aerial photography of city buildings
Photo by Henry Be on Unsplash

Last week, Sadiq Khan launched his Labour Manifesto for London, and we were pleased to see the Mayor citing co-operative ideas in a bid to tackle the challenges the capital faces.

The pandemic has had a detrimental impact on our communities and yet it is clear that co-operative values and policies are key to rebuilding our city. Putting power in the hands of Londoners and giving local people a voice in the decisions that will ultimately affect them are crucial to strengthening and empowering our communities.

We recently called for a London-wide Co-operative Development Agency (CDA) based at City Hall that would provide the support, advice and resources for the expansion of the co-operative economy. The post-COVID era offers an opportunity to develop the co-operative sector in the capital. Therefore, we were delighted to see the Mayor’s commitment to provide more support to democratic business models which are fairer, more ethical and crucially robust.

Increasing constraints on local councils as a result of devastating cuts by National Government has meant that services pivotal to tackling social inequalities, strengthening community cohesion and facilitating social integration have been disproportionately affected. We welcome the Mayor’s commitment to the community wealth building agenda; enabling wealth to be created, shared and maintained within local communities. The Social Value Act allows local councils to not only consider the economic efficiency of potential suppliers but also the broader social and environmental benefits to local communities. We are looking forward to working with the Mayor to expand implementation of this legislation for the benefit of local residents.

The pandemic has seen key workers across health, education, social care and retail step up to meet the increasing needs within our communities. Their dedication to serving those most in need and protecting the vulnerable within our society is just one extraordinary example of how London has come together in the face of adversity. Yet, retail workers, who often go unrecognised in the COVID response, have also faced unprecedented abuse as they go about their day to day work. We are pleased to see the Mayor commit to highlighting the atrocities faced by shop workers and support his calls for strengthening legislation that protects retail employees. In February 2021, we released our London Co-operative Party Manifesto that sets out the ways in which we hope to work with the Mayor and the London Assembly to create a fairer, more equal London. We very much look forward to working together to ensure that our shared co-operative principles and values are central to rebuilding our capital. London faces major challenges as we begin our recovery following the pandemic. That’s why we in the Co-operative Party believe that now is the time to be bold and build on our collective endeavour that has sustained us through the crisis.