First phase of Kirklees wealth building complete
Last week, we launched our series on ’45 Degree Change’ – the meeting point between the vertical state and horizontal emerging local initiatives. The work of local wealth building done by the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) sits at this 45 Degree meeting point.
In July this year, CLES announced a new wealth building project with Kirklees Council. The first phase of the project sought to analyse how the council spends council taxpayers’ money alongside having conversations with public and private employers and the voluntary and community sector. It was announced yesterday that this phase has now been completed and has resulted in a series of recommendations, published in a report, Local Wealth Building in Kirklees: Phase One. These recommendations offer greater clarity on how the council can support the growth of local business, community groups and the voluntary sector across the borough. The council will now draw up plans to take forward the ideas in the report with a clear implementation framework.
Kirklees is one of the many progressive councils and wider anchor institutions such as universities, housing associations and the NHS that CLES has worked with over the last 10 years to undertake wealth building activities. CLES’s report describes their work:
‘local wealth building aims to reorganise and control the local economy so that wealth is not extracted but broadly held and generative, with local roots, so that income is recirculated, communities are put first and people are provided with opportunity, dignity and well-being. Through local wealth building we are seeing a democratic, social and economic movement, which seeks to provide resilience where there is risk and local economic security where there is precarity.’
There are four main strategies for harnessing existing resources to enable local economies to grow and develop from within – progressive procurement, good employment practices, equitable use of land and assets, and democratic ownership of the local economy. The focus is to encourage large local organisations to adopt these practices, through which they can improve local economic and social wellbeing.
Cllr Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council said:
‘Sustainable economic growth requires inclusive growth. I am absolutely committed to building an economy in Kirklees that will benefit all our communities. Too many people feel disconnected, too many do not feel the benefit of economic growth. We’re going to change that.’
Read the full report here.