Increasing local employment
When councils need to secure goods and services for the residents, they should use local firms wherever possible. This way, when roads get resurfaced or when school premises get repaired, not only do we get the better roads and better schools, but more local people find themselves in meaningful employment. This means more Hartlepool families will be able to provide for themselves. The council should support firms to grow in sectors where the council can guarantee them contracts.
Encouraging local suppliers
When local businesses need stock to sell to their customers, they should be encouraged to use local suppliers. This way, when residents spend their money with local firms, this money then circulates round Hartlepool benefitting people time and again. The council should work with private companies to incentivise and reward this local practice.
Supporting local ownership
When workers have a say in the leadership and management of their companies, their pay and conditions improve. Rather than paying profits out as dividends to out-of-town shareholders, profits of locally-owned firms would be kept in Hartlepool. The council should encourage local ownership through preferential rates, and through providing financial and administrative support to worker-owned firms.
Pushing the Living Wage
When people have a job and work hard, they expect to be rewarded. The Living Wage ensures that – in these difficult times of Universal Credit – people are paid fairly for their efforts. The council should model best practice here, ensuring that caterers and cleaning staff are paid the Living Wage. The council should encourage and incentivise private companies to do the same, too.
Caring for our local environment
When private and public bodies are free to ignore the environmental impact of their activities, everybody pays the price. As a coastal town, the consequences of issues like single-use plastics are all too evident. The council should consider how and where it spends its public money to ensure that it does so in a way that protects the environment. The council should model best practice and be as environmentally friendly as possible.
Making our money work harder
When contracts are awarded based on price and quality alone, we miss out on all sorts of potential benefits. The council should introduce a ‘Social Value’ policy. Contracts would then be awarded to firms who demonstrate decent quality and who offer low prices, but also to firms who take on local apprentices or who employ those with barriers to employment, like the recently redundant or the under-skilled.