The Big Idea: Doughnut Economics

Greens support “Doughnut economics”, which means putting people’s wellbeing and needs, as well as climate, ahead of profit.  A Green Mayor will put residents’ physical and mental health as well as equality and the environment as top priorities and champion re-use as part of a circular economy.

My economic plan will ensure wealth created in Hackney stays in Hackney. Our local economy will be driven by residents, for residents whilst respecting our planet.

Building Hackney’s wealth

Hackney Council has the opportunity to create more local jobs for local people, and redirect wealth back into the local area through a community wealth-building strategy. This would put control of the economy back into the hands of Hackney residents.

My plan as Mayor will start with looking at where and how the Council is spending money. I would then identify practical steps to change the economy for the benefit of local people based on the following principles:

  1. Ownership of the economy – I will prioritise a participatory approach so diverse communities have more say in how resources are shared. I will also ensure more local ownership of local enterprises.
  2. Making money work for people – support, develop and invest in local businesses within the community, for example, through CDFIs (Community Development Finance Institutions) and credit unions.
  3. Fair employment and just labour markets – hire and train local people and pay London’s Living Wage.
  4. Procurement of goods and services – local businesses and organisations hire talent and get supplies from within the community, such as from local shops and social enterprises. Strengthen commitment to insourcing of currently outsourced Council workers.
  5. Space and rents – do as much as possible to open up unused spaces for community groups and to make renting space easier and cheaper for social enterprises, co-ops and charities.

This is a tried and tested model of local economic development proven to help mitigate the extreme inequalities created by our economy. It tackles the vulnerabilities caused by overreliance on international markets. It will keep more money in Hackney so that profits stop leaking out of the area and into the pockets of large corporations. Instead, it will create new jobs filled by local talent.

Championing community

Closer communities which support each other are also more prosperous communities. To build on the existing community links across Hackney, I will prioritise:

  1. Expanding the network of community champions who were engaged in the Covid-19 pandemic response, so we can continue to break down barriers between communities and ensure that all groups are represented in decision-making for the borough.
  2. Supporting communities to organise events such as local street festivals, providing logistical and financial support for them.
  3. Protecting the locally run night-time economy
  4. Proactively supporting our borough’s vibrant cultural and creative sectors by launching a network of Hackney “Artist Laureates” from different artistic sectors (urban music, theatre, poetry, classical music, fine arts, among others) to shine a light on artistic talent among Hackney’s diverse communities.
  5. Using the Council’s communication channels (including advertising sites) to promote local events, small businesses and low-cost activities, particularly for children during the school holidays.

Have your say on the future of Dalston nightlife

The council has been asking residents what they want to see when it comes to Hackney nightlife. The 2023 Licensing Policy Consultation will suggest new approaches to regulating night-time venues, including in Dalston.

Councillor Zoë Garbett is on Hackney’s Licensing Committee. She has been meeting with local residents and nightlife businesses to hear everyone’s views.

Zoë said: “Dalston’s nightlife is rightly legendary, and contributes so much to the area’s culture and economy. Nightlife venues have worked hard with the council to improve safety, with venues helping to fund medical and security staff in Dalston.”

“If you want to support our late-night venues, this is a chance to have your say. Local residents with concerns about nightlife – for instance, women’s safety – should also speak up. It’s really important that the council hears everyone’s voice.”

Cllr. Zoë Garbett (R) meets representatives from Ridley Road Market Bar, Dalston Superstore, Vortex, Servant Jazz Quarters, The Mix, Kaffa Coffee, The Karaoke Hole, The Haggerston and The Shacklewell Arms

Cllr. Zoë Garbett (R) meets representatives from Ridley Road Market Bar, Dalston Superstore, Vortex, Servant Jazz Quarters, The Mix, Kaffa Coffee, The Karaoke Hole, The Haggerston and The Shacklewell Arms

Driving inclusive and sustainable development

As Mayor I will:

  • Work with our large institutions such as Homerton Hospital, Learning Trust and Police as pioneers in investors in our local economy and workforce. They will do this by committing to procuring goods and services from local businesses, training and employing local people and re-investing any surplus back into the local economy.
  • Support the transfer of Council property and land into the hands of the community through community or common ownership, to provide a foundation for future local initiatives and enterprises.
  • Champion the community right to bid, so that the people of Hackney can nominate buildings or land as having ‘community value’. This means the community can own and manage our own public services.
  • Ensure there is good quality vocational training in core skills, particularly for those without access to further education and training.
  • Ensure crucial community services are a part of all new retail and workspace developments. I will prioritise money and debt advice services, welfare rights and legal advice, and ethical financial services that will help local enterprises.
  • Ensure locally owned and managed small businesses are given proper financial support and are protected from being priced out of the area by large corporations. This will be done through financial incentives such as rate relief, a cap on out-of-borough large businesses, fit-for-purpose leases, and ensuring 25% of business units are allocated for genuinely affordable rents.
  • Ringfence use of new retail spaces to deliver a programme of Hackney Community Wealth Building.
  • Bring vacant commercial properties quickly back to occupancy through reduced business rates and temporary pop-up schemes – thriving and well-occupied city centres are shown to reduce crime.
  • Encourage businesses to employ local young people through apprenticeship schemes, and promote businesses to residents to encourage their long-term success.

My Plan for a Fairer Greener Hackney