People in Thanet could produce a local plan to revive their own area, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell told a packed audience in Ramsgate on Tuesday 19 January.
Mr McDonnell, a close ally of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, said: “We believe that local people have the knowledge and the know how to turn their areas round. So we’re saying to them, put together your plan, show us where you want to go and we will work with you to help you get there.”
He told the audience that areas like Thanet, one of the poorest parts of south east England, would have a special priority for the next Labour government.
The key, he said, would be investment in infrastructure and education, bringing well paid jobs based on new technologies. “A new Labour government will pick on areas to pilot new ideas for reviving a local economy – and Thanet would be exactly the sort of area to do this.”
Mr McDonnell was speaking at a meeting of the newly formed Momentum Thanet group, set up to campaign for the ideas and policies on which Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was elected.
Momentum organiser Jackie Walker, who lives in Broadstairs, said: “It was a tremendously successful meeting. Hundreds more came than we were expecting and there was standing room only.”
She added: “The great reception John received shows the huge enthusiasm there is in this area for the new Labour opposition. Jeremy has had some bad publicity in recent months, but our meeting shows public support for him is high and getting higher.”
Momentum Thanet is planning more events for the future. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.