Councillor Matthew Brown is Leader of Preston City Council in the north of England, where he has been widely credited as the driving force behind the 'Preston model', an economic strategy at the city and county level that presents a comprehensive, interlinked approach to community wealth building as a practical and transformative alternative to austerity and disinvtesment. First elected to represent the Tulketh ward in 2002, Councillor Matthew Brown subsequently took on portfolios that included community engagement and inclusion, social justice and policy initiatives, leading to his election in 2018 as Council Leader, and to a position as an advisor to the Labour Party's Community Wealth Building Unit.
Residents and business owners of Preston, a model city for community wealth building, are interviewed about procurement processes and economic impacts of the new strategy.
- Lancashire Post
We’re a Model city! Preston’s community wealth building scheme is worth an estimated £488m to the wider Lancashire economy, a new report says.
- New York Times
As local governments across Britain grapple with shrunken budgets, many are going into business, funding cooperatives and speculating in real estate.
- The Guardian
Mathew Brown writes for The Guardian in "Why are councils investing in the fracking industry they oppose?" In this article, Mathew Brown writes about the pension funds investing:
In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, fracking has been effectively halted, but councils there still oversee pension funds investing heavily in fracking companies.
In Lancashire our has county council had its own now infamous battle with then communities secretary Sajid Javid when he overturned the council’s rejection of Cuadrilla’s application to frack at Preston New Road. Two years on Cuadrilla are set to begin drilling – and the government is attempting to ensure that councils lose any oversight of where fracking developments are established.