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Welfare reform on the Web (December 2006): Community regeneration and development - UK

Community participation: who benefits?

P. Skidmore, K. Bound and H. Lownsbrough

York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2006

This report explores whether policies to involve people in making decisions about their own communities are effective in building strong social networks. It questions the wisdom of such policies and suggests that community dynamics and relationships can in fact make good governance hard to achieve. Through detailed case studies in two areas, and a review of other research, the authors investigate key factors influencing participation in governance. They argue that community participation tends to be dominated by a small group of people and suggest ways in which formal participation arrangements could more effectively engage with informal social networks.

Security clearance

J. Flint and I. Cole

Roof, Nov./Dec. 2006, p.25-28

Reports research on how people affected by housing renewal and regeneration programmes can be supported through the process of demolition and relocation. The research showed that:

  1. Owner-occupiers affected by demolition receive statutory compensation packages that include the market value of their existing property. However, these are often insufficient to enable the purchase of a suitable alternative property. Additional financial support packages for owner-occupiers are required.
  2. Residents need to be able to access comprehensive and clear advice about the demolition process and their alternative housing options from a range of experts.
  3. The capacities of individual householders and communities to engage with developers in strategic planning activities need to be built up.

Understanding the stranger: building bridges community handbook

N. Amas and B. Crosland

London: Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, 2006

The book examines 21 projects from across the UK that aim to mediate tension and build bridges between local host communities and asylum seekers and refugees. The projects included are drawn from both the statutory and non-statutory sector and include small-scale grassroots initiatives in urban settings. The main purpose of the book is to generate new thinking about practical initiatives that might contribute positively to local integration, community and personal development, increasing understanding and improving public services. The handbook provides ideas, guidance, and contacts for practitioners to assist them in their work and to make lessons learnt in one neighbourhood available to others.

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