Extreme regional inequality and a lack of local investment scar the UK and entrench division. In generic ‘clone towns’ where corporate chains dominate, there is precious little space left for human creativity and sociability. People want to feel pride in where they live, but too often they feel unable to shape their environment.
To breathe new life into our communities, we need to take power away from corporations and commercial landlords and give it to the people. By strengthening local democracy and investing in community services, reversing years of austerity, we can build a future of vibrant, inclusive towns and begin narrowing the north-south divide.
Adopt Community Wealth Building as our main approach to local economic development across the UK and ensure that more of our economy is publicly owned.
End council outsourcing to large corporations and, where the local authority is not able to provide goods or services directly, encourage procurement from local businesses or facilitate community-based cooperatives.
Enable local authorities to apply to the National Sustainable Investment Bank to fund infrastructure projects.
Give communities more say on proposed developments and more power to shape their town centres, through planning and compulsory purchase, community asset transfer and changes to business rates.
Support the creation of community-owned energy companies and co-operatives to produce zero-carbon energy.
Bring the Royal Mail back into public ownership and open new Crown Post Offices with post banks.
Reverse cuts to youth services and rebuild them in order to guarantee every young person access to local, high-quality youth work.
Ensure that every young person has access to a youth centre in their community — a safe space where they can socialise, learn new skills and develop friendships outside of school or college.
Bring libraries back into council or community not-for-profit ownership and properly fund them, to ensure libraries are preserved for future generations and updated to meet modern needs.
Ensure that town and village centres are accessible, with accessibility considered as part of any planning process to ensure older and disabled people have independent access to employment, education, healthcare, recreation and leisure.
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