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<< Back Posted on 29th April 2022

By Emily Cotterill


We’ve been reviewing the local manifestos in advance of the Cardiff Council elections on May 5th. Today we’re looking at the promises made by the current controlling party, Welsh Labour, to see how their vision stacks up against our aim of a city that prioritises setting, culture, and transport. Here’s what Labour have to say:

  • Developing a new pipeline of Major Events anchored around a homegrown music festival and the opportunity to host Euro 2028.

Labour seem to be the only party with such a focus on major events as opposed to grassroots cultural interventions. It’s an interesting approach and we’d like to see more of the why behind this thinking. That said a homegrown music festival and Euro 2028 would both tick cultural boxes for the city.

  • Continue delivering our Music City Strategy to support and nurture music-making at all levels [and] use our work on Music as a template for a new Cultural Strategy, as part of which we will look to create a major modern arts attraction and introduce new public art in the City.

The Music City Strategy is a key project for the Labour administration and there are some great recommendations in there that could be a real boost for the city but as ever when talking about the strategy we suggest challenging some of the received thinking of the strategy and, vitally, looking beyond Womanby Street.

More broadly a new Cultural Strategy could be interesting although we hope it leads to quicker delivery than the Music City Strategy has. We love public art and have made commitments to funding it ourselves and would love to see the council doing more of this too.

  • Deliver a comprehensive programme of reform to the Council’s Street Scene services… including piloting Community Protection Officers to crack down on littering and fly-tipping.

As we’ve said to in response to the other parties yes, absolutely vital to get this stuff right. FOR Cardiff work really hard on improving the street scene and we’d love to see the new administration raise the baseline we start from. Littering can be an issue in the city centre (yes dropping a cigarette butt counts as littering!) and we’d like to see this proactively tackled but we would also point out that a lot of litter issues are connected to waste presentation issues rather than people actively dropping things – we hope this reform will tackle those issues as well as classic ‘littering’

  • Continue to lobby the Welsh Government for stronger powers to protect and celebrate our historic buildings and strengthen our planning regulations to protect local buildings

Council powers to protect buildings are limited and this is a positive aim but as the incumbent party it is haunted by a question of ‘what have you done so far’. It’s a shame to see Labour only focussing on planning regs and not direct community powers in this section of their manifesto. We’d also like to see a focus here on the tenants of the buildings as well as the buildings themselves – what powers can the council be lobbying for to protect occupiers?

  • Radically improve bus transport through introducing more priority measures, new services, and work with partners to introduce a standard £1 bus fare.

Yes! We mentioned this previous pilot project in our manifesto – we’d love to see cheap bus travel rolled out across the city so long as it’s done in a joined up and thought through manner. A scheme like this should be pitched at proactively driving new customers onto the network

Setting ✔

Culture ✔

Transport ✔

You can read the full Labour manifesto here.

FOR Cardiff’s manifesto for the city centre is available to read here.