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Apr 20

General Election ’17: Our three key issues

Policy

Barely a year since the vote to leave the European Union, the country will be going to the polls once again on 8 June.

Brexit will doubtless dominate the general election campaign – indeed Theresa May’s own ‘reluctant’ reason for calling the election is to strengthen her negotiating position with the EU by tackling opposition for Brexit from Parliament directly.

Short as the election campaign will be – it must be an opportunity for a fresh national debate, rather than a repeat of the tired political rhetoric of the referendum campaign. For Locality, three key issues need to be right at the top of that debate:

We need to see commitment from all parties to re-examine how power is dispersed in this country

Not just between Brussels and Westminster, but between Whitehall and neighbourhoods, between the state and its citizens. Whoever is in Government on 9 June needs to be prepared to look at radical new ways to give power to communities. English Devolution has not gone far enough in pushing power onwards to neighbourhoods, and we need to reinvigorate the intentions of localism to truly put power in the hands of citizens. Check out the work of our new Commission on the Future of Localism which will be gathering evidence, innovation and ideas on how we can achieve this over the next few months.

We need to invest in our communities by supporting community ownership of local assets and amenities and build a more social economy

Our Places and Spaces campaign has been making the case for how community assets are essential in supporting local businesses and social enterprises to thrive, as well as safeguarding vital community facilities, supporting neighbourhood regeneration and building local social capital.

We have been calling for this to be an essential part of the current Government’s Industrial Strategy, and over the coming weeks we will be calling on all parties to support our ambitious call for a Community Assets Investment Plan.

We need to build a fair and inclusive society for all

Growing inequality and poverty are not inevitable. The EU referendum highlighted that many communities have been excluded from the benefits of economic growth for decades, and efforts to decentralise power have not gone far enough to give people a greater sense of control over their own lives.

Locality believes in a fair and diverse society where every neighbourhood thrives and local people determine their future together. We need to make delivering on this vision the key question on the ballot paper on 8 June.

We might all be tired of elections, but we can’t afford to be tired of this one just yet. Over the coming days we will be putting together a Election 2017 toolkit – highlighting our core asks and how you can be involved.

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