Article Index

Quality Jobs and Innovative Business

We are focused not only on protecting jobs, but on securing good quality, well-paid jobs for current residents and the residents of the future

Labour will:

1. Support a strong “Foundational Economy” and practice “Community Wealth Building”. As well as seeking to strengthen “local anchor institutions”, whether those are public bodies such as the local NHS, schools, as well community and local sports clubs. We will work with them to encourage their own local investment in the community through their local procurement policies.

2. Set up an economic development unit and foster partnerships with local businesses, including local town management. We will also work much more closely with the local Job Centre in developing a more local service relevant to Sutton. The aim would be to establish a local jobs guarantee for Young people if, or when, we get a Labour Government, and to encourage apprenticeships.

3. Work with the Mayor of London, other boroughs and the Local Economic Partnership (LEP) for South London and the Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) to develop a Mission-Driven Employment and Industrial Strategy around new retail opportunities in the Town Centre, information technology and “Green Collar” jobs “retrofitting” the entire borough. The aim would be to work with the GLA research department to measure Sutton’s GDP so we could collectively press for a 3% of GDP spent on research and innovation and create a Borough or South London Investment Fund to focus on helping businesses with their innovation.

4. Establish a Co-operative Development Agency, either for the Borough or jointly with one or more other South London boroughs to provide prospective co-operatives with investment finance, advice, help with planning applications, and where possible, premises, using established best practice. To support mutual structures we would be keen to see the development of Employee Ownership Trusts at national and local levels. We are particularly keen to work across London on developing worker and /or consumer-owned “Platform Corporations” in areas such as mini-cabs.

5. Set up a dedicated team jointly with Sutton Centre for Voluntary Service (SCVS) that will promote the social economy in Sutton and draw up a local Social Economy strategy.

6. Ensure that there is an annual report to the full Council showing the progress in fulfilling co-operative aims and values. The Council should hold an annual Co-operative and Mutual Audit session and publish the results.

7. Set out a Strategy for expanding Local Authority Trading

8. Review the impact of Brexit on Sutton jobs. We want to see a Brexit as outlined by Labour nationally that is “jobs first” and supports “workers rights”. In line with Labour national policy we oppose a “no deal” Brexit that national and local Tories threaten

9. Employ a Town Centre Manager to take responsibility for all district centres. Empty shops are a barrier to success in our town centres, so we will review resources to see if we can offer any small business that wants to put an empty shop back into use a 6-month business rate holiday to help them get off the ground.

10. Build confidence about employing disabled people. We will increase awareness of the Access to Work scheme and support local disability organisations to de-stigmatise mental health. We are committed to lobbying national government to scrap the unfair contracts for the Work Capability Assessment.

11. Campaign to support the retention of local post offices as well as delivery centres to both protect services and local jobs.

12. Exchange technical and cultural knowledge, information and co-operation with sister local authorities, within the European Union and wider afield including the developing world using online communication. We will ensure that Sutton remains a Fair-Trade Borough promoting the FT logo on Council buildings and on documents.

13. Work with the Co-operative movement to develop community-based energy co-operatives, ensuring that green energy can be produced and distributed fairly and economically to consumers. The Council will ensure that its own energy needs are met by co-operatively provided green energy.

14. Encourage Council staff involvement in Credit Unions (including the SW London CU) and the LETS scheme and promote them more generally. In particular, we will publicise and promote the SW London CU and encourage employers in the borough to allow payments by check-off.

15. Work with providers to make Sutton a fully Wi-Fi-enabled borough. We want everyone to be able to connect to the web for free in main shopping and business areas. We want to ensure the borough has the best connectivity capability for companies who are already based here, as well as for those we want to encourage to move here.

16. Have a full Open Data and Creative Commons strategy and to work with local people to turn the Borough’s own Big Data into a useful resource for all local residents not just a few.

17. Seek to increase the number of businesses within the Borough which would yield both employment opportunities and an income stream in the form of business rates for the authority. Increased business rates could help to fund the services and re-generation that Labour seek; a virtuous circle of economic development. Labour plans to support local businesses include:

  • Remove LA procurement barriers
  • Imaginative use of the LA-owned retailing estate (rent ‘holidays’ & support of ‘start-ups’ for local craftspeople
  • Avoiding prohibitive parking restrictions for shoppers
  • ‘Incubator units’ for local (young) businesses
  • An LBS “Business Tsar”
  • The development of a ‘Tech Hub’ for companies with accessible 3D printers along lines of successful development in Croydon
  • Campaign for improved/integrated expansion of public transport to retail centres esp. Tram extension.
  • Development of a big local town centre market
  • Liaising with the Sutton Civic Society to encourage appropriate regeneration
  • Ensuring local authority investment is ended outside the borough boundary like the Oxford investment.

18. In order to support local business, follow a strategy based on a recognition that most successful urban regeneration/renewal schemes have relied heavily upon investment in aspects of cultural capital. The closure of cultural spaces under the Lib Dems must be challenged and reversed.

19. Scrutinize the role of the local Employment Service much more – especially as we move towards Universal Benefits. We will work with the Employment Service, trade unions and employers to develop a local job brokerage service.