What do the following things have in common?
- Fuel poverty
- Food poverty
- Child poverty
- Clothing poverty
- Period poverty
That’s right, it’s poverty. Wasn’t hard was it?
The problem here on the East Marsh is poverty. It needs saying, because poverty leads directly to low education and life chances, crime and poor health. Statistically speaking, people here on the East Marsh die 10 years before people in Waltham. And poverty directly affects our children’s lives – from parents’ stress levels affecting relationships and family dynamics, to parents worrying about the impact poverty has on their children, poverty affects our kids’ ability to enjoy their childhoods.
Working with the council towards Community Wealth Growth
The fight against poverty usually ends up by blaming poor people for their poverty, but it’s not true. Poverty is not a lack of character – it’s a lack of cash. We are working to get rid of poverty on the East Marsh and instead to focus on community wealth growth, together building wealth we can all share in. The council can help us do this, just as they have in places like Preston, where the council’s policy of community wealth growth has added an extra £74 million which can be spent on community development – and more wealth growth.
Community groups like East Marsh United are already doing this by buying houses from absentee landlords and providing homes for East Marsh families. The rent they pay stays in our community and is used to buy more houses or support community projects.
Community Interest Companies like East Marsh Construction are already doing this by carrying out construction projects employing nine locally-employed workers.
We will work to support these projects from within the council and help these groups build their capacity.
We will also initiate a wider discussion within the council about the advantages of a Community Wealth Growth model on the East Marsh (and more widely in Grimsby), looking at how wealth is sucked out of our neighbourhood, building up a sustainable work-force who spend locally, support new business and asset transfers and greater community decision-making.
Democratising the Local Economy
We will be persistent in our support for a progressive policy of Community Wealth Growth in our ward and across the Borough. We’re already doing this here on the East Marsh, we’re creating jobs, we’re creating housing – let’s use all the resources of the council to really push this policy to provide other benefits for the local area, such as housing and regeneration, employment, skills, real living wage, environmental impact, and greater wellbeing.
This is all about democratising the local economy, putting the local economy into the hands of the local community – remember, we’re the experts on where we live. So we will work to support the development of worker-owned cooperatives (with a living wage), economic inclusion and greater opportunities for all with a focus on ecologically-sustainable jobs and growth.
Let’s start now to build wealth and get more Money on the Marsh so that our people can direct our own lives: it’s Time4Change!