Community Wealth Building

York College construction centre

Community Wealth Building

Community Wealth Building means combining the following elements to build prosperous and resilient local communities in York:

  • A strong, resilient local economy that creates and keeps wealth and benefits in the local area through good local jobs, local buying and local supply chains – the sort of economy we need to support the city’s recovery and build resilience against future shocks. 
  • People-centred mixed neighbourhoods where people can live, work and access leisure opportunities. Communities where people make the most of the strengths they already have to support each other and improve quality of life through mutual exchange (whether through skills, produce, childcare, sharing via tool libraries, repair cafes or social interaction to tackle loneliness and mental ill-health).
  • Neighbourhoods that are a place to enjoy with a good range of easily accessible community assets – welcoming public spaces, good quality affordable housing, good provision of green areas including allotments and good community facilities.

There are already moves in this direction in York but much more can be done. York Greens will consolidate the city’s transformation into a leading Community Wealth Building local authority.

We will support York’s local economy to be inclusive and sustainable with a linked-up strategy and actions:

  • Build on the 10-year York Skills Strategy and the new 10 Year Economic Strategy, creating green jobs and the necessary skills to support them.
  • Make sure that actions are consistent with tackling climate change and protecting our environment whilst also creating fairer, more resilient and more economically equal communities.
  • Deliver on commitments to support York businesses to decarbonise including funding Business Sustainability Advisors; strengthen local supply chains; attract investment in low carbon technologies; map out the details of York’s green economy including rail, the bio-economy, green construction and energy efficiency retrofit to maximise job creation; work with York College and other training providers to deliver green skills for young people and existing employees; and deliver a green transport network to both create jobs and support the economy, enabling people to get to where they need to be to work.
  • Deliver on Strategy commitments to support the local workforce including; support for training at all levels and seeking investment in higher paid jobs; support flexible working patterns, home and hybrid working; increase apprenticeships and support lifelong learning and work with partners to retain graduates in the city and tackle current recruitment problems.
  • Create more opportunities for disabled York residents to enter work by working with employers and colleges/universities and provide tailored advice for people with disabilities to access work and training opportunities.
  • Prioritise support to York’s independent and micro businesses.
  • Work to deliver good quality jobs, encouraging mixed communities on York Central and other development sites.
  • Deliver regeneration projects such as the Castle Gateway that enhance the city’s public realm, providing attractive public places for residents and encouraging high quality business investment.
  • Provide quality business support for start ups and established businesses.
  • Deliver on strategy commitments to support good business and innovation through actively promoting the Foundation Living Wage and the Good Business Charter (employment, environmental and procurement standards); support traders associations and business networking; encourage links between businesses and communities; continue working through the new Economic Partnership including with key anchor institutions and supporting local business organisations such as the BID and Indie York.
  • Focus some cost of living support on the struggling hospitality sector, and investigate the potential to target extended Discretionary Rate Relief to support investment in energy saving and business efficiency.
  • Review the council’s policy on letting its own commercial properties to better reflect a Social and Environmental Value approach, e.g. through preferential rates for social and community enterprises, business start-ups and deductions for implementing carbon reduction measures.
  • Do more work with partners and residents to define a ‘global city’ in an era of climate change and ongoing economic crisis; we will support promoting York as a great place to live and work and invest; we will support strengthening our global relationships especially with our twin cities and we will support developing digital connections and global exchange in skills, expertise and the knowledge economy. But as a city we have to start considering the impacts of global trade and international travel and tourism on climate change – and whether these are the best ways to strengthen our local economy and improve local equality.
  • Develop the city’s Tourism Strategy to focus on local residents and more regional, national and European visitors.
  • Strengthen the council’s Social Value Policy ensuring that the existing policy is fully implemented and that more of the Council’s purchasing decisions are guided by it.
  • Develop a more robust focus on climate change into a revised Social and Environmental Value Policy framework to ensure that the council’s buying power becomes a powerful mechanism for sustainability transformations, bringing environmental benefit to York and beyond.
  • Explore opportunities to pilot Basic Income and Four Day Week innovations, as mechanisms to unlock productivity gains and move to more sustainable living and working patterns.  
  • Explore a Local Climate Bond issue to support the efficient financing of investments for sustainable transformation, alongside other innovative financial investment models to scale up investment in sustainability.

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