, led the presentation outlining some of the astonishing achievements made by the council; despite the ever tightening chokehold austerity is having on council budgets.
Cllr Western said: “It is important that we sometimes take stock of our achievements as well as keeping an eye on our challenges. It reminds us what we are in local government to do; make a positive difference to people lives.”
There have certainly been life changing achievements at county hall in the last four years including:
- The creation of thousands of new jobs in Derbyshire, with 1,000 created at Markham Vale with another 4,000 on the way
- Helped Derbyshire food banks to feed 21,500 people per year
- Kept open 18 council-run residential care homes and invested £4 million on improvements to them
- Invested £1.2 million in the voluntary sector
- Ensured 80% of schools are rated ‘Good’ or better
- Invested just under £110 million in improving facilities in Derbyshire Schools
After the conference, one member said: “It was a revelation to see what had been achieved over the last four years despite brutal cuts to funding. I left the conference enthused and inspired.”
The Labour Group in Derbyshire is taking this election seriously. They currently hold 43 of a possible 64 seats on the council which they aim to retain in May 2017. Cllr Anne Western added: “Our group care passionately about the areas they represent. We want to continue to be their voice in local government and protect their valuable services where we can.
“We think a Tory victory come May would be disastrous for Derbyshire signalling the axe to fall on public services and the redrawing of our county boundaries as we know them.
We will continue to work tirelessly for the people of Derbyshire. We’ve got a lot done, there is more to do and everything to lose. We ask that people put their faith in us again to continue our good work in supporting the people of this great County.”