With Local Councils around the country struggling to pay their bills, and a rise in local tax looking inevitable to balance the books, Preston is an inspiring and slightly surprising example of how things can be done differently.
Preston has “… adopted a guerrilla localism. It keeps its money as close to home as possible so that, amid historically drastic cuts, the amount spent locally has gone up. Where other authorities privatise, Preston grows its own businesses. It even creates worker-owned co-operatives.” A small team on the local council led by Matthew Brown “persuaded six of the public bodies on their doorstep to commit to spending locally wherever possible. It sounded commonsensical; yet it defied procurement convention, which trades cost against quality and rarely thinks about the environment or society…”