Regeneration resources may have all but dried up, but regeneration ain’t dead. Regeneration lives! The belligerent spirit of wanting to get together to improve the lives of neighbours, constituents, citizens and place may be threatened, but it is indestructible.
We need a collective reimagination of place and the chance for communities to identify new opportunities based on the needs of many. In order to plan for sustainable growing communities and neighbourhoods, we must collaborate more and more often and with as varied a group of contributors as possible to ensure we are making the most from our shared resources.
More than ever, we need strong, articulate leadership. We need someone who understands the difference between business promotion, development, or activities and demand-led economic development.
The lie is self-reinforcing. You hear it used every time people don’t respond to meaningless surveys or poorly advertised consultation exercises. ‘We did our best, we put posters in the community centre and everything, but nobody turned up. They just don’t care…’ We tried, they failed, let’s not bother next time.
And so it is with the Neet challenge. I suspect that money has been paid for more outputs than there are Neet youngsters, with far too few of them delivering the lasting behavioural change that can break the cycle. In short, stuff so far hasn’t really worked, which is why this programme sought something new.
A route to a progressive and more socially just England is not constructed by making a sweeping geographical case for a downtrodden north and an affluent London. Nor is it to be found in a localism of isolated local bargaining, which pitches areas against each other and separates London from the rest.
For procurement to be more effectively linked to economic development, local authorities should be looking to understand levels of spend with local organisations and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and embed economic development considerations into the procurement cycle.
This change in spending is unlikely to see the government move forward with its aim of reducing health inequalities and will have implications for local economies and the wider health system as resources are redistributed from our most deprived areas to our most affluent.
Transform is currently on track to support local communities to regenerate and reactivate 70 derelict, unused and unloved spaces into vibrant new community gardens, food growing areas, riverside walks and local play areas.
Not only have many essential community services and organisations already been lost through four consecutive years of reduced government funding, but this year we found that demand for services continues to grow, with advice services seeing the biggest increase in demand.