Rural communities will only thrive under Labour

Whether it is affordable housing, local bus services or small businesses rates, only Labour has the policies that will help small towns and villages like Faringdon and Uffington thrive.

Housing developments in villages have to be small - often fewer than 10 homes - if they are not to negatively transform the character of their communities. Affordable houses used to have to be built as part of any development larger than five houses. Under this Tory-led government, the development has to have at least ten new houses in it before any affordable housing is built. Labour's parliamentary candidate Stephen Webb says, 'This reduction in affordable housing will lead to our villages becoming ghettos of the rich and must be reversed. In addition, the Tory Vale of White Horse District Council has unacceptably reduced the proportion of affordable housing in developments larger than ten homes in their Local Plan.'

Oxfordshire bus services have suffered under this government, with routes closing including the 36 from Grove to Milton Park and the 32 from Grove to Harwell Campus. People who are unable to drive - whether for reasons of cost, age or health - are being left isolated by cuts to bus routes. Labour will enable Oxfordshire County Council to regulate the bus network in the interests of passengers, not just bus company shareholders.

And Labour will reduce business rates for small businesses (with a rateable value under £50,000), helping village shops, pubs and small businesses to flourish throughout the Wantage constituency.

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