LabourTowns

Our towns our future

Sign up for more information and 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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What does a modern, thriving and vibrant town look like? A question decision-makers have wrestled with time and again while they plough yet more investment into our cities.

Almost 60% per cent of the population live in towns, yet cities get disproportionately more investment. Our towns are suffering - and we’re sick and tired of playing second fiddle.

 

I belong to a group of Labour MPs, Councillors and others called Labour Towns and our mission is to find transformative solutions to reinvigorate our ailing and neglected towns.

I’m not saying we need to reinvent the wheel. We already have much to celebrate here in Batley and Spen and a wonderful, diverse population that could rival anywhere in the world for its friendliness and open nature.

We just need the means and backing to enable each and every town to craft its own identity and drive investment.

Our Labour Towns blueprint is working towards this.

We can start with the basics – each town should have a Post Office, a bank, a library, a modern leisure centre and be well-served by public transport as an absolute minimum.

And I believe culture and the arts has a significant role to play in this regenerative journey. We’ve seen the boost events such as the Cleckheaton Folk Festival, Batley Festival and the Great Get Together can give our businesses. This boost needn’t be a once a year special.

We can place the arts, culture, sport and heritage at the centre of what we do. That’s why I’m backing calls for the Government to set up a National Town of Culture award to run alongside the existing City of Culture award.

The collaborative approach to bids and the shortlisting process has done wonders for the cities that compete, and it’s time our towns had a piece of the action.

And there’s more. Over the past year I’ve done a lot of work to help local, independent businesses adapt to an increasingly cash-less society by enlisting a firm to give away free card-reading technology.

Such adaptations to changing consumer habits is vital in enabling businesses to compete in the digital age. But our high streets also need Government support.

Our independent businesses are being hit with massive hikes in rates while the likes of Amazon hand over just a fraction of its multi-billion turnover. Our outdated and manifestly unfair business rates system desperately needs revaluating to make it fit for purpose for the 21st century.

Public transport is also a big issue. Companies often cherry-pick the most profitable bus-routes, leaving many with no means to get to where they need to go. We need to improve our bus services so our communities can thrive, not cut them.

I know there’s much to do – but I know we have the skills, talent, creativity and ideas to rebuild and reinvigorate our communities.

We just need a Government willing to look beyond the cities

Tracy Brabin: We need a Government to look beyond the cities

February 12, 2019

What does a modern, thriving and vibrant town look like? A question decision-makers have wrestled with time and again while they plough yet more investment into our cities. Almost 60% per cent of the population live in towns, yet cities get disproportionately more investment. Our towns are suffering - and we’re sick and tired of playing second fiddle.

What does a modern, thriving and vibrant town look like? A question decision-makers have wrestled with time and again while they plough yet more investment into our cities.

Almost 60% per cent of the population live in towns, yet cities get disproportionately more investment. Our towns are suffering - and we’re sick and tired of playing second fiddle.

 

I belong to a group of Labour MPs, Councillors and others called Labour Towns and our mission is to find transformative solutions to reinvigorate our ailing and neglected towns.

I’m not saying we need to reinvent the wheel. We already have much to celebrate here in Batley and Spen and a wonderful, diverse population that could rival anywhere in the world for its friendliness and open nature.

We just need the means and backing to enable each and every town to craft its own identity and drive investment.

Our Labour Towns blueprint is working towards this.

We can start with the basics – each town should have a Post Office, a bank, a library, a modern leisure centre and be well-served by public transport as an absolute minimum.

And I believe culture and the arts has a significant role to play in this regenerative journey. We’ve seen the boost events such as the Cleckheaton Folk Festival, Batley Festival and the Great Get Together can give our businesses. This boost needn’t be a once a year special.

We can place the arts, culture, sport and heritage at the centre of what we do. That’s why I’m backing calls for the Government to set up a National Town of Culture award to run alongside the existing City of Culture award.

The collaborative approach to bids and the shortlisting process has done wonders for the cities that compete, and it’s time our towns had a piece of the action.

And there’s more. Over the past year I’ve done a lot of work to help local, independent businesses adapt to an increasingly cash-less society by enlisting a firm to give away free card-reading technology.

Such adaptations to changing consumer habits is vital in enabling businesses to compete in the digital age. But our high streets also need Government support.

Our independent businesses are being hit with massive hikes in rates while the likes of Amazon hand over just a fraction of its multi-billion turnover. Our outdated and manifestly unfair business rates system desperately needs revaluating to make it fit for purpose for the 21st century.

Public transport is also a big issue. Companies often cherry-pick the most profitable bus-routes, leaving many with no means to get to where they need to go. We need to improve our bus services so our communities can thrive, not cut them.

I know there’s much to do – but I know we have the skills, talent, creativity and ideas to rebuild and reinvigorate our communities.

We just need a Government willing to look beyond the cities

Tracy Brabin: We need a Government to look beyond the cities

February 12, 2019

What does a modern, thriving and vibrant town look like? A question decision-makers have wrestled with time and again while they plough yet more investment into our cities. Almost 60% per cent of the population live in towns, yet cities get disproportionately more investment. Our towns are suffering - and we’re sick and tired of playing second fiddle.

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.

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.

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. 

In Iceland, Geothermal Energy comes from volcanic activity and so the water is hot enough to produce steam – generating electricity when harnessed. In the UK, the water isn’t hot enough for steam, but it is well suited for use in heating systems. The water can be pumped up from a mine and send around a district heating system, warming homes and businesses before returning underground for re-use.

 

Across the UK, we have 23,000 former collieries. Many of these contain water suitable for geothermal energy projects. These sites are treated as a liability for the taxpayer, but there is scope to create a new industry worth £2.5bn a year in towns where jobs and investment are often most needed.

 

In Spennymoor, County Durham, researchers at Durham Energy Institute have done a feasibility study at a former colliery, and found that there is great potential for geothermal energy in this area. However, the resource is being lost. Many new housing developments are being built on former coalfield sites, including the one at Spennymoor. These sites have the potential to build in heating systems to utilise the heat under our feet, but developers have little incentive to do so. Fitting geothermal systems retrospectively may be more complex and costly than building them into new homes. The time to act is now. 

 

This summer, Labour MP Helen Goodman led a debate on Geothermal Energy. Speaking in Westminster Hall, she summarised: “we will pursue this, because it is important and it could be very productive for this country.”

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. 

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. 

In Iceland, Geothermal Energy comes from volcanic activity and so the water is hot enough to produce steam – generating electricity when harnessed. In the UK, the water isn’t hot enough for steam, but it is well suited for use in heating systems. The water can be pumped up from a mine and send around a district heating system, warming homes and businesses before returning underground for re-use.

 

Across the UK, we have 23,000 former collieries. Many of these contain water suitable for geothermal energy projects. These sites are treated as a liability for the taxpayer, but there is scope to create a new industry worth £2.5bn a year in towns where jobs and investment are often most needed.

 

In Spennymoor, County Durham, researchers at Durham Energy Institute have done a feasibility study at a former colliery, and found that there is great potential for geothermal energy in this area. However, the resource is being lost. Many new housing developments are being built on former coalfield sites, including the one at Spennymoor. These sites have the potential to build in heating systems to utilise the heat under our feet, but developers have little incentive to do so. Fitting geothermal systems retrospectively may be more complex and costly than building them into new homes. The time to act is now. 

 

This summer, Labour MP Helen Goodman led a debate on Geothermal Energy. Speaking in Westminster Hall, she summarised: “we will pursue this, because it is important and it could be very productive for this country.”

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. 

 

 

Founded in 2016 by Ian Lucas MP, the Wrexham Singing Streets choir festival fills the town's streets with song. 

It brings together choirs from all over the region and is free to attend.

The idea is to get the choirs and public to enjoy the vibrancy and atmosphere of the town centre, and Mr Lucas - Labour MP for Wrexham - has promised that the 2018 festival, on Saturday, September 29, will be the biggest and best yet. 

This film of the 2017 Singing Streets event was made by North Wales-based Made Television, in association with Wrexham's 73 Degree Films and Glyndŵr University. 

For information about the Wrexham Singing Streets festival call 01978 355743 or email ian.lucas.mp@parliament.uk.

Ian Lucas MP: Wrexhams singing streets

September 28, 2018

    Founded in 2016 by Ian Lucas MP, the Wrexham Singing Streets choir festival fills the town's streets with song.  It brings together choirs from all over the region and is free to attend. The idea is to get the choirs and public to enjoy the vibrancy and atmosphere of the town centre, and Mr Lucas - Labour MP for Wrexham - has promised that the 2018 festival, on Saturday, September 29, will be the biggest and best yet.  This film of the 2017 Singing Streets event was made by North Wales-based Made Television, in association with Wrexham's 73...

 

 

Founded in 2016 by Ian Lucas MP, the Wrexham Singing Streets choir festival fills the town's streets with song. 

It brings together choirs from all over the region and is free to attend.

The idea is to get the choirs and public to enjoy the vibrancy and atmosphere of the town centre, and Mr Lucas - Labour MP for Wrexham - has promised that the 2018 festival, on Saturday, September 29, will be the biggest and best yet. 

This film of the 2017 Singing Streets event was made by North Wales-based Made Television, in association with Wrexham's 73 Degree Films and Glyndŵr University. 

For information about the Wrexham Singing Streets festival call 01978 355743 or email ian.lucas.mp@parliament.uk.

Ian Lucas MP: Wrexhams singing streets

September 28, 2018

    Founded in 2016 by Ian Lucas MP, the Wrexham Singing Streets choir festival fills the town's streets with song.  It brings together choirs from all over the region and is free to attend. The idea is to get the choirs and public to enjoy the vibrancy and atmosphere of the town centre, and Mr Lucas - Labour MP for Wrexham - has promised that the 2018 festival, on Saturday, September 29, will be the biggest and best yet.  This film of the 2017 Singing Streets event was made by North Wales-based Made Television, in association with Wrexham's 73...

Grimsby was made great by the fishing industry, but it's decline and the rise of insecure work has left 40% if its residents not earning enough to live on. Melanie Onn MP for Great Grimsby explains how town deals will help places like Grimsby become prosperous again.

Melanie Onn MP - Standing up for Grimsby

September 27, 2018

Grimsby was made great by the fishing industry, but it's decline and the rise of insecure work has left 40% if its residents not earning enough to live on. Melanie Onn MP for Great Grimsby explains how town deals will help places like Grimsby become prosperous again.

Grimsby was made great by the fishing industry, but it's decline and the rise of insecure work has left 40% if its residents not earning enough to live on. Melanie Onn MP for Great Grimsby explains how town deals will help places like Grimsby become prosperous again.

Melanie Onn MP - Standing up for Grimsby

September 27, 2018

Grimsby was made great by the fishing industry, but it's decline and the rise of insecure work has left 40% if its residents not earning enough to live on. Melanie Onn MP for Great Grimsby explains how town deals will help places like Grimsby become prosperous again.

 

Most people in the UK live in towns. Most political attention has, however, focussed on cities in recent years. Governments have looked to develop our regions through “City Challenge” schemes, some of which are not open to towns, and political development of regional mayoralties has often excluded consideration of the importance role of towns.

Now, through organisations such as the Centre for Towns and Labour Towns, there is a welcome, developing appreciation of the importance of towns to our communities and our economies up and down the country. The continuing challenges for town centres in a transforming retail environment has brought the issue into sharp focus and different examples of good practice across the UK are helping to begin to address the central issue of what, in the UK today, is the role of our towns and how can we ensure that they prosper?

The Tory Government likes to see itself as representing market towns, small businesses and local communities. The reality, however, is that its policies are shifting wealth, opportunity and services away from towns to cities.

Let me give examples.

The Tories have relentlessly pursued a policy of court closure in recent years. Towns have borne the brunt of the closures. The result is that towns have their role diminished as a centre of civic life, as local people are required to travel to cities to attend court, as witnesses, magistrates and staff, as well as defendants. The closures make it less attractive for smaller legal businesses to provide local services for townspeople and lessen private investment in businesses. The overall result is that there are fewer reasons to travel into our towns, leading to a reduction in town centre spend adding to the difficulties that face our retail sector.

The Tories are also withdrawing good, public sector jobs from our towns. I represent Wrexham, the largest town in North Wales. In recent years, the Tories have closed tax offices across North Wales and, now, in an extraordinary move, are shifting all HMRC jobs in Wrexham to Liverpool and Cardiff city centres, meaning that almost 400 long-term, skilled jobs are being moved away from Wrexham. Again, the status and importance of our towns are diminished by such moves and the spending power in town economies is reduced.

In the context of worsening transport connections, this encourages people to move from towns into cities and we see increasing evidence of younger people leaving towns because opportunities for them are increasingly concentrated in cities.

Unfortunately, other public sector organisations find it difficult to look beyond city centres. The BBC did make the historic and important move to Salford but local BBC radio services in towns are under continual pressure, despite their hugely respected status and local, commercial radio has almost disappeared from outside our largest cities. When Channel 4 looked to relocate its headquarters outside London recently, it restricted its considerations to cities only, notwithstanding the talent that exists in the media sector away from city centres. Chester and Wrexham made a strong bid and were not even given the opportunity to present to Channel 4.

In a world where improving digital connectivity is making information exchange possible for towns in a way that has never existed before, given the right levels of investment in infrastructure, the Tory Government is effectively withdrawing many public services from towns, taking good local jobs with them. This is a failure of imagination by the Tories and is not replicated by many private sector businesses.

In Wrexham, Virgin Media are building a new, digital network without any public, financial support and international businesses such as financial services company DTCC and locally born Moneypenny, offering digital reception services, are investing in the town with high quality private sector jobs.

They tell me that quality of life issues are important to their staff and the appeal of many towns is that they can offer more than our cities in this regard. Towns must be much more assertive in making this case and the Tory Government needs to wake up to the importance of representing all of our country – cities, towns and countryside – in our public sphere. It is wrong to withdraw public services from our towns. Government is an important part of the solution to the challenges our towns face.

Ian Lucas MP: The Conservative government is taking wealth, opportunity and services away from towns like Wrexham

August 24, 2018

  Most people in the UK live in towns. Most political attention has, however, focussed on cities in recent years. Governments have looked to develop our regions through “City Challenge” schemes, some of which are not open to towns, and political development of regional mayoralties has often excluded consideration of the importance role of towns. Now, through organisations such as the Centre for Towns and Labour Towns, there is a welcome, developing appreciation of the importance of towns to our communities and our economies up and down the country. The continuing challenges for town centres in a transforming retail environment...

 

Most people in the UK live in towns. Most political attention has, however, focussed on cities in recent years. Governments have looked to develop our regions through “City Challenge” schemes, some of which are not open to towns, and political development of regional mayoralties has often excluded consideration of the importance role of towns.

Now, through organisations such as the Centre for Towns and Labour Towns, there is a welcome, developing appreciation of the importance of towns to our communities and our economies up and down the country. The continuing challenges for town centres in a transforming retail environment has brought the issue into sharp focus and different examples of good practice across the UK are helping to begin to address the central issue of what, in the UK today, is the role of our towns and how can we ensure that they prosper?

The Tory Government likes to see itself as representing market towns, small businesses and local communities. The reality, however, is that its policies are shifting wealth, opportunity and services away from towns to cities.

Let me give examples.

The Tories have relentlessly pursued a policy of court closure in recent years. Towns have borne the brunt of the closures. The result is that towns have their role diminished as a centre of civic life, as local people are required to travel to cities to attend court, as witnesses, magistrates and staff, as well as defendants. The closures make it less attractive for smaller legal businesses to provide local services for townspeople and lessen private investment in businesses. The overall result is that there are fewer reasons to travel into our towns, leading to a reduction in town centre spend adding to the difficulties that face our retail sector.

The Tories are also withdrawing good, public sector jobs from our towns. I represent Wrexham, the largest town in North Wales. In recent years, the Tories have closed tax offices across North Wales and, now, in an extraordinary move, are shifting all HMRC jobs in Wrexham to Liverpool and Cardiff city centres, meaning that almost 400 long-term, skilled jobs are being moved away from Wrexham. Again, the status and importance of our towns are diminished by such moves and the spending power in town economies is reduced.

In the context of worsening transport connections, this encourages people to move from towns into cities and we see increasing evidence of younger people leaving towns because opportunities for them are increasingly concentrated in cities.

Unfortunately, other public sector organisations find it difficult to look beyond city centres. The BBC did make the historic and important move to Salford but local BBC radio services in towns are under continual pressure, despite their hugely respected status and local, commercial radio has almost disappeared from outside our largest cities. When Channel 4 looked to relocate its headquarters outside London recently, it restricted its considerations to cities only, notwithstanding the talent that exists in the media sector away from city centres. Chester and Wrexham made a strong bid and were not even given the opportunity to present to Channel 4.

In a world where improving digital connectivity is making information exchange possible for towns in a way that has never existed before, given the right levels of investment in infrastructure, the Tory Government is effectively withdrawing many public services from towns, taking good local jobs with them. This is a failure of imagination by the Tories and is not replicated by many private sector businesses.

In Wrexham, Virgin Media are building a new, digital network without any public, financial support and international businesses such as financial services company DTCC and locally born Moneypenny, offering digital reception services, are investing in the town with high quality private sector jobs.

They tell me that quality of life issues are important to their staff and the appeal of many towns is that they can offer more than our cities in this regard. Towns must be much more assertive in making this case and the Tory Government needs to wake up to the importance of representing all of our country – cities, towns and countryside – in our public sphere. It is wrong to withdraw public services from our towns. Government is an important part of the solution to the challenges our towns face.

Ian Lucas MP: The Conservative government is taking wealth, opportunity and services away from towns like Wrexham

August 24, 2018

  Most people in the UK live in towns. Most political attention has, however, focussed on cities in recent years. Governments have looked to develop our regions through “City Challenge” schemes, some of which are not open to towns, and political development of regional mayoralties has often excluded consideration of the importance role of towns. Now, through organisations such as the Centre for Towns and Labour Towns, there is a welcome, developing appreciation of the importance of towns to our communities and our economies up and down the country. The continuing challenges for town centres in a transforming retail environment...

As a young actor, in castings, I’d often be asked where I was from.

When I’d reply – Batley - more often than not the director would reply, ‘Batley Variety Club! That’s where all the big stars went in the 60’s!’

And it made me feel great.

International superstars such as Eartha Kitt, Louis Armstrong and Shirley Bassey brought showbiz sparkle to my working class community and it made me proud, giving me a self-confidence that maybe it was ok to dream big and want to be an actor. 

I’m now an MP and Batley Variety Club is a gym. Northern towns like the ones I represent have faced a number of changes over the years. Industries closing, like wool and coal mining quickly come to mind.

But I believe that the loss of that delicious showbiz sparkle can also have a lasting impact on a community. We need that spark back, and our 2017 manifesto made great strides in this area, particularly with our commitment to upgrade cultural infrastructure and putting our world-class creative sector at the heart of our future industrial strategy.

Now I want to think about making sure culture flows out from the cities, where it is too often held, and into our towns. That’s why with Labour Towns I’m leading an investigations on how culture can bring regeneration as a force for good.

There are so many examples it’s hard to know where to look first Hull and its new status as City of Culture. Piece Hall making Halifax a go-to destination for tourists from home and abroad. Media City, putting Salford on the TV and Film production map.

But I want to get a bit deeper, behind the curtain to use an old showbiz phrase.

As a first step, I invited a handful of creative organisations working in towns to Parliament.

We heard from Creative Scene in my constituency and their amazing site-specific dance projects, installations and festivals.

Between 2013 – 16, the organisation had an astonishing 1.45m attendances at over 3,000 events – 91% of whom classified themselves as ‘not usually taking part in the arts’. We also heard from Creative Black Country and their outdoor theatre and night-time adventures, The Cultural Spring in Sunderland offering bite-sized theatre, Made in Corby and their 43,000 engagements in the arts and Heart of Glass from Merseyside who bring community right into the heart of the making of art.

These are projects that emboldened local people to own their own culture, curate and commission it for their communities, bringing new skills and job opportunities along the way.

MP’s such as Holly Lynch, Helen Goodman and David Hanson also celebrated the impact creativity and culture had on the regeneration of their towns – the Piece Hall in Halifax, the castle in Bishops Auckland and Digital Towns in Delyn.

With so much good work going on, it’s easy to wonder if there’s a problem at all. However, in Batley and Spen there are a staggering 8,572 children living in poverty. So there’s a gap we need to close.

And let’s not forget, the creative industries is the fastest growing sector in the economy and many towns could benefit from a jobs injection.

Britain is a world leader, but the truth is that there are opportunities out there that children in my constituency don’t even know about.

So let’s break those barriers down, creativity is for all and if towns are to be the best they can be, it’ll be hand in hand with culture.

And now we need your help - What festival brought your community together, or is there a great local theatre is drawing in the crowds?

What innovative poetry group is rocking out the rhymes and how do you think culture can regenerate and reinvigorate towns?

You can submit blog posts, videos from your community or local councillors and artists telling us how it is to be creative in your community.

Send videos and blogs to Labour towns by leaving your details here: 

Tracy Brabin MP: Making Sure Culture Flows Out From the Cities and Into Our Towns

August 21, 2018

As a young actor, in castings, I’d often be asked where I was from. When I’d reply – Batley - more often than not the director would reply, ‘Batley Variety Club! That’s where all the big stars went in the 60’s!’ And it made me feel great.

As a young actor, in castings, I’d often be asked where I was from.

When I’d reply – Batley - more often than not the director would reply, ‘Batley Variety Club! That’s where all the big stars went in the 60’s!’

And it made me feel great.

International superstars such as Eartha Kitt, Louis Armstrong and Shirley Bassey brought showbiz sparkle to my working class community and it made me proud, giving me a self-confidence that maybe it was ok to dream big and want to be an actor. 

I’m now an MP and Batley Variety Club is a gym. Northern towns like the ones I represent have faced a number of changes over the years. Industries closing, like wool and coal mining quickly come to mind.

But I believe that the loss of that delicious showbiz sparkle can also have a lasting impact on a community. We need that spark back, and our 2017 manifesto made great strides in this area, particularly with our commitment to upgrade cultural infrastructure and putting our world-class creative sector at the heart of our future industrial strategy.

Now I want to think about making sure culture flows out from the cities, where it is too often held, and into our towns. That’s why with Labour Towns I’m leading an investigations on how culture can bring regeneration as a force for good.

There are so many examples it’s hard to know where to look first Hull and its new status as City of Culture. Piece Hall making Halifax a go-to destination for tourists from home and abroad. Media City, putting Salford on the TV and Film production map.

But I want to get a bit deeper, behind the curtain to use an old showbiz phrase.

As a first step, I invited a handful of creative organisations working in towns to Parliament.

We heard from Creative Scene in my constituency and their amazing site-specific dance projects, installations and festivals.

Between 2013 – 16, the organisation had an astonishing 1.45m attendances at over 3,000 events – 91% of whom classified themselves as ‘not usually taking part in the arts’. We also heard from Creative Black Country and their outdoor theatre and night-time adventures, The Cultural Spring in Sunderland offering bite-sized theatre, Made in Corby and their 43,000 engagements in the arts and Heart of Glass from Merseyside who bring community right into the heart of the making of art.

These are projects that emboldened local people to own their own culture, curate and commission it for their communities, bringing new skills and job opportunities along the way.

MP’s such as Holly Lynch, Helen Goodman and David Hanson also celebrated the impact creativity and culture had on the regeneration of their towns – the Piece Hall in Halifax, the castle in Bishops Auckland and Digital Towns in Delyn.

With so much good work going on, it’s easy to wonder if there’s a problem at all. However, in Batley and Spen there are a staggering 8,572 children living in poverty. So there’s a gap we need to close.

And let’s not forget, the creative industries is the fastest growing sector in the economy and many towns could benefit from a jobs injection.

Britain is a world leader, but the truth is that there are opportunities out there that children in my constituency don’t even know about.

So let’s break those barriers down, creativity is for all and if towns are to be the best they can be, it’ll be hand in hand with culture.

And now we need your help - What festival brought your community together, or is there a great local theatre is drawing in the crowds?

What innovative poetry group is rocking out the rhymes and how do you think culture can regenerate and reinvigorate towns?

You can submit blog posts, videos from your community or local councillors and artists telling us how it is to be creative in your community.

Send videos and blogs to Labour towns by leaving your details here: 

Tracy Brabin MP: Making Sure Culture Flows Out From the Cities and Into Our Towns

August 21, 2018

As a young actor, in castings, I’d often be asked where I was from. When I’d reply – Batley - more often than not the director would reply, ‘Batley Variety Club! That’s where all the big stars went in the 60’s!’ And it made me feel great.

 

For centuries markets have been the lifeblood of towns. Traders hawk their wares. People gather, moving from stall to stall, enjoying the hustle and bustle of a lively commercial community. Scunthorpe’s Market has been in its current location for as long as people can remember. When I walked round today there were thriving businesses who told me they’ve traded for decades, sometimes generations in this market that supports our whole area. It employs around 200 people.

 

Back in the Autumn Conservative North Lincolnshire Council said they wanted the Market gone from its current site so they can grab a capital receipt by selling it off. Typical Tories, knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing. Traders and customers came together in a show of community anger and strength. Very quickly over 20,000 local people had signed a Save Scunthorpe Market petition. This showed real, palpable community commitment to our area’s culture and heritage. It should have made the Conservative Council think again.

But they are clever and cunning, not to be underestimated. Before long their tune had changed. They started talking about moving the Market elsewhere. Without involving the traders they identified the now empty ex-BHS premises as the place they would move the market to. As one trader said to me ‘If it is such a successful location why do shops keep closing there?’ Fair point. But not one that a Conservative Council who knows far more about running businesses than the successful entrepreneurs that have run market stalls for generations will pause to consider! And many a trader has pointed out to me the Conservative Council Leader’s track record of personal failed business enterprises does not give them any confidence in him!

So the Council has cracked on with its Project. A project that it has involved no-one else in. It even announced a name change for the new market plucking ‘St John’ out the air. They know best. This has been clear in the one-to-one meetings they’ve had with traders in an attempt to divide and rule. These were promised as opportunities to explore how to make the New Market Project work. Traders went along in good faith but came out of meetings with a sense that they were being given a take it or leave it option. Rents more than doubling for many businesses with no clarity given about future rates. And for significantly smaller units with much less storage and warehousing. No help with moving from one location to another. And if you want a downstairs unit you need to trade 5 days a week. So people, like the second hand book stall, that currently trades for 2 days a week will need to try 5 if the elderly, less mobile customers that it relies on are to have easy access to the stall. And businesses like the butchers, the pet shop, the carpet shop, the greengrocers that currently open 6 days a week will only be able to open 5. The Council immediately cutting their income by the equivalent of 6 weeks’ trade a year. Outrageous! Can you imagine the uproar if this was done to any other business?

So what’s happens now? There’s real anger amongst customers and traders. But resignation too. How can they hold on to what they see as dear when a bully boy Council pushes them about?   Its PR machine showing off an empty but sweet smelling store in the new location. ‘Think about the opportunity’, the Council purrs.

The traders are considering their business options. The closure of Scunthorpe Market against the clear will of local people means they are facing a significant interruption to their businesses. Some are finding that it will be cheaper and more effective to move their business to elsewhere on the High Street. Some are going on line. Some are deciding to pack up and, if they can, retire. Others are hoping and praying that the New Market will work. But they know as we all know that markets, like towns, are communities that work together. And if the anchor stalls don’t transfer to the New Market that is no longer Scunthorpe Market with its long history of success but, bizarrely named, St John’s Market with no link to the area and no history they are wondering what chance they have for the future.

 

 

Nic Dakin MP: People need Towns and Towns need Markets:

August 16, 2018

  For centuries markets have been the lifeblood of towns. Traders hawk their wares. People gather, moving from stall to stall, enjoying the hustle and bustle of a lively commercial community. Scunthorpe’s Market has been in its current location for as long as people can remember. When I walked round today there were thriving businesses who told me they’ve traded for decades, sometimes generations in this market that supports our whole area. It employs around 200 people.

 

For centuries markets have been the lifeblood of towns. Traders hawk their wares. People gather, moving from stall to stall, enjoying the hustle and bustle of a lively commercial community. Scunthorpe’s Market has been in its current location for as long as people can remember. When I walked round today there were thriving businesses who told me they’ve traded for decades, sometimes generations in this market that supports our whole area. It employs around 200 people.

 

Back in the Autumn Conservative North Lincolnshire Council said they wanted the Market gone from its current site so they can grab a capital receipt by selling it off. Typical Tories, knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing. Traders and customers came together in a show of community anger and strength. Very quickly over 20,000 local people had signed a Save Scunthorpe Market petition. This showed real, palpable community commitment to our area’s culture and heritage. It should have made the Conservative Council think again.

But they are clever and cunning, not to be underestimated. Before long their tune had changed. They started talking about moving the Market elsewhere. Without involving the traders they identified the now empty ex-BHS premises as the place they would move the market to. As one trader said to me ‘If it is such a successful location why do shops keep closing there?’ Fair point. But not one that a Conservative Council who knows far more about running businesses than the successful entrepreneurs that have run market stalls for generations will pause to consider! And many a trader has pointed out to me the Conservative Council Leader’s track record of personal failed business enterprises does not give them any confidence in him!

So the Council has cracked on with its Project. A project that it has involved no-one else in. It even announced a name change for the new market plucking ‘St John’ out the air. They know best. This has been clear in the one-to-one meetings they’ve had with traders in an attempt to divide and rule. These were promised as opportunities to explore how to make the New Market Project work. Traders went along in good faith but came out of meetings with a sense that they were being given a take it or leave it option. Rents more than doubling for many businesses with no clarity given about future rates. And for significantly smaller units with much less storage and warehousing. No help with moving from one location to another. And if you want a downstairs unit you need to trade 5 days a week. So people, like the second hand book stall, that currently trades for 2 days a week will need to try 5 if the elderly, less mobile customers that it relies on are to have easy access to the stall. And businesses like the butchers, the pet shop, the carpet shop, the greengrocers that currently open 6 days a week will only be able to open 5. The Council immediately cutting their income by the equivalent of 6 weeks’ trade a year. Outrageous! Can you imagine the uproar if this was done to any other business?

So what’s happens now? There’s real anger amongst customers and traders. But resignation too. How can they hold on to what they see as dear when a bully boy Council pushes them about?   Its PR machine showing off an empty but sweet smelling store in the new location. ‘Think about the opportunity’, the Council purrs.

The traders are considering their business options. The closure of Scunthorpe Market against the clear will of local people means they are facing a significant interruption to their businesses. Some are finding that it will be cheaper and more effective to move their business to elsewhere on the High Street. Some are going on line. Some are deciding to pack up and, if they can, retire. Others are hoping and praying that the New Market will work. But they know as we all know that markets, like towns, are communities that work together. And if the anchor stalls don’t transfer to the New Market that is no longer Scunthorpe Market with its long history of success but, bizarrely named, St John’s Market with no link to the area and no history they are wondering what chance they have for the future.

 

 

Nic Dakin MP: People need Towns and Towns need Markets:

August 16, 2018

  For centuries markets have been the lifeblood of towns. Traders hawk their wares. People gather, moving from stall to stall, enjoying the hustle and bustle of a lively commercial community. Scunthorpe’s Market has been in its current location for as long as people can remember. When I walked round today there were thriving businesses who told me they’ve traded for decades, sometimes generations in this market that supports our whole area. It employs around 200 people.

Can you imagine being charged £3 per every time you withdraw cash?

 

98% of us withdraw our money free of charge from cash machines, however changes to the way these free to use ATMs are funded has seen many close and others having to charge withdrawal fees in order to stay open.

 

The LINK Network, which sets the funding formula for free to use ATMs (the interchange rate fee), planned to cut this funding by 20% over the next four years. The interchange rate fee is a 25p charge which is levied on card issuers and banks every time you use your card in an ATM machine. It is these 25p charges which pay for the upkeep and maintenance of the ATM machine.

 

LINKs 20% reduction would have seen that fee will drop from 25p to 20p over four years. The first 5% cut happened on 1 July 2018.

 

LINK claimed before implementing the cuts that only a small number of ATMs would be lost, and that these closures would mostly happen in urban areas where they say there is an oversupply of ATMs.

 

However, this is not what has happened.

 

As a result of LINKs cuts ATM providers, the private businesses who run ATMs, had millions wiped off their share prices and had to make major adjustments to their business plans to make up for the loss of revenue.

 

Initially figures from Which? Showed that 300 ATMs were closing per month, the following month, that average closure figure had risen to 500, a 66% increase. At that rate of increase we could see 800 ATMs closing per month in the near future.

 

Contrary to what LINK said these closures have not taken place predominantly in urban centres, rural and sub-urban areas have borne the brunt of the cuts, and while LINK promised there would always be another a free to use ATM at least within 1km away, there are multiple examples where when an ATM closes and the next nearest is over 10km drive away.

 

This matters as changes in payment methods are happening at different paces in different places. While cities are moving quickly towards cashless payment systems cash remains king for many sub-urban towns, rural small businesses and for the families that live in our towns and countryside.

 

You can’t give your primary school aged son or daughter a debit card to buy their lunch at school and parents do not have the time for a 20km round trip if their nearest ATM will charge them to withdraw money or if there simply isn’t a machine anymore.

 

I have been campaigning with Labour colleagues and other MPs across parties to put pressure on LINK and the Government regulator, the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) to look again at the changes to ATM funding and to begin a review of how we use cash so that free access can be protected where we use it most, such as in our rural and sub-urban towns.

 

I also have a bill in Parliament to ban ATM charges and introduce mechanisms to prevent financial exclusion. This bill has been supported by a number of Labour colleagues as well as from other parties. The bill will have its second reading in Parliament on November 23rd.

 

Through our efforts to put pressure on LINK and the PSR we are having success. At an event held in conjunction with Which? And the FSB 50 MPs, including a supporters of the Labour Towns Network, came to add their names to campaign to save our cashpoints.

 

This and many letters to the LINK and the PSR has begun to force them into action.

 

LINK has recently announced that it will drop part of its cuts programme and place one cut on review. This means with more campaigning and more pressure it is easy to see how we could bring down their cuts to 10%, and if we push further block them completely.

 

LINK have under pressure announced an “Access to Cash Review”. Over the next six months this review will be gather information and bring together bodies such as Age UK, Toynbee Hall and Fairer Finance as well as industry experts to examine people's future needs across the UK.

 

LINK said anyone with an interest in cash - people, consumer groups, community representatives, small businesses and industry - will be able to contribute through workshops and a call for evidence.

 

I will be pushing the case for people from, and MPs representing towns to respond to this call for evidence, to highlight to LINK and the PSR that access to cash is key for our constituents and our communities.

 

I recognise that we are moving towards a cashless society, however we must not get there by subjecting our towns to financial exclusion and fee charging ATMs because LINK had targets to reduce the number of ATMs.

 

Already there are currently more free to use ATMs in the House of Commons than on Cambuslang Main Street in my constituency, I’m determined that we will not reach a situation where there are more ATMs in Parliament than in the entire town.

Ged Killen MP: We need to ban ATM Charges and Introduce Mechanisms to Prevent Financial Exclusion in Towns

August 10, 2018

Can you imagine being charged £3 per every time you withdraw cash?   98% of us withdraw our money free of charge from cash machines, however changes to the way these free to use ATMs are funded has seen many close and others having to charge withdrawal fees in order to stay open.   The LINK Network, which sets the funding formula for free to use ATMs (the interchange rate fee), planned to cut this funding by 20% over the next four years. The interchange rate fee is a 25p charge which is levied on card issuers and banks every...

Can you imagine being charged £3 per every time you withdraw cash?

 

98% of us withdraw our money free of charge from cash machines, however changes to the way these free to use ATMs are funded has seen many close and others having to charge withdrawal fees in order to stay open.

 

The LINK Network, which sets the funding formula for free to use ATMs (the interchange rate fee), planned to cut this funding by 20% over the next four years. The interchange rate fee is a 25p charge which is levied on card issuers and banks every time you use your card in an ATM machine. It is these 25p charges which pay for the upkeep and maintenance of the ATM machine.

 

LINKs 20% reduction would have seen that fee will drop from 25p to 20p over four years. The first 5% cut happened on 1 July 2018.

 

LINK claimed before implementing the cuts that only a small number of ATMs would be lost, and that these closures would mostly happen in urban areas where they say there is an oversupply of ATMs.

 

However, this is not what has happened.

 

As a result of LINKs cuts ATM providers, the private businesses who run ATMs, had millions wiped off their share prices and had to make major adjustments to their business plans to make up for the loss of revenue.

 

Initially figures from Which? Showed that 300 ATMs were closing per month, the following month, that average closure figure had risen to 500, a 66% increase. At that rate of increase we could see 800 ATMs closing per month in the near future.

 

Contrary to what LINK said these closures have not taken place predominantly in urban centres, rural and sub-urban areas have borne the brunt of the cuts, and while LINK promised there would always be another a free to use ATM at least within 1km away, there are multiple examples where when an ATM closes and the next nearest is over 10km drive away.

 

This matters as changes in payment methods are happening at different paces in different places. While cities are moving quickly towards cashless payment systems cash remains king for many sub-urban towns, rural small businesses and for the families that live in our towns and countryside.

 

You can’t give your primary school aged son or daughter a debit card to buy their lunch at school and parents do not have the time for a 20km round trip if their nearest ATM will charge them to withdraw money or if there simply isn’t a machine anymore.

 

I have been campaigning with Labour colleagues and other MPs across parties to put pressure on LINK and the Government regulator, the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) to look again at the changes to ATM funding and to begin a review of how we use cash so that free access can be protected where we use it most, such as in our rural and sub-urban towns.

 

I also have a bill in Parliament to ban ATM charges and introduce mechanisms to prevent financial exclusion. This bill has been supported by a number of Labour colleagues as well as from other parties. The bill will have its second reading in Parliament on November 23rd.

 

Through our efforts to put pressure on LINK and the PSR we are having success. At an event held in conjunction with Which? And the FSB 50 MPs, including a supporters of the Labour Towns Network, came to add their names to campaign to save our cashpoints.

 

This and many letters to the LINK and the PSR has begun to force them into action.

 

LINK has recently announced that it will drop part of its cuts programme and place one cut on review. This means with more campaigning and more pressure it is easy to see how we could bring down their cuts to 10%, and if we push further block them completely.

 

LINK have under pressure announced an “Access to Cash Review”. Over the next six months this review will be gather information and bring together bodies such as Age UK, Toynbee Hall and Fairer Finance as well as industry experts to examine people's future needs across the UK.

 

LINK said anyone with an interest in cash - people, consumer groups, community representatives, small businesses and industry - will be able to contribute through workshops and a call for evidence.

 

I will be pushing the case for people from, and MPs representing towns to respond to this call for evidence, to highlight to LINK and the PSR that access to cash is key for our constituents and our communities.

 

I recognise that we are moving towards a cashless society, however we must not get there by subjecting our towns to financial exclusion and fee charging ATMs because LINK had targets to reduce the number of ATMs.

 

Already there are currently more free to use ATMs in the House of Commons than on Cambuslang Main Street in my constituency, I’m determined that we will not reach a situation where there are more ATMs in Parliament than in the entire town.

Ged Killen MP: We need to ban ATM Charges and Introduce Mechanisms to Prevent Financial Exclusion in Towns

August 10, 2018

Can you imagine being charged £3 per every time you withdraw cash?   98% of us withdraw our money free of charge from cash machines, however changes to the way these free to use ATMs are funded has seen many close and others having to charge withdrawal fees in order to stay open.   The LINK Network, which sets the funding formula for free to use ATMs (the interchange rate fee), planned to cut this funding by 20% over the next four years. The interchange rate fee is a 25p charge which is levied on card issuers and banks every...

Years of under investment from the Government, and their focus on larger cities is threatening the prosperity of many smaller towns and cities, that have been overlooked.

 

This has created widening gaps in prosperity between these areas.  We need to make a case for more investment in places like Pontefract and Castleford for example so we can build on our community spirit, create a sense of purpose and boost prosperity.

 

This is why we, as a Council, are doing everything we can to continue to help make our towns thrive and close the gap. 

 

Each place has its own history and uniqueness that makes it special.

 

Pontefract is a good example of the approach we are taking, by working with our partners and with the local community to make a difference. We are looking forwards, embracing the old, welcoming the new, and planning ahead for a strong and prosperous future for the town.

 

A key part of making positive change is through The Pontefract Vision which is guiding development and projects in the town, including new housing, until 2028. 

 

Residents were asked to take part in a public consultation in January, which included asking their views on a wide range of ideas, from promoting Pontefract as a visitor destination, to improving transport connections, and addressing health inequalities. 

 

The feedback was clear that people valued Pontefract for its rich heritage, the castle and Pontefract Park. They also valued the town centre and Pontefract’s location with its strong road links including the M62.

 

However, people said they were concerned about anti-social behaviour – an issue which the Council is addressing with a Public Space Protection Order in place in Pontefract Town Centre, aimed at reducing alcohol consumption in public places.

 

We are looking at how we can address other issues that were raised, including short and long term solutions for congestion, tackling litter and more facilities for young people.

 

I’m proud of the progress that we’ve made. The Pontefract Townscape Heritage Initiative is on track to restore 28 important buildings in the Pontefract Market Place conservation area. The project is preserving these historic buildings for future generations.

 

The £3.5m Key to the North project has also helped to make Pontefract a visitor destination by restoring parts of the 11th Century Pontefract Castle that have never been accessible to the public before.

 

Our council events programme further reflects how much we value our towns, as a vibrant range of family events with the forthcoming Pontefract Liquorice Festival, which attractsthousands of visitors to the town and showcasing what it has to offer.

 

Armed Forces Day at Pontefract Racecourse also brings people together to celebrate the contribution of our servicemen and women.

 

But without investment and support from Government the widening gap of prosperity between larger and smaller areas will only grow and I want them to recognise the importance of our smaller places.

 

For now though, let’s find every opportunity that we can to pull together as a district, recognising and celebrating everything we have to offer.

Wakefield Council Leader Peter Box: How our Labour Heald Councils are Making a Difference in Our Towns

July 22, 2018

Years of under investment from the Government, and their focus on larger cities is threatening the prosperity of many smaller towns and cities, that have been overlooked.

Years of under investment from the Government, and their focus on larger cities is threatening the prosperity of many smaller towns and cities, that have been overlooked.

 

This has created widening gaps in prosperity between these areas.  We need to make a case for more investment in places like Pontefract and Castleford for example so we can build on our community spirit, create a sense of purpose and boost prosperity.

 

This is why we, as a Council, are doing everything we can to continue to help make our towns thrive and close the gap. 

 

Each place has its own history and uniqueness that makes it special.

 

Pontefract is a good example of the approach we are taking, by working with our partners and with the local community to make a difference. We are looking forwards, embracing the old, welcoming the new, and planning ahead for a strong and prosperous future for the town.

 

A key part of making positive change is through The Pontefract Vision which is guiding development and projects in the town, including new housing, until 2028. 

 

Residents were asked to take part in a public consultation in January, which included asking their views on a wide range of ideas, from promoting Pontefract as a visitor destination, to improving transport connections, and addressing health inequalities. 

 

The feedback was clear that people valued Pontefract for its rich heritage, the castle and Pontefract Park. They also valued the town centre and Pontefract’s location with its strong road links including the M62.

 

However, people said they were concerned about anti-social behaviour – an issue which the Council is addressing with a Public Space Protection Order in place in Pontefract Town Centre, aimed at reducing alcohol consumption in public places.

 

We are looking at how we can address other issues that were raised, including short and long term solutions for congestion, tackling litter and more facilities for young people.

 

I’m proud of the progress that we’ve made. The Pontefract Townscape Heritage Initiative is on track to restore 28 important buildings in the Pontefract Market Place conservation area. The project is preserving these historic buildings for future generations.

 

The £3.5m Key to the North project has also helped to make Pontefract a visitor destination by restoring parts of the 11th Century Pontefract Castle that have never been accessible to the public before.

 

Our council events programme further reflects how much we value our towns, as a vibrant range of family events with the forthcoming Pontefract Liquorice Festival, which attractsthousands of visitors to the town and showcasing what it has to offer.

 

Armed Forces Day at Pontefract Racecourse also brings people together to celebrate the contribution of our servicemen and women.

 

But without investment and support from Government the widening gap of prosperity between larger and smaller areas will only grow and I want them to recognise the importance of our smaller places.

 

For now though, let’s find every opportunity that we can to pull together as a district, recognising and celebrating everything we have to offer.

Wakefield Council Leader Peter Box: How our Labour Heald Councils are Making a Difference in Our Towns

July 22, 2018

Years of under investment from the Government, and their focus on larger cities is threatening the prosperity of many smaller towns and cities, that have been overlooked.