4. ENVIRONMENT AND ECONOMY

4. ENVIRONMENT AND ECONOMY

We decided to amalgamate these two categories on the basis that the human economy now so strongly influences the nature and quality of our surrounding environment that it is the main driver of both global and local environmental change. Therefore we tried to address all economic issues in the context of the question: how can we best ‘green’ the Cornish economy, but in a distinctively Labour manner?

We examined this question under the five headings used by Neil McInroy in his speech to Conference that same morning, on the work of CLES: namely, Land, Ownership, Procurement, Workers, and Finance. Ideas from three recent discussion papers issued as part of the 2019 National Policy Forum consultation exercise (A Sustainable Food Policy, Democratic public ownership, Local economic development) were also taken into account. Regarding Cornwall Council policy itself, two key concepts are:

  1. Insourcing. As opposed to the ‘outsourcing’ of services to private contractors which has taken place under recent administrations, this involves taking back ‘in house’ all services the Council undertakes on our behalf, and providing them via direct labour using Council employees whose terms and conditions of service would of course be substantially improved (see below).
  2. Remunicipalisation. The return of previously privatised services (e.g. water, sanitation, transport) to local, regional or national municipal authorities.

It is also the case that if local communities are to be given increased local responsibility for running services, they also need complementary increases in funding, and in political power.