Published: 20th Apr 2020

The post COVID-19 world must usher in a new era of community wealth building, according to a think tank. 

The Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) has today (20 April) published two papers, which outline a number of measures to help build a new democratic economy, once the pandemic subsides. 

The first paper was co-written with the US organisation, the Democracy Collaborative, and calls for ‘buyouts, not bailouts’ with national and local holding companies taking over failing businesses until they are able to be relaunched.

It also calls for a new green industrial strategy, to replace the UK government’s current industrial strategy, which the paper claims is ‘discredited’.

The paper also argues that politicians must recognise that austerity was a mistake and local government needs to be restored. 

The second paper aims to ‘sketch out the contours of a new era of community wealth building’, with a new era of municipal ownership and more progressive procurement of goods and services.

It also calls for more ‘forceful interventions’ in regional labour markets, especially in utilities, food and social care. 

CLES will be jointly hosting a webinar with the Economic Change Unit to discuss the issues presented in the papers – details to follow.

‘COVID-19 has pulled back the veil of the failures in how we develop local economies,’ said CLES chief executive, Neil McInroy. 

I’n the community wealth building movement, we have been working across the UK to make our local economies more democratic and work for ordinary people. 

‘As we confront this looming crisis, now is the moment to ramp up this work at pace and scale, so we can deliver much-needed rescue, recovery, and then reform,’ he added. 

The co-founder and president of The Democracy Collaborative, Ted Howard, added: ‘On both sides of the Atlantic, we are at a true fork in the road, with the decisions to be made on how we recover from the current crisis of vital importance to the shape of our economic future. 

‘We are excited to have this opportunity to clearly state, alongside our partners at CLES, why the COVID-19 recovery must be grounded in community wealth building.’

Photo Credit – Nattanan23 (Pixabay)

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