December 2013 - NewStart

The great house price divide

The Smith Institute’s report on the Great House Price Divide, which we published today, shows how house prices in England and Wales have changed in 179 areas over the past six years. While in inner London prices have risen by more than 30%, in most other parts of the country prices have fallen sharply – by 15% in the Midlands and by over 20% in the North. In Hartlepool prices are 48% below what they were in 2007; in Liverpool 33% down; in Lancashire 25% down; in Sheffield 18% down; in Birmingham 14% down; in Derby 18% down; and in Greater Manchester 17% down.

Three tips for local government in 2014

Of course it helps to have a common enemy. In this case there was united agreement that the higher levels of local government did not give their town a fair crack of the whip. Their determination to see a fairer deal for their town united them; with only periodic elections forcing them to polarise towards their political ideals. Why can’t Westminster politics be like this?

Jim Diers: Disrupting the relationship between citizens and state

Jim Diers has been involved in asset-based community development (ABCD) since the 1970s. He’s seen how places can be transformed by giving communities the freedom to take control and make the most of their assets. Here he talks to New Start about the power of community-building and how the time is now ripe for a changed dynamic between citizens and the state.

Social value that can transform places

We need better relationships across the public, private and social sectors to improve social outcomes, and social value commissioning offers a route to making this happen. In a context in which public service reform is frequently reduced to the politics of efficiency and fiscal correction, we need to sustain the argument that long-term gains are to be found in supporting citizens to be independent, productive and socially mobile.

Local authority banks – the door is open!

There is a now a very clear message that the UK is open for new banks and that local authorities have options they could only dream of in the past! The question now is how many of them are aware of the new opportunities to do much more than just find a safe haven for reserves. Those same reserves could be leveraged to fuel local economies and drive much needed revenue to provision local authority services.

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