As part of a much bigger programme looking at the impacts of government policy and spending on poverty and inequality in the UK I recently had the opportunity, with Alex Fenton and Amanda Fitzgerald, to review Labour’s record on neighbourhood renewal in England between 1997-2010. Three main things struck me from reading through all the policy documents and evaluations and checking progress against targets.  One was that progress had been made on most fronts.  For example, gaps in worklessness rates between the poorest neighbourhoods and others had narrowed, and despite some widening following the financial crash, were still smaller in 2010 than in 2000.  Gaps on all education and some health indicators (but not life expectancy) narrowed. Burglary rates fell by a half and the relatively higher risk of burglary experienced by those in deprived neighbourhoods reduced.  Fewer people reported serious problems with crime, litter and vandalism. Of course not … (To read the full article, subscribe below)

Ruth Lupton is at the University of Manchester. Her full report can be found at http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/dps/case/spcc/wp06.pdf. The research is funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Nuffield Foundation and Trust for London. All views expressed here are the author’s own.