Extra police officers, 800 new social homes and an aim to include residents in regenerations are at the heart of Barnet Labour's pledge ahead of the May 3 election.

Cllr Barry Rawlings, leader of Barnet Labour, announced the party's alternative budget at last night's full council meeting.

The manifesto included commitments to fund 30 extra police officers, 800 new social homes and launch a Fairness Commission, which aims to ensure resident are not excluded from regeneration plans in the borough.

Cllr Rawlings said: "For too long the people of Barnet have suffered from a heartless Conservative government and a hopeless Conservative council. We want to provide hope, and bring about the change Barnet needs.

"Labour will ensure that Barnet’s families benefit from the growth taking place in the Borough. It is time the proceeds of growth and regeneration go to the many residents and not just the few developers.

"The changes Labour will make directly address residents’ most important concerns and put right the failed policies and mistakes we have had from the Conservatives in the 16 years they have controlled Barnet Council."

In addition to these promises, Barnet Labour aim to "overhaul" maintenance contracts based on the quality of the work to reduce the number of potholes and "shoddy" pavement and road repairs, and will launch a Don't Mess With Barnet campaign to prevent flytipping, which the party believes costs the council £500,000 to clear each year.

The party also want to build 800 social homes in Grahame Park, West Hendon, Stonegrove and Spur Road estates and Dollis Valley estate, which they say will replace the social homes demolished by the Conservatives, and the party says it will demand 50 per cent affordable homes and protect private renters against rogue landlords.

Cllr Rawlings added: "Thousands of new homes are being built in Barnet, but too few are homes that our residents and their children can afford. Many are having to move out of the borough to afford somewhere to live.

"To the young family that dreams of buying their own home in the borough they grew up in, but believes it is impossible because they can’t afford any of the homes being built - we will change things."

Another policy will be to guarantee Saturday opening for libraries and four hours opening after school at least four days a week, hoping to also hire more library staff to ensure more children and young people have access to library services.

The party hopes to pay for the service changes partly by cutting the use of agency staff by £242,000, reducing the cost of committees and the budget for councillors’ allowances by £180,000 and abolishing free parking permits for councillors.

Council reserves will be used to fund the first three years of the Safer Barnet Police Team, which are the 30 extra officers and the new homes will be funded through a mixture of borrowing, money reserved for long-term investment (capital reserves) and capital receipts, which is a money from the sale of the council's land or buildings.

Barnet Council leader and leader of the Barnet Conservatives, Cllr Richard Cornelius, said: "This is a highly irresponsible and cynical budget from Labour. They’ve said they’d build 800 new council homes ‘subject to feasibility’, which is code for they won’t do it.

"Barnet’s Conservative council, on the other hand, has already built 43 council homes and we have solid plans to build another 320. It’s worth remembering that the Labour/Lib Dem coalition of 1994-2002 didn’t build a single council house.

"They are also promising 30 police officers paid for by raiding our reserves. Do they plan to make them redundant at the end of the year or bankrupt the council by draining the reserves?"

He added: "Barnet’s Conservatives, on the other hand, have put pressure on the Labour Mayor to give residents the officers they’ve already paid for. Barnet’s Council Tax payers make the biggest contribution of any London borough to the Met budget for the fewest officers per head in return. Now he’s raising their bills by another 5.1 per cent, he has no excuse not to cough up."