Elections to Gloucestershire County Council will take place on Thursday, May 2. The county's Conservative party has published its manifesto ahead of election day. SNJ reporter Chris Warne takes a look at what the party is promising.

FURTHER council tax freezes, investments to boost the economy, improved transport services and greater protections for vulnerable citizens are all being promised by Gloucestershire's Conservatives should they triumph in May's local elections.

In their manifesto, published on Friday, March 22, the county's Tories outline six key areas which they say they will focus on if re-elected.

They are jobs and growth, saving money and protecting services, protecting the vulnerable, helping children and young people, improving transport and roads, and fighting flooding.

In a foreword to the document, councillor Mark Hawthorne, the current Conservative leader of Gloucestershire County Council, says he his proud of his administration's record of freezing council tax and making significant savings in difficult economic times.

Cllr Hawthorne says his party's manifesto sets out 'strong commitments' to saving county taxpayer's money but also includes more funds where they are needed for the most vulnerable and transport.

"We're protecting our strong commitment to helping young people find jobs and homes, as well as protecting our Olympic legacy, with a massive programme of investment in community sports facilities," he writes.

The manifesto highlights the Tory administration's achievements to date including bringing down unemployment across Gloucestershire since 2010, creating 860 more apprenticeships in the county last year and significant investments in road repairs and flood defences.

In an email to Conservative Party members, who were offered a sneak peak of the manifesto, Cllr Hawthorne said: "We've frozen council tax for the last three years and we're promising to freeze it for the next two years. That's a massive change from the old Labour and Liberal  Democrat days of a tax hike every year.

"We've protected the funding for the most vulnerable people in Gloucestershire, whilst delivering £114m in savings and we're delivering £100m of investment into our county - with plans to do even more in future."