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Welsh councils help social enterprises bridge the funding gap

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.

Jamie Veitch

Owning the media: we do have a choice

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.

Julian Corner photo copy

Transforming Rehabilitation is being dressed in sheep’s clothing

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.

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Attitudes to specialist housing must change to support ageing population

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.

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A rural community enterprise is cutting cost and red tape – as well as the grass

The Stewkley Community Enterprise Agency is demonstrating that efficiencies of scale do matter – but it’s the local scale, not the large scale, that creates great services.

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.

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Maximising the social value of training

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.