Dear Tracy Brabin MP, Mark Eastwood MP, Barry Sheerman MP & Jason McCartney MP
We are writing to you representing a broad range of organisations and communities in Kirklees to offer you our vision of how the UK can recover from this crisis. Our recovery must address the inequality, economic and social injustice that existed long before COVID-19, and now risks being intensified.
Choices being made right now will shape our society for years, if not decades to come. This is a time to be decisive in saving lives, and bold in charting a path to a genuinely healthier and more equitable future for all. Our communities need to know that we will not only get through the pandemic, but we will also learn from it and seize the opportunity to build our society back better.
We want an investment led new deal that protects public services, tackles inequality in our communities, provides secure well-paid jobs and creates a shockproof economy which can fight the climate crisis. Our response to recovery, at all levels, must:
- Protect people and communities in this moment by maintaining income support, and continuing the furlough scheme for workers until it is safe for them to return to work. We need debt and rent cancellations for those who need it, to ensure people have secure housing, energy and food, and aren’t saddled with debt into the future. This includes investment in the public services that we all rely on.
- Ensure support for British industry (including Project Birch and the CCFF) are not blank cheques, and come with conditions to protect workers, the public, and the environment – in the UK and abroad – to ensure we build back better from this crisis.
- Invest in a mass job creation Green New Deal programme, creating good, well-paid jobs across the country focused on decarbonising, upgrading and levelling-up the economy. Jobs to upgrade our housing, build green technology and restore habitats, as well as boosting health, care, education and other sectors that form the base of a low-carbon economy.
- Deliver quality public health for everybody and for the long-term. This means ensuring the NHS and social care are properly funded and protected from privatisation, as well as tackling the drivers of poor health including inequality in wages, education, housing and access to healthcare, green spaces and clean air.
- Recognise and respect the key workers that brought us through this crisis by improving pay, working conditions and ability to organise. This must include tackling workplace discrimination and recognising the huge contribution of unpaid carers.
- Ensure the UK stops fuelling global injustice The UK must recognise, and act upon, its huge historical responsibility for the global climate and inequality crises. Our recovery cannot stop at the UK border and should support global progress on tackling conflict, oppression and environmental degradation – this is not a moment to retreat from the world or cut vital aid.
The recovery process gives us a chance to look at our economy and society as a whole and ask ourselves what was not working, and who and what we cherish the most. We are hopeful about the opportunity that lies ahead to answer these questions and are committed to being a part of reshaping our community for the better and providing a high quality of life for all. In sending this letter, we are echoing the calls of thousands of people, communities and organisations who have joined the Build Back Better campaign in the last two months.
We would like the opportunity to discuss our vision with you further and to hear your thoughts on this and the government’s plans to date. We ask that on our behalf that you write to the Prime Minister and Chancellor about this vision as they begin discussing how to recover and build back better.
- Duncan Walpole, on behalf of Enviromental (company based in Slaithwaite)
- Jane Thewlis, on behalf of Fossil Free West Yorkshire (covers whole of West Yorkshire, including Kirklees)
- Sue Burton, on behalf of Holmfirth Methodist Church Council
- Sarah Broxton, Centre Manager on behalf of Holmfirth Tech Limited, Colne Valley
- Laura Tarlo-Ross, on behalf of Huddersfield Youth Strike 4 Climate (covers all Kirklees)
- Chayley Collis, on behalf of Huddersfield Friends of the Earth (covers all Kirklees)
- June Graham, on behalf of Huddersfield Greenpeace (covers all Kirklees)
- Kiran Bali, on behalf of Huddersfield Hindu Temple (covers all Kirklees)
- Paul Bridges, on behalf of Huddersfield Mission (based in the Huddersfield Constituency but with beneficiaries from all four Kirklees constituencies)
- Bob Stoker, on behalf of Huddersfield Trades Union Council (covers all Kirklees)
- Mike Prior, on behalf of Kirklees Culture Declares
- Christine Hyde, on behalf of North Kirklees NHS Support Group
- Sarah Newton, on behalf of Save Greenhead Trees (based in Huddersfield)
- Jonathan Purkis, on behalf of Sleepers Cricket Team, Marsden
- Richard Byrne, on behalf of Threadbear Theatre (based in Huddersfield)
- Gervais Frykman, Clerk, on behalf of Wooldale Quaker Meeting
ontact email@example.com if your organisation/ faith group would like to sign the Open Letter.