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Torfaen Council leader on priorities following last week’s election

Cllr Anthony Hunt, Leader of Torfaen Council

THE leader of Torfaen council’s Labour group has said the immediate priority will be to provide support to residents around the cost of living crisis following last week’s election.

Labour increased its majority on Torfaen council, while the Conservative party lost all four of their seats and 10 Independent councillors were elected.

With no change in political leadership on the council, planned schemes such as improvements to the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal and regeneration at The British in Talywain will continue unchanged.

The Labour group also set out a number of priorities in its election manifesto, such as offering help around the cost of living crisis for residents.

It has pledged that council tax will be kept “as low as possible”, with a rise of no more than 1.9 per cent next year.

Following the election, Labour group leader Anthony Hunt said providing support around the cost of living crisis is “the massive and immediate concern”.

“It’s something that has come out time and again in conversations during the campaign,” he said.

“People are really concerned about rising gas bills, rising food bills, and the fact the money coming in is not keeping pace.”

Cllr Hunt said the council will look at “anything we can do” to help and plans to get together a working group to look at what can be done.

Other pledges around the cost of living include the roll-out of free school meals to all primary school-aged children, and supporting community groups and foodshare schemes in the borough.

The group has also pledged investments in schools, social care and other services.

A £2 million community renewal fund to make further investments in the borough was proposed by the party in the run-up to the election.

Cllr Hunt said the party is also keen to help people benefit from the local environment in Torfaen, with improvements to the canal and parks in the pipeline.

Action to tackle the climate emergency, cutting carbon emissions and a zero-tolerance approach to litter have also been pledged by the party, as well as funding to improve road surfaces, pavements and dropped kerbs in the borough.

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Torfaen Council leader on priorities following last week’s election