‘It’s time to do right by our towns and give power back to voiceless workers’

The towns series this week has been brilliant.

It’s shown the tough time many communities are having. But it’s told stories of wonderful people too. Hardworking, honest people with pride in their home towns – despite today’s problems.

They give me hope for the future. But they desperately need a new deal.

Many of these towns were once powerhouses of industry. They made Britain a wealthy nation and offered good working-class jobs you could build a life on.

But when those industries closed, the jobs that replaced them were low-paid and insecure.   

Then after the financial crisis, communities that were already down took another a kicking from a decade of austerity.

It’s time to do right by our towns again. They need decent, solid jobs and world-class public services.

We want to hear stories from your town. What do you think about it? Are you facing any issues? Email [email protected] or call 0207 293 3018

There’s an election coming, so my message to all the parties is this.

Firstly, invest in our towns to attract good employers and create decent jobs.

That means modern transport links and new centres of green industry across the UK. We can win the battle against climate change and create great new jobs while we’re at it.

And we need a National Investment Bank to target investment to towns where good jobs are in short supply.

Secondly, the next government must rebuild public services.

Austerity has done deep harm to Britain. And the worst damage is to towns that were already struggling.

Every town needs good schools and hospitals, safe neighbourhoods and truly affordable homes. So in this election, let’s hear about long-term plans to fund all of our services properly. And that means restoring what was cut in full.

Finally, politicians must give back power to workers.

The industries that once made these towns wealthy had strong unions. But in recent decades, working people have been silenced.

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