As part of a wider community conversation, I’ve been giving thought to the kind of policies that would improve the fortunes of South Thanet.
In a new article for Labour Briefing, I’ve outlined how Labour Party policy could help to lift some of our most deprived areas out of poverty.
In the face of 5.3% unemployment in Thanet, I look at how wealth could be kept in the local economy by encouraging our main public sector providers to source services locally. I also argue that ‘We will need investment to grow local co-operatives and small businesses and to establish a locally owned energy supplier. The National Investment Bank, which forms one of the cornerstones of Labour’s economic policy, will be invaluable.’
Addressing the low education levels of Thanet, I revisit the community conversation we hosted last year which considered many ways in which Labour’s National Education Service could address our needs.
Tackling the housing crisis in Thanet will require a dramatic solution. We urgently need to start building council homes as part of a people-powered local plan. We also need a Labour Government that is prepared to invest in housing and to reclaim community assets.
Government cuts to the NHS – manifested in the Sustainability and Transformation Plan – are proving disastrous for deprived areas like Thanet. I argue that ‘The Labour Party’s policy of halting the STP and asking residents to review plans on the basis of local need rather than available finance will enable us to retain our stroke unit and avert the loss of further services.’
You can read the whole article about tackling coastal poverty in Thanet here.