There is a financial crisis brewing amongst social housing residents in the UK, and the sad fact is that with the government’s planned cuts to social security, things are only likely to get worse before they get better.
There is a real and significant gap between loan finance and the needs of developing social enterprises – not to mention a requirement to address the culture of grants, which for so long has represented the status quo of broad investment in Wales. To tackle this, Welsh local authorities are seeking to unify their collective skills and experience to deliver a project which will bridge the gap between the current state of play, and tap into the legacy potential of the sector.
There are numerous challenges for the would-be co-houser however, from finding land or buildings and groups of like-minded people, through to building, financing and developing the project.
It’s easy to become jaded about the media. To consider it to be manipulative and cynical. To disengage. Hardly surprising, then, to see the groundswell of support for a new campaign, “Let’s Own the News” which launched this week and is inviting pledges from people who like the idea of buying The Times and The Sunday Times from Rupert Murdoch.
Initial results from the world’s first Social Impact Bond (SIB) were announced last week. The landscape has changed radically since the SIB was first dreamt up, so that it gets cited as evidence for or against reforms that its creators could not have anticipated. The uses and abuses of its name have been legion and nearly all opportunistic. All of which obscures any attempt to judge the merits of the SIB on its own terms.
We can and we must do more to make engagement work. If we don’t, agendas for public service reform will happen in spite of the public – driven by the numbers, and administered from the inside out.
As the ageing population in the UK grows, so does the reporting around loneliness, isolation, care scandals and budget cuts. We need to do more to help our older people remain independent, healthy and integrated. It’s important for care providers, developers, local authorities and planners to wake up to the solutions available, particularly around housing.
As people grow older, their housing needs change. While vast time and resources are spent to help first time buyers get a foot on the property ladder, last time movers are neglected.
The Agency struck a deal with Buckinghamshire County Council to cut the grass and carry out other low-level environmental maintenance – removing flyers, maintaining signs, cleaning gutters – in the village.
There are plenty of success stories surrounding young people in construction and with over 13,000 new apprentices in the past year, we’re bound to see many more. But they are only part of a bigger picture.
Training and local recruitment now sit at the forefront of the procurement process, thanks to the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012. While apprenticeships remain a popular choice among young people in many sectors, the Act encourages any initiative which improves economic and social well-being in the community. For our industry, this should mean developing and collaborating on bespoke initiatives best suited to new recruits, which address their social value obligations in ways which make a real and lasting impact.
There were an awful lot of people hoping that Iain Duncan Smith would be defenestrated in last week’s cabinet shuffle. If Michael Gove is considered so toxic that he had to be removed before the next election, how on earth did IDS escape with his career intact?