Stephen Morgan Charles DickensStephen Morgan, standing for Labour in Charles Dickens in the Council elections on 5 May, has a plan for tackling local issues and improving life for the local community.

Stephen proposes setting up a ward panel to bring together and support existing community groups, residents and local businesses. The panel would invite ideas and practical proposals from the community that would make a difference to everyday life in the area. A fund would be set up supported by the current councillor allowance scheme to finance the programme.

In launching the plan, Stephen said:

“I’m not standing for the council to claim a personal allowance, I’m doing it to stand up for residents in the city and make a difference to the community I’ve been fortunate enough to have been brought up in. Local people do so much for their communities but this is rarely recognised. I want to tap into this hard work, and improve local life for all. If elected and the City Solicitor allows it, I will start to use my councillor allowance to support and fund projects to ensure they make
a bigger impact on local people’s lives.

These grants will be decided upon with the support of a ward panel. I would create this in my first few weeks on the job. By bringing everyone together it is hoped my allowance will be matched with other grants and donations from others. Together we can make life better in Charles Dickens ward”.

Stephen strongly supports Labour’s proposal at last February’s council budgetsetting meeting to reduce the cost of democracy and councillor allowances by
20%. The proposal was voted down by other parties – at a time when a number of services essential to local communities, such as social care, were
being cut. In the current year the council is cutting services by £11m, with more reductions in services planned for the future.

Under the existing scheme, all councillors get paid at least £10,200 per year in personal allowances which has allowed the current Lib Dem councillor for
Charles Dickens to claim over £107,000.00 in allowances since becoming a councillor. In fact, when they were running the council, Lib Dems actually
proposed increasing ‘cabinet member allowances’ by 25%. Labour stopped this proposal going ahead.
Stephen added:

“Charles Dickens is one of the most deprived areas in the south east of England with child poverty as high as 67% in some parts of the ward, life expectancy ten years lower than elsewhere in the city and families face a range of challenges across its communities. This fund could make a real difference to local life” .

For more information about Stephen’s campaign and local community issues visit / mobile: 073 9800 6935