How do we fix our local economy?

Wes Hinckes

Labour candidate for Bridgwater and West Somerset, Wes Hinckes, is a Sedgemoor District Councillor for the Hamp ward of Bridgwater. This week he has been discussing the economic situation with people and here presents his findings.

In Bridgwater and West Somerset I have many concerns about our local economy and the needs of our businesses and local people.

I feel we could do so much more.

I would like us to succeed and I believe we have vast amounts of undiscovered potential in our communities, towns and villages that is not being recognised or utilised. Local skills, knowledge, labour and determination can meet local needs if given the chance.

How do we unlock this potential and awaken our local economies from their slumber?

It’s a question I have been paying attention to for the past couple of years, as have other forward thinking people, groups and organisations who want to see local economies succeed for the benefit of everyone who lives nearby or has a local business.

I have been monitoring research, reading reports and attending events where there has been an opportunity to learn more and meet people working in the field. I have developed my knowledge and I would hope made a few connections along the way.

I’ll try to surmise what I have learnt as succinctly as I can.

Did you know that your local economy is like a leaky bucket?

Labour Candidate Wes Hinckes talking to Trades Unionists

Local people spend their money in the local area but much of it leaks away. Spend your money in a national store and the profit runs off to the shareholders. Pay your rent to a landlord who lives somewhere else and your town won’t see a penny of it again. Have your savings in a high street bank? They have invested it on far off shores and foreign exchanges! The list goes on and on…

So what do we do? How do we plug the holes, stop the leaks and refill the local economy bucket?

The answers are contained within the local area itself and are as unique as the people who live there.

It takes those people coming together sharing their ideas and trying them out. It takes people who know the local area, love the local area, and want to see the local area succeed to get it done.

It takes independent traders and retailers, hardworking businesses people, successful entrepreneurs and local people to all contribute some efforts towards creating a shared prosperity.

It takes a combination of people with experience, knowledge and common sense, along with fresh thinking, adaptability and the willingness to try things out – this is a natural and traditional form of local entrepreneurship and it works.

Local people and businesses are the key to filling the bucket, fixing the leaks, and creating a thriving local economy.

Our young people are looking for opportunities in life and between us we can help to provide jobs and rebuild everyone’s sense of community, pride and belonging.

Labour PPC for Bridgwater & West Somerset Wes Hinckes “At last a manifesto that puts normal people and their families centre stage.”

By working together we can take hold of our own destiny and change our future.


  • To work with your local councils and get their commitment to develop a Local Economic Blueprint and fully support the initiative to fix the local economy.
  • To launch a Local Economic Forum that will bring together local businesses, local entrepreneurs, local people, local ideas and local support.
  • To connect you with towns and villages that are already doing this successfully and seeing the results for themselves so that you can share ideas and knowledge.

To obtain funding that will support the initiative and provide loans and grants to get ideas off the ground and support new entrepreneurs and projects.

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