"Socialism, to me, is simply everyone working together for the common good, profit can exist with innovation, not pain."
A Strong Furness Economy with Opportunity for All
For too long socialists have been quiet against the narrative that it is in some way anti- business. This has always been a lie. Socialism, to me, is simply everyone working together for the common good, profit can exist with innovation, not pain. A fantastic, radical, Labour led example in the North of England is the Preston Model, where public services such as council and police have come together to work with business to both look after the workforce and encourage investment stays in the area – certainly something that can be focused on in Furness.
I will protect and fight for those ‘workers of world renown’ at the Shipyard and beyond. We have huge manufacturing and technical ability on this peninsula that we could harness. We need to support our workforces within BAE, Orsted, Siemens, Glaxo, Kimberly Clark etc as this brings prosperity to working families within the peninsula.
Furness workers power these companies and with that support comes expectations and requirements for the area in which they work. Corporate responsibility to the area should encompass the basic needs of all who live and work here. Investment in infrastructure should benefit the entire furness area, not just those who work in these places. We can look to history for examples – Vickers built Vickerstown and historically supported the sports and social club at Hawcoat Park. We have a crisis of housing stock. Invest in the area, some housing for contractors side by side with affordable homes for local families, meeting the needs of the many and promoting the area for all.
Investment should be for all schools in the area, excellent work such as the STEM programme should be expanded through opportunities for all schools. Also we should be putting investment into a University campus here, with sponsored engineering courses side by side with high quality training in areas such as social work and education, where we desperately need to ‘grow our own’ professionals and offer more opportunity.
We need a Business Assembly for Furness, working in tandem with representatives of the neighbourhood hubs springing up. There is a great deal that must be respected and can be learned from the entrepreneurship in Ulverston Town Centre where the unique character of the town has been preserved and expanded with hard work and creativity. Ulverston’s infrastructure should be better supported, as should its public services and policing. We must look to our employers to find high quality opportunities for Glaxo workers and the Blue Light Hub must be put firmly back on track.
There should be monthly strategy meetings circulating throughout the area, including Lindal, Broughton, Askam , Dalton and Kirkby as well as the larger towns. Work together to showcase and network our diverse area. These smaller towns are not dormitories or thoroughfares, they are distinct communities. For example, Broughton needs to hold on to it’s array of retail outlets and post office, Dalton can tap into it’s own historical cultural identity and public services must make sure the town centre is a clean and attractive place to go.
Transport is key – we have barely left the 19th century on the Furness Line. As a signaller I see this on a daily basis. I support the nationalisation of the railways and electrification of the Furness Line. This area profited and grew best when the transport links were built and forged. It will do again. Improvements are 100 years overdue.
This is no wish list, nor assault on the wage packets of ordinary people. Under Labour, It’s not Amanda from Askam that needs to worry about the tax code, it’s Amazon. Labour will power the economy through the investment of a National Bank and use a fair tax system to regenerate our communities. Hand in hand with the expertise and creativity of our companies, and local investment in goods, services and each other, I truly believe we could build on the wonderful foundations and history we have and really transform Furness in the future.
As always, please feel free to get in touch with any questions or feedback on this, and I’ll post again tomorrow outlining some more of my vision and strategy for our towns and communities.
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