Politicians and leaders should also read Unwin’s book, in which she calls for ‘a new agreement that recognises a shared interest in reducing poverty' and a more rational discussion about the sort of society we want to address ‘the greatest social challenge facing social policy in the twenty first century and to maximise the skills and contributions of all our citizens’. Unwin is right that this is one of the greatest challenges for social policy.
Features Archive - Page 271 of 365 - NewStart
The government’s recent announcement of a cap on payday loans and its commitment to a voluntary framework for disclosure of lending data are two pieces in a jigsaw of ensuring access to fair finance for all communities. But the whole picture will only emerge once we get real commitment to a strategic approach to tackling under-served markets.
Who’s to say whether this UCAN is the best advice centre in the country? It barely matters, no-one’s after prizes. But commissioning a blog and hearing the firsthand stories of desperation, resilience and achievement is a novel strategy of communicating the work at the sharp end of a large housing provider.
What started with slightly anarchic plantings in public places is actually a model that can begin to reconnect communities and local economies. People are thinking differently about the town as a whole too, with an edible Green Route that connects the health centre, theatre, market, station and canal towpath, bringing a sense of unity to the town and creating important habitats for pollinating insects.
The report also reminds us that neighbourhood-level interventions can and do have an impact. Undoubtedly helped by general economic growth, the Blair government’s multi-billion pound battery of programmes and interventions aimed at the poorest areas did deliver meaningful improvements and started to narrow the gap between them and the rest of the country.
The Pop Up Talent programme puts a new twist on helping young people find a job they love and connect with local employers.
This month Nesta, the Big Lottery Fund and the Heritage Lottery Fund launched Rethinking Parks, a programme to identify and support the best new business models for public parks. We’re offering a total of £1m, and up to £100,000 per project, for the best new ideas that will sustain our public parks in to the next decade.
At the Locality Convention last week Bernadette McAliskey quoted Tom Paine’s 'Rights of Man', reminding us that authority comes not from on high, neither from monarchs nor from governments, but only from the people.
The idea of really local economics suggests that there might be some way to bang together this base metal and turn it into a regenerated economy – in certain circumstances. A group of us have been talking informally to the Treasury about this, and have tried to shape an understanding of the opportunities and what stands in their way.
Across the UK places are rethinking local economic development. Recession and austerity may have prompted the rethink but, for many areas, the new economics is proving a more effective and equitable way to create and sustain communities.