Jagtar Singh Dhindsa: free bulky collections, more dog bins and a crackdown on vacant flats in manifesto (From Watford Observer)
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Jagtar Singh Dhindsa: free bulky collections, more dog bins and a crackdown on vacant flats in manifesto
Labour is promising to bring back free bulky collections, more dog bins and a crackdown on vacant flats, if it wins the Watford mayoralty.
The party, which is the second largest on Watford Council after the ruling Liberal Democrats, has outlined its key pledges ahead of the elections.
It is promising to find land for a new cemetery in Watford and to help first-time buyers get on the housing ladder with a council cash-backed scheme.
Read the full manifesto here
Jagtar Singh Dhindsa, Labour’s mayoral candidate, is also pledged to cut the mayoral salary by 20 per cent if elected.
Watford’s mayor currently earns £65,000 a year, but the package comes to more than £80,000 when pension contributions are added in.
The party’s other manifesto points include campaigning to get the Government to intervene in efforts to modernise Watford General Hospital.
Councillor Dhindsa launched his manifesto saying: "Under Mayor Thornhill the council has lost millions of pounds of our money. Look at the overpayment on £1.3million in housing benefit and the loss of £250,000 development money when she tried to build on Watford Fields.
"She has wasted £500,000 on consultants and is now splashing £4.5 million on The Parade including a bridge to nowhere over the pond that no one wants. These are hard times for local people and she has been reckless in spending taxpayers money."
Liberal Democrat, Dorothy Thornhill, who is seeking her fourth term on May 22, has been the town’s mayor since 2002.
Labour has said if it wins the mayoralty it will use council powers to crackdown on flats above High Street businesses, which are being used for storage. The party said the move would be part of its efforts to ease the housing shortage in the town.
Another initiative it has proposed is bringing back the council scheme where it would collect three bulky items from residents for free. The party argued this would save money in the long run as it would discourage fly tipping.
It has also pledged to install dog bins in residential streets to help reduce the blight of dog mess in the town.
One of the party’s more ambitious promises is to use council cash for a scheme to help first-time buyers secure a mortgage, along the lines of a similar Hertfordshire County Council.
In recent years the county council introduced a scheme that worked with banks to secure mortgages with lower deposits than were available on the market.
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