THE Labour Party launched its manifesto for the forthcoming local elections yesterday, pledging to make Oxford fairer.

Shadow housing minister John Healey joined the party’s city council leader, Susan Brown, who both blamed the Government's austerity programme for problems across Oxford and the country.

Mr Healey said 120,000 children are homeless across the UK and that the ‘Tories’ record is coming back to bite’.

He praised Oxford City Council’s record over recent years under its former leader, Bob Price, and Ms Brown, who replaced him in February.

Mr Healey added that the city council’s reputation showed that, ‘unlike your football team, [it] plays in a league above your size’.

Ms Brown said people have ‘lost their homes and lost their hope’ across Oxford because of cuts over recent years.

As part of its manifesto, 'Fighting austerity for a fairer city', the party would build 1,000 new affordable homes, supported by money from the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal.

It said it would also ‘work with neighbouring authorities to secure high quality urban extensions that will increase the availability of affordable homes’.

Last month, Cherwell council pushed a plan for up to 4,400 homes north of Oxford for independent approval.

The manifesto also promises to make Oxford a ‘great cycling city’, increasing the number of segregated cycle lanes, increasing cycle parking and supporting new cycle hire businesses.