Labour councillors on East Suffolk Council have successfully forced the Council to investigate ways of spending more of its Council Tax revenue with local businesses and suppliers. The motion, proposed by Labour Cllr Peter Byatt (Kirkley and Pakefield), will mean more money remains in the local economy, helping to boost jobs and businesses, and helping to reduce social and economic inequality.
East Suffolk Council has considerable purchasing power that could be used to drive local economic development and to boost recovery in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. This measure proposed by Labour would have a significant local impact and would see Council Tax payers get the maximum local benefit for their money.
The idea of keeping money in the local economy, known as ‘Community Wealth Building’, has already been successfully championed by Labour-run Preston Council since 2012 and is gaining popularity with Councils across the UK. Labour councillors want East Suffolk Council to follow Preston’s example by prioritising its spending with local businesses and suppliers and minimising the number of contracts placed with businesses located outside our region.
Labour Cllr Mike Deacon (Western Felixstowe) said:
“We’re very pleased that there was sound cross-party support for looking closer at where the Council spends its money and researching where this policy has already enhanced the quality of life for people in other parts of the country.
Alongside our regular budgets for goods and services we’re expecting all new projects to be assessed for positive local benefit so we can unleash the potential of our residents and businesses and bring long term prosperity throughout the district.”