SGM’s verdict: 16 ways Conservative Policies have severely damaged Sunderland and its community

As the Conservative Party Conference has been underway in Manchester, Rishi Sunak’s government increasingly looks on its way out in the next general election as it trails far behind in the polls amidst record unpopularity. Having been in power over 13 years, we felt it is time to look back on the long term legacy of Conservative Policies in Sunderland and the impact it has had on our communities. It really doesn’t look good. Here is SGM’s verdict:

  1. Shut down our local libraries and left us with bare bones ones which have to be run by dedicated volunteers (kudos to them). Some libraries, such as East Herrington, are gone altogether.
  2. Reduced our large city library into a small room located in the museum.
  3. Closed down two of Sunderland’s major police stations and left us with a small “office” in the city centre, creating an overstretched force that has to take people to Southwick, or even South Shields.
  4. Closed down dedicated community and youth projects such as the Jubilee Centre, again forcing them to be replaced with part-time volunteer efforts.
  5. Created a surge in on the street homelessness due to funding cuts and tougher welfare policies
  6. Cuts to regional fire services resulting in fire brigade job losses
  7. Dramatically slashed the funding of the city council by 33% which has forced it to operate like a business to attain revenue, resulting in excessive housing developments and carving up of green land by real estate companies, as well as eyewatering annual council tax rises
  8. Reduced bus services to bare bones through local authority imposed funding cuts, reducing the frequency of services. I.e, the Sunderland to Durham bus used to be every 10 minutes, now only 2 per hour.
  9. Overseen dramatic increases in the cost of living and inflation
  10. Led to a surge in the usage of foodbanks
  11. Led to fuel poverty and people being unable to bill their electricity bills, especially pensioners
  12. Failed to deliver on regional infrastructure projects
  13. Reduced staff and security in city parks through cuts forcing them to remain open on a night, which has contributed to increased vandalism and swans being killed
  14. Cuts to local authority budgets have damaged counselling and mental health services, leading to an uptick in Bridge incidents.
  15. Real terms income in the North East has fallen by 14% from 2006 to 2020
  16. Made repeated false promises to the North East as a whole which have never materialised, such as “levelling up” and have never considered any serious infrastructure investment in areas of the North East outside of Teesside.