Jeremy Corbyn wants local councils to be ‘public entrepreneurs’

In an address to Labour’s local government conference, as he launched the party’s campaign for May’s local elections in England, Corbyn said he wants councils to become “public entrepreneurs” with greater freedom to spend taxpayers’ money and borrow to fund investment and public services.

He set out a vision for English councils to have similar powers to European cities, where local authorities have taken over control of utilities such as water and energy services.

Privatisation isn’t just about who runs a service, it’s about who services are accountable to. It’s about who shares the rewards, about protecting the workforce and getting a good deal for local people who use the services.

After a generation of forced privatisation and outsourcing of public services, the evidence has built up that handing services over to private companies routinely delivers poorer quality, higher cost, worse terms and conditions for the workforce, less transparency and less say for the public.

We will give councils greater freedoms to roll back the tide of forced privatisation. It locks people out of decision-making, makes services less accountable, too often means a bad deal for taxpayers, a bad deal for communities and a bad deal for workers too.


He also proposed a “national public services day” when “everybody comes together to highlight the importance of our public services and their incredible value to our communities”.

The elections in May, including to the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly and the London mayoral contest, are being seen as a crucial test of Mr Corbyn’s leadership.

Picture: Padmayogini /