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Distinctive city strategies – authentic or formulaic?

In the context of the economic slump and intensified competition for jobs and investment, cities must promote their distinctiveness and develop ‘differential advantages’ that other cities cannot reproduce. People should not resort to formulaic responses – high tech industries, talent attraction, signature buildings and consumer brand identities. Instead we need constructive suggestions for developing more (more…)

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Ministers must commit to shared banking

Before the banking crisis we had major banks closing branches, often the last one standing, in deprived communities including Liverpool Kensington that are receiving regeneration money and beginning to look up. Also suffering were rural communities, estates and poorer suburbia. Now that the banks are strapped for cash and look likely to be making losses (more…)

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Social enterprises – your time is now!

Can social enterprises grow in a recession? I think they can. By nature they tend to be resilient and resourceful. The very good level of support being offered by the Scottish Government is a real shot in the arm. This will give social enterprises with a sound business plan access to capital in an economy (more…)

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Many voices and points of agreement

I’m still recovering from a hectic day travelling up the A1 with the Eventus team to deliver a creative consultation event on accommodation for homeless young people for Broadacres Housing Association. The boxes are being unpacked; we have the easy job of putting resources back on shelves; and the exhilarating but terrifying job of making (more…)

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Training for the future

Correct and relevant skills training is essential not only to lift ourselves from the current recession, but to enable the UK to compete globally once things improve. I have produced a video giving advice on training and outlining my predictions on the severity of the recession. To watch the video click here. chrishumphries

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Pink shoots of recovery

I bought my first forced rhubarb of the year yesterday. For those of you not in the know forced rhubarb is a bit of a Yorkshire thing – it’s either grown in mysterious candle lit sheds, or, on a smaller scale, under a terracotta cloche. The darkness tricks the plant into working harder to find (more…)

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Can personalisation survive the credit crunch?

One of the big ideas in public services reform in recent years has been the need for greater personalisation. A key driver for this was the sense that public services had to catch up with an increasingly demanding public that expects the same options, flexibility and targeted information from their schools and hospitals as they (more…)

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Stepping on third sector toes

I do quite a lot of work with third sector organisations which are exploring what they might call “becoming a social enterprise”. That tends to mean developing a new service, or selling an existing service to a new customer group. One phrase I hear a lot is “We don’t want to step on anyone’s toes”. (more…)

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