Who’s to say whether this UCAN is the best advice centre in the country? It barely matters, no-one’s after prizes. But commissioning a blog and hearing the firsthand stories of desperation, resilience and achievement is a novel strategy of communicating the work at the sharp end of a large housing provider.
November 2013 - NewStart
What started with slightly anarchic plantings in public places is actually a model that can begin to reconnect communities and local economies. People are thinking differently about the town as a whole too, with an edible Green Route that connects the health centre, theatre, market, station and canal towpath, bringing a sense of unity to the town and creating important habitats for pollinating insects.
The report also reminds us that neighbourhood-level interventions can and do have an impact. Undoubtedly helped by general economic growth, the Blair government’s multi-billion pound battery of programmes and interventions aimed at the poorest areas did deliver meaningful improvements and started to narrow the gap between them and the rest of the country.
The Pop Up Talent programme puts a new twist on helping young people find a job they love and connect with local employers.
This month Nesta, the Big Lottery Fund and the Heritage Lottery Fund launched Rethinking Parks, a programme to identify and support the best new business models for public parks. We’re offering a total of £1m, and up to £100,000 per project, for the best new ideas that will sustain our public parks in to the next decade.
At the Locality Convention last week Bernadette McAliskey quoted Tom Paine’s 'Rights of Man', reminding us that authority comes not from on high, neither from monarchs nor from governments, but only from the people.
ISSUE 516, NOVEMBER 2013 *SPECIAL FOCUS ON LOCAL ECONOMIC EXPERIMENTS*
The idea of really local economics suggests that there might be some way to bang together this base metal and turn it into a regenerated economy – in certain circumstances. A group of us have been talking informally to the Treasury about this, and have tried to shape an understanding of the opportunities and what stands in their way.
Across the UK places are rethinking local economic development. Recession and austerity may have prompted the rethink but, for many areas, the new economics is proving a more effective and equitable way to create and sustain communities.
I was struck by some who conveyed a sense that the future was about actually creating economies which were less about individuals, and more about the collective represented by communities and common heritage. Indeed, I left with the bullish speaker’s words ringing in my ears, who followed up his bad language with a much more poetic comment: ‘We need to bust the bubble by thinking less about me and more about us’. Ripper!