Preston praised by Shadow Chancellor

John McDonnell
John McDonnell

Labour will help local councils to bring services back in house, set up new energy companies and develop local economies, using a new team of experts, it was announcing in Lancashire today.

In a speech in Preston, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell will praise the ground-breaking work of Preston City Council.

The authority is reported to have returned almost £200 million to the local economy and supported more than 1,600 jobs by using the town’s anchor institutions and local government contracts to keep money in the local economy and develop worker-owned cooperatives.

Speaking at a conference in the Lancashire town, he will announce that Labour’s new Community Wealth Building Unit will borrow from the Preston model and share other innovations to help Labour councils boost their economies.

The Unit will bring together councillors, unions, think tanks, and independent experts with experience of delivering frontline change to provide councils with knowledge, advice, and practical support in adopting creative methods to secure and provide vital services and stimulate sustainable economic development for communities in the face of austerity.

John McDonnell MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, will say: “Tory austerity has blighted our communities and forced councils to cut and privatise many public services that we all rely on.

“The next Labour government will end austerity and properly fund local authorities, instead of cutting back and passing the buck like the Conservatives are doing.“