The County Labour Group has launched its campaign for the forthcoming County Council elections in May 2017. We are confident of winning the May elections with a manifesto commitment to developing a co-operative council. Working together with people to meet their common needs, we will introduce a Social Charter for commissioning which guarantees local employment, living wage, training apprentices and within an ethical framework. The Labour Group intend to work with employees and their unions to form co-operatives to deliver services without the overheads of chief officers’ salaries in the region of £190,000. Plans for local economic development, such as for jobs, include an explicit component focused on the development of co-operative enterprise, including credit unions. We are committed to finding better ways of working for, and with, local people for the benefit of their local community. Our emphasis will be on investing in services not cutting them. Austerity is not a necessity but a political choice and we will not be choosing austerity.