Labour to set out its stall on localism
Shadow local government secretary, Hilary Benn, is expected to hint at a highly-localised Labour policy on local government should his party win the next election.
Addressing the Labour Party conference later today, Mr Benn will point to examples of innovative schemes run by Labour councils as evidence of the difference the party could offer.
Mr Benn is expected to say: ‘While Labour is not in government nationally, we are in government locally and we’re gaining more councils and it’s there that we demonstrate the Labour difference.’
During Mr Benn’s presentation, Newcastle City Council leader, Cllr Nick Forbes, is set to tell delegates how his authority reinstated the educational maintenance allowance (EMA), and the work of Leeds City Council in boosting apprenticeships to help young people not in education or training find work will be highlighted.
Cllr James Murray, board member for housing at Islington LBC is due to talk about the borough’s social house-building schemes and mention will also be made of Sandwell MBC’s programme of building two-bedroom bungalows for pensioners, helping free up larger properties.
Elaine Hook, a cleaner from Birmingham City Council, will explain to delegates the difference improved pay had made to her and 2,500 other lower paid council staff.
A source close to Mr Benn told LocalGov: ‘Labour is being asked what we’re going to do in power. But we’re already in power all over the country and making different choices.’
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