Our Economic Plan: Community Wealth Building In Hampshire.

What is Community Wealth Building?

It is our long term plan for the economic future of Eastleigh! Community Wealth Building is a new approach to building local economies. At it’s base level it is a commitment to keeping public money in the communities it is meant to serve. Rather than outsourcing the services a council needs, such as catering, to large national companies; Community Wealth Building sees these services commissioned from locally owned small businesses or cooperatives. The principle being that as much of the wealth created in the community is reinvested into the local economy, thereby enabling sustainable long-term growth.

I worked on, and brought forward a motion Eastleigh Labour members, and now Hampshire and Isle of Wight Cooperative Party; have have unanimously approved. This motion commits Eastleigh Labour, and our candidates in the 2021 local elections to working towards the implementation of a Community Wealth Building strategy. You can see that motion here: https://www.facebook.com/JoshConstableLAB/posts/1059964617832002

This isn’t a short term policy. It’s a long term plan for our area. One that has a proven record of delivery in places like New York, Glasgow, locally in Southampton and perhaps most famously: Preston. It will form the foundation of our economic plan that we will announce in our Eastleigh Manifesto.

For more details on the specifics of Community Wealth Building please see: https://cles.org.uk/what-is-community-wealth-building/

Why should you care?

Shops on our highstreets have been struggling for years. Anyone who’s lived or worked in Eastleigh knows how many empty shop-fronts there are, and how long they’ve been there. Government want’s to pretend COVID caused all these problems, and while it undoubtedly made them worse, we have to acknowledge the structural problems the government’s approach to local economies has caused.

If Eastleigh and Hampshire start a Community Wealth Building strategy. Our local economy will grow. Our recovery will be faster. People will prosper. We can rebuild our communities for each other.

Currently there is an epidemic of waste and outsourcing. Private companies are paid literal millions from our local councils for consultancy services, or to provide services we know the public sector does best. Rather than sending those millions to out of area shareholder bank accounts, why don’t we invest it in growing our local economy?

Ask yourself, what are the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats offering you?

Where are their local manifestos? Where is there vision? What are they offering you for the long term future of our areas.

They have had control of the Borough and County Councils for 25 years. A quarter of a century. What is their legacy? Seriously ask yourselves what substantive change have either of these bodies brought on? What do we have to show for the Liberal Democrat and Conservative representation in the Borough of Eastleigh?

The truth is neither of them have a plan, or a vision for our area. They are reactive, not pro-active. It is my firm belief for Hampshire and Eastleigh Borough to succeed we must take a pro-active approach to local government policy, beyond government mandated targets. We should set our sights so much higher than the bare minimum a Conservative government want’s us to achieve!

Why we need to elect Labour candidates to accomplish this.

Labour are the only party bringing forward a comprehensive plan. Soon we will announce our local manifesto, which you can still make a submission to here: https://eastleighlabour.co.uk/eastleigh-local-manifesto/

The truth is, the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats are ideologically opposed to the principles of Community Wealth Building. Which at its heart is about people over profits, and rebuilding our communities from the ground up. This is why only Labour councils are delivering this policy in the UK.

Even if Eastleigh Labour win’s every seat up for election this year, we would still only be in opposition. We need to win year on year to gain control of the council to start delivering this plan. But in opposition we can start putting forward these proposals formally at council meetings, and hold the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives to account.

That is why it is so important the people of Eastleigh elect as many Labour candidates at every level. The sooner we get control of Eastleigh Borough Council the sooner we can deliver a Community Wealth Building strategy for our area.

If you have any Questions about any of this plan, and would like to know more. Please get in touch with me via the following methods:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JoshConstableLAB

Email: Josh@EastleighLabour.co.uk

Josh Constable