Economy, Business and Trade Policy Commission
Economy, Business and Trade Policy Commission

How do we put people in more control of their working lives, and deliver public services that will transform the lives of all?

Policy Commission: Economy, Business and Trade


Policy Areas: The Economy, Business and Trade Policy Commission develops Labour’s economic and business policy, including industrial strategy and international trade.


Basingstoke Issues:

Railways, Utilities

Email your suggestions for other local issues in this policy area.

Democratic public ownership


Public ownership is back on the political agenda. Our 2017 manifesto – and its promises to nationalise energy, water, Royal Mail and the railways – played a key role in increasing Labour’s vote share, reflecting long-held and wide-spread support for public ownership of key parts of the economy.


It is not hard to see why. Over the last forty years, our ability to shape our own lives has been eroded. The legacy of Thatcherism has left us at the mercy of market forces. Crucial services have been handed over to unaccountable and remote corporations. The dominance of the City remains seemingly unassailable: the influence of a few unscathed by the Financial Crisis they caused, even as the rest of us still grapple with its consequences.


This consultation takes as its starting point our view that essential goods and services should be owned by society as a whole – via central or local government as society’s most inclusive democratic representatives – not by shareholders, or even cooperatives or trusts (vital though these are to Labour’s economic policy more broadly).


Most important is to listen and learn from the experts on the ground, the experience of people on the frontline, and the ingenuity of every one of us – and that is the purpose of this consultation.

Key Questions:

  • What core democratic principles should underpin the governance and operation of a publicly-owned company (e.g. a regional water authority, publicly owned rail company, etc)?

  • What works best where, and is localism always best?

  • What training or other forms of enabling support would enable genuinely democratic structures to function with legitimacy?

  • What transparency rules should be applied to publicly-owned companies?


Full details: Democratic public ownership

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If you think we should discuss this consultation paper, please complete the feedback form and let us know your thought on this, or any other issue.

Consultation End Date: 30th June 2019

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