Labour’s Steve Reed has launched the party’s plans to empower communities and tackle inequality. The new strategy – called From Paternalism To Participation and drawn up by Steve Reed – sets out how Labour will give communities, public service users and workers more control over the decisions that affect their lives. It includes proposals on how Labour will introduce new forms of democratic ownership and control in the economy so wealth is shared more fairly.
There will be a new ‘right to own’ that would see communities take over unused buildings and put them to use for local people who desperately need spaces for projects and activities. Billions of pounds in forgotten accounts in banks and financial institutions will be opened up to help communities tackle poverty and inequality.
Labour will also introduce new ways for people to take part in local decision-making online, harnessing the power of new technology to increase democratic accountability. Launching the new strategy, Steve Reed said: “We need to tackle the inequality of power in our country, so we can tackle inequalities of wealth and opportunity. These radical new plans will give voice to the voiceless and power to the powerless. We will only transform society if we open up power to the many instead of leaving it in the hands of the few.”
Steven Reed is Labour MP for Croydon North and Shadow Minister for Children and Families. In 2018 his private member’s bill on reducing violent mental health restraint became law. In June 2019 he launched Labour’s civil society strategy outlining radical plans to empower citizens and communities.
Steve chairs the Cooperative Councils Innovation Network, co-chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group for London, was Leader of Lambeth Council 2006-12 where he led the council’s children’s services to become best-rated in the country and pioneered the public-health approach to tackling violent youth crime. He worked in publishing for 16 years and was an elected trade union branch secretary.