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The next election - will it be the towns that make a difference?

(11 Posts)
GracesGranMK2 Fri 27-Oct-17 08:59:58

Jeremy Corbyn 'Can Become PM' If He Wins A Few Hundred Votes In Small Towns Battleground - New Research
"The needs, values and priorities of the 12 million people in towns have been ignored for too long. The Centre for Towns will put those views back on the political agenda and ensure that decisions are made in the interests of the whole country."

The article quotes Dr Will Jennings as saying "Centre for Towns has been established to understand the challenges and opportunities that exist beyond cities, and work towards realising the full potential of towns."

But what can political parties do to aid the towns. What changes in approach are needed?

eazybee Fri 27-Oct-17 09:07:06

Very little, I should imagine.
But the point is, Labour is actively seeking members.
Conservatives appear to have gone completely to ground.

GracesGranMK2 Fri 27-Oct-17 09:18:46

I wasn't really as interested in the LP in this instance eazybee but what it is the towns need. Many cities, even in the north, are doing very well but many towns live on an economy drawn from large numbers of people on low income jobs and they do not seem to have the autonomy to do much to improve things - or is it that they do but they are not? I don't know. I suppose I was hoping that someone who knows more about local government would enlighten me/us.

eazybee Fri 27-Oct-17 09:55:37

I don't live in a town any more, but I spent the first half of my life one of the less attractive ones, in the heart of an industrial area. It was also prosperous with good public facilities, school, hospitals, housing development and most important of all, a good range of jobs. Union activities in the seventies and eighties destroyed much of the local industry which created the prosperity. The town, now a city, is gradually rejuvenating itself, mainly through the creation of a multitude of small businesses, again. Whether Labour will aid this I genuinely cannot predict; the place has always been divided between Labour and Conservative.

Jalima1108 Fri 27-Oct-17 10:07:41

I wonder what the definition of 'small towns' is? I have noticed, admittedly from limited experience, some small towns have become no more than dormitories for larger cities within commuting distance.
The two or three small industries have shut down, more and more houses are being built, not necessarily with the infrastructure to support the growing population.
Some shops are still struggling on but commuters often shop for their needs in the cities where they work.

Some small towns seem to thrive - but is that because they are attractive and attract tourists? Or because they are further from cities so less attractive to commuters?

GracesGranMK2 Fri 27-Oct-17 10:31:47

If you click through to the article Jalima there is a link to a map. I wasn't surprised to see a lot of town around me but I was surprised to find my village is a town - it is probably moving in that direction population wise but it has very few facilities.

Eazybee again I was hoping not to move straight into party politics. Just reading your post I notice you say that the unions caused the destruction of local industries whereas I am sure we could find those who would put that at the door to the then government. You say you don't know if Labour will aid this. Obviously we all have a point of view but I would love to know what the issues are in towns - regardless of the politics.

Jelima I think the lack of infrastructure may well be high on the list for towns people and town centre shops. It will be interesting to see what other peoples experiences are.

I would also agree that small towns - particularly within commuting distance of a successful city (or London) appear to thrive but round here you do see the hub town looking rich as people live there and commute out for work and poorer people can afford to live there less and less so commute in to do the jobs. Housing is a really big problem. With so many wealthy home owners there is a lot of Nimbyism.

One thing I noticed was that in Norway small towns receive subsidises to make them attractive for people who might otherwise feel forced to live in a city for cultural amenities.

GracesGranMK2 Fri 27-Oct-17 10:34:47

Thinking of towns where friends live the disappearance of small but comparative large employing industries is certainly an issue which means many have to commute. Although some of this was due to the 70s/80s union/government issues it has also been because of offshoring.

Fennel Fri 27-Oct-17 12:52:55

We like to watch the France 24 debate at 6.10 pm uk time, which was about this subject one evening this week. They had Andy Burnham on and he was very good.
But it was more about bigger towns, and devolution of powers to them. Making them more independent of central Govt.
I suppose eventually small towns could go the same way, with the tendency for the population to move to towns for work, and overall increasing population (70 million soon in the UK.)

Jalima1108 Fri 27-Oct-17 16:03:34

I didn't have time to look at the link earlier, but will take a look now.
We were rushing off out (to a small but very busy town).

Cindersdad Sat 28-Oct-17 08:25:15

It's not towns but the wider population who will make a difference. Voter apathy which has plagued UK politics before June 2017 should be less in future. There is a small chance that PR could be in the next election and probably in a future election. The demographic then will change.

May be Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Cumbria should unite to form the Red Rose Republic.

GracesGranMK2 Sat 28-Oct-17 09:01:41

I hope for PR too Cindersdad.

I wonder if you have been able to read the linked article. It seems to have gone off the 'front page of the Huffpost but it is still here