Stockport Marketplace on a sunny winter morn

Coronavirus Challenge + Carbon Challenge = An Opportunity For Stockport

Date: Monday, 23rd, March, 2020

This week sees the beginning of a major change in the state of Britain, the economy, our society and the political future of the nation. It could mean an enormous financial and personal catastrophe for millions of individuals, families and businesses which may take a generation or more to recover from.

However, I believe this challenging time offers us an enormous opportunity to prepare for a better life. We now have an chance to reflect on the state of our lives and decide if we want to take bigger and bolder action to revitalise our community, rebuild our lives and nurture new and innovative economic opportunities across the town to shield us from such events in the future.

Climate Emergency & Opportunity

In recent weeks I have been reaching out to the Council on another matter – the Climate Emergency. This has, until the arrival of the Coronavirus Emergency, been a critical part of future Council strategy to meet its carbon reduction commitments. I saw this an an opportunity to begin new regeneration activities for job creation, green power generation, carbon reduction and environmental improvements across the town.

With the catastrophic damage to society from the coronavirus emergency I believe there is now an even more urgent need to take action as quickly as possible. Rather than being paralysed with fear of coronavirus we must begin planning and working towards a renewed prosperity after this crisis has passed.

We must begin planning now.

Economic Damage & Recovery

We have already seen the economic damage, the tremendous harm to the self-employed community, the financial losses to thousands of businesses and the potential future danger of intense measures of austerity needed by the government to recover the huge amounts of money it has borrowed to sustain the country though this time. Add to this the future demands on the health service, care for the elderly and other related social services and it’s is now critical that we plan for a recovery that will build stronger social and economic foundations through and beyond this current crisis.

We cannot just think about recovery and a return to previous conditions. The damage to our lives could be far too great. We must now look to our own local resources, our skills, our facilities and funds, to lift ourselves and our community out of this tremendous and challenging period.

I have drawn up plans to begin such action now. If you have been following my recent posts around the Stockport Powerhouse you know something of my thinking. Now this must be scaled up and accelerated, but it will depend on approval from officials within the Council to begin.

Should the Council and other agencies agree to my initial proposals I will be working towards the following objectives for the town and improvement of our lives:-

  • The park regeneration to kick-start the process of investment and job creation.
  • Creating a broader spread of carbon reduction initiatives around town to save business and private electricity costs (I already have the technology to help business reduce its electricity costs, no matter what tariff you are on, by around 6%).
  • Creating short-term employment opportunities for suitable self-employed and local business contractors to assist with the first building programme.
  • Offering investment opportunities in the initiatives to lift thousands of families back into a new prosperity on the back of these initiatives. You share in the project you share in the rewards of its success and recover your prosperity from the current crisis.
  • Offering volunteer community work opportunities for those wishing to contribute (with the prospect of receiving a small share of the commercial rewards from the larger projects when they kick-off).
  • Raising and investing several million pounds in the first projects and attracting more for follow-up initiatives.
  • Increasing tourism into the town.
  • Raising the profile of local creative and entrepreneurial businesses with innovative products and services that will allow the town to stand out from the crowd and creating our own online market to the world for the uniqueness of our community.

We must not be overwhelmed by the endless pessimism of false news in social networks but turn our thoughts to how we can pool effort, money, resources and skill to build a healthier and growing prosperity in the months and years to-come.

Newsletter Subscription

Subscribe to the Free-Homes Newsletter for news, up-dates, activity and opportunity on community action for the Stockport Powerhouse programme.