You may have seen some of the Prime Minister’s speech at the recent virtual Conservative Party conference. Behind him on the backdrop were the words “Build Back Better”, which may have reminded you of our own city region mayor Andy Burnham’s slogan “Build Back Better” from the start of the crisis or US presidential candidate Joe Biden’s election slogan “Build Back Better”.
Regardless of the fact that the PM has pinched the slogan, I’m glad that he and so many others have come to the conclusion that “building back better” is what we need to do. This crisis will have done a lot of damage and we will need to rebuild. But we need to do more than just put things back to the way things were – we need to come up with something even better.
And right at the very heart of how we do this must be community. We need to make sure that any rebuilding is done with communities in mind. That means consulting people and getting involved, helping one another as so many have during this crisis.
It also means tackling inequalities. Unfortunately, we’ve seen the gap between rich and poor open in many ways during this crisis, and it was already wide enough. We need to rebuild in a way that gives people more of a fair chance. There’s a lot of talk of the north-south divide, but something similar exists even within Stockport borough – and indeed within the relatively small area served by this fantastic paper.
So yes – let’s build back better. But it needs to be more than a slogan – it needs to mean real positive change, involve communities and result in a fairer society.