Anna Birley 21st November 2019 Blog Share Tweet This morning, Labour published their manifesto in Birmingham – an ambitious and radical programme for the real change that Britain needs. This is a manifesto with co-operation at its heart, building on many of the ideas in our policy platform recently launched in Plymouth. We’ve picked out some of the top commitments to the co-operative movement… 🤝 At least doubling the size of the co-operative sector. We know that an economy characterised by more co-operatives is fairer and more equitable – widening ownership narrows the gap between the rich and poor. That’s why the next Labour Government will at least double the size of the co-operative sector, giving workers, consumers and communities a greater stake and say in the economy. 📈 Creating a new Co-operative Development Agency. The most successful co-operative regional economies are underpinned by a supportive ecosystem of institutions that help them to access funding, advice and opportunities to grow. So much more could be achieved if co-operatives in the UK were given the same attention, resources and support. Labour’s manifesto sets out a new Co-operative Development Agency – a vital new tool at the disposal of the co-operative movement to help it grow and thrive. 🛒 Introducing a new law to protect public facing workers, including retail workers, from violence. High streets, shopping centres and town centres should be a safe place for communities and retail workers alike. However, too often, retail workers face threats and violence at work – simply for doing their jobs and enforcing the law. As the rate of reported violence with injury against shopworkers doubled in the last year, we have been campaigning for better protections for retail workers. Labour’s manifesto promises a new law to protect public facing workers, including retail workers, from violence. 🚰 Taking services and utilities like water and energy into democratic public ownership. Privatisation has failed – the essentials we rely on, like utilities, telecoms and rail, should be accountable and run in the public interest. Democratic public ownership ends the scandal of profits extracted from the system by distant shareholders, putting power in the hands of the public and workers who use and work on them. Labour’s manifesto promises to treat services like energy and water as rights rather than commodities, by putting people and planet before profit by bringing our energy and water systems into democratic public ownership. 🍽 Introducing a Right to Food so nobody goes hungry. In the sixth-richest country on Earth, no one should go hungry. Millions of people in the UK are struggling to feed themselves and their families, but the food poverty crisis in the UK is not getting the attention it sorely needs. That is why we have been campaigning for a Right to Food – and a Labour government will do this to end foodbank Britain and ensure everyone has access to healthy, nutritious and sustainably produced food. 🍺 Turning pubs into Assets of Community Value, giving communities the chance to buy their local. Pubs are the heart of many communities – but 18 are closing each week in Britain. We believe local pubs, shops and post offices are too important and want to see to see it become easier for communities to protect these vital hubs from closure. Labour will list pubs as Assets of Community Value so local communities have the first chance to buy local pubs when they are under threat. ⚽ Supporting fan-owned football clubs. Football is nothing without fans – but too often their voices are not heard in the way their clubs are run. Scandals from Blackpool to Bury and Bolton show that we urgently need a review of the game’s governance, ownership and funding. A Labour government will support fans, with football supporters’ trusts able to appoint and remove at least two club directors and purchase shares. 💷 Establishing a new Post Bank which can lend to local co-operatives. Access to funding is a barrier to many new co-operatives starting up, as well as preventing some existing co-operatives from expanding. New financial products and support are needed to enable the rapid expansion of the co-operative sector that our economy needs. Labour’s manifesto sets out plans for a new Post Bank, tasked with lending to co-operatives – providing them with the vital funds needed for them to transform local economies. ⚡ Expanding community energy. Our energy system is broken, with big energy companies profiting from polluting power stations. We believe everyone should have a stake and a say in our energy system. Community energy shows that a different energy sector is possible. From solar panels on social housing and schools, to wind farms and tidal projects owned by local residents and farmers, communities up and down the country are part of a bottom-up transition to renewable energy. Labour’s manifesto commits to expanding community energy, giving everyone a stake in a fairer, low carbon future. 💷 £20 million fund for survivors of modern slavery. Modern Slavery is one of the great evils of our time and it’s happening under our noses. In nail bars, car washes, farms, factories and restaurants, it is estimated that tens of thousands of people in the UK could be victims. We’ve been campaigning to end modern slavery, and to increase the support provided to survivors. Labour has pledged a £20 million fund for survivors of modern slavery, people trafficking and domestic violence, which will help survivors rebuild their lives. Contents🤝 At least doubling the size of the co-operative sector.📈 Creating a new Co-operative Development Agency.🛒 Introducing a new law to protect public facing workers, including retail workers, from violence.🚰 Taking services and utilities like water and energy into democratic public ownership.🍽 Introducing a Right to Food so nobody goes hungry.🍺 Turning pubs into Assets of Community Value, giving communities the chance to buy their local.⚽ Supporting fan-owned football clubs.💷 Establishing a new Post Bank which can lend to local co-operatives.⚡ Expanding community energy.💷 £20 million fund for survivors of modern slavery.