REDDITCH Conservatives have launched their manifesto.

At the local elections this year the local Redditch Conservatives said they are hoping to build on the success of their #UnlockRedditch campaign, which helped them win control of the Borough Council after 6 years – the only council on election night last year to transfer directly from Labour to Conservative control.

The team are keen to emphasise their successes over the 12 months they have been running Redditch town hall ranging from their work to secure funding for upgrades to Redditch train station, overhaul of the grants system and the reduction in council homes sat empty.

Cllr Matt Dormer said: “We inherited a mess from Labour it’s fair to say. A £777,00 black hole in the finances and over 130 council houses sat empty meaning local families were suffering unnecessary homelessness.”

He added: “Of the council houses that weren’t empty they failed to provide a decent service to residents with some very serious failings that we’ve had to put right since taking control.”

The manifesto goes on to offer six key points for the upcoming local elections including the policy to build more council-owned bungalows, of which Cllr Dormer said: “It’s a no-brainer really – if you don’t have enough bungalows you can’t move people through the housing system into the most appropriate accommodation for their needs.”

Local Conservatives are also keen to emphasise their work on leisure services, pointing to their decision to bring the Arrow Valley Visitors Centre back into public ownership.

On the town centre, the manifesto promises the Conservatives will “unlock the potential in our town centre to create new homes, jobs and a more vibrant retail and leisure offer”.

Since taking control of the council over £5m has been earmarked for development works in the centre, including upgrades to enhance Redditch train station. Redditch is also pushing ahead with an application to the Future High Streets Fund, which could see Redditch benefit from a share of £675m set aside by central government.

Cllr Dormer said: “The outcomes of our state of the area debates held earlier this year has shown the residents of our town have some great ideas to help us shape the Redditch of the future – and we’ve listened to them.

“We said we would fully involve local residents in decisions about their areas – and we mean it.

"That’s why I can confirm that under a Conservative-run council we will respect the wishes of local residents and businesses when it comes to the regeneration of Winyates and Matchborough Centres for example.

“As part of the consultation process, if local people decide they want two district centres we will fully support that decision.”