Community Wealth Building simply means finding a way to keep money and talent in our city. A circular economy is a sustainable one, with people spending their money in local independent shops whose owners use local suppliers and then spend their profits in the city with other local businesses. This creates a circle that benefits us all and reduces our carbon footprint.
The last Labour administration brought in experts, the Centre for Local Economic Strategies, to kickstart a major programme of local investment with fairer procurement and community wealth building, bringing more democracy into the way our local economy develops. This initiative has stalled under the Greens, but a Labour council will reinvigorate and build on that work.
Supporting local business
Independent local businesses, be they in the retail, digital or creative industries, are an important part of Brighton & Hove’s character – they attract visitors to the city and are able to cater to the diverse needs of residents. Right now, following Covid and with the cost-of-living crisis, they need the support of local people and the local authority more than ever.
Chain stores and supermarkets will always have a place in our city, but it is important to remember that money spent with national and international companies flows out of the city. Some companies do contribute to local community projects and invest in the city, but the bulk of their profits often do not benefit the people of Brighton & Hove.
A local living wage
We will work with the Chamber of Commerce and the Brighton & Hove Enterprise Partnership to foster a sustainable, circular and ethical local economy. We will set up an Ethical Work Charter, incentivising businesses to pay staff the Brighton & Hove Living Wage, recognise trade unions, pay people for trial shifts and source their supplies locally.
Keeping prices low
A Labour council will work to enable local independent shops to keep prices low and as affordable as high street chains. We will encourage neighbourhood shops to serve distinct parts of the city and we will introduce pilot schemes for 20-minute neighbourhoods that seek to create communities with all essential amenities within walking distance.
We will launch a ‘buy local’ campaign to support our independent businesses and encourage and facilitate the development of truly local businesses in all areas of the city, helping them work together with local suppliers and service providers. Not just shops but all local initiatives, providing a range of services, that use the creativity for which Brighton & Hove is renowned, will be involved.