Plan to make Newham a 'fairer' place to live launched by council
PUBLISHED: 12:36 17 January 2020 | UPDATED: 12:36 17 January 2020
A council plan to make Newham a "fairer" place to live has won plaudits from shadow chancellor John McDonnell.
The community wealth building scheme aims to help people get richer and make sure that regeneration benefits everyone.
Mr McDonnell, speaking at the launch on Thursday, January 16, said: "This initiative will give people hope that you can do things at a local level which will meet local need and inspire others as well."
Newham mayor Rokhsana Fiaz launched the approach at The Crystal venue in the Royal Docks where guests included Sam Gurney from the TUC and Frances Jones from thinktank, Centre for Local Economic Strategies.
Ms Fiaz said: "We want to make sure growth and investment benefit all our residents at a time when poverty and inequality has become even more pronounced, and when the response to the climate emergency is urgent.
"We'll be unleashing the potential of all parts of our community because this is the source of wealth and talent that will drive a fairer, more prosperous Newham where everyone has a stake."
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The approach acknowledges that in the past Newham's economic regeneration focused on attracting investment but sometimes failed to lead to the best results for everyone.
Newham's employment rate has increased by 12.4 percentage points in 10 years, according to the Office for National Statistics, but people are still paid £3.13 an hour less than London's average.
Where financially viable, the local authority seeks to funnel some its £1.5billion annual spend towards Newham's economy in a bid to generate more value for neighbourhoods, the council states.
Population growth - adding 49,000 more people to the current total of 360,000 by 2030 - will also boost the town hall's response to the climate emergency, it adds.
The council plans to use its purchasing power and influence to keep wealth in the area, becoming a living wage employer and promoting workers' rights.
It also aims to help businesses boost the number of higher skilled, higher paid and better quality jobs.
Young people will be a priority and a cooperative sector encouraged as part of the plans.
Details are online at newham.gov.uk