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Welfare Reform on the Web (December 2005): Community Regeneration and Development - UK

The communities we are regaining but need to lose: a critical commentary on community-building in beyond-place societies

N. Sprigings and C. Allen

Community, Work and Family, vo.8, 2005, p.389-411

New Labour has sought to regenerate sink estates by encouraging mutual aid, inter-household co-operation and community self-help. Authors argue that this approach is counter-productive in that it seeks to anchor disadvantaged people in unpopular areas and denies them the choice of improving their lot by moving elsewhere. Public housing managers need to facilitate mobility rather than trapping people in disadvantaged areas through the creation of restrictive obligations. The focus on local community in the form of mutual aid and obligation can further socially exclude people who are already disadvantaged from the policy frameworks that support choice for others.

The institutional logic of neighbourhoods

L. Heley

Learning for Democracy, vol.1, no.3, 2005, p.41-55

Describes how a neighbourhood management project in Basildon, Essex acted as a vehicle for the revival of local democracy. Involvement with the institutions created by the project (the partnership board, theme groups and the elected neighbourhood committee) has enabled local residents to influence decisions about local services and has created leadership at local level.

New Labour: choice and values

B. Jordan

Critical Social Policy, vol.25, 2005, p.427-446

Author argues that there are real tensions between the "choice agenda" in public service reform and the government's new emphasis on community cohesion, renewal of civil society and respect. These tensions threaten to unravel the New Labour vision of citizenship as a combination of individual autonomy in a market environment and social responsibility based on family and community membership.

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