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

'Big Society' in the UK: a policy review

K. Evans

Children and Society, vol. 25, 2011, p. 164-171

This article reviews the key features of the Conservative Party's Big Society policies against their stated aims of rebalancing the economy and mending socially and politically 'Broken Britain', with particular reference to their implications for children and voluntary organisations working with them. It explores the role of the Big Society in public service reform, in the promotion of active citizenship, and in the creation of new accountability and transparency in government.

The English Indices of Deprivation 2010

Department of Communities and Local Government

2011

This release updates the English Indices of Deprivation 2007. The English Indices of Deprivation measure relative levels of deprivation in small areas of England called Lower Layer Super Output Areas. Most of the indicators used in these statistics are from 2008.

Key results from the report are:

  • over 5 million people lived in the most deprived areas in England in 2008 and 38 per cent of them were income deprived
  • Liverpool, Middlesbrough, Manchester, Knowsley, the City of Kingston-upon Hull, Hackney and Tower Hamlets are the local authorities with the highest proportion of Lower Layer Super Output Areas amongst the most deprived in England
  • 98 per cent of the most deprived Lower Layer Super Output Areas are in urban areas but there are also pockets of deprivation across rural areas
  • 56 per cent of Local Authorities contain at least one Lower Layer Super Output Area amongst the 10 per cent most deprived in England
  • 88 per cent of the Lower Layer Super Output Areas that are the most deprived in 2010 were also amongst the most deprived in 2007.

URL: http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/statistics/pdf/1871208.pdf

Poverty, power and policy dilemmas: lessons from the community empowerment programme in England

J.P. Houghton and T. Blume

Journal of Urban Regeneration and Renewal, vol. 4, 2011, p. 207-217

Between 2001 and 2008 the New Labour Government spent 200m on the community empowerment programme. The programme was a radical attempt to make local residents the driving force for the National Strategy for Neighbourhood Renewal. The programme was designed to do two things: strengthen grassroots organisations in poor neighbourhoods by supporting small-scale community activities, and then give those organisations an independent voice in the decisions that would affect them by building new Community Empowerment Networks. However the original ambition of the programme, to empower communities to become equal partners in neighbourhood renewal, was undermined by inconsistent central government policy and opposition from local authorities. The programme did succeed in pioneering new participative methods, which are increasingly commonplace.

Recognising ownership in regeneration: developing a mutual neighbourhood

R. Rowlands

Journal of Urban Regeneration and Renewal, vol. 4, 2011, p.240-254

The present economic climate in the UK has opened a window of opportunity for developing cooperative and mutual structures. For housing and regeneration, there is a unique opportunity for mutual structures and organisations to make an impact. This paper introduces the notion of the mutual neighbourhood as the catalyst as well as the vision for more sustainable communities. The first section explores the benefits of mutual forms of organisation at the neighbourhood level. The second part raises the question of the role of ownership and economic participation in today's world. The final section considers how these elements may be better linked at the neighbourhood and city level in regeneration programmes. It develops the concept of a 'mutual triangle' to illustrate how mutualism can be realised for individual and collective benefit.

Urban regeneration partnerships: a figurational critique of governmentality theory

J. Lever

Sociology, vol. 45, 2011, p. 86-101

This article begins by examining the foundations of figurational sociology to develop a strategy to explore the changes taking place through urban regeneration partnerships that have proliferated in the UK in recent decades. While such partnerships have the potential to be the motor of the civilising process, it is argued that this potential is currently being undermined by an institutional framework that hinders the ability of partners to make choices in a way that addresses the problems urban areas face. To illustrate these arguments, the article draws on research examining urban regeneration and partnership working in Bristol in the field of community safety. Through a focus on attempts to increase the number of problem drug users in treatment, this article illustrates the impact of urban regeneration partnerships on the individuals, communities and organisations involved.

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