It’s been an exciting week for Social and Sustainable Capital - we are launching our first fund with £20m of commitments, which will allow us to offer substantial investment to charities and social enterprises.
February 2014 - NewStart
Woking, Stoke-on-Trent and Haringey are just three of the local authorities taking charge of their own energy supplies
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.
From the Jarrow March to Jack Kerouac, travelling has always surfaced voices that weren’t being heard and uncovered new ways of solving problems. It’s a method that’s always been used in developing countries, it’s an effective tool social enterprises & charities can use to better understand the people they serve.
It’s the ‘leg up’ the sector needed to redistribute the FIT income streams back to the community and the third sector – where it is originally sourced – instead of going to the very few.
If you want really shocking reality television about social security then I suggest you tune in to Parliament TV. Watch Lord Freud in front of the all-party Work and Pensions Committee refusing to exempt disabled people from the spare room subsidy even if they need the room for specialist equipment or a carer.
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.
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.
The voluntary and community sectors must argue for the repeal of the lobbying bill, find their voice on ‘welfare reform’ and growing poverty and inequality, and advocate alternative social, environmental and economic policies.
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.