February 2014 - NewStart

Social recession needs action right now

So for all the buzzy plural intellectualism, around some great new ideas, we should never forget the uses of old, maybe 'crude' policy stuff. And for those who genuinely wish to deal with social issues, we might need to spend less time empathising with the plurality of possible positions and straining for mutual way forwards. Instead we should be condemning clear injustice and apportion blame and do something. Right now.

Bank lending data by postcode – what does it tell us?

In summary, while it's certainly a 'thumbs-up' that banks are starting to reveal this information, there is still a lot more that can be done – with little cost to the banks. More transparent organisations can only build more trust in the financial system as a whole. More information to local organisations can only improve how we serve our communities and protect the most financially vulnerable in society.

Support for those who need it most? Not if the local welfare provision grant is abolished

Residents affected by the abolition of the local welfare provision grant are the same residents already reeling from a series of recent welfare reforms that reduce their social security. It seems a big ask to expect local authorities to find resources from within their general fund to cover this latest reduction in funding given the level of cuts they are already facing, but this is the government’s current suggestion for any area that wants to offer support from April 2015.

We need laser-like focus on better jobs in our cities

That’s why Leeds City Council, Leeds City Region and JRF are today launching a partnership to better understand the relationship between poverty and the economy at the city regional level. It aims to identity what can be done – and by whom - to create more and better jobs to lift people and places out of poverty. This innovative partnership will produce practical research to shape policy and services in the Leeds area, but the results and learning will be relevant to and shared with other cities.

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