The former Copeland MP, Jamie Reed, has called for a ‘unified approach to post-pandemic recovery’ while speaking on a virtual panel.
Reed, now head of development and community relations at Sellafield led, has recently spoke at a panel discussion on social impact at a New Statesman virtual conference.
A ‘place-based’ approach, backed by business, is the key to rebuilding regional economies post-COVID, the former Labour MO said.
Sellafield Ltd’s Social Impact Programme, recently relaunched as SiX: Social Impact, Multiplied, invests over £10 million a year into its local communities.
“We need a unified approach to post-pandemic recovery, with the private and public sectors working together,” Jamie told the conference delegates, “Business has to play its part by prioritising social value alongside shareholder value.
“If we can get business to act in this way: to embrace a place-based approach where they prioritise responsibility to local communities as well as employees and shareholders, we can create an irresistible force.
“At Sellafield Ltd, we’ve been doing this for years: building schools, diversifying the local economy, creating vibrant supply chains, and helping develop resilient families.
“Our approach is built on the United Nations’ sustainability goals, a ready-made template for businesses to follow.
“We’re seeing encouraging moves already with initiatives like the Embankment Project for Inclusive Capital (EPIC) where banks are trying to do more for communities.
“And the US Business Roundtable’s redefinition of the purpose of a business, emphasising place-based economic growth as well as shareholder value.
“We already have legislation on the statute book in the Social Value Act 2012 which allows organisations procuring public services to consider local economic factors as well as cost in their decision-making.
“The tools are there, we just need a collective desire to work together and a recognition that there’s no such thing as a public or private sector economy, there’s just one economy.”
Jamie was joined on the panel by Seema Malhotra, Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Steven Broomhead, chief executive of Warrington Council, and Jessica Bowles, of property developer Bruntwood