The Labour Party has launched its Manifesto (16th May) ahead of the General Election on 8th June. The Countryside Alliance’s campaigns team has been through the document and selected some highlights which will impact on rural communities. We hope the below facts and policies will inform you as we head towards the most important election the country, and the countryside, has known in many years. You can download the document here. We will bring you highlights of other party manifestos as they are published. Please ensure you are registered to vote before the deadline on 22nd May – click here for more www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
We will deliver universal superfast broadband availability by 2022. p.12.
On day one we will instruct the National Infrastructure Commission to report on how to roll out ‘ultrafast’ (300Mbps) across the UK within the next decade. p 12.
Labour will increase the maximum sentence for those convicted of committing animal cruelty. p.94.
We will promote cruelty-free animal husbandry and consult on ways to ensure better enforcement of agreed standards. p.94.
We will prohibit the third-party sale of puppies, introduce and enforce a total ban on ivory trading, and support the ban on wild animals in circuses. p.94.
We will cease the badger cull, which spreads bovine TB. p.94.
Labour ended fox hunting, deer hunting and hare coursing. Only a Labour government will maintain the bans. p.94.
Food and Farming
The EU is the UK’s single largest trading partner in agricultural produce, with the vast majority of British exports being sold to European markets. A Labour government will end the uncertainty for our farmers and food producers by securing continued EU market access allowing British farmers and food producers to continue to sell their products on the Continent. p. 25.
Labour will also protect our farmers and rural economy by ensuring Britain continues to set the highest standards in food quality and welfare. We will not allow Brexit to be used as an excuse to undercut our farmers and food Britain’s food chain with cheap and inferior produce. p.25.
We will introduce a ‘presumption of devolution’ where devolved powers transferred from the EU will go straight to the relevant region or nation. p.27.
The Conservatives have failed to provide a clear, ambitious or sustainable vision for the future of the farming, food and fishing industries. p. 89.
We will expand the role of the Groceries Code Adjudicator to ensure suppliers and consumers get a fair deal. p. 89.
We will reconfigure funds for farming and fishing to support smaller traders, local economies, community benefits and sustainable practices. p. 89.
We will allow EU workers employed across farming, fishing and food manufacturing to remain in the UK, and reinstate the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme. p. 89.
We will protect our bees by prohibiting neonicotinoids as soon as our EU relationship allows us to do so. p.94.
We will keep the Land Registry in public hands, where it belongs, and make ownership of land more transparent. p.60.
Labour will recruit 10,000 more police officers to work on community beats, equivalent to at least one more for every neighbourhood in the country. p.77.
Labour will end the closure of Crown Post Office branches, which play a major role in serving their communities. We will also set up a commission to establish a Post Bank, owned by the Post Office and providing a full range of banking services in every community. p. 88.
This Conservative government has taken rural communities for granted, with chronic underinvestment in transport, broadband and public services, including the closure of local schools, post offices and libraries. Rural infrastructure and industry has been neglected. Labour will invest in broadband, housing and transport to create jobs and ensure that the nation’s prosperity is felt beyond our large towns and cities. p. 88.
Labour’s national investment plans include coastal protections, better food management and the broadband and 4G extensions that will underpin the future success of rural small businesses. p. 88.
Rural councils deliver public services differently, and this needs to be reflected in funding allocation mechanisms. We will consider these differences in our re-evaluation of the business rate schemes. p. 88.
We will introduce a ‘rural-proofing’ process so that all our laws, policies and programmes consider their impact on rural communities. p. 88.
Labour will ban fracking. p. 21.