A Right to buy for the 21st Century Economy
The Social Economy Alliance has just launched a report looking at how a Right to Invest could transform the relationship between communities and the services and infrastructure they rely on. Whether it's the shortage of affordable homes or the uncertainty of fluctuating energy bills, people increasingly feel disconnected from the markets which affect their lives. Our stock exchange has never been more in foreign hands, our energy companies are run by foreign governments, our football clubs are owned by oligarchs and our press is controlled by a few wealthy individuals.
Unfortunately we do not have the Right to Buy legislation in Wales and as it stands the Welsh Government are not looking into adopting it on this side of the border. However, this does not mean that this cannot happen in Wales. In fact there are examples in Wales of a Football club owned by the fans (Wrexham), many Community Owned buildings, services delivered by Community based organisations and a number Community Energy Projects. Perhaps this report can help us in Wales to convince the government that this would be of real value to Wales and it’s future generations.
The report looks at how communities can be empowered to own a stake in vital markets, focusing on how a right to invest in infrastructure and assets could lead to a revolution in ownership. It covers housing, renewable energy, the railways, the press, banking and football clubs.
This is a 'Right to Buy' for the 21st century- a new vision of how we can "enfranchise the many in the economic life of the nation." It combines the popular capitalism of the right with the co-operative traditions of the left. If politicians listen, football fans, rail passengers, newspaper readers and the great British public will be able to take ownership of the assets and services which most matter to them.