Head of Policy and Communications, Chris Cowcher, sets out Plunkett UK’s view on the election and encourages community businesses to be local champions.

The date has finally been confirmed and the six weeks of official campaigning ahead of the UK General Election has begun. On the morning of Friday 5 July 2024, we will know the result and may potentially be engaging with a new Government, the current Government or considering the ramifications of a hung parliament.

Whilst the polls appear to only point to one outcome at present, the result is far from definite. Therefore, as we have been doing, Plunkett will continue to engage with all political parties on behalf of our members, representing the impact of the community ownership movement.

(Image: The Fox at Loxley will become a polling station on 4 July)

As you may have read in my recent blog, published only last week, Plunkett is a member of many larger campaigns pushing for change which benefit rural community-owned businesses.

Here is a summary of some of the priorities we believe that the next UK Government must commit to:

  • A Community Right to Buy. Communities must be given a right of first refusal to purchase the assets that matter most to them.

  • The continuation of an extended and expanded Community Ownership Fund, offering access to grants and advice across our sector.

  • Rural proofing the forthcoming Community Wealth Fund so that the transformative impacts of rural community-owned businesses can be realised in communities supported by the fund.

  • Implement the proposed Community Enterprise Growth Plan, utilising Dormant Assets funding to support all forms of social investment, including Community Shares.

  • Utilise the community ownership model in relation to delivering new infrastructure within future housing developments.

  • Create an environment for community businesses to thrive with fairer taxation and appropriate rate reliefs.

Building on growth
and supporting members

Over the last 14 years of this Government, the community ownership sector has more than doubled in size. We must build on this period of growth by supporting the already trading businesses as well as continuing to nurture the pipeline of aspiring community ownership projects too.

Plunkett will do all we can to represent the interests of all within our sector and would encourage you to use our current Better Business survey to help inform our advocacy and external affairs work that we will be doing pre- and post- election.

Finally, whilst Plunkett will continue to seek opportunities to engage with politicians and representatives of the political parties nationally, we know that our members will be champions at a local level. Please invite prospective candidates to your businesses, ask them questions about how they can support your operations and get them to commit to supporting continued sector growth in future.

What you can do

If you would like any support in engaging with candidates or facilitating a hosted visit, please get in touch via info@plunkett.co.uk.

Similarly, if you would like any support with communicating any engagement you have with local politicians get in touch via communications@plunkett.co.uk.

Please also remember to ‘tag’ Plunkett in any social media posts that your business shares ahead of the election so that we can amplify your message.

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