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Welfare Reform on the Web (February 2006): Community Regeneration and Development - UK

The dark side of community development

N. Wilson

Planning Theory and Practice, vol.6, 2005, p.519-526

Author uses her personal experiences of community development work to illustrate two unpalatable truths. The first is that it can be very difficult for community development professionals to make any headway in areas where mistrust of outsiders is part of the culture. The second is that participatory approaches to community regeneration in Britain may fail because of deeper structural problems and contradictions in the philosophy they adopt. Problems that emerged in the author’s experience included: the hijacking of the partnership by agencies only interested in grabbing money and residents only interested in raising their status; failure by residents to understand the bureaucratic constraints on use of regeneration funding; and constant public criticism and humiliation of the professional workers.

Looking inside public involvement: how is it made so ineffective and can we change this?

S. Connelly

Community Development Journal, vol.41, 2006, p.13-24

Communities across Britain are faced with ever-increasing opportunities to participate in policy formulation and implementation through a range of consultation exercises, partnerships, fora, etc. However, at best these initiatives have limited impacts, and at worst they appear to be cynical public relations exercises. Article presents a case study of an ineffective attempt a public involvement in Local Agenda 21 to show how the influence of competing policy actors and the internal processes used to manage the consultation can subvert even the most promising initiatives.

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