SEWCED is a vital component of a suite of support instilling more of a business mentality into the social enterprise sector. With unprecedented cuts facing the public sector, a cumulative reduction in available funding is inevitable. Inculcating self-sufficiency among the social enterprise base is therefore essential.
January 2014 - NewStart
Community ownership does work. Garden cities are not to be places of charity and paternalism but places of citizenship and empowerment.
Innovation is sometimes presented as something complex but often the most innovative thing a service or organisation can do is to listen to its audience, its recipients, its potential partners, and engage properly with them. Not through tick-box consultation, but meaningfully.
Anyone who knows what makes their local community tick will understand the importance of a thriving charity and social enterprise sector. However, the economic impact of this sector is often less discussed.
Broad community ownership of renewable energy in particular could go some way to transforming the distribution of wealth in the UK, since some of the poorest areas have some of the best renewable energy resources.
In a new report - The role and value of local authority assets in town centres, the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES), and the Association of Public Service Excellence (APSE) have detailed the important role that the total of £250bn of council assets play in our town, district and city centres.
The current social, environmental, economic and political challenges facing communities across the country will not be solved by centrally-driven policies alone, any more than they will be effectively addressed by individual agencies, or by either markets or state only solutions.
The UK Common Rights project draws attention to the everyday struggles that homeless people face to access the things they need for life: shelter, food, water and sanitation. The campaign also highlights the fact that these rights are meant to be guaranteed in the UN Declaration of Human Rights, and its subsequent interpretation by the committee on economic social and cultural rights.
In my view, the chancellor’s plan is bad news for struggling families and communities that, despite green shoots elsewhere, may now never recover from the recession should this current economic strategy continue. Now that austerity does not mean fiscal prudence, the debate about the future role of the state in building good economies, intervening in market failure and tackling poverty, needs to be challenged and seized. Obviously, this needs to be done in new ways.