5 ideas to build it from where we are: Thornton Heath, Croydon

I headed down to the seaside for Labour Party conference which was has left me more energised and inspired. There was a real feeling of excitement, largely down to our new young members, and of course a powerful and good humoured speech from Jeremy Corbyn. Here are a few thoughts on proceedings and some practical ideas we can take forward locally.

What we heard?

The system is broken, it’s time to fix it…. 

Ten years on from the financial crash which saw the single biggest transfer of wealth from the people to the elites in modern times, wages continue to stagnate, our young can’t find homes and our public services are faltering. The Tories are trashing the state and are putting many of the most vulnerable in society at risk. As we know, they’ve created food bank Britain and their cuts to health services, benefits and the raising of student debt are leaving many in huge difficulty. 

Labour has a plan to enable people to be more powerful…. 

A radical economic strategy, investment in industry, tackling climate change, building more homes and creating a cradle to grave National Education Service sit at the heart of supporting people to become powerful in their lives. There’s more of course. I’m sure you’ve read the manifesto 😀

What can we do locally? How can our local Labour effort give us more control over our future?

Here’s five ideas for how we can build it from where we are: Thornton Heath, Croydon. Let me know your reactions and your ideas too. 

1) Let’s get people organised, that’s our real power Locally we founded the Thornton Heath Community Action Team to put our values into action. After three years of organising we now have nearly 1,000 people involved. You can get involved in the action here  We’re taking action to hold the market and the failing parts of local public services to account. We’re breathing new life into things through the power of relationships and by creating openness, transparency and political accountability. Come join us!  

2) We’ve got to organise our money to work for us, not them.. I’m shouting as loudly as possible about the Greater London Mutual  a new regional investment bank which has the potential to transform how we do business by lending to our small businesses that really need it and caring for our people at the same time. I believe this will be a bank we can really trust. Why, because it will be our bank, one that we control! You can buy a share now and start to support the vision for regional local banks become a reality.  

3) We’ve got to own the land – I’ve spoken out about how our housing market is broken and with Croydon Citizens (an alliance of local communities) I’ve been calling for a Community LandTrust in Croydon. An idea which means more people can afford to buy. Check out more here 

https://www.jamieaudsley.org/affordable-homes/ if you like the idea email alison.butler@croydon.gov.uk , Cabinet Member for Homes and Regeneration to let her know you’re supporting. 

4) We’ve got to control of our energy – for the last two years I’ve been supporting the idea of a community energy company to tackle help fuel poverty, climate change and ensure profits from energy production flow back to us. If you want to get involved in this effort, please email jamieaudsley@gmail.com  and I look forward to inviting you to a local meeting to campaign for the work. 

 

5) We’ve got to create #GreatJobs & #GoodEmployers – and our efforts to change the terms of the labour market in Croydon have only just begun. However, we do now have 50 employers who’ve stood up and said they are prepared to play the game differently. 50 can become 500, 5000 – check out http://www.goodemployercroydon.com/ to learn more. Can you get an employer you know involved? 

Underpinning all this has got to be a culture of action, not just talk, so come and join us for our next action to save our parks and challenge the contractor . We’ll be meeting 14th October, 10-12 in Trumble Gardens, Brigstock Road. We have put the corporation that currently has the contract on notice. In years to come I hope we’ll be able to take back real control, perhaps with a co-operative model set up by our local leaders. Here’s a radical example that’s really worked >> http://www.evgoh.com/ 

I’m looking forward to helping create our plan for real power in Croydon in the month’s to come, I hope you are too. 

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