Coventry Conservatives have unveiled their plan for a green recovery to get the city back on its feet after the coronavirus pandemic. They’ve sets out plans to create thousands of sustainable jobs, tackle health inequality and improve service delivery.
Key to this plan is getting a new ‘gigafactory’ manufacturing electric car batteries into the city. To make this happen, they’ve pledged to work with Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands on the plan which could create up to 4,000 jobs. They have also pledged support for the struggling high street in the form of parking concessions, reduced rents and a new High Street Challenge Fund.
Another priority is ending the scandal of ‘health inequality’ which means that a person dies on average ten years earlier in parts of the city. To do this they are pledging to tackle the city’s air pollution crisis with an ambitious transport package which could see three new train stations opening, along with more cycle routes. And they have pledged to protect the greenbelt and the open public spaces which have become a lifeline to so many during the pandemic.
In the longer-term tackling childhood obesity is key to tackling health inequalities. Coventry Conservatives will do this by building on the legacy of the Commonwealth Games, increasing participation in sport across the city.
On service delivery, Conservatives say they will seek to find savings and efficiencies which will be redirected towards front-line services. They will also review the troubled refuse collection service and test the market to ensure taxpayers are getting the best deal.
Longer-term, they will seek to reduce debt which costs the taxpayer around £11m annually in interest payments alone. They will do this by prioritising debt reduction instead of investing in risky schemes like the failing Coombe Abbey Hotel.
Elections are being held to fill 18 seats across the city, and the Conservatives are contesting every seat. They’re hoping it will be all change at The Council House which has been under Labour control since 2010.
Commenting ahead of the elections, Conservative Group Leader Cllr Gary Ridley said; “The last few years have been difficult for everyone. The development of vaccines has given us back some normality but the pandemic has not gone away. Nor has the economic consequences it has brought. So this manifesto is dedicated to creating jobs through regeneration, tackling the cost of living crisis and fighting health inequality. Our ambitious five-year plan will ensure our city rises like a phoenix from the pandemic returning stronger and better than it was before. We will make Coventry a greener, cleaner and fairer city where people choose to live, work and invest.”