We’re proud that Doncaster Council has been in Labour hands with a Labour Mayor and a solid majority of on the council since 2010. But we’re not complacent about it. Rather we use this relatively privileged position to deliver on the issues which concern residents.

That’s why we were delighted to propose and second a motion calling for Doncaster on behalf of residents to be a Fair Tax Council. At first sight, such a motion may appear a little symbolic, the sort of gesture politics which doesn’t affect people. We disagree.

Admittedly it’s not something that people spontaneously raise on the doorstep, but people do have a sense of fair play and believe that big businesses need to share the right amount of tax. They also understand that those companies which do evade and avoid tax reduce the amount of money that can be spent on public services. The growth of tax haven havens and unethical corporate tax conduct is concerning. The Fair Tax Foundation estimates that something like 40% of multinational profits (something like US$950bn) are shifted around by clever accounting mechanisms, leaving governments with less that US$240bn less to spend than they would otherwise have.

It’s no surprise that the Co-operative Movement has been at the forefront of highlighting this injustice and in adopting the Fair Tax Mark: whether its retail co-operatives, Co-ops UK, and of course the Co-op Party itself. Councils with co-operators on them have been equally pioneering in adopting the Councils for Fair Tax Declaration.

The Declaration commits councils to promote Fair Tax, implement IR35 robustly, shun the use of offshore vehicles for purchasing land and property. We are committed to undertaking due diligence to ensure that not-for-profit structures are not being used inappropriately by suppliers as an artificial device to reduce the payment of tax and business rates, and demanding clarity on the ultimate beneficial ownership of suppliers, be they UK based or overseas, and their group consolidated profit and loss position, given lack of clarity could be strong indicators of poor financial probity and weak financial standing.

The detail is pretty heavy. Yet it’s a pretty simple message to get across on the doorstep. If big companies want to do business with Doncaster Council, they’ll be expected to pay the right amount of tax. And that money, rather than disappear into offshore tax havens can go back into the economy and be used to fund vital public services. And those are the priorities of the electorate.