Election promises of the conservative Torfaen group for the local elections
THE Torfaen Conservative group said it would spend more money fixing potholes and prioritizing education and social services ahead of next week’s election.
Four Conservative councilors were elected to Torfaen council in 2017, and the group hopes to maintain that number. There are 21 candidates running for the party, one less than in the last local elections in 2017.
Huw Bevan, leader of the Conservative Torfaen group, said they were campaigning on a range of issues in the borough. Mr Bevan says more money needs to be spent on road maintenance, saying the current ‘patch and fix’ policy for potholes is not working.
“There’s a backlog of £30m in essential maintenance and it’s just not being addressed,” he said.
“They’ve put £1m aside but it’s not enough.”
The group is calling for more investment in infrastructure and capital projects, saying spending in this area has seen a “steady decline”.
Mr Bevan also said the Tory group would have frozen council tax this year due to the cost of living crisis.
“We feel like it’s gone up so many times over the last 10 years,” he said.
“In previous years, it exceeded the rate of inflation.”
He said the group could not freeze the rate for the council’s five-year term, but would have done so this year due to the pressures residents are facing due to inflation.
Questions about the number of children in care in the borough and the steps being taken to safely reduce this number were also raised by the group.
The rate of children ‘in care’ in Torfaen, per 10,000 children, is the highest in England and Wales, according to government figures.
“It’s a big concern,” he said.
“Why do we have so many children in care? Why are we the highest in Wales?
“What more could we do around early intervention? Is there some sort of systemic problem in the borough?
“I don’t know. I asked questions but I don’t have an answer as to why the number of children is so high in Torfaen.
The group is also campaigning for ‘a greener agenda’, saying that although Labor says it is one of their priorities, they have not done enough while controlling the council.
Improving education standards is also on the group’s agenda, and supporting schools emerging from special measures.
Questions about the council’s request for increased funding have also been raised, with the Tories saying it will not create jobs and could be used more effectively to help town centres.
Mr Bevan says ‘a small number of people’ have said they will not vote for the group due to party controversy in Downing Street, but he is ‘reasonably confident’ of retaining all four council seats .
He added: “A few people have messaged us to say thank you for our support and the work we’ve done in the past and that they weren’t going to vote Conservative this time because of partygate, but that’s what happened. is a small number who have contacted us about this.