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Welfare Reform on the Web (May 2012): Community regeneration and development - UK

Accession 8 migration and the proactive and defensive engagement of social citizenship

J. Cooke, P. Dwyer and L. Waite

Journal of Social Policy, vol. 41, 2012, p. 329-347

The enlargement of the European Union in 2004 extended rights to live and work in other member states to nationals of the Accession 8 (A8) countries. Consequently, over one million Central and East European migrants entered the UK to take up paid work. This paper initially considers competing evidence about the impact of A8 migration on employment opportunities and housing provision in the inner city communities that host many new migrant groups. Although some research argues that A8 migration has brought many positive gains, using new data from a study in a northern city alongside wider available literature, this article presents evidence that many members of the established communities that live alongside A8 migrants believe that their opportunities have been adversely affected by the arrival of these groups. It is then argued that the reactions of established communities are best understood in terms of defensive and proactive citizenship engagement. As A8 migrants positively engage with their newly acquired citizenship right to live and work in the UK, they engender a form of defensive citizenship among established communities who often perceive the newly arrived A8 migrants as being in direct competition for local jobs and welfare resources.

Big society projects get 600m fund

N. Watt

The Guardian, Apr. 4th 2012, p. 5

David Cameron attempted to breathe fresh life into his flagging 'big society' initiative when he launched a 600m fund to support grassroots social projects. The prime minister announced that 400m from dormant bank accounts would be used to help finance the scheme, dubbed Big Society Capital. A further 200m would come from Britain's four largest high street banks - Barclays, Lloyds, HSBC and RBS. The fund would help local groups take control of their post office and provide capital for charities and voluntary groups bidding for government contracts. There would be a strong focus on helping the long-term unemployed back into work.

Evidencing the impact of community engagement in neighbourhood regeneration: the case of Canley, Coventry

D. Jarvis, N. Berkeley and K. Broughton

Community Development Journal, vol. 47, 2012, p. 232-247

The importance of involving local people in regenerating their communities was at the heart of New Labour government policy. However, in reality delivering community-led regeneration has proved complex and its benefits difficult to measure. Using the sustainable communities framework developed by Egan (2004), this study examines the importance of community engagement in addressing the drivers of neighbourhood deprivation in the context of Canley, Coventry. The research highlights that a key factor behind Canley's persistent deprivation was the historic absence of community engagement. A lack of social capital, a lack of trust between residents and between residents and public agencies, high levels of transience and weak attachment to place are shown to have underpinned this. The level of mistrust between the residents and the local authority was shown to make the successful implementation of regeneration programmes difficult to achieve. Notwithstanding the absence of national programme funding, the process of rebuilding trust has begun, informed by a statistical evidence base, underpinned by private and public sector involvement and driven by a commitment from communities to transform their neighbourhood.

Swimming against the tide: a study of a neighbourhood trying to rediscover its 'reason for being': the case of South Bank, Redcar, Cleveland

D. McGuiness and others

Local Economy, vol. 27, 2012, p. 251-264

South Bank in Teesside could be characterised as a place locked into a downward spiral of multiple deprivation, housing market failure, declining population and a bad reputation. These problems are deeply entrenched and have proved resistant to successive regeneration attempts. However, the area does have a strong sense of community, with residents displaying a strong commitment to the area. In the context of spending cuts under the Coalition government, public funding for regeneration has largely dried up. This article considers an alternative approach: the potential of private sector retail-led regeneration.

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