Now that the state has decided not to provide homes at subsidised rent and to encourage the remaining low cost rent homes to be sold, what are the options for people on low incomes? Who is left to see that there are gaps – gaping holes being made ever wider – in social provision, but then crucially have the means to do something about it?
October 2015 - Page 2 of 3 - NewStart
New Start is partnering with Local Trust to explore how residents and local authorities can collaborate to achieve lasting change in communities. In a climate of widespread reductions to funding for public services, what are the benefits and challenges of collaboration?
It was a persuasive vision of a future economy – more connected, democratic, using peer to peer and sharing relationships to deliver the needs of individuals and communities, a flourishing of independent businesses and social enterprises in Bristol and cities across the world. A great shift in who owns the economy with informed participation and greater political engagement.
The launch of New London Architecture’s exhibition of 100 Innovations in Housing is timely, given the crisis we are in.
Despite the significant challenges facing councils, there are still a number of ways which local authorities can tackle poverty at the local level. As the austerity driven policy context means that poverty can no longer be addressed through special initiatives, places need to use their existing powers and relationships to collaborate and address the issue in a coordinated manner.
People value quality relationships; they want them to be a core part of public services; but many aren’t experiencing these quality relationships with service providers enough of the time. This is the Groucho Marx challenge for public services: to paraphrase: ‘I’ve had a good experience… but this wasn’t it.’
Over the years, I have been to dozens of party conferences across all the political parties. Given the opportunity, I have always tried to speak up for local government and local economics. However, in an oppressively centralised democracy, economy and media, this is a minority sport.
We elect a government to represent our collective interests and on our behalf, collect our taxes to fund education, health, infrastructure and services for vulnerable members of our society. How is that different from a rural village collectively investing to fund and operate a community owned shop, wind generation project or faster broadband?
The contemporary political discourse about localism, decentralisation and economic growth all too often seemingly omits or downplays the importance of growing social capital and the contribution communities can and should make towards these wider agendas. This has to change. This autumn’s party conferences ought to have provided the platforms for this – but have they?
We struggled to pin down the link between the prospective City Deal the Cardiff region will soon be producing, and the outcomes we’d just collectively identified as top priorities for Cardiff’s local economy.