LabourTowns

Labour towns

Our towns our future

Sign up for more information & to support the work of Labour Towns. Towns are the back bone of Britain, and we want our towns to get a fair deal. That’s why Labour MPs, councillors, party members across the country are coming together to demand an end to the Tory austerity that is widening the divide between towns and cities, and to champion new ideas and plans from Labour councils, councillors and MPs.

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Building on the great work and innovative ideas of local Labour councillors who are finding new ways to regenerate, inspire and strengthen smaller communities.

Find Out Who We Are

We are Labour MPs, Councillors and party members standing up for the 36 million of us who live in towns and villages across the country. Britain’s towns are being hit hard by Tory austerity and there is a growing divide between cities and towns under the Tories that is bad for our whole country.

We are proud of our towns - of our strong communities, unique histories, local skills and industry. Our towns are the backbone of Britain. But we believe towns need a fairer deal and a stronger voice. We want an end to the Tory austerity that is closing our public services and slowing our jobs and business growth. And we want to build a Labour alternative - based on the best new ideas and plans from Labour towns across the country. Labour values mean backing both our cities and our towns together to grow and succeed.

Recent News

Since 2010 towns have had half the rate of new jobs and businesses as cities. In what is already the slowest economic recovery for generations, on average towns have seen the number of jobs grow by just 5%  since 2010 under Tory austerity - half the rate of increase as in cities. Overall town economies have grown on average at just two thirds of the rate of cities.  



 

Yet far from tackling the widening economic gap, the Tory Government is making it worse. Tory regional policies have concentrated on city growth deals and there’s no industrial strategy for towns. Major infrastructure projects like HS2 and Crossrail are concentrated on London and other cities and the strongest devolution deals are based on city regions.

 

  • Job and business growth in town constituencies has been around half the rate as in city constituencies since 2010
  • Economic growth under the Tories has been only two-thirds the rate in local authorities covering towns as in local authorities covering cities
  • The average rate of business growth in town constituencies has been almost twice the level of growth in constituencies covering towns and smaller cities since 2010
  • In the first six years of Tory government, city economies grew by 17% whilst towns only grew by 11% 

 

In the coming weeks and months, the Group will be publishing evidence exposing the damage done to public services in towns by Tory cuts. 

 

On the publication of the new research Yvette Cooper MP said:

“Towns are the backbone of Britain but our towns aren’t getting a fair deal. In the slowest economic recovery in modern times, towns are seeing their jobs and businesses grow at only around half the rate of cities under the Tories. There is a very real and widening economic gap which isn’t good for the country. And Tory policies are making it worse – as key services have been lost from towns altogether under austerity. Towns don’t want to be patronised, we want a fair deal. That’s why councillors, MPs and party members have set up Labour Towns to champion our towns and expose the damage the Tories are doing. Britain needs both our towns and our cities to prosper - the growing economic gap is bad for all of us.”

To see the full research click here.

Tory Austerity is Hitting Towns

Since 2010 towns have had half the rate of new jobs and businesses as cities. In what is already the slowest economic recovery for generations, on average towns have seen the number of jobs grow by just 5%  since 2010 under Tory austerity - half the rate of increase as in cities. Overall town economies have grown on average at just two thirds of the rate of cities.    

New figures show that the big cities are the main winners when it comes to Lottery funding with the former industrial areas missing out.

The dream of a big house, nice car and exotic holidays inspire millions of us to buy lottery tickets and scratch cards each week.

Research carried out nearly a decade ago showed that skilled manual workers are more likely to buy a ticket than managerial and professional workers.

The National Lottery was dubbed ‘a tax on the poor’.

That however, is a fact that we can no longer confirm, even though we suspect it, because we do not know where lottery tickets are bought.

Why does that matter? Because without that vital piece of information, we do not know how much more some customers are putting into the National Lottery than they are getting out of it.

Every year the Department for Culture, Media and Sport publishes how much cash every Parliamentary constituency receives in lottery funding for projects.

It probably won’t surprise you to find out that it is not the poorest areas of the country that receive the most lottery cash.The ten constituencies which receive the most money are always dominated by the UK’s biggest cities; London, Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham, Bristol.Meanwhile former coalfield and industrial areas come lagging way behind.

The figures speak for themselves: in 2015, my constituency of Ashfield received about £930,000 of lottery funding, ranking it 362 of 650 constituencies.

Nottingham South, just down the road, got £64.8m the same year, the third highest in the country.

In the same year, Manchester Central received £31.6m of funding, while nearby Wigan got just over £3m, ten times less, but actually a lot more than Barnsley East, which was awarded less than £90,000.

The pattern repeats for examples in many other cities and the former industrial towns lying just a few miles outside them.

This has of course been noticed before.

The Industrial Communities Alliance has published articles on the issue and has found “evidence of systematic bias against certain types of areas and communities” with regards to the distribution of lottery funding.

Their research suggests that industrial areas receive only 60% of the national average funding per head.

It put the cumulative loss of funding to Britain’s industrial communities at around £3bn a few years ago, and this will only have increased since then.

We have asked that Camelot not only publishes data on where lottery tickets and scratch cards are bought, so we can see the differences between this and where lottery funding is given out, but that it also does more to close this gap.

In this age of austerity and cuts, former coalfield and industrial communities need lottery funding more than ever to support projects that could otherwise be at risk of closure.

People in these areas will often feel no benefit of the prestigious lottery funded arts, culture and heritage offerings in nearby cities – some of them have never even visited their nearest city.

It is time the way lottery funding is allocated was changed, so that these areas are no longer disadvantaged and are given the share of the money they deserve.


It is only fair.

* Gloria De Piero is the Labour MP for Ashfield

Gloria De Piero: Funding for the arts and sports is not a lottery. It's a stitch up

New figures show that the big cities are the main winners when it comes to Lottery funding with the former industrial areas missing out. The dream of a big house, nice car and exotic holidays inspire millions of us to buy lottery tickets and scratch cards each week. Research carried out nearly a decade ago showed that skilled manual workers are more likely to buy a ticket than managerial and professional workers.

After a great conference where our towns and the problems they are facing were firmly on the agenda the Labour party has announced 5 brand new policies aimed at rejuvenating our town centres:

  1. Ban ATM charges and stop bank branch and Post Office closures
  2. Improve local bus services and provide free bus travel for under 25s
  3. Deliver free public Wi-Fi in town centres
  4. Establish a register of landlords of empty shops in each local authority
  5. Introduce annual revaluations of business rates, ensure a fair appeals system review the business rates system to bring it into the 21st century

The Labour party also release a party political broadcast aimed at our towns which can be viewed above.

Labour's new policies aimed at rejuvenating Town Centres

After a great conference where our towns and the problems they are facing were firmly on the agenda the Labour party has announced 5 brand new policies aimed at rejuvenating our town centres:

Since 2010 towns have had half the rate of new jobs and businesses as cities. In what is already the slowest economic recovery for generations, on average towns have seen the number of jobs grow by just 5%  since 2010 under Tory austerity - half the rate of increase as in cities. Overall town economies have grown on average at just two thirds of the rate of cities.  



 

Yet far from tackling the widening economic gap, the Tory Government is making it worse. Tory regional policies have concentrated on city growth deals and there’s no industrial strategy for towns. Major infrastructure projects like HS2 and Crossrail are concentrated on London and other cities and the strongest devolution deals are based on city regions.

 

  • Job and business growth in town constituencies has been around half the rate as in city constituencies since 2010
  • Economic growth under the Tories has been only two-thirds the rate in local authorities covering towns as in local authorities covering cities
  • The average rate of business growth in town constituencies has been almost twice the level of growth in constituencies covering towns and smaller cities since 2010
  • In the first six years of Tory government, city economies grew by 17% whilst towns only grew by 11% 

 

In the coming weeks and months, the Group will be publishing evidence exposing the damage done to public services in towns by Tory cuts. 

 

On the publication of the new research Yvette Cooper MP said:

“Towns are the backbone of Britain but our towns aren’t getting a fair deal. In the slowest economic recovery in modern times, towns are seeing their jobs and businesses grow at only around half the rate of cities under the Tories. There is a very real and widening economic gap which isn’t good for the country. And Tory policies are making it worse – as key services have been lost from towns altogether under austerity. Towns don’t want to be patronised, we want a fair deal. That’s why councillors, MPs and party members have set up Labour Towns to champion our towns and expose the damage the Tories are doing. Britain needs both our towns and our cities to prosper - the growing economic gap is bad for all of us.”

To see the full research click here.

Tory Austerity is Hitting Towns

Since 2010 towns have had half the rate of new jobs and businesses as cities. In what is already the slowest economic recovery for generations, on average towns have seen the number of jobs grow by just 5%  since 2010 under Tory austerity - half the rate of increase as in cities. Overall town economies have grown on average at just two thirds of the rate of cities.    

New figures show that the big cities are the main winners when it comes to Lottery funding with the former industrial areas missing out.

The dream of a big house, nice car and exotic holidays inspire millions of us to buy lottery tickets and scratch cards each week.

Research carried out nearly a decade ago showed that skilled manual workers are more likely to buy a ticket than managerial and professional workers.

The National Lottery was dubbed ‘a tax on the poor’.

That however, is a fact that we can no longer confirm, even though we suspect it, because we do not know where lottery tickets are bought.

Why does that matter? Because without that vital piece of information, we do not know how much more some customers are putting into the National Lottery than they are getting out of it.

Every year the Department for Culture, Media and Sport publishes how much cash every Parliamentary constituency receives in lottery funding for projects.

It probably won’t surprise you to find out that it is not the poorest areas of the country that receive the most lottery cash.The ten constituencies which receive the most money are always dominated by the UK’s biggest cities; London, Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham, Bristol.Meanwhile former coalfield and industrial areas come lagging way behind.

The figures speak for themselves: in 2015, my constituency of Ashfield received about £930,000 of lottery funding, ranking it 362 of 650 constituencies.

Nottingham South, just down the road, got £64.8m the same year, the third highest in the country.

In the same year, Manchester Central received £31.6m of funding, while nearby Wigan got just over £3m, ten times less, but actually a lot more than Barnsley East, which was awarded less than £90,000.

The pattern repeats for examples in many other cities and the former industrial towns lying just a few miles outside them.

This has of course been noticed before.

The Industrial Communities Alliance has published articles on the issue and has found “evidence of systematic bias against certain types of areas and communities” with regards to the distribution of lottery funding.

Their research suggests that industrial areas receive only 60% of the national average funding per head.

It put the cumulative loss of funding to Britain’s industrial communities at around £3bn a few years ago, and this will only have increased since then.

We have asked that Camelot not only publishes data on where lottery tickets and scratch cards are bought, so we can see the differences between this and where lottery funding is given out, but that it also does more to close this gap.

In this age of austerity and cuts, former coalfield and industrial communities need lottery funding more than ever to support projects that could otherwise be at risk of closure.

People in these areas will often feel no benefit of the prestigious lottery funded arts, culture and heritage offerings in nearby cities – some of them have never even visited their nearest city.

It is time the way lottery funding is allocated was changed, so that these areas are no longer disadvantaged and are given the share of the money they deserve.


It is only fair.

* Gloria De Piero is the Labour MP for Ashfield

Gloria De Piero: Funding for the arts and sports is not a lottery. It's a stitch up

New figures show that the big cities are the main winners when it comes to Lottery funding with the former industrial areas missing out. The dream of a big house, nice car and exotic holidays inspire millions of us to buy lottery tickets and scratch cards each week. Research carried...

View More Posts

Standing up for Labour Towns

Town of Culture - Sign our open letter

December 29, 2018

Ian Lucas MP: Wrexhams singing streets 2018

October 16, 2018

MP's choir festival fills streets of Wrexham with song An all-day choir festival ensured the streets of a North Wales market town were filled with song.

Helen Goodman MP: Geothermal energy is an exciting opportunity to rebuild industry in former mining towns

October 16, 2018

Geothermal energy is an exciting opportunity to rebuild industry in former mining towns. Abandoned coal mines are now filled with water that has been heated by the earth, and this can be extracted as a clean and green way to heat homes and businesses. Geothermal Energy could fit beautifully within the UK energy mix alongside other renewables. Unlike wind and solar energy, Geothermal is not intermittent. No matter the weather on the surface, heat can always be pumped from the mine-water reservoirs. 

Town of Culture - Sign our open letter

December 29, 2018

MP's choir festival fills streets of Wrexham with song

An all-day choir festival ensured the streets of a North Wales market town were filled with song.

 

The Wrexham Signing Streets event, organised by Ian Lucas MP in partnership with Wrexham Glyndŵr University, saw 27 choirs perform at six locations across the town centre on Saturday, September 29.

Now into its third year, Singing Streets was established with the aim of promoting Wrexham and bringing people together through music. It was free to attend and hundreds of members of the public streamed into the town to enjoy the performances, which included a mass ‘big sing’ at Queens Square where many of the choirs came together in one place.  

Mr Lucas said: “I’m tremendously proud of the success of Wrexham Singing Streets. This year’s event was our biggest and best yet – a wonderful showcase for Wrexham as a town and the talent we have here.

“The choirs were superb, and the public turned out in numbers to enjoy the performances. It brought a real vibrancy to the town centre and the hope is that a lot of the people who visited for the day will come back and help the town thrive."

The choirs in attendance were made up of singers of all ages and abilities. Many are based in Wrexham while others came from further afield. 

Mr Lucas and Wrexham Glyndŵr University organise Wrexham Singing Streets in collaboration with John Jones Quality Acoustics, Wrexham Community Choir volunteers, Gateway Church and Wrexham Business Group CIC. The event sponsors are Wockhardt, Wrexham Crime Link, Hays Travel and Gateway Church. 

Ian Lucas MP: Wrexhams singing streets 2018

October 16, 2018

MP's choir festival fills streets of Wrexham with song An all-day choir festival ensured the streets of a North Wales market town were filled with song.