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Welfare Reform on the Web (February 2011): Community regeneration and development - UK

Between economic competitiveness and social inclusion: New Labour and the economic revival of deprived neighbourhoods

S. Syrett and D. North

Local Economy, vol. 25, 2010, p. 476-493

Following its election in 1997, the first New Labour government introduced a raft of policy initiatives aimed at revitalising deprived neighbourhood. However, sustained policy activity over the following 13 years produced little impact on the spatial patterns of disadvantage. Successive New Labour governments struggled both to confront the economic basis of the problems and to put in place the necessary governance arrangements to tackle them. This article reviews the development of policy in relation to the economic regeneration of deprived neighbourhoods under New Labour. Focusing on the two key areas of work and enterprise, it identifies the nature and rationales of interventions and critically appraises their impact.

LETS as alternative, post-capitalist economic spaces? Learning lessons from Totnes 'Acorn'

R.C. Granger, J. Wringe and P. Andrews

Local Economy, vol.25, 2010, p. 573-585

LETS (Local exchange trading schemes) are co-operative and socio-economic exchange networks which trade in goods and services in local communities without the need for a national currency. Drawing on a case study of the Totnes Acorn, this article considers the continued relevance of LETS in the context of recession, rising public debt and national austerity measures and against competing initiatives such as local currencies, time banks and the Big Society campaign.

New neighbourhoods, new citizens? Challenging 'community' as a framework for social and moral regeneration under New Labour in the UK

A. Wallace

International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, vol. 34, 2010, p. 805-819

In trying to disentangle the threads of social policy rhetoric and practice woven by New Labour, a key concept that emerges is that of 'community'. This article argues that New Labour deployed a particular model of community as a framework for its regeneration policies. New Labour's version of 'community' depoliticised social relations and assumed a degree of homogeneity and unity within neighbourhoods which did not exist. New Labour sought to regenerate poor neighbourhoods by striving to create a social order in which people behaved differently rather than one in which resources were distributed differently.

Poverty and social work

G. Mantle and D. Backwith

British Journal of Social Work, vol. 40, 2010, p. 2380-2397

This article explores the conceptual, policy and practical links between poverty and community-oriented social work. It argues that social workers should be directly involved in the relief of poverty and that the approach most likely to prove successful in this context is one in which practitioners retain close contact with local communities, working in partnership with a joint focus on prevention and empowerment. In order to tackle poverty, social workers will engage with and mobilise collective action within poor communities. For example, they will look for ways to help poor people avoid loan sharks through the establishment of credit unions. They will also play a vital part in maximising opportunities for the development of asset-based welfare schemes in local communities.

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