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Welfare Reform on the Web (August 2002): Community Regeneration and Development - UK

BARRIERS TO INVOLVEMENT: THE DISCONNECTED WORLDS OF DISABILITY AND REGENERATION

C. Edwards

Local Economy, vol. 17, 2002, p. 123-135

Paper explores some of the barriers to disabled people's involvement in local regeneration initiatives, focusing on the Single Regeneration Budget (SRB). These include a lack of strategic recognition that disabled people are relevant to regeneration, difficulties with the SRB's centrally imposed outputs and timescales, a lack of accessible information for disabled people, and circumscribed political networks that serve to marginalise certain disability groups from local regeneration processes.

CAPACITY BUILDING AND BRITISH CREDIT UNION DEVELOPMENT

D. Fuller and A.E.G. Jonas

Local Economy, vol. 17, 2002, p. 157-163

Paper seeks to outline a range of challenges and forces of change that British credit unions are facing in the immediate future, and attempts to highlight some of their implications in relation to notions of capacity building.

COLLABORATION AND CO-ORDINATION IN AREA-BASED INITIATIVES

M. Stewart and others

London: Neighbourhood Renewal Unit, 2002 (Research report; 1)

Report begins by focusing on the changing context within which area based initiatives (ABIs) have operated. It goes on to look at the relationship of ABIs to mainstreaming and the extent to which lessons have been learned about mainstream activity. The theme of collaboration is then pursued in more depth, in four sections, which examine different perspectives on integration. These cover:

  • vertical relations between the centre, region and locality;
  • strategy as an integrating driver and the emerging role of Local Strategic Partnerships;
  • networking as a mechanism for integration;
  • delivery as the focus for collaboration.

COMMUNITY AND INDIVIDUAL: TWO PERSPECTIVES ON INCLUSION AND VULNERABILITY

L. Watson

Housing, Care and Support, vol. 5, May 2002, p4-11

Paper explores the connections between three different strands of social policy:

  • support to strengthen and stabilise communities or neighbourhoods;
  • support and care for individuals living or settling within communities;
  • the potential and willingness of communities to support and act inclusively towards vulnerable people.

The paper also posits a tension between the "consumerist" (individual) and "collective" (group) approaches to service delivery, which may be inhibiting effective policy and practice.

THE COMMUNITY FINANCE AND LEARNING INITIATIVE

N. Oatley

Local Economy, vol. 17, 2002, p. 163- 167

The Community Finance and Learning Initiative aims to combat financial exclusion by promoting learning opportunities in adult numeracy and literacy (including financial literacy) and facilitating access to mainstream financial services.

DRAFT GUIDANCE ON COMMUNITY COHESION

Local Government Association and others

London: 2002

Draft guidance gives local authorities a key role in overcoming racial tensions and creating cohesive communities. Identifies local strategic partnerships as the preferred means of bringing different sectors of the community together. There is also heavy emphasis on forced integration through allocation of social housing. Regeneration is highlighted as an area that could lead to tensions between communities as they compete for resources, but mainstreaming is not promoted as a solution.

HARNESSING COMMUNITY SELF-HELP: SOME LESSIONS FROM RURAL ENGLAND

C.C. Williams

Local Economy, vol. 17, 2002, p.136-146

Paper critically evaluates the implications of harnessing community self-help by developing the current range of community-based groups. It reveals that participation in such groups is primarily by higher-income households who use them to bolster their own social support networks. If community self-help is to be used to provide material aid to the poorest, paper suggests employing a strategy of encouraging one-to-one reciprocity among low-income households, through initiatives such as employee mutuals and time banks.

INVESTING IN THE COMMUNITY

P. McCurry

Voluntary Sector, June 2002, p. 18-19

Describes the role of Community Development Finance Institutions which channel funds from the private, public and voluntary sectors into businesses in deprived areas and social enterprises.

NEIGHBOURHOODS UNDER STRESS: IS THERE A SENSE OF COMMUNITY?

G. Lemos

Housing, Care and Support, vol. 5, May 2002, p. 12-17

Research suggests some essential elements required for the promotion of "thriving neighbourhoods" in which all can be comfortable and prosper. These include:

  • policy and financial support for mutual aid, self-help and civil society;
  • improvement of failing public services in poor communities;
  • effective professional support to help vulnerable people form local networks and integrate into their communities;
  • ensuring racial equality and freedom from victimisation.

REGENERATING HEALTH IN COMMUNITIES: VOICES FROM THE INNER CITY

L. East

Critical Social Policy, vol. 22, 2002, p. 147-173

Study explored the views of groups of neighbourhood residents, voluntary and professional workers on factors affecting the health of their community and on the identification of health related projects which had been successful or unsuccessful. There was virtually no common ground between the various community groups. Locally perceived threats to health such as a waste incinerator appeared to offer the best chance of uniting the groups in collective action, but were unlikely to appear on the agenda of health and council organisations. The diversity of "local voices" has implications for the concept of "community as partner" in public health and regeneration initiatives.

RESIDENT SERVICES ORGANISATIONS: LEARNING FROM REAL LIFE

PEP

Manchester: 2002

Resident Services Organisations (RSOs) are community-led enterprises, based in neighbourhoods, employing local residents to deliver local services. PEP developed the RSO model in the mid-1990s as a new tool for regeneration, drawing on the experience of a range of community enterprises in the UK and France. This study involved the development of pilot projects in Ore Valley, Hastings and in Stepney, East London to test the model in practice.

THINKING LOCALLY, ACTING NATIONALLY: LESSONS FOR POLICY FROM LOCAL ACTION ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

C. Church and J. Elster

York: York Publishing Services, 2002

Report looks at the impact of local community-focused programmes and projects and the lessons that can be drawn from this local activity for national policy. Finds the socio-economic impacts of such projects are more apparent than the environmental ones. They include job creation, training, community development and capacity building. However they also build awareness of, and engagement with, environmental issues, and supporting individual and collective environmental action. If the role of local action in sustainable development is to increase, there is a need for:

  • more supportive policy frameworks;
  • changes to funding mechanisms and support for structures;
  • greater recognition of the value of community-focused projects.
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