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Welfare Reform on the Web (August 2006): Community regeneration and development - UK

Abusive partnerships: new forms of governance, new forms of abuse?

M. Rowe

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol.26, 2006, p.207-219

This article presents a series of anonymised case studies of abusive relationships within regeneration partnerships. In the first case study, the local authority which had been awarded regeneration funding mistrusted local residents and introduced unnecessarily strict systems which ensured that all decisions were vetted and controlled by itself. In the second case study, rather than negotiating priorities, the local authority seized control of the regeneration funds and developed its own programme, which was presented to partners as a fait accompli. In the third case study, a network of service providers formed a partnership and colluded in awarding its funds to their own projects, excluding organisations not directly involved in the club. In the final case study, an abusive Accountable Body manipulated and split the regeneration partnership board so as to take control of decision-making and funding allocation.

Clear off: when regeneration forces out residents

S. Ellery

Roof, July/Aug. 2006, p.18-23

Homeowners and leaseholders living in areas where regeneration schemes are being implemented by local councils are being forced out of their homes. Councils buy up their properties using Compulsory Purchase Orders under which owners are paid the current market value of their homes plus 10%. Following regeneration, house prices and rents rocket to levels which local residents cannot afford, forcing them to leave the area.

Collaborative partnerships and urban change management: the renewal of Manchester City Centre

G. Williams

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol.26, 2006, p.194-206

Article explores the regeneration of Manchester City Centre following its terrorist bombing in June 2006. The key agency involved in delivering the renewal programme was the Manchester Millennium Task Force, the City Council being the accountable body responsible for ensuring probity and political legitimacy. The Task Force was a short life body which completed its work in Spring 2000, by which time the core of the rebuilding programme had been completed. The article looks at the management structures put in place to deliver the renewal programme and how the Task Force represented an entrepreneurial partnership of private and public interests focused on a common goal.

Equality and regeneration: conflicting priorities?

S. Speeden

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol.26, 2006, p.220-228

A series of interviews with regeneration managers has suggested that they assume that there is an existing equality focus in regeneration which is expressed through policies, targets and objectives for the social inclusion of vulnerable groups. However this falls short of the emerging requirement for “mainstreamed” equality practice. The new equality agenda requires that all activities should be examined for their equalities impact, not just those directed at an excluded or disadvantaged group. It is important that regeneration managers engage with equality management as a distinctive focus of activity.

Out with the old

J. Perry

Public Finance, June 23rd-29th 2006, p.22-23

The housing market renewal programme aims to regenerate rundown areas through the replacement or refurbishment of poor housing. However it is now under threat from the loss of its champion John Prescott and loud protests against demolition from the media and the pressure group Save.

Regeneration for all? Measuring and enhancing levels of Black and other racial minorities’ economic activity

S. Pemberton and others

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 26, 2006, p.229-244

This article explores the issue of whether it is possible to determine if minority ethnic groups are benefiting from regeneration initiatives on the basis of available data. It draws on official social and economic statistics and on qualitative interview data to present a case study of the impact of regeneration initiatives on levels of minority ethnic employment and economic activity in Liverpool. It concludes by presenting several options for improving data collection at the local level which need to be considered alongside improved methods for minority group engagement in order to derive better intelligence on which to base employment-focused initiatives.

“We shed tears, but there is no one there to wipe them”: narratives of (mis)trust in a materially deprived community

P. Ward and A. Coates

Health, vol.10, 2006, p.283-301

Findings from a qualitative study of a materially deprived community in Northern England, which originally intended to explore local residents’ views of proposed changes to health care provision, revealed widespread feelings of distrust. At the individual level, participants distrusted their GPs, many of whom were locums ignorant of family circumstances and medical histories. At the system level, participants’ expressed distrust of institutions and organisations at all levels of state bureaucracy, including the Primary Care Trust, the Local Education Authority, the council, the Environment Agency and the Labour government. This general scepticism and distrust arose from long experience of disinvestment in the locality, loss of services and broken promises by a range of organisations. Feelings of social exclusion and disembededness went hand-in-hand with feelings of mistrust. To compound this, participants felt that their voices had not been heard or taken seriously.

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