The ‘presidential’ style of election means that it doesn’t matter where in the city a vote comes from. This could lead to candidates campaigning intensely in wealthy areas with a temptation to focus on issues that benefit the better off to the detriment of poorer areas.
For Leps, their strongest potential asset is their ability to provide a means by which they can act as the glue and coagulant for drawing networks of business, policy and economic inputs together under key objectives. That is why a sophisticated insight into local economic capabilities is so important.
We need a greater recognition in public policy that society is an integrated co-production between all of us, often happening instinctively across a number of domains.
The issue of financial inclusion and access to affordable credit, savings and other financial products is a major issue for north west families – especially the ‘working poor’ and those on benefits. These are the very groups who already experience poor mental and physical health.
I like grappling with contemporary place ailments: no jobs, derelict site or dying high street. However, I am often tired of the standard prescriptions. In many instances, I know that the new investment strategy, or town centre revitalization will either not work, be temporary or have only partial success. Increasingly, I know that many of the accepted prescriptions are old hat, in the face of economic turbulence and environmental change.
Without getting these structural factors right, there is a danger that the new wave of elected mayors won’t have the powers and scope they need to succeed.
We mustn’t go on with our creaking orthodox reading of economic development which is often remote from the economic local realities, the places we live in, the lives many people face and the worries they have. We must reset economic development, and embrace new ideas and approaches.
Procurement as a tool for achieving the best public policy outcomes founded on an understanding of what a place-based idea of the common good is cannot be either about scaling or seeding. At some level, and in most places, it is about both.
The government, for better or worse, isn’t going to establish a national urban skills strategy or learning programme. The burden has fallen onto practitioners and residents, to share what we know and talk to each other about what we don’t.
While Newham’s Mayor is right to say that astronomical central London prices and rents have pushed more and more people into the outer boroughs, the answer can’t be to push poor families further out and create yet another two-tier borough.