Our local economy has been struggling for years and many of our rural and coastal communities have faced decades of poverty and deprivation, which has gone unaddressed for too long. As a result of austerity policies, the council’s own Economic Development Team has become a shadow of its former self; it has been understaffed and under-resourced at a time when our local economy most needed support to identify key infrastructural improvements and in promoting the District as the place to do business. Labour would ensure this vital work is fully supported and resourced. We would follow Labour-run Bradford in creating growth zones prioritising funding improvements, referrals to support and sources of finance and providing advice and guidance to a range of local businesses from start-ups to already established small and medium-sized businesses.
Bradford City Council’s City Centre Growth Zone scheme has helped to trigger major improvements in Bradford city centre since its launch. The scheme has provided capital grants to over 100 businesses. The scheme has helped to support 90 businesses to open in the city centre, while over 70 vacant high street units have been brought back into commercial use. To date, 610 part-time and 513 full-time jobs have been created as a result of the City Centre Growth Zone.
In this period of great economic upheaval and change, Labour will support our unique local economy and will set about working with partners to build resilience, invest in growth and form a closer partnership working within the local agricultural and tourism sectors.
Lifelong learning is key in meeting the shifting challenges of our future economy. Labour will work in a closer partnership to strengthen the links between the needs of the local economy and training providers, promoting opportunities for upskilling, retraining and professional development.
Labour will seek to transform the landscape of the local economy by supporting the creation and growth of a variety of business models such as co-operatives and community-owned ventures. Labour would oppose any further closure of rural amenities such as banks, post offices and pubs.
Labour is committed to becoming a real living wage employer.
People in low-paid employment can struggle to maintain healthy diets and heat their homes properly − that’s why 89 Labour councils and counting now pay the Living Wage. We believe that a fair day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay.
Chichester’s disjointed approach to strategic planning, as evidenced by the struggling Chichester Gate, has seen the failure to provide the opportunities for residents to enjoy our city in an evening. We would use existing licensing and planning powers to support the growth of a much-needed evening economy. Labour will also support a new music venue, as suggested within the Southern Gateway proposals.
Urgent action is required to save our high streets, Labour will work closely with Chichester Business Improvement District to support efforts to increase footfall in our High Streets and would work with local groups and organisations to encourage new and established events and festivals to boost business and community cohesion.