York Labour has presented it’s vision for York’s economic future as the city moves beyond Covid-19 lockdown restrictions. While shops were able to open from yesterday, the public need to have the confidence that it is safe to get out and about, and to support local businesses.
Labour’s vision comes in the form of a 9 point plan for the safe re-opening and development of York’s economy.
“We see a three stage process for getting our economy flourishing again,” said Labour’s economy spokesperson, Councillor Claire Douglas, “with the first and most important step a Safe York, where people can feel confident that all the necessary precautions are in place to reduce risks to people’s health.
“This is essential if we are to get people out and supporting local businesses again. So we want to see a Coronavirus Safety Pledge agreed that ensures residents and visitors can be confident in visiting city centre shops, bars and restaurants.
“The second stage in adjusting to new realities post-lockdown is Unlocking York – council grants for businesses to achieve Safe York standards, encouraging people to buy local, shop local and crucially, re-skilling many in our workforce for different types of work. Tourism will always be an important part of York’s economy, but we must look to re-balance our economy to ensure we have growth in other job opportunities for our residents moving forwards.
“And the final stage, Our York, would see a commitment to improved connectivity in all its forms; everyone should be connected to high speed internet in York, especially for education and training, while we want to see everyone being active and able to move around in safe spaces, including improved transport corridors into the city.
“We also ultimately want to see people better connected in their communities, with strengthened community hubs that are properly funded by the council. These hubs generate benefits to their communities far beyond their costs and are focal points for community responses on a range of issues, including in times of crisis like floods and coronavirus.
“I hope the council will take these ideas on board and recognise that investment now will reap rewards in the future”.
Labour’s Group Leader, Councillor Danny Myers said the plan illustrates what needs to change as the council plans its response to the impact of coronavirus.
“We’ve seen the devastating figures nationally on the economic impact of the past few months and we need to now see leadership from the council in responding to that. We cannot just say that providing advice and signage to businesses is going to be enough when so many people are going to be out of work and struggling to make ends meet.
“Re-skilling people for the future York economy is essential if they are to have decent, well-paid work opportunities. York has for too long rested on its laurels of low unemployment when a huge number of workers have struggled long term in low paid, insecure work. That insecurity shows where one of the city’s key challenges lies.
“But the immediate challenge for York’s Lib Dem-led council is making York a safe city to give people confidence to go out and live, work and spend their money in again. So we will be scrutinising any proposals they produce closely when Executive meets later this month”.
Labour’s full 9 point plan and economic vision can be found —> HERE