14 March 2008 | Volume 10 No 425 | Informing and inspiring people who make a difference where it matters
Are you on
the right
How to avoid the
wrong turnings
on the route to
New Start – the independent voice of regeneration
Analysis: Are wouldbe beacons hiding
their light under a
bushel?... page 11
12 We say: Comment
‘There’s no evidence that the
poor are held back because the
rich can’t fulfil their ambitions.
That’s classic trickle-down
economics: if you have more
money than you know what
to do with, it creates jobs for
butlers and valets.’
13 You say: Debate
Neil de Reybekill assesses
our battle with the bottle
and where policymakers are
going wrong.
13 Column: Tony Hawkhead
‘One in six households now
lives in fuel poverty according
to an Observer survey. Gordon
Brown is reported to have
met with energy suppliers
recently – can we expect a
windfall tax in the budget?’
Learning: How
Welsh communities
are being digitally
enhanced... page 20
15 Column: Keren Suchecki
‘I’ve been pondering my
leaving do. Get in early before
you leave when everyone’s
still up for it, or go for it later
when everyone’s liver feels
like it’s being mentored by
Amy Winehouse?’
15 Worklife: Significant others
and career ladder.
16 Cover feature: Susan
Downer and Barry McCarthy
profile three approaches to
becoming self-financing.
Inspiration: The exNRU man putting
pedestrian interests
first... page 22
19 Feature: Local economic
policy simply doesn’t fit with
the dangers posed by climate
change. Peter North considers
the options.
24 Diary: Forthcoming events
and conferences.
Job of the week: Capacity building officer, All Saints and
Blakenhall Community Development, £28,172-£30,598
2 14 march 2008 new start
Only cities free from remote
control can deliver effective
regeneration, says think tank
by Rosie Niven
[email protected]
Cities with freedom to innovate are
more successful when it comes to delivering change, a study of international
urban policy revealed this week.
The report by right wing think
tank Policy Exchange and research
organisation Localis, which examined six city regions across the globe,
said that when areas were at the
mercy of bureaucrats hundreds or
even thousands of miles away regeneration was stifled.
For example, when local renewal
decisions were taken at national level
in West Germany the 1960s failures
were more likely because the resulting
projects were inappropriate for that
particular area. In contrast, Vancouver
is able to break with national policy
while Amsterdam can design its own
development and fund it locally.
Dr Oliver Marc Hartwich, chief
economist at Policy Exchange, said:
‘Collectively, the message from these
cities is clear: the most successful
have the powers to initiate change,
the freedoms to think and be innovative, and the mechanisms to hold
local change to account. But the most
successful also benefit strongly from
their location, size and accessibility
– doing urban policy in Hong Kong
and Vancouver is easier than doing
it in Warsaw or Lodz in part because
they are globally well-positioned and
sufficiently large.’
He added: ‘Giving cities powers
cannot buck geography, but it does
allow them to respond proactively to
the conditions that they face, freeing
them to maximise their potential.’
The report is the second of three
documents exploring urban policy in
places that have had to tackle similar
issues to UK cities. The findings from
Vancouver, the Ruhr, Amsterdam,
Warsaw, Lodz, and Hong Kong follow
last year’s Cities limited report which
documented the growing divergence
between those UK cities that have
been performing well and those that
have not.
It suggested cities that had
received significant central government regeneration funding over the
past decade had failed to catch up
with either average national performance or a sample of well-performing
cities on measures of economic and
social wellbeing.
Success and the city: learning from
international urban policy,
Rogers warns Thames Gateway
is failing on design and delivery
A single delivery body is needed to
ensure high quality development
in the Thames Gateway, one of the
UK’s leading urban policy experts said
last week.
Lord Rogers, the architect behind
Lloyds of London and chair of the
urban task force, told New Start there
was still no clear framework for
delivery of development in the
Thames Gateway.
Speaking ahead of his appearance
at an event next week on public spaces,
he noted government efforts to reduce
the number of bodies involved but
argued the framework for delivery was
still inadequate. Ministers believe better coordination and streamlining of
existing bodies will be more effective
than a single delivery body.
‘If there is no framework, not only
will decisions not be made clearly, but
participation is impossible because you
don’t know what to participate in,’ he
said. There has to be a structure. In a
way, I believe there needs to be single
delivery body.’
He also expressed concerns about
Lord Rogers: more progress on delivery
the lack of emphasis on quality design,
despite the wealth of talent in urban
design and architecture that exists in
Britain. But he praised London mayor
Ken Livingstone, whom he advises on
design issues, for making quality buildings and places a priority.
‘Delivery is a serious problem,
quality is a serious problem,’ he added.
‘We haven’t got design at the top of
the agenda in the public institutions
like government. Yes, Ken has it at the
top of his agenda. But overall, there’s a
long way to go.’
Lord Rogers will be speaking on 17
March at a Design for London event as
part of its Open City exhibition.
Newsdesk: 0114 281 6133
Tax officers placed in children’s centres
to encourage more women into work
by Susan Downer
[email protected]
Tax officers will be placed in children’s
centres in parts of England to ensure
people take up their entitlement to tax
credits, chancellor Alistair Darling has
The pilots will specifically focus on
helping people claim the childcare element of the working tax credit (WTC)
and ensuring they report any change
in their circumstances.
Experience from this and other
new approaches will feed into a revised
strategy to support the government’s
drive towards halving child poverty by
2010 and eradicating it by 2020.
Ministers are also keen to increase
the effectiveness of the WTC after an
independent report, published this
week, found it had no effect on the likelihood of women to return to work and
a marginal effect on men. The report
concluded that the benefits of the WTC
would increase in line with take-up.
A separate child poverty report outlined plans to increase work focused
services in 30 children’s centres across
ten local authority areas and confirmed
government intentions to introduce a
‘better off in work’ payment ensuring
those who take up full-time work are
at least £25 a week better off than they
otherwise would have been.
Child tax credit and child benefit
will also be increased and a health in
pregnancy grant worth £190 will be
UK’s entrepreneurial talent to be
nurtured with £100m investment
Ministers have outlined measures
worth over £100m to boost enterprise
in the UK.
These include £50m for a third
round of enterprise capital funds to
boost innovation, jobs and growth in
small and medium sized businesses,
and £30m to expand enterprise education in primary schools and further
education institutions.
They have also pledged to open
national enterprise academies in southeast and north-west England for people
aged 16-19. These will be followed by a
national roll out of ‘satellite academies’.
Other plans include:
■£10m for a new risk capital fund to
support social enterprises during the
early stages of their development
■£12.5m for a capital fund to support
women’s businesses
■£1m for youth development charity
the Prince’s Trust to identify role models and raise awareness of enterprise
among disadvantaged young people
■More support for community development finance institutions to help businesses in deprived areas access finance
■Work with English Premier League
clubs to promote enterprise though the
organisations’ community programmes
Business secretary John Hutton
added: ‘Britain is one of the best places
in the world to start a business, but we
need to do more if we’re to catch up to
levels of entrepreneurship in the US.’
Enterprise: unlocking the UK’s talent,
payable from April 2009. Research will
also be commissioned to find out why
so many couples in poverty have just
one part-time earner.
In his speech in the House of
Commons on Wednesday, Mr Darling
said the government would invest a
further £765m next year and an additional £950m the following year to
take more than 250,000 children out
of poverty.
He said he wanted parents to make
a commitment to improve their situations and take advantage of the opportunities on offer in return for government help.
Clare Tickell, chief executive
of NCH, a member of the End Child
Poverty Campaign, urged the govern-
ment to put more money into preventative services, saying: ‘Working
intensively with families to tackle antisocial behaviour and preventing family
breakdown is an investment that will
pay off and lift struggling families out
of poverty once and for all.’
Chief executive of Child Poverty
Action Group, Kate Green, welcomed
the chancellor’s emphasis on child
poverty. She said: ‘It is not acceptable,
affordable or in Britain’s interests to
continue failing millions of children.
It is right that children were the winners today.’
Ending child poverty, everybody’s business and Working tax credit and labour
supply are available at,
Darling’s details: the Budget round-up
■The Saving Gateway, promoting
■A £200m package over three years
saving and financial inclusion
among people on low incomes, is
to be introduced nationally from
2010. Ministers hope it will provide
a savings incentive to eight million
people on lower incomes.
■Funding of £60m to develop adult
skills. The cash will be used to retrain
people, including apprenticeships,
and to test new ways of delivering
■Raising the winter fuel payment
from £200 to £250 for the over
60s and from £300 to £400 for the
over 80s – nine million pensioner
households will be better off. In
addition, a one-off grant of £100 will
be given to households with people
aged over 80 and £50 will be given to
households with residents over 60.
to support low achieving schools
with the aim that by 2011 no schools
should have less than 30% of pupils
attaining five A* to C grades at GCSE.
■Legislation through the 2009
finance bill to extend land
remediation relief to sites derelict
since 1998 in order to assist the
development of brownfield land and
support urban regeneration.
■From this April, key workers such
as teachers and nurses, with a 50%
share in new shared equity schemes
will be able to borrow against their
investment. To date borrowing has
been available only to those with a
75% share of their homes.
■Stamp duty on shared ownership
homes will not be required until
people own 80% of their property.
A former copper works in the Black
Country has been acquired by
Advantage West Midlands to be
transformed into a multi-million pound
business park. The site forms part of
what is designated the Darlaston
strategic development area, with the
potential to create up to 4,500 jobs over
the next decade. The site, either side of
the M6 at the former IMI James Bridge
copper works in Darlaston Road,
Walsall, has a legacy of extensive mine
workings and copper refining. The
regional development agency will
coordinate a two-year programme of
site remediation later this year to create
875,000ft2 of commercial space and
improved transport links. Pictured are
Stuart Kirkwood, director of operations
at Advantage West Midlands, and Dr
Peter Cromar, chief executive of the
Walsall Regeneration Company.
new start 14 march 2008 3
news in brief
Newsdesk: 0114 281 6133
Property lobby claims
housing survey loaded
with ‘leading questions’
Doing up Dalston
A £160m scheme to regenerate
Dalston town centre will be developed
in partnership with Barratt Homes,
following its appointment this week by
Hackney Council. Under the scheme,
500 homes, a library, shops and
restaurants will be developed, along
with a London Underground station.
A public square, at the centre of the
development, will be adopted as one of
the London Mayor’s 100 public spaces.
Bubb’s capital adventure
Stephen Bubb has been named chair of
Adventure Capital Fund Management,
the company set up to oversee the
voluntary sector infrastructure fund
Futurebuilders England. As a result he
will work four days a week as Acevo
chief executive and his current director
of strategy and enterprise, Peter Kyle,
will become deputy chief executive.
Calling all crime busters
The government is calling on members
of the public to share their ideas on
tackling crime in their communities.
The call for evidence forms part of the
crime and communities review, a crossgovernment exercise looking at how the
police and other front line organisations
can improve their services.
Jobs in Welsh housing
A £1.4bn investment to upgrade
social housing in south Wales over the
next five years could help to create
thousands of new jobs, according a
report published this week. The report,
by Savills property group, says attempts
by local authorities and housing
associations to meet and maintain
the Welsh Housing Quality Standard
by 2012 could create 2,700 job
opportunities as well as supply chain
business for local companies.
by Chloe Stothart
[email protected]
A property lobby group has hit out at
a survey by an environmental charity
which found little public support for the
government’s house building plans.
The British Property Federation,
whose members include large commercial and residential landlords, said
the survey by the Campaign to Protect
Rural England contained ‘leading questions’ and did not add to a balanced
debate about housing policy.
The survey of 924 people found
31% strongly opposed plans to build
three million homes by 2020 while
26% supported the idea. Of those
surveyed, 46% thought building the
extra properties close to their homes
would change their communities for
the worse while 36% thought it would
make no difference.
Kate Gordon, CPRE’s senior planner, said: ‘This survey shows that the
public would show more sympathy
towards the government’s proposals if
house building was accompanied by
strong measures to tackle urban dereliction, and bring back into use empty
properties. Welcome progress has been
made, with around three quarters of
new homes now built on brownfield
land, but more is needed.’
But BPF director of residential
policy, Ian Fletcher, said the questions
were ‘leading’ and unrepresentative of
public opinion because people were
Survey findings
Q: Which two or three policies
should the government prioritise?
■Bringing empty homes back into
use – 77%
■Building more homes on derelict
land – 48%
■Reducing immigration – 47%
■Encouraging businesses to locate
in areas where there is already
enough housing – 32%
■Ending tax breaks for second
homes – 23%
Q: Which groups would benefit
most from the government’s plans
for three million more homes?
■Landowners and property
developers – 50%
■Low income households – 17%
■The country as a whole – 13%
■Local communities – 5%
■The countryside – 1%
called at home during the day. He said
building more homes would not solve
the housing crisis because people could
not afford to buy them, but bringing
empty homes back into use was not
the simple solution some believed.
He added: ‘The fact we have
700,000 empty homes is not disputed,
but are these 700,000 homes in places
where people want to live or places
that our economy requires them to
be? No.’
Ken decrees space to play
New housing developments in London
will have to include play spaces for
children under plans in the mayor’s
London Plan. Under the scheme each
housing scheme would have to include
at least 10m2 of space for every child
living there.
UK gets £120m flood aid
The European Union has confirmed
that the UK is to receive £120m to
help repair damage caused by last
summer’s floods. The money, from the
EU Solidarity Fund, will be distributed
via local authorities to support affected
homes and businesses.
4 14 march 2008 new start
Wilson Bowden has been selected to deliver the £250m redevelopment of
Rochdale town centre. Following public consultation, Rochdale Council agreed
to plans which include providing space for retailers, including major department
stores, restaurants, cafés, bars and apartments. The plans also include a new
public space and an arts centre. The proposals, designed by architects Engle, are
part of a masterplan that involves a new transport interchange and modern civic
offices. A detailed plan will be drawn up for further consultation in 2009.
Local income tax
will help those on
low pay, says SNP
People on low and middle incomes
in Scotland would be better off by up
to £535 a year under plans to replace
council tax with a ‘fairer system’ of
local income tax, ministers have
A four-month consultation has
been launched for proposals which
include introducing a 3% levy on people’s salary and a fee for second homes,
with flexibility for councils to decide
the rate. The government said only
those on top incomes would pay more.
The proposals would make single
parents better off by £5.40 a week,
while pensioner couples would have
an extra £13.80.
Finance secretary John Swinney
said: ‘Council tax is unfair, regressive
and penalises people on low incomes.
The people of Scotland will be better off paying a fairer local income
tax, based solely on ability to pay. The
proposal to scrap council tax represents the most progressive overhaul of
Scottish taxation in years and real help
for hard-pressed taxpayers.’
A fairer local tax for Scotland, www.
Trust says single
fund will help
disabled to work
Money for services to help unemployed
disabled people into work and some
funding for their care should be put
into a single pot, a charity has said.
Shaw Trust, which helps disabled
people to find work, said direct payments and independent living funds,
which pay for care, should be bought
together with access to work, which
pays for adaptions to disabled people’s
The fund would also include
money available under the job introduction scheme, a 13 week subsidy
for employers of disabled people, and
the work preparation and workstep
schemes which respectively help people become job ready after a long period of sickness or unemployment and
supports those with complex needs to
stay in work. It said the funds should
be merged for employed disabled people and those looking for work but
should remain separate for those who
were not able to work.
Disability charity, Scope, welcomed the idea of a single fund but
said paying providers for getting
people into work would mean those
who needed the most help would be
overlooked in favour of the most easily employable.
Volunteers should
be rewarded, says
citizenship review
Young people in Tonbridge, Kent, have embarked on the task of making a 3D map of their town. They are creating
the model of the town and surrounding villages as part of a Planning for Real exercise commissioned by Kent Council.
Students from 21 schools and colleges will model buildings and landmarks surrounding their schools, and suggest what
needs to be done to improve their neighbourhood and what services would make a difference to their lives. Kent Council
is using the feedback to develop a plan for children and young people.
Scottish health projects forced
to scale back as cash crisis bites
by Barry McCarthy
[email protected]
More than 70% of community health
initiatives in Scotland will have to
close services by the end of the month
because of a funding crisis, a national
agency has warned.
Community Health Exchange
(Chex) said 182 staff in 18 organisations
had already lost their jobs because of a
lack of cash from local authorities and
the NHS. It said 36% of the 60 third sector health projects surveyed had scaled
down their work in the past 12 months
due to financial trouble.
‘This survey indicates the potential that, after March, Scotland will
suffer the loss of hundreds of jobs and
thousands of services for some of our
most vulnerable people in our most
disadvantaged communities,’ a spokes-
person said. ‘This is detrimental to the
aspiration of a healthier Scotland.’
The news follows a warning from
Chex last year that the end of various funding streams would create a
‘domino effect’ in the sector (New Start,
14 September 2007).
‘Community health initiatives
work in creative and innovative ways
unavailable to those within statutory agencies,’ said Elspeth Gracey,
Chex practice development manager.
‘Many are the lifeblood of their community. Yet despite the rhetoric of
the need for more local responses
to health needs, hundreds of community health initiatives throughout
Scotland have never found it harder
to sustain their existence.’
The South East Area Lifestyle
(Seal) initiative, which operates in
the Gorbals and Govanhill areas of
Glasgow, has failed to secure funding
beyond June. The organisation was
created 14 years ago by residents in
response to poor health. But over the
past two years Seal has been surviving
on three month funding at a time.
‘If someone doesn’t step in soon,
there will be no small community
health initiatives left,’ warned Brenda
Sowney, manager of Seal.
Government has announced funding of
£5m to maintain a health improvement
programme in deprived communities
for the next two years. The money will
go towards ‘keep well’ projects operating in Glasgow, Lothian, Lanarkshire
and Tayside. Their aim is to tackle high
cholesterol, high blood pressure, poor
diet, smoking, and alcohol abuse.
A health check on Scotland’s community
led health sector,
A government backed review of citizenship this week called for more incentives to encourage volunteering.
Concluding his review, former
attorney general Lord Goldsmith said
young people who volunteer should
receive a reduction in tuition fees, if
they volunteer prior to going to university, or help to repay student loans
if they volunteer afterwards. He also
called for a clear policy stating that
those on jobseeker’s allowance would
not lose entitlement if they volunteer.
The report suggested that councils
offer a small council tax rebate reflecting the contribution of the volunteer
to the community. It also proposed
measures to promote cohesion and
engage newcomers in a shared sense
of belonging. These include offering
‘language loans’ to people who cannot
afford to pay for English lessons and
using citizenship ceremonies to engage
new citizens with the local community. It also urged an expansion in the
numbers of mediators who can deal
quickly and effectively with local tensions in neighbourhoods.
The government said the volunteering proposals were ‘interesting’ and would be closely studied.
Citizenship: our common bond, www.
‘Quote, unquote’
‘We look to ministers to stimulate
debate about the absence of any
link between company success and
boardroom pay, not to celebrate
it. The growth of a free floating
group of the super-rich harms social
cohesion and threatens inflation.’
TUC general secretary Brendan
Barber condemns the stance taken by
business and enterprise minister John
Hutton in his speech on ‘progress’ this
week. Mr Barber said the government
couldn’t hope to end child poverty
without making the super-rich pay
their share of tax. See comment, p12
Area attitudes ingrained at birth can be hard to budge, JRF concludes
Regeneration projects have often failed
to transform neighbourhoods because
ingrained identities based on social
class and status make them resistant to
change, according to researchers.
Think tank the Joseph Rowntree
Foundation claimed the character of
an area, established early in its creation, was difficult to alter. Because of
this, the early ambitions of planners
developing new neighbourhoods are
crucial for long-term prosperity, it
The study examined three neighbourhoods in Stirling: Raploch,
Riverside, and Randolph Road, which
were built in the 1920s and 1930s as
‘planned communities’.
Raploch was selected as the working class area, Riverside was targeted at
men in skilled trades, while Randolph
Road was for middle class professionals.
Since then the areas have undergone
little change with Raploch remaining
‘poor’, Riverside as ‘respectable’, and
Randolph Road as ‘aspirational’.
‘These identities had persisted
since their original construction, if not
before,’ the report added.
‘Raploch’s description as “rough”
and “coarse” dates back 550 years.
These findings have implications
for the planning of future renewal
projects, as well as the creation and
subsequent management of new
mixed housing developments.’
Douglas Robertson, head of applied
social science at Stirling University
and the report’s lead author, said the
way communities were planned created a ‘physical and social template’
that had a long-term effect on a neighbourhood’s character.
‘This study has shown how
place identity can act against the
stated ambitions of renewal projects
and cause social segregation. Class
is a greater divider than generally
Neighbourhood identity: effects of
time, location and social class, www.
new start 14 march 2008 5
news in brief
Newsdesk: 0114 281 6133
Campaigners call Essex post office
rescue a ‘good intentioned fantasy’
by Barry McCarthy
[email protected]
Girls win regen challenge
Young people in Walsall were asked
to come up with ideas for designing
out crime and antisocial behaviour
at a regeneration challenge held at
Walsall FC’s stadium. The winners at
the Walsall Housing Group event were
pupils from Palfrey Girls School, above,
for their eco-friendly public areas.
Support made simple
A year-long project to simplify business
support in Cornwall has received
around £500,000 from South West
England Regional Development Agency.
The RDA is developing the scheme
with input from Cornwall Business
Partnership. It will be run by Cornwall
Enterprise, the economic development
service for Cornwall Council.
Adults help with kids’ stuff
Further details of a £44m programme
to support parents across England have
been unveiled by the government. The
Parent Know-How initiative, outlined
in the children’s plan, will see £17m
invested in online, helpline and text
messaging services to tackle issues such
as bullying and school exclusions along
with better support for lone parents.
NW seeks rural inspiration
Groups across north-west England
are being asked to come up with
ideas to help grow the rural economy.
Northwest Development Agency is
looking to create packages of support
for businesses, training and skills
development through the European
Leader programme. Applications should
be submitted by 11 April.
Bell takes diversity chair
Ranjana Bell has been appointed to
chair north-east England’s first ever
body to promote diversity through
regeneration and employment. One
Northeast has set up the Equality and
Diversity Partnership to improve levels
of economic and social inclusion. Ms
Bell runs an equality and diversity
consultancy and has more than 25
years’ experience in the field.
East examines congestion
The costs of congestion on road and
rail networks will be examined in a
new study looking at how transport
can unlock economic potential in the
east of England. Consultants for the
East of England Development Agency
will identify priorities and recommend
solutions and will report in the summer.
6 14 march 2008 new start
A local authority’s rescue plans for
threatened post offices are more a
case of ‘good intentioned fantasy’
than a sustainable solution to the closure of branches, according to a pressure group.
Last month Essex Council
announced proposals worth up to
£1.5m over three years to keep open
viable branches after 32 outlets across
the county were earmarked for closure.
But the Campaign for Community
Banking Services (CCBS) this week said
the idea of combining government
and post office services had failed in
the past, adding that many council
employees would be reluctant to take
on postal roles. CCBS said there was no
certainty about what would happen to
branches after the three years. It also
questioned whether council premises
like schools and libraries would be
available to house a post office if it
wasn’t feasible to keep a dedicated
outlet operating.
One solution is to create a post
office branch and a ‘shared banking
franchise’ under one roof, CCBS said.
This system would be viable because
residents would be able to manage
their money and access postal services in one building, the organisation
Essex Council leader Lord
Hanningfield said: ‘This council is setting the benchmark in delivering what
its residents want and I am pleased
to offer what we have done here as a
potential model for others. Let me also
stress that this is not about replacing
one public subsidy with another. Our
intention is very clear; the money that
we will be investing on behalf of the
people of Essex will be used to help
each branch move as far as possible
towards becoming financially self-sufficient and cost neutral to the council.’
The Local Government Association
said Essex’s initiative had generated
interest from other authorities, including West Sussex Council. Ministers
are planning to close 2,500 post office
branches across the UK – there are currently around 14,000.
The government has argued the
network must be reduced because it
is losing £4m a week. In the 1960s
there were 25,000 post offices but they
began to close in the 1970s; 6,000 have
been shut in the last decade alone.
Sell church land for affordable housing, urges charity
A homelessness charity is encouraging churches in England to sell redundant land and property to create more
affordable housing.
Housing Justice said its project
would help the clergy meet their social
objectives and raise money to run ministries. President of Housing Justice,
Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor,
recommended the initiative to all faith
communities aiming to improve the
lives of people who are homeless or living in poor conditions.
‘In both urban and rural areas
there is evidence of spiralling hardship
which can lead to the loss of a basic
Volunteering given
£6m Whitehall lift
A £6m package of investment in volunteering has been unveiled by the
Cabinet Office.
The money will pay for training
for volunteers and volunteer managers as well as a £2m volunteering fund
for disabled people. The measures are
in line with recommendations put forward by the Commission on the Future
of Volunteering earlier this year.
The government has also agreed to
produce guidance to help avoid unnecessary criminal records checks, improve
coordination of volunteering by civil
servants and carry out further work on
the viability of including volunteering
in the inspection of public services.
But it rejected the commission’s
idea of a cabinet minister for volunteering and said there was no need
to invest further in local volunteering
infrastructure because it already has a
programme in place.
requisite of human dignity – shelter,’
he said. ‘As people of faith we are called
to address injustice in all its forms.
I encourage diocesan trustees and
those charged with the stewardship
of charitable estates to explore options
in relation to their estate issues and to
consider, in this context, an option for
the poor.’
The charity will also provide an
advice service for churches hoping to
sell their assets to provide affordable
housing. Examples of best practice in
turning redundant property into
homes will also be compiled. Over the
next month, researchers from the char-
ity will approach Christian denominations for contribution to this research.
A Housing Justice spokesperson
said: ‘Churches are uniquely placed in
the community and have a long history
of action in this area through organisations such as Housing Justice’s forerunners the Catholic Housing Aid Society
and the Churches National Housing
Coalition as well as through involvement in homelessness charities and
local housing associations. We hope
to build on this history to offer hope
to those suffering from homelessness
and poor housing today.’
Building of the week Bluecoat, Liverpool
What’s happening? The grade I listed
building, believed to be the oldest in
the city centre, will reopen tomorrow
as a community arts space – where
people can see art from ‘production to
And that means…? A new way for
the public to experience ‘culture’
– by engaging directly with artists,
performers and creative retailers. There
will also be workshops for adults with
learning difficulties and young people
with behavioural problems.
What’s in it? Studios and exhibition
space for promising artists plus
four new galleries and 200-seat
performance space, a coffee bar,
restaurant and shopping area.
Who’s behind it? The £12.5m project
was backed by Arts Council England
(North West), Northwest Development
Agency, European Regional
Development Fund and Heritage
Lottery Fund.
Replace RDA board
with elected body,
government told
by Chloe Stothart
[email protected]
Maps detailing public art walks and aimed at teachers and students in the
Tyne & Wear area have been produced by the Arts Council with support from
TyneWear Partnership and regional development agency One Northeast. The
four teachers’ guides contain information on the artworks to help children learn
about English, history and geography. The maps are being distributed free to
schools during March. Pictured is Jack Middleton, aged nine, from Sunderland.
Details: David Wilson, 0191 548 5860,
A councillor led body should be set up
to take decisions on planning, housing
and transport currently in the hands of
unelected and unaccountable regional
development agencies, ministers have
been told.
The South East Regional Assembly
(Seera) said the new structure should
include 70% council representatives
nominated by each authority and
just 30% nominated by government
– the same balance as in regional
Regional assemblies originally
objected to the idea of housing, transport and planning powers being transferred to RDAs because the latter do not
include any elected representatives.
A task group of councillors is currently working on detailed proposals
showing how the new organisation
could work. One proposal suggests
replacing the board of South East
England Regional Development Agency
(Seeda) with the new structure. This
would render the RDA virually powerless and give the new organisation
wide-ranging control over economic
development. Local people would be
given a greater say. But if ministers
reject this idea, Seera said it would set-
tle for a councillor controlled committee responsible for planning, housing
and transport decisions.
Keith Mitchell, Seera chair, said
Seeda was ‘very remote’ from those
affected by its decisions. Describing
the transfer of responsibilities
announced in last year’s sub-national
review of economic development and
comprehensive spending review as
‘undemocratic’ and in need of ‘serious work’, he added: ‘The fact is they
[RDAs] have not been elected at any
stage, are not accountable to anyone
other than central government and
government is giving its own agency a
job that should be carried out by people with a democratic mandate.’
The assembly and Seeda have
frequently been at loggerheads over
planning issues. The assembly has
tended to lobby for lower housing
numbers than the RDA while the
agency has pressed for the expansion
of Heathrow airport – something the
assembly opposes.
Mr Mitchell added: ‘I won’t pretend
the RDA are falling over themselves
to do this they are used to operating
as they currently do and worry they
would be torn two ways, but we have
managed the central and local government tension within the assembly so I
think it could be done.’
Rail upgrade worth £60bn to economy, says consultant
A new high-speed rail network would
slash journey times between London
and Glasgow to just three hours,
according to a report.
Planning and engineering consultants Atkins said that building
two new lines between the cities,
going up the east and west coast,
would be worth more than £60bn
over 60 years to the UK economy.
Infrastructure costs would be £31bn
and the network could be operational
before 2026.
London to Birmingham journey
times could come down to just one
hour, while London to Manchester
would take between 74 and 79 minutes, the report said.
Atkins said the lines were needed
as capacity on the existing network
could be exhausted within a decade. In
the last ten years, there has been a 45%
growth in the number of passenger
trips on trains, the report added.
Increased security at airports and
rising fuel costs for motorists have
made rail travel increasingly attractive,
Atkins said. The lines would also free
up capacity on existing infrastructure.
Andy Southern, managing director
of Atkins’ transport planning division,
said: ‘It is clear that a high-speed rail
network should not only be viewed in
Scots get say over how £57.7m of rural funding is spent
Rural communities across Scotland
will share £57.7m to grow local their
economies, improve rural facilities and
conserve the environment.
The funding, a joint allocation by
the Scottish Government and European
Union under the Leader programme,
is the first tranche of money to be
released under the £1.6bn Scotland
Rural Development Programme.
Matched at a local level by public
and private funds and managed by 16
local action groups, the programme
is intended to support innovative,
community led plans to develop local
economies; £38.5m will be awarded
for the whole of rural Scotland with an
additional £19.2m for the Highlands
and Islands.
Cabinet secretary for rural
affairs and the environment, Richard
Lochhead, said: ‘The fact that all fund-
ing decisions are to be taken locally
will greatly empower community
decision-making and ensure that only
those projects which will make a real
difference to rural Scotland will be
‘I would like to encourage rural
communities to seize the opportunities now presented by this funding
and take control of their own future
terms of its benefit to relieving congestion on the rail network. The economic gain could also be extremely
‘Our modelling shows the impact
would be felt by local communities as
well as the business traveller choosing
to go by rail rather than air. There is
also potential to reduce overall carbon
emissions from transport in the UK.’
The number of problematic
drug users in prison at any one
time, according to government
estimates. This week the Ministry of
Justice announced a review of the
effectiveness of measures to disrupt
the supply of illicit drugs into prison.
The report will be published at the
end of May.
new start 14 march 2008 7
Newsdesk: 0114 281 6133
Luton residents opt
for housing plan over
NDC’s community hub
by Barry McCarthy
[email protected]
A building in Luton is at the centre
of a dispute between residents and
the area’s new deal for communities
Development Trust, which manages
the NDC, commissioned consultants to
come up with ideas to regenerate the
centre of the deprived estate. Around
64% of residents voted for an option
which involves retaining a former factory currently housing the NDC and small
businesses. However, the trust wanted
to demolish the building, replacing it
with a ‘community hub’ nearby.
Although the hub would be smaller
than the factory, its modern, purposebuilt facilities would make it more
likely to attract businesses and other
organisations, the trust said. Board
members added that a new community hub would also have been more
energy efficient.
The option chosen by the residents, which includes plans for 157
flats, 131 houses and eight shops, is
also more expensive than the trust’s
preferred choice. The proposals chosen
by the majority of locals would cost
between £11m and £13m, compared
Youth charities share £27m
A £27m programme to help charities
support young people in disadvantaged
areas has been launched. The money
will help Kids Company, Speaking Up,
Fairbridge, UK Youth and Leap develop
their work on issues such as substance
abuse, reducing teenage pregnancy,
homelessness and coping with
disability. A government spokesperson
said third sector organisations had a
crucial role to play in supporting the
country’s most vulnerable people. The
charities beat off competition from 85
other applications for funding.
NW white collar growth
The financial and professional services
sector has grown more than any other
industry in north-west England over
the past decade, according to research.
Manchester Metropolitan University
found 428,800 people were employed
in the sector last year, up from 315,200
in 1997. The increase accounts for 23%
of overall growth in the region’s ten
top industries for job creation, with
education and life sciences the next
fastest developing. Other strong sectors
included retail and construction.
8 14 march 2008 new start
to between £8m and £11m for the
board’s alternative.
If a study conducted by the trust
reveals the most popular scheme is
unviable, the board will reconsider
its alternative, which was the second
choice of residents receiving 24% of
the votes.
‘Whatever happens we will have a
central area that people can be proud
of,’ said Graham Beckett, finance and
operations manager at the trust.
The situation comes at a critical
time for NDCs as the ten-year programme reaches its final stages.
East Brighton NDC, ebndc, is the latest to unveil plans designed to ensure
work continues. It has launched a resident-led trust to manage £3.5m worth
of property, including shops, offices and
flats. Income from the assets will be
used to fund the work of local groups.
‘It’s an excellent mix of local residents with their intimate knowledge of
the community and professional members who can help ensure the trust is
financially successful,’ said city councillor and board chair Anne Meadows.
‘The regeneration programme has
made a huge, positive difference in east
Brighton and we are confident that
the trust will continue the long-term
improvement of the area.’
The Children’s Commissioner for England, Sir Al Aynsley-Green, is pictured visiting
teenagers in west Middlesbrough recently as part of a national listening tour to
find out first hand about young people’s concerns. He has been visiting projects
that involve young people as leaders. During the visit he took part in a question
and answer debate and heard how young people are making a difference by
delivering services themselves under Just 4 Youth, a new youth development
company offering training, research and consultancy led by young people.
Financial advice pilot is unnecessary, say activists
Government should set up a new
national money advice service outlined in a major review rather than
risk ‘pilot fatigue’ by testing it first, a
charity has said.
The Thoresen review said a service should be set up providing advice
on budgeting, saving and retirement
planning – funded through a levy on
financial services providers and the
But the government has decided
to go ahead with the report’s recommendation to pilot the scheme first
for two years.
Charity Help the Aged said trial-
ling the scheme was ‘at best disappointing and at worst unnecessary
David Sinclair, head of policy at
the charity, said: ‘It’s obvious what
needs to be done to help people and
it’s about time the government set
concrete plans for helping them. Some
older people have enough to worry
about financially without adding pilot
fatigue into the mix.’
The review said the scheme could
save its users more than £15bn and the
government up to £6bn.
The man behind the review, Otto
Thoresen, chief executive of financial
services firm Aegon, said partnership
should be ‘at the heart’ of the service to
help ‘build on the expertise of existing
organisations who provide help and
advice to the public and are able to
reach out to people in ways and places
that are convenient to them’.
Further details of the £12m pilot
scheme, which is expected to help
750,000 people and will be delivered
by the Financial Services Authority,
are due soon.
Thoresen review final report and
Financial capability: the government’s
long-term approach,
Ministers encourage use of individual support orders
Ministers are calling for more young
offenders in England to be given more
support to help them tackle the causes
of poor conduct.
As part of the £13m ‘challenge and
support’ scheme, the government has
invited 52 areas in the country to bid
for funding to issue individual support orders (ISOs) alongside antisocial
behaviour orders (asbos).
ISOs have been available since
2004, but the take up has been poor
with less than 10% of asbos including a
requirement to address problems such
as alcohol and drug abuse.
If young people fail to take the
help offered through ISOs they face
a fine of £1,000. Challenge and support projects are designed to intervene
at the first sign of problems such as
truancy, bad behaviour in school or
trouble with the police.
Ed Balls, secretary for children,
schools and families, said: ‘ISOs are not
a soft option – they challenge young
people to change their behaviour for
the long term. Local areas need to make
sure that they intervene early and
deliver a coordinated approach, alongside enforcement measures like asbos.’
Introducing the first accredited courses
for community cohesion practitioners
Blending theory with practice, the courses will improve your
organisational performance and personal effectiveness in
bringing communities together and fostering cohesion.
courses provides a unique blend of peer group learning
and practical support from senior academics, management
professionals and cohesion specialists.
/i\Ê024 7688 7091
“>ˆ\Ê[email protected]
KMC2209_26Feb08.indd 1
5/3/08 10:00:05
a toolkit for designing a specific, effective consultancy brief
Certainly the toolkit will be very useful at the
next stage for the City Council
Clearly a better quality product, excellent work
It has helped me benchmark where my team is
against good practice and other organisations
When an organisation commissions a piece of consultancy, be it advice,
research, evaluation or a bespoke piece of work, they are not buying a
commodity which can be examined and comes with a guarantee, they are
buying a highly variable service which depends on the skills of the individuals
involved. The purpose of the Intelligent Commissioning toolkit is to help you
through the process of buying the right skills for your assignment.
The toolkit is available digitally for just £95 + VAT and contains sample forms
and documents that can be customised for your project.
Toolkits can be ordered by emailing [email protected]
or calling 0114 2816130.
New Start will also be running future masterclasses on this subject.
To register your interest email [email protected]
Pushing the Boundaries - Managing Equality, Cohesion and Human Rights
In Public Sector Organisations
The Centre for Local Policy Studies is holding a Summer School Conference on
2nd/3rd/4th July 2008.
The theme is Managing Equality, Cohesion and Human Rights In Public Sector
Organisations - ‘Developing a Framework for Meeting the Challenges’
There will be a mix of expert speakers/contributors and workshops on current
equalities frameworks, working with an equality improvement framework, equality
impact assessments, the ‘new’ local government improvement framework, and
other topics. Places are limited so early booking is recommended.
Early bird deal: Book before 31 March 2008 and pay only £795!
Disley, Cheshire
Date and time
02 Jul 2008 (4.00pm) - 04 Jul 2008 (4:00pm)
Further information
Contact Nasreen Kaleem or Carole Brocken
Tel: 01695 584765
Email: [email protected] or [email protected]
Edge Hill Display.indd 1
new start 14 MARCH 2008 04/03/2008 16:56:03
exhibition | conference | networking
Exhibition Zones
see things
Innovation Centre
Engineering the Future
Sustainable Design Village
Next Generation
Property and Investment
Future Buildings
To achieve sustainability
you have to think about the facts.
Think is a two-day exhibition and conference where over
100 exhibitors across the whole value chain offer practical
solutions and case studies on delivering sustainability in the
built environment. The Next Generation zone is one of six
dedicated zones, each with a debating chamber, together
hosting over 80 free sessions, plus keynote speeches from
industry and government leaders.
Sustainability isn’t just about saving the environment. It’s
about ongoing training and promotion: developing the
professionals to make urban places work.
Think puts you at the forefront of action on sustainability and entry
to the exhibition is FREE if you pre-register (£20 on the door).
Visit or call 08701 129 109
Platinum Sponsors:
Gold Sponsors:
Charter Sponsor:
Silver Sponsors:
news analysis
Newsdesk: 0114 281 6133
Beacons are a clear signal of improvement
This year’s beacon awards highlighted much innovation in local government. But
some still need to be persuaded to shout about their successes. Rosie Niven reports
Councils have traditionally borne the
brunt of people’s wrath when it comes
to the standards of local services. Yet,
when they set high standards for
the delivery of public services, their
efforts are rarely celebrated, let alone
Marianne Hood is someone who
knows more than most about councils’
achievements in public service delivery.
As chair of the panel that selects successful authorities in the government’s
beacon scheme she sees examples of
some of the most innovative work in the
public sector.
‘It’s about giving people recognition so they can go and help others,’
she says. ‘The beacons highlight the
kind of authorities who have a culture of going out and having a go
and respecting all the members of
staff. The sort of notion of leadership
that everyone is free to go out and try
things – a learning culture.’
Ms Hood notes that councils often
fail to realise where they are doing
groundbreaking things because they
just see it as their normal way of working. She sometimes has to explain to
councils that what they are doing is
unusual, which is why the Improvement
and Development Agency (Idea) is given
the role of identifying and sharing best
practice from the scheme.
Each year, government departments suggest priority public service
areas that should be included as beacon themes. There were ten themes
this year including better public places,
reducing reoffending, citizen engagement and empowerment.
Last week’s awards ceremony also
saw the presentation of a special award
to councils and service providers that
consistently demonstrate excellence
and innovation across a wider range
of services. They are: Sheffield Council,
Tameside Council, Merseyside Fire
and Rescue Authority and Merseyside
Public Transport Authority.
‘It reflected what we as a panel
observed,’ she says. ‘There are authorities who gain beacon status again and
again in many different areas. It’s telling you something about how that
council works. They haven’t been
thrown by chief executives going or
political control changing. We’ve suggested that Warwick Business School
should do a little more looking at what
we can learn from the culture of those
Other authorities have now adopted some of the best practice highlighted by the beacon scheme. Ms Hood
remembers the Sanctuary initiative by
Harrow Council to help the victims of
domestic violence remain in their own
homes. With the help of the police,
secure rooms were developed where
victims could go and raise the alarm
when their abuser turned up. Ms Hood
recalls being ‘more than sceptical’ when
she first heard about this scheme.
‘Housing’s my world and I was
thinking, “this is making women prisoners in their own home”. Well, smack
my wrists. We were presented with
woman after woman telling us that it
was what they wanted and how they
had helped to design it. I have to say
that a number of us were eating humble pie.
‘That sanctuary approach has
now been rolled out. It’s still controversial but it has been done by the
women. And I agree with them, why
should they move away? Why should
they have to take their kids out of the
local school?’
While the beacon awards shortlist
is dominated by local authorities, the
panel is keen to recognise the achievements of a range of public services.
Since their inception nine years ago,
the government has widened the criteria to include all best value authorities.
Key beacons
Rotherham Council – better public places
Rotherham has created a new division, incorporating all services responsible
for the street scene. The Street Pride director is able to tailor the workload
and priorities for all staff, which makes it easier to respond to specific issues
as they arise.
Peterborough Council – improving accessibility
Peterborough’s success is based on understanding where the main
accessibility problems are and how they can be tackled. The approach is both
city-wide and also focused on geographical areas of need. This includes work
with existing communities and ensuring accessibility is part of the continuing
expansion of the city.
Leeds Council – local strategic partnerships and local area agreements
The LSP has reached 76% of the local population through the Leeds Voice
initiative. The partnership has also delivered a range of projects to bring
together Leeds’ diverse communities, particularly across different faiths.
Local budgets and participatory appraisal have also been used to deliver
partnership work at neighbourhood level.
Staffordshire Moorlands Council – citizen engagement and empowerment
Staffordshire Moorlands has developed an approach to citizen engagement
and service delivery which tackles the barriers presented by dispersed and
often isolated communities. The council has also demonstrated its
determination to engage with the whole community and secure the
involvement of less visible groups.
Merseyside Public Transport Authority was one of four providers given a special
award for consistent excellence. Pictured are Fred Weavers, Sefton Council; Mick
Noone, operational director transportation, Halton Council; Jean Quinn, Wirral
Council and PTA member, Denis Knowles, Wirral Council and PTA member.
The work of the community sector in
partnership with local authorities is
also recognised and Mrs Hood says
there are plans to extend the scheme to
include bodies like primary care trusts.
The beacon panel has also worked
hard to get more district councils on
‘When I was first on the panel
there weren’t many applications, especially from the smaller rural ones. We
still have some of the smaller district
councils saying “this just takes too
much time”. And we know it does,
which is why we encourage partnership applications. That’s one way of
sharing the resources.’
Since the scheme began more than
1,700 applications have been made
for beacon status. But some authorities have been conspicuous by their
absence. ‘I live in hope of Kent County
Council one day deciding it will put in
an application for beacon status,’ she
says. ‘They have some good practice
for others to learn from so I hope that
they apply.’
Next year’s beacons will include
an economic development theme and
one on Olympic legacy. With the latter
award, Ms Hood is particularly keen to
receive applications from all over the
country. ‘It’s not just about London,’
she insists.
But as well as preparing for next
year’s award, the panel is doing other
work including exporting the beacon
scheme to other parts of the world.
Bosnia Herzegovina was one of the
first countries to adopt the beacon
scheme as part of measures to improve
accountability in local government.
The panel is now looking at ways of
sharing best practice in local government across international borders and
is speaking to government about how
the beacons can play a role in this.
‘What we are saying to the
Development and the Foreign Office is
why spend megabucks on consultants
when you have your own homegrown
authorities with practical hands-on
experience? To be a beacon, not only
do you have to be good, you have
something unique that no one else
has to offer.’
The beacon scheme was set up to
disseminate best practice in service
delivery across local government.
Beacon status is granted to authorities
that can demonstrate a clear vision,
excellent services and a willingness
to innovate within a theme. During
their beacon year, authorities share
best practice with other authorities
through events, open days and
working with the Improvement and
Development Agency on learning
new start 14 march 2008 11
we say
Why unlimited wealth
will always be a poor
solution to poverty
New Start Publishing Ltd
The Workstation,
Paternoster Row
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Tel: 0114 281 6130
[email protected]
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[email protected]
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0114 229 5726
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0114 281 6133
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020 8981 4645
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020 8853 0418
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12 14 march 2008 new start
nyone hearing business and enterprise
minister John Hutton this week might
be forgiven for thinking they’d been
transported back to the 1980s. All you’d need
to complete the picture is Kylie Minogue’s
dulcet tones on the radio and Harry Enfield’s
Loadsamoney sketch on telly every week.
Mr Hutton, in case you’re wondering
which millennium we’re in, has been waxing
lyrical about ambition. Greed is good, he
almost said. What he did say was that there’s
no conflict between aspiring to the lifestyle
of the super-rich and tackling child poverty:
‘Our overarching goal that no one should
get left behind must not become translated
into a stultifying sense that no one should be
allowed to get ahead.’
Having just seen my team of super-rich
so-called footballers thumped 4-0 three times
in succession, I’m not so sure about the value
of celebrating huge salaries. A few months
on jobseekers’ allowance would do them the
world of good.
More to the point, there’s simply no
evidence that the poor are held back because
the rich can’t fulfil their ambitions. That’s
classic trickle-down economics: if you have
more money than you know what to do with,
it creates jobs for butlers and valets. People
thought the slave trade was justified because
it created jobs, too.
Mr Hutton declared this week that ‘any
progressive party worth its name must
enthusiastically advocate empowering people
to climb without limits.’ So we should stop
bashing the rich. But ‘bash the rich’ is a slogan
I haven’t heard since the poll tax protests.
And as Tony Blair has demonstrated since
resigning as prime minister, the Labour Party
can be as good a road to riches as any.
Yet policy after policy leaves the poor
in poverty. And an important paper from
the Joseph Rowntree Foundation this week
showed how far we need to go to solve that
The paper investigated whether peoplebased or place-based policies were most
successful. Its conclusion was that we really
don’t know. Some programmes aimed at the
poorest, such as Sure Start, appear to have
been hijacked by the ‘less disadvantaged’,
it reports (there’s ambition for you). Others
have made a difference, but how much is
impossible to tell because there hasn’t been
any rigorous assessment of what would have
happened otherwise.
Anyone who walks the streets of our
poorest areas will know that it isn’t the
tax burden on the richest that holds back
progress. It’s the scarcity of support for
the frontline services and community
organisations that help to generate ambition
and aspiration where there is none.
Julian Dobson, editorial director
[email protected]
Global perspectives Golden State’s veggie-powered tree tour
The world’s largest
fleet of vegetable
oil-powered buses
recently set off on
its annual tour of
Californian schools.
Now in its fifth
year, the Fruit Tree Tour aims to transform barren inner
city schoolyards into orchards. A team of 25 volunteers
help students plant an array of tree varieties – including
avocado, fig, nectarine and pomegranate.
The tour will cover 20,500 miles visiting schools across
the state. Since the initiative was launched by charity
Common Vision in 2003, it has planted in excess of 2,000
trees at more than 100 schools in over 40 towns and cities.
Operations director Megan Watson explains: ‘By
transforming schoolyards into living classrooms, we
are waking up a new generation of urban youth to the
wonders and wisdom of the natural world that nourishes
our every need. Most inner-city California students never
get to go into nature.’
And the tour’s mode of transport also provides
‘Fruit Tree Tour’s veggie oil-powered fleet has the
technology to travel the entire state on recycled fry oil,’
said Leo Buc, described as the tour’s ‘organic mechanic
and homegrown eco-hip hopper’.
‘When our beautiful hand-painted, bio-powered
buses roll up, students can see first hand that there are
more sustainable ways of getting from A to B.’
you say
Over the past ten years, levels of
alcohol consumption have increased
significantly in Britain. This is
especially true of women and children.
The way we drink is also changing,
with more alcohol being bought from
off licenses and consumed at home.
There have been substantial
changes to the type of alcohol we
drink. Alcopops, designed to target
younger consumers, have been heavily
marketed. Lagers are now available
that are stronger than some wines.
Sales of 12-14% ABV wines are higher
now than ever before.
The sheer quantity of drink
available to us has increased, too.
Changes to licensing laws have had
a liberalising effect on the issuing of
licenses to sell alcohol, leading to a
saturation of alcohol outlets on the
high street. Cheap European travel has
seen tourists and others buying alcohol
in bulk on visits to France or Spain.
Nationally, the picture of
the harmful drinker is no longer
necessarily one of the unemployed
or the vagrant but is as likely to be a
schoolgirl, a pensioner, a businessman
or a public health official.
There is also greater awareness
of the long-term psychological and
physiological damage that even
relatively low level consumption of
alcohol can do to the individual, as
well as the well-documented harm
caused by alcohol through cirrhosis of
the liver, drinking and driving, alcohol
fuelled violence and disorder.
Last year, the Home Office – with
the Department for Education and
Skills, Department for Culture, Media
and Sport, and Department of Health
– launched Safe sensible social – the
next steps in the national alcohol
strategy. It required local authorities
and agencies to:
■Sharpen criminal justice for drunken
suppliers and
their regulator
Ofgem are
hardly ever
out of the
news lately.
And it’s
Tony Hawkhead the Brickbats
Gazette rather
than the Bouquet Telegraph.
With rising fuel prices announced
on an almost daily basis, there is
increasing concern that millions of
people are likely to find themselves
tipped into fuel poverty as a result.
The Fuel Poverty Advisory Group has
stepped in to the debate pointing
out that consumers now pay far
more on utility bills than they did five
years ago and that households using
prepayment meters, often those on
low incomes, pay up to 20% more than
those paying by direct debit.
That is a scandal. One in six
We need a moment
of clarity to get the
measure of alcohol
Neil de Reybekill assesses our battle with the bottle
and where policymakers are going wrong
Policy units: drinkers need to track their home consumption, just as they can in a bar
households now lives in fuel poverty
according to an Observer survey.
Gordon Brown is reported to have
met with energy suppliers recently
– can we expect a windfall tax in the
next budget?
Of course fuel poverty is also
closely connected to climate change
and will be felt more as energy
shortages begin to bite and prices
increase. As a result it’s important
that we bring energy efficiency into
the discussion as well as cost. A
quarter of all carbon emissions are
generated by our homes, so their
environmental performance is vital.
The tough new targets for efficient
insulation of new houses do not
extend to existing homes and, short
of closing a few doors and windows,
most people don’t know where to
start to make an impact.
In Leeds, Groundwork has had
some success tackling fuel poverty
among elderly and vulnerable
residents by offering free one to one
advice and support to encourage
energy efficiency. Working with the
council and other partners the project
installs simple measures like radiator
panels, hot water tank jackets and
draft excluders to keep homes warmer
while reducing fuel bills and carbon
The government has started to
recognise the connection between
fuel poverty and climate change.
In last year’s energy white paper
it reaffirmed its commitment to
‘One in six households
now lives in fuel poverty
according to an Observer
survey. Gordon Brown is
reported to have met with
energy suppliers recently
– can we expect a windfall
tax in the next budget?’
■Toughen enforcement of under-age
■More accurately target NHS alcoholrelated harm reduction interventions
■Draw up a crime, disorder and
substance misuse strategy for their
This misses a major point. With
new definitions of what is safe to
drink, few non-specialists can now tell
what a unit of alcohol is or whether
their favourite tipple is going to cause
them problems or not.
For some time, it has been hard
for most of us to know how many
units a glass of beer or wine at the
bar contains. Today, with so much
alcohol drunk at home, the problem is
how you tell what is safe, when you
don’t have the optics and measured
glasses to help you.
If government is serious about
this issue – and the shedloads of
money being thrown at it appears
to indicate that they are – then
they have to make their minds up
about what they want. Is alcohol a
commodity like any other, which
can be sold in every shop on the high
street, or should we restrict its sale far
more stringently than at present?
We are sinking under alcohol
policies and strategies at the moment,
and there is something of a moral
panic among the chattering classes.
The challenge is to find a universally
understandable measure of alcohol
consumption, decide on safe levels of
drinking and publicise.
At present, we are befuddled:
waltzing slowly towards a public
health disaster. Either we can cross
our fingers, reinvent temperance and
wait for the Band of Hope, or we must
construct a clear and consistent alcohol
strategy and stick to it for a while.
Neil de Reybekill is principal consultant
in health policy at MEL Research.
maintain a target on household
energy suppliers to reduce carbon
emissions. Since then Defra, which has
been developing options, admitted
that the social impacts of carbon
reduction obligations need to be fully
understood in order to fully tackle fuel
poverty. Defra has also charged the
Sustainable Development Commission
with developing a ‘supplier obligation’,
which aims to give both suppliers and
consumers a shared incentive to reduce
carbon emissions.
The focus for the last few years
has been on social housing hitting
decent homes targets. Perhaps it’s
now time to recognise that a decent
home is not just free from damp but
one which doesn’t leave the tenant at
the mercy of global energy markets.
Otherwise, the PM’s restated ambition
to end child poverty could be very
hard to achieve.
Tony Hawkhead is chief executive of
Groundwork UK.
new start 14 march 2008 13
Organised by
in association with
A great deal has been said about Community Land Trusts.
The concept is widely known and because they bring
the affordable housing and community engagement
agendas together, they are proving very popular.
This year, the national CLT event will focus on the
key obstacles that practitioners and communities are
encountering in areas such as land, planning & tenure,
technical support and finance, as well as looking
closely at how the spatial planning and sustainable
communities strategies can be brought together.
This conference is essential for all support agencies and
organisations involved in housing and regeneration
30TH APRIL 2008
Over 20 speakers including:
Iain Wright, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Communities & Local Government
Matthew Taylor, Liberal Democrat MP, Leader of the Rural Economy & Affordable Housing Review
Bob Paterson, Project Director, Community Finance Solutions
Adrian Moran, Policy Manager, Housing Corporation
Professor James Powell OBE, Pro Vice Chancellor Enterprise & Regional Affairs, University of Salford
Sponsored by
Local authorities
Housing associations
Registered social landlords
Development trusts
Rural community councils
Planning professionals
Rural housing enablers
you say
Significant others Thea Stein
‘My teacher’s story has been one of the many
factors in my decision to work in areas that
can influence social justice and create change.’
Teachers can be a significant and
lasting influence in a child’s life
– and I consider myself very lucky.
One of mine, who I will not name to
save embarrassment, has proved to
be just that.
What made my teacher special
was his belief in humanity, his
overwhelming compassion for other
people and his overriding sense
of humour. When I tell you that
my teacher was a survivor of the
Holocaust, and had seen some of the
very worst of human nature at first
hand, you will understand why I
hold him in such high esteem.
I remember one story in
particular that he told to my
class when I was 11, about life in
Auschwitz. At the end of a long hard
day’s labour, if they were lucky, the
people in the camps were given a
small amount of bread and a small
amount of butter to eat.
He told us that one day in the
camp – a religious festival – his
father had suggested they made a
candle out of the butter ration and
lit it to celebrate their faith. My
teacher, who was a young child at
the time, was quite understandably
appalled. But his father said: ‘We
have learned that you can live for
three days without food and for
two days without water – but you
can not live for a single day without
Many years later, I still
remember that teacher and the way
he talked about his experiences
and his view that any situation can
be approached in a positive light
– whatever happens in your life you
Thea Stein is executive director
for economic inclusion at regional
development agency Yorkshire
Forward. She is responsible for its
communities, skills and transport
agendas. Prior to joining the RDA
in 2006, she was chief executive of
Leeds North East Primary Care Trust
and before that held various roles
within the health and social care
sector after qualifying as a clinical
have some choice about what you do
and how you respond.
I am certain that my teacher’s
story and his ability to see the
good in people despite his early
experiences has been one of the
many factors in my decision to work
in areas that can influence social
justice and create change. I wanted
to be in a position to change things,
for individuals and then for whole
groups. This led me from a career
in clinical psychology, through
research, working with drug addicts
and homeless people, to public
health and many other arenas before
moving into the area of regeneration
and regional development with
Yorkshire Forward.
I am clear that the pursuit of
economic development and the
development of social justice go
hand in hand and the challenge
of regeneration is how we ensure
that it involves everyone and builds
cohesion and not division.
I am a great admirer of people
who keep their faith and hope in
extreme situations and indeed in
simply difficult and challenging
places. I meet people who are
inspirational every day and people
who make the decision to go the
extra mile, try that bit harder and
not give up. They are from all walks
of life from big business, politics to
ordinary people you meet on a train.
They are all people who continue to
believe in the possibility of change.
And I always remember that
whatever challenges I face, I have
two vital things – the power to make
a difference and the ability to hope.
What’s the biggest challenge facing the sector? Local
government has a very demanding agenda. It is being
asked to save the planet and deliver vital services on a
shoestring. It can be more efficient but it needs more
freedom so the talent within it can act.
What’s the best course you’ve been on? A leadership course
at Ashridge Business School, Hertfordshire. It taught me
the value of being true to your own strengths and how to
use the skills of others to achieve common goals.
‘I’ve been pondering my
leaving do. Choosing a date
can get a bit tricky – get
in there early before you
leave, but when everyone’s
still up for it, or go for it a
week or two later when
everyone’s liver feels like
it’s being mentored by
Amy Winehouse?’
What skill is the most important? Communication skills.
It’s no use being able to get to grips with policy quickly,
which is often required in the job, if you can’t get the key
messages across succinctly.
everyone’s still up for it, or go for it
a week or two later when everyone’s
liver feels like it’s being mentored by
Amy Winehouse? The former feels a
bit previous, while the latter risks not
many turning up, which would stay
imprinted on your ego as a horrifying
illustration of just how unpopular you
are. Oh it’s all too difficult.
I must say I was very pleased
to get an invite to the leaving do of
Bristol’s NRU manager. I think all the
staff there are lovely, but I’ve given
the department a bit of a rough ride
in this column over the years so it was
very forgiving of her to invite me.
And that’s the other problem
with a leaving do. How wise is it to
not invite the people who register
low on my how-much-do-I-like-you
meter? As I’m going to need another
job soon, there’s only so much
scorched earth I can risk leaving
behind me…
What’s the best work experience you’ve had? Public
speaking can be a good confidence building exercise, but
when unprepared the very opposite can be true.
Keren Suchecki is learning and
development manager at Hartcliffe and
Withywood Community Partnership.
Career ladder Andrew Collinge
Andrew Collinge is director of
policy and public affairs at the
Local Government Information
Unit. He has a degree in modern
languages from Lancaster
University, where he specialised
in French and German.
He formerly worked at the
research organisation Ipsos Mori.
This is my
last Double
column – I’ll
be leaving
HWCP in a
few weeks’
I was
the first
Double devolution employee
eight years
ago in an empty shop without the
luxury of a chair, let alone phones,
desks, computers, filing cabinets or
carpet. It was January 2000 and so
cold that I needed to wear a hat,
gloves, woolly knickers and a hot
water bottle to work. And look at us
now, 20 staff in our very own pastelcoloured, eco-friendly, ergonomically
designed, high-tech, uber-lovely
community building. And just as I got
comfy, I got slung out.
I’ve been pondering my leaving
do. It’s all a bit complicated, what
with so many people losing their jobs
here and around the city. There’s a
danger of leaving do fatigue as the
same crowd of people traipse round
the pubs week after week. Choosing a
date can get a bit tricky – get in there
early before you leave, but when
What qualification is the most valued? While they are
increasingly scarce, social policy qualifications are
valuable. Economics is also important.
However, I am impressed by hard-won experience and
knowledge that people have gained in public sector
What would your key piece of career advice be? If you
want to achieve big things in an organisation you must
understand the need for good, consistent management to
get the best out of a varied team.
new start 14 march 2008 15
learning curve
There’s a piece of advice most
organisations aiming to become
self-financing would do well to
heed: don’t put all your eggs
in one basket. The path to
sustainability can be rocky; times
change and change is inevitable.
Being alert to new opportunities
and being prepared to do things
differently are therefore par
for the course. Calculating and
spreading risk is good business
sense. Few would seek to
simply own assets, win public
contracts or expect to become
self-financing from consultancy
services alone, but each of these
approaches could be worth
careful consideration.
Susan Downer and Barry McCarthy
profile three approaches to find
out what they have to offer
Taking the
right road
The road to sustainability 1: Set up a consultancy – Royds
onsultancy is a dirty word,’ says
Tony Dylak, chief executive of Royds
Community Association in Bradford.
And he should know.
Royds Consultancy was set up in 2001 after
private sector board members pointed out that the
advice, information and guidance the community
association was giving away was something every
self-respecting private business would charge for.
It was the first time the community association
thought about doing something so often associated
with people who make large sums of money by
telling communities what they already know before
‘What we have found more and more is that
people will pay for good quality information and
guidance,’ Mr Dylak says. ‘And when people pay for
advice it has more credence and they take more notice.’
The association, which began life with £31m
from the single regeneration budget (SRB), started
testing the market by charging a few hundred
pounds. It now charges the going rate. With services
delivered by senior staff and directors, two of whom
are neighbourhood renewal advisers, the consultancy
currently makes up to £120,000 a year. ‘That’s a lot of
unrestricted income to go into a charity.’
No more do they aim to be the cheapest. Mr
Dylak adds: ‘Sometimes when we get feedback after
Lessons learned
■know your worth and stick to what you know
■avoid the bandwagon – don’t think you can do
it just because others have. Look carefully at your
skills and ask whether you really can provide the
service people are looking for
■be professional – don’t break your promises or
let your customers down
■know your market, find your niche – what have
you got that other consultants don’t have?
■know your limits – diverting staff attention
from their usual work has costs as well as benefits
■don’t undersell yourself
■free publicity – the more you get around the
more people will know who you are
■cross pollination – you take learning from other
organisations back to your communities
■networking and contacts
Resident gathered at consultation events run by
Royds Consultancy in Blackburn and Darwen
16 14 march 2008 new start
Contact: Tony Dylak, chief executive
Email: [email protected]
Tel: 01274 355600
tendering for contracts people say our costs seemed
a bit high. But we have a formula for costs and work
out what we think we need in the same way a private
company would. We are open about how it is charged.
I am convinced that if you under-cost people think
you have not thought about it, or you just end up out
of pocket.’
The Royds rule is don’t subsidise another group.
Instead of underselling itself to win bids by being
the cheapest it plays to its strengths. It has two
unique selling points: the fact that it actually does
the things it’s talking about, and the fact that all the
money it makes goes back into the community.
‘We provide a professional service but we can
say we are not like a consultant, we are like you. We
are a charity ourselves and all the money we make
is used to help people back in Bradford. Because our
clients are residents they are bothered about where
money goes.’
One word of caution – the desire to make money
isn’t a good enough reason to set up a consultancy.
‘It is definitely something for regeneration
organisations to look at and with the right training
and support lots of people could do it, but it’s not
right for everybody.
‘It’s a bit like teaching: you can know the
techniques but the ability to enthuse isn’t always
there. Good consultants are people who can engage
and do lots of lateral thinking and think on their feet,
using their knowledge and skills to build confidence.’
Despite the image of consultants as highly paid,
clever, quick on the draw troubleshooters, there’s
very little glamour. ‘It’s hard work,’ Mr Dylak says.
‘Sometimes it means getting up at five am to get
somewhere for a nine o’clock meeting and putting
in more hours than you are getting paid for. If you’re
paid for five days you’ll probably work ten.
‘And you have to be professional. If you say
you’ll do something you do it, even if it means
working until midnight. You’ve made a contractual
commitment and it is about understanding that
relationship. It is a business relationship and that is
different to being more public sector orientated.’
The consultancy hosts visits, bids for contracts,
helps with recruitment and masterplanning and,
through its involvement in the Development Trusts
Association’s consultancy programme, is currently
helping communities manage asset transfers.
Through word-of-mouth recommendations alone
it is now having to turn work down, and is thinking
of recruiting associates to meet unmet demand.
If they do, the associates will have to buy into
the Royds ethos – a faith in resident involvement, a
commitment to providing a quality service and the
one belief that underpins it all: ‘Everything can be
changed for the better.’
learning curve
Total Healthcare
clients taking part in
an exercise activity
The road to sustainability 2: Deliver public services – Total Healthcare
he social enterprise Total Healthcare was
born out of disillusionment with the NHS.
Rita Melifonwu and fellow nurses believed
cash-strapped hospitals weren’t providing
the holistic treatment that patients needed. A
person’s psychological state and their social and
spiritual background were not issues that were often
taken into consideration at the understaffed NHS.
She believed that if you examine the full picture
of an individual you can get to the root of a problem,
improve people’s lifestyles and prevent many
residents from being admitted to hospital in the first
place for heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure
and diabetes. She also believes that people can often
‘self manage’ their conditions better at home, taking
pressure off the NHS.
In 2004, Ms Melifonwu and her colleagues
launched Total Healthcare in Enfield to provide this
holistic care to tackle poor health in the area. But if
the social enterprise was to provide a sustainable
future for itself it needed reliable funding.
‘Organisations that give grants set different
priorities every year so it’s difficult to win money,’
she explains.
Delivering public services would, however,
provide the security Total Healthcare was after.
The organisation started bidding for contracts
and ended up winning several tenders including one
from Enfield Council to deliver self-management
care for people who had suffered from problems like
heart attacks and strokes.
Total Healthcare also won tenders with primary
care trusts in Enfield and Haringey for smoking
cessation work, and a contract with Haringey Council
to give people home-based support so they wouldn’t
have to go to a nursing home. These contracts form
the majority of Total Healthcare’s funding.
For this financial year public service tenders
made up £80,000 of the organisation’s total revenue
of £120,000. So what was behind the company’s
Futurebuilders England, which provides support
to help third sector organisations deliver public
services, played an important part by giving Total
Healthcare a loan of £48,000 and grants of £42,000.
But she says the key to winning contracts is to try
to match your services to the targets of statutory
‘We are helping the local authority deliver its
target, so we can be certain the money is there,’ Ms
Melifonwu explains.
Companies also need to be aware of their
strengths so they can convince statutory bodies that
they are worth investing in, she points out. Total
Healthcare says it had an edge on rival bidders – selfemployed GPs – because it was more in touch with
the community and did more outreach work. Many
GPs expect patients to come to them, she argues.
Social enterprises must also be willing to
work with other similar organisations to grow.
A partnership of five groups may have a chance
of winning a contract worth £1m – but small
companies operating alone have no hope of securing
big tenders, she explains.
Lin O’Hara, outreach and development manager
at Futurebuilders England, says: ‘The commissioning
process isn’t the easiest system to get to grips with,
but it does present real opportunities for third sector
organisations with the specialist skills and the will
to deliver services. Public service delivery has helped
a lot of our investees expand and develop their
services, and to improve their financial viability
without compromising their integrity or changing
their essential values.’
Lessons learned
■make use of business support services for
advice on finance, preparing for tenders,
managing staff, and health and safety
■when bidding for tenders, make sure you
get full cost recovery by putting in a claim for
every expense incurred to deliver the contract
including rent, telephone use, electricity and
staff wages
■put good governance arrangements in place by
creating a non executive committee, which can
monitor delivery and help raise standards
■find out how to network with staff from local
authorities and primary care trusts to improve
your chances of winning a tender and learn more
about business opportunities
■improves a group’s ability to expand its reach
and develop activities
■makes an organisation more businesslike and
■shows that local and national government takes
the work of third sector organisations seriously,
giving these bodies a chance to influence policy
■public service contracts often create an income
surplus to invest in innovation
■gives an organisation self-confidence that it’s
providing a formal professional service rather than
surviving on handouts like grants
Contact: Rita Melifonwu
Email: [email protected]
Tel: 020 8373 2739
new start 14 march 2008 17
learning curve
The road to sustainability 3: Own and manage assets – West Itchen Community Trust
hen Dave Newton talks about West
Itchen Community Trust he doesn’t
mention the word regeneration.
Regeneration was the round
two SRB programme that spent £10m tackling the
physical appearance of the area before running out
of money and heading out of town.
In this ethnically diverse area of Southampton
where ill-health and under-employment are major
problems, the shadow of crime and historically poor
environment linger to shake the nerves of outsiders
and money leaks into the nearby city centre it was
clear that more had to be done.
As the programme drew to a close the board took
a bold step, deciding to invest some of its remaining
funds in underperforming or dilapidated commercial
property and set up a community trust to support
local people and the local economy.
Its £1.2m spending spree landed an office
building, a terraced house (which became home
to a community project) and an old GP surgery. A
small enterprise park of 16 units and a small piece of
industrial land were gifts from Southampton Council.
It sounds like a big risk but managing director
Dave Newton says risks were contained. ‘I think there
were nervous people and some who needed to be
convinced but the board was clued up and we looked
carefully at whether the assets were underinvested or
fundamentally flawed. The local authority and Seeda
[South East England Development Agency] didn’t
take risks, they were supportive and selective, so we
had the ideal recipe of a skilled and brave board and
a regional development agency and local authority
prepared to work with them.’
That rare combination came about because the
board had a good range of experience and the agencies
trusted them, having worked with many on SRB2.
The trust itself was ambitious but not foolhardy.
Initially, external agents were brought in to manage
the property while trust members found their feet
and learned the ropes. By degrees they took the reins
and are now managing the property themselves.
‘There was training along the way and expertise
on the board so that helped inform staff in the
management of the portfolio. As we acquired a new
building we built up confidence and took on another
so it was learning by doing. About eight months ago
we took management in-house and that is working
well. We are investing more in the properties because
we see issues before they become a crisis.’
The trust now owns and manages seven sites
Clockwise from left: The Trust’s assets include the Itchen Gallery, Brunswick – a Victorian building rented out as office
space – and Acorn, a row of houses converted into business premises beside a 16 unit enterprise centre
including some retail property that aims to support
small businesses by giving them flexible leases (they
can give a month’s notice if things aren’t working
out) in shared accommodation.
In just five years and with just five staff it has
started 14 businesses, supported another 20, created
20 jobs, supported 30 voluntary organisations with
coaching, networking and micro finance, helped
voluntary groups raise £500,000 for the area and
supported 50 individuals with their personal
‘We are now at a stage where we are relatively
stable and have sufficient income to cover the work
we do in the community. The challenge for us is to
get from that point to being on a cycle of growth,
developing a year on year surplus to increase our
community activity,’ Mr Newton says.
But because this is a community development
approach the rate at which the business grows is
determined by local capacity – it’s growth of and
with the community.
And that is why this isn’t regeneration. It’s not a
big bang with big bucks – just £2.5m has been spent
by the trust compared with £10m through SRB; it’s
not a hit and run.
‘We will be raising income for the area as long as
we survive,’ Mr Newton says. ‘There’s no reason why
we shouldn’t be here in 25 years’ time. People should
be able to depend on us for the long term.’
Lessons learned
■a good quality board is essential – mix local
connectivity, professional business skills and
professional community development skills
■build trust with public sector officers
■don’t stop communicating with local people
– if you are taking a community development
approach, local knowledge of what you are doing
is key to building a sense of ownership
■pace it – owning and managing assets is
a learning process. Learn from doing on a
manageable scale and then move on
■business growth versus social investment
– getting the balance right is a question of trial
and error on an ongoing basis
■helps build community confidence
■supports long-term planning
■services can be shaped around community
needs eg short-term leases for new businesses
that wouldn’t be involved in private sector
Contact: Dave Newton, managing director
[email protected]
Tel: 023 8038 8580
New Start is staging a conference in Manchester on 18 March looking at ways in
which organisations can plot their route to sustainability. Lessons in succession –
backed by Rocket Science, the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (Cles) and
Ecotec – will explore the options available and features interactive learning
sessions with leading experts.
To book your place go to,
email [email protected] or call 0114 281 6130.
18 14 march 2008 new start
climate change
Bursting the growth bubble
Current local economic policy
simply doesn’t fit with the
dangers posed by climate
change. Peter North considers
the available options
urrent consensus in thinking about
local economic development focuses on
marketing to overseas investors and visitors,
improving infrastructure, developing
specific advantage within the global division of
labour (the knowledge economy), and focusing on
culture as the new driver for growth.
While there are still problems of deep-rooted
poverty, the argument is that strong growth will
enable those currently excluded to join the new
Yet this model of growth based regeneration
has been accused of exacerbating inequalities
by meeting the needs of a small, already quite
privileged section of the economy. Critics have
damned this ‘entrepreneurial’ approach as a
diversion, creating vacuous ‘discourses of place’ that
amount to little more than marketing slogans rather
than hard economic activity that enables working
people to achieve a comfortable standard of living.
The paradigm has nothing to say about mitigating
climate change. Worse, if growth based regeneration
leads to increased air travel and to overall increased
consumption, gains made elsewhere in carbon
reduction will be negated. The growth paradigm
therefore has fundamental problems.
We know that avoiding ‘dangerous’ climate
change – above 2oC – requires an 80% cut in carbon
emissions by 2050. This will mean a fundamental
restructuring of local economies as economic
development strategies focused uncritically on
growth become less credible.
So what are the options?
Four solutions to climate change
Continue with ‘business as usual’ and leave
solutions to the future when technology
has advanced. The money would be better
spent on solving problems like poor health,
bad housing and poor nutrition in the here-and-now.
Climate change is for the privileged, the poor need
more growth. The climate in the UK is not exactly
perfect, and some argue a little warming would do
us good. We would have longer growing seasons and
the opportunity to get the kind of climate people
currently flock to Spain for.
In the short run this would be the case. Climate
chaos will hit Bangladesh, Darfur, the Niger
delta, China and the like while we warm up quite
pleasantly. True, we will need to invest in more
border surveillance and a larger navy to keep the
desperate ecological migrants out, but, so what? As
long as we get growth.
Obviously, business as usual is not good enough.
Not all growth leads to increased carbon
emissions. Being too much of a doom
monger can paralyse. Martin Luther King
inspired change by providing a vision of a
promised land, not by talking about the number of
racist murders last year being the highest on record.
Many argue local economies need to undergo
a process of ecological modernisation similar to
the restructuring they underwent in the 1980s
and 1990s as large-scale manufacturing declined.
New jobs and opportunities can be generated from
new environmental technologies, so for economist
Nicolas Stern, who advised the government on
climate change, there is no trade off between
economic growth and dealing with climate change.
Local economies should focus on supporting new
environmental technologies and services, and
invest in green businesses rather than airports and
city breaks. Make it easier to be green by providing
recycling, good cycle lanes and good public transport.
But this might not be good enough. What if the
hoped for technologies don’t actually emerge? What
if we can’t wait?
The third scenario for local economies
would be to localise – everything that can
be produced locally is produced locally. It
relies less on moving often similar products
from place to place, burning CO2 needlessly and
consuming limited fossil fuels. It focuses less on
boosting GDP, and more on generating quality
lifestyles that consume fewer resources by focusing
on meeting needs within ecological limits.
Economies should be locally or communallyowned and controlled, meaning community
and social businesses are a priority. Local money
networks like LETS and local banks and credit
unions should be promoted.
Localisation does not mean complete autarky,
cutting local economies off from each other. It is
a relative term – ‘local’ means minimising carbon
emissions from transport to the maximum feasible
extent without fundamentally reducing efficiency.
This would mean moving as soon as possible to low
carbon economies, rather than having to do it in
a rush. This is the perspective being developed by
the many Transition Towns initiatives springing up
across the country.
The last options need not concern us
unduly as they assume we are moving into
a warmer, more unpleasant world where
wars are fought over water, limited and
plummeting oil and gas, and food supplies.
Collectively, the solution would be to hold on to
what we have. Or, for those individuals that can, to
move to a hilltop away from the coast with its own
well and dig in. These must be overly pessimistic
Some commentators argue debates about climate
change are post-political, uncontested. We cannot
challenge what science says about climate change;
we must do what is necessary, not debate responses.
In reality, debates about ways forward are
intensely political and contested. Business as usual,
or survivalism seem deeply unattractive, reactionary
solutions. Investing in local environmental solutions
rather than airports and doing as much as we can
locally to cut emissions must be the progressive local
solution to climate change.
This means a fundamental rethinking of what
‘growth’ means, and a move away from a knee-jerk
view that climate change inevitably means hair
shirts - deeply unattractive to those without people
carriers or the wherewithal to participate in city
breaks, whose carbon emissions are already quite
low. A less unequal world would be more sustainable.
Peter North is a senior lecturer in geography at
Liverpool University. Some of the ideas presented here
were developed in a seminar series funded by the
Economic and Social Research Council,
new start 14 march 2008
digital inclusion
Gateway Gardens Trust
The Gateway Gardens Trust was set up in 2000
to help disadvantaged people enjoy the beauty
of historic gardens. It works with disabled
people, women’s groups, families on low
incomes, older people, schoolchildren and ethnic
minority communities throughout Wales. After
receiving £70,000 from [email protected],
the trust added a new dimension to its work by
lending visitors digital cameras on their visits.
Development director Sharron Kerr explains:
‘What better to inspire someone to have a go at
digital photography than in a beautiful garden?
You have to go to see what an emotional
experience it can be – there’s something about
being in a beautiful place that makes people tell
you their life story. What does taking photos add
to it? They have a memory.’
But new skills are also being learned. ‘We’re
showing them what you can do with digital
technology – you do have to learn about it or
you’ll be left behind.
‘The people we work with wouldn’t go
to a formal class. A lot were very nervous
at first when it was their turn to use the
camera. It demystifies ICT – a digital camera
isn’t as scary as you think when you’ve got
someone to show you. People have said they’ve
now got something to talk to their families
about. Others, from the most disadvantaged
backgrounds, have saved up and bought a
digital camera.’
The learning does not stop with taking
pictures – people are then taught to make
‘digital stories’ – a slide show of photos with a
‘The digital stories are really emotional and
powerful,’ adds Ms Kerr. ‘One woman started
talking about how she’d been to this particular
garden 40 years ago and carved her initials in a
tree and could never find it again.
‘Another talked about her rural childhood
– they would keep goats, slaughter pigs, her
mother would feed them from the pig for weeks
and bake bread every day. That’s a tradition
that’s been lost in a very short space of time.’
The stories have been shown in exhibitions
at the parks. ‘Ordinary members of the public
kept coming in and sitting and watching them
from start to finish,’ says Ms Kerr. ‘You don’t
have to be rich and famous to have a story to
tell. Getting people involved in digital stories
strengthens feelings in the community.’
Digital technology can open the door to a
world of possibilities. Varya Shaw discovers a
Welsh success story that’s finding fun ways
to give communities new skills
A group of women learning how to use digital cameras
20 14 march 2008 new start
n deprived parts of Wales, there are too many
people who feel there is no shame in being
technologically illiterate. This is the situation
that [email protected], a scheme run by the
Welsh Cooperative Centre in partnership with the
Welsh Assembly Government, set out to change. The
scheme has shown just how transformative digital
technology can be for hard to reach groups, if you
take the right approach.
[email protected] was launched in January
2006 and since then £6.6m has been given to 200
voluntary and community groups. Each project must
seek to engage people who, as deputy minister for
regeneration Leighton Andrews puts it, ‘had never
really engaged in technology and who aren’t reached
by the education sector’.
Alun Burge, head of [email protected] at the
Welsh Co-operative Centre, which runs the scheme,
says it’s all about making the projects ‘directly
relevant to people’s lives, otherwise they won’t have
any interest’.
Menfa project manager Sujatha Thaladi runs a
computer mentoring course with a trainee
Facts and figures
■Launched in January 2006, first phase ends
June 2008
■£6.6m in grants has been given to community
■Scheme aims to spend a total of £12m over five
years on the next round
■Second phase will be measured against the
Lisbon agenda
■To ensure they are effective, projects will receive
a total support package including marketing
advice and technological support – not just money
Sujatha Thaladi, project manager at Menfa,
says: ‘It used to be such a mess – they used to
scream and shout to get their turn. Now everyone
is happy because they get their share of computer
time, especially those who are ten plus – they can
do their school projects. They may have a computer
at home but with four children in the home, they
don’t get a chance.’
She adds that this is a source of pride for
the children. ‘They come from very deprived
communities, they get their own laptop, they can
manage it and do their research. If you give them
paper they think it’s boring.’
Another example is the River Dee Community
Church in Flint, north Wales which received almost
£55,000 at the end of 2006. The church was able to
buy £11,000 of hardware including six laptops, six
PCs, digital cameras and a digital projector. It also
enabled it to employ two part-time staff, a mentor
trainer and a development outreach worker.
The results include a lively Saturday night
youth club where the digital projector is used in
karaoke sessions, a migrant drop-in centre every
Friday where people can download forms from
the government portal Directgov, and a satellite
programme of ICT centres in the community rooms
of residential blocks for older people.
digital inclusion
[email protected] is hailed as a devolved
government success story, showing what can
happen when a government is close to its people.
An independent evaluation said the money
was getting to the right people to do the things
that they wanted to do, or in Mr Burge’s words,
‘engaging them with the technology, getting their
The first round was jointly funded by the Welsh
Assembly Government and the European Regional
Development Fund. More or less all the grant
funding was allocated by December 2007 and the
funding ends in June.
The expectation is that further European funds
will be allocated to a new phase of the project. If
they are, it is hoped it will come on stream by the
beginning of July at the latest.
The success of the new fund will be measured
against the Lisbon agenda, which aims to give the
European Union a more competitive knowledgebased economy. In order to deliver on Lisbon, projects
will get a much bigger package of support from
[email protected], not just money.
So many innovative programmes prove
themselves only to fizzle out once their original
funding is exhausted. But [email protected] looks
set to build on the momentum of its technological
8find out more
For further information on the programme go to or call 029 2055 6190.
Gateway Gardens Trust: www.
Community radio project, Rhondda Cynon Taff:
To find out more about individual projects call Mark
Smith on 029 2055 6950 or email [email protected]
Community radio project, Rhondda Cynon Taff
The example given by everyone involved is
pigeon fanciers in south Wales, who received a tiny
grant of £1,742. Mr Andrews explains: ‘The pigeon
fanciers did all their work in paper and pen. In
England it’s all done by email. So we gave a grant to
pigeon racers and now they’re all online.’
All the projects are in Communities First areas
– the 142 wards on the Welsh multiple index or
deprivation. This isn’t a programme weighed
down by targets, but the anecdotal evidence from
individuals and communities of its impact is
overwhelmingly positive.
An example is Menfa – Mentoring for All
– is based in Butetown, Cardiff which provides
mentoring for people of all ages from disadvantaged
backgrounds. Menfa runs My Club every Saturday
for young people between six and 16. Mentoring is
provided to help the children with their studies. A
£9,000 grant has allowed My Club to provide a much
higher standard of ICT than it did before in the form
of five new laptops.
The project wanted to create a community station
part can’t quite believe it’s a real station and
that was as ‘big-sounding, slick and professional’
they’re the ones presenting. They will talk to
as possible. ‘Computers enable us to do this,’ says
people who heard them, who say “I love your
project manager Andrew Jones.
The three studios set up by the project with
The station effectively gets the community to
£270,000 from [email protected] are entirely
have a conversation with itself. ‘People hear local
run by local people. Their output is ‘very Radio 2’
people that they know, they come in and tell us
according to Mr Jones – a mixture of music and
about something – an event, an interesting person
community-orientated guests and features.
that lives on their street – and the next thing
He adds: ‘The computer will be the nerve
they’re on air,’ says Mr Jones.
centre of the studio like any radio station. People
And the project is delivering results. ‘There are
in the community will do everything. They will be
some cases where in particular older people who
trained up in IT, and for some this will be the first
were afraid of computers have used them through
time they’ve been using it in any way.’
the radio station, then made the plunge and taken
Like all the [email protected] schemes, the
computer courses.’
radio project dispenses this digital education
But Mr Jones warns there is a long way to go.
informally, and there is
‘Most people we encounter
a clear synergy between
don’t have broadband, so
ICT and wider community
how do they take part in
this digital age? Even more
Mr Jones says: ‘We’re
startling is the number of
now in Treherbert, an old
people who don’t have a
Valleys mining village.
landline – they just have pay
It hasn’t got a lot left
as you go mobiles – so how
now so when we opened
do they get broadband?
last summer people said
‘We all talk about the
they couldn’t believe it,
digital switchover and
something modern in their
inclusion, but for many
high street. They’re used to
people it’s something they
having the neighbourhood
couldn’t participate in
shops closing.
– even if they understood
‘The people who take
RCT Radio’s Andrew Jones in action on air
the concept.’
new start 14 march 2008
Tony Armstrong:
bringing a
knowledge of
how government
works to the
Living Streets
profile: tony armstrong
The campaign for pedestrian-friendly streets has a new leader – and he’s armed with insider
knowledge of government. Tony Armstrong tells Rosie Niven why he’s taken the big step from
Whitehall to the voluntary sector
The word on
the streets
t takes a lot to prise a career civil servant away
roads to walk 40 yards. With a little extra thought at
then able to tackle the more difficult problems of
from Whitehall, but for Tony Armstrong the lure
the planning stage, you could easily accommodated
worklessness and health.’
of campaign group Living Streets was too great
good transport systems and pedestrian-friendly
While he admits the NRU didn’t live up to
to resist.
walkways. Things like that are a missed opportunity.’
expectations in some areas, he believes a lot of good
After spending most of his career in several
He is a firm believer that streets are better
work was done in changing the culture and mindset
different government departments, including the
designed when local residents are involved. ‘When
around regeneration. He is ‘a bit nervous’ about the
Neighbourhood Renewal Unit (NRU) when it formed
local people aren’t involved, the needs of fast moving
new focus on worklessness and fears of a loss of
in 2001, Mr Armstrong says he was ready for another
transport gets prioritised. One of the most exciting
emphasis on community empowerment and holistic
challenge. But he admits his move raised eyebrows
projects that we are involved at the moments is the
regeneration. ‘I’d be a bit worried if that got cut out.’
in some quarters.
engaging communities project, which is funded by
His views on neighbourhood renewal are partly
‘Some people have said I must be mad leaving my
the CLG. We are working in a number of areas of the
influenced by a stint in front line regeneration.
civil servant’s pension for the voluntary sector. In a
northeast to get a sense of how communities are
During his time at the NRU he was seconded to
way, this is my perfect job because it brings together
taking more of a interest in their local environment
EB4U, east Brighton’s new deal for communities
all those different policy interests that I have.’
and qualifying the impact.’
scheme. He recalls the experience as being a ‘huge
In a career that has seen him work on transport
Mr Armstrong regards Living Streets’ network
eye opener’.
issues, neighbourhood renewal and most recently
of active local branches as one of its main strengths
‘In government, it’s a cliché that you are in an
the government’s strategy for tackling obesity, he
and would like to build on it to make sure the
ivory tower,’ he says. ‘It does not quite prepare you
appears well qualified
for the experience of
to head up the UK’s
working with residents
biggest campaign group
in a deprived area. We
for pedestrians. One
were working in an
of his priorities will
office right on the estate
be to get pedestrians’
in Brighton. There were
needs higher up the
tensions between what
government’s agenda. He believes that right now,
organisation can articulate the concerns of local
residents wanted and what the service providers
political opinion is receptive to Living Streets’
people to policymakers. He also hopes to develop
wanted, but that worked really well in the Brighton
the organisation’s consultancy services, including
NDC area. They respected people’s opinions and
‘What I can bring to this role is the knowledge
its community and street audits that are carried out
found a common way around problems.’
of how government works,’ he says. ‘The things
for local authorities. A recent example of this was a
He is sad to see the back of the now defunct NRU
that worked for me as a civil servant was making it
study for Transport for London of mainline stations
where he spent several years of his career and says
crystal clear the impact of what you’re proposing to
in the capital.
it was an exciting place to work in the early years,
do on a number of different policy agendas.
During his civil service career, he saw how
with a lot of the staff brought in from the outside
‘If we as an organisation can demonstrate the
improving the physical environment was often
who had hands-on experience of neighbourhood
impact of involving people in the design of their
one of the first steps to regenerating an area. ‘My
renewal. He remembers a culture of civil servants
streets then the government will listen to the
experience of neighbourhood renewal is that in a lot
working closely with practitioners and community
message because it will help them hit their targets
of areas that have multiple deprivation, one of the
leaders, which he says made it better connected to
on climate change and sustainability.’
first steps is trying to get people back at the heart
front line delivery.
Another benefit that increasing levels of
of their streets. At the NRU, we found that those
‘I think one of the things about the early days
walking can bring is improvement to people’s
areas that had cracked the local environment were
of the NRU was that willingness to take risks and
health, he points out. But he argues
accept that some things might not
there’s little incentive to go out for a
work,’ he says. ‘That always becomes
walk if the physical environment is
a tension when you are using public
unpleasant. He sees many example of
■Extending its national Walk to School campaign to cover secondary schools
money. The Treasury will never be
poor practice, including around the new
for the first time
relaxed about this, and quite rightly.
St Pancras Station.
■A brand new project – Fitter for Walking – that will help local communities in
You should never use public money
‘It’s a fantastic building and it was
five areas of England improve walking conditions in their local area
for things if there’s a good chance you
a good opportunity to get walking built
■An increase in regional work, building on its new Living Streets North
are going to fail. But I think we got the
in. But even around there with the road
office in Newcastle
balance broadly right.’
layout you’ve got barriers that mean
■Increase in the level of support and resources given to its network of 98 local
pedestrians can’t walk across the road.
and affiliated groups, involving them more fully in the group’s lobbying work
To find out more about the work of Living
You have to walk across three different
Streets go to
‘At the NRU, we found that those areas that had cracked the local
environment were then able to tackle the more difficult problems
of worklessness and health.’ Tony Armstrong, Living Streets
Living Streets priorities for 2008
new start 14 MARCH 2008 23
Community Transport
Association roadshow
March - April
Venue: various
Aspects of leadership
Apse course
Venue: Birmingham
28 March
Energy performance
Asset Skills/ DCLG
Venue: various
March – May
Details: [email protected], tel 0845
678 2888
CIH Cymru annual
Venue: Cardiff
1-3 April
How housing
associations can
contribute to financial
Scottish Centre
for Regeneration
Venue: Glasgow
20 March
Details: www.scr.
Training for third sector
Social Enterprise Works
Venue: London
26 March
Details: www.
Housing misfortunes
Homeless International
annual spring ball
Venue: London
8 April
How to engage the
Cles course
Venue: Manchester
8 April
Conflict resolution
Leeds Voice event
Don’t miss out
Community cohesion and empowerment
This UK Public Health Association annual forum
will discuss issues like innovation and excellence in
tackling health inequalities, promoting wellbeing
in BME communities, and preventing alcohol and
drug misuse. There will also be sessions on the role
of local government in improving people’s quality
of life and engaging communities in nutritional
eating programmes. Speakers include Gabriel
Scally, regional director of public health at the
Department of Health.
Venue: Liverpool, 1-2 April
Venue: Leeds
14 April
Details: www.
Regional places,
local spaces
RTPI conference
Venue: Cambridge
14-15 April
Details: emma.tozer, tel 020
7929 9489/9494
Using evidence in policy
and project development
Cles course
Venue: Newcastle
15 April
Nature in the city
Green Space conference
Venue: London
15 April
The winds of change
London Property Forum
17 April
Venue: London
International tax and
economic welfare
ETPF/ IFS conference
Venue: London
21 April
Are our young people
ready for work?
Edas conference
Venue: Glasgow
23 April
Details: www.edascot.
National digital inclusion
Civil Conferences event
Venue: London
29 April
Details: www.
Promote your event on our website at:
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The future of the city
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urc regeneration
Venue: Gloucester
30 April – 3 May
Details: www.
Intercultural cities
Euclid and Comedia
Venue: Liverpool
1-3 May
Details: http://inter.
The future of
sustainable efficiency
PFH annual conference
Venue: Birmingham
13 May
Details: www.
procurementforhousing., [email protected]
Mitigating and adapting
to climate change
LGC/ NLGN conference
Venue: London
13 May
Details: www.
18th March 2008
Ensure your organisation has the time develop and New Century House
improve the prospects of those you engage with.
OOK \\
24 14 march 2008 new start
16th UKPHA
Annual Public Health Forum
Join us at the UK’s largest
multi-disciplinary conference
on public health
Championing the social, cultural, economic and
environmental determinants of health
1st and 2nd April 2008
Liverpool Arena and Convention Centre
For more information and to register
visit the conference website:
• Plenary sessions on
all the big issues
• Debates on key controversies
• Presentation of up to 300
papers and workshops on
major themes and topics
Conference secretariat:
T: 0191 241 4523
E: [email protected]
• Featured poster session
• Major exhibition
• Unbeatable networking
• Offsite visits to leading public
health initiatives in Liverpool
Wigan and Leigh Extreme is a
unique event for social enterprises,
local people, public agencies
and their partners. Find out how
new networks built on trust
and understanding can develop
enterprise in communities and
promote working neighbourhoods.
The national conference is on 18
and 19 March 2008. Experienced
speakers and facilitators will take
you through key aspects of creating
local enterprise - from the policy
context through to the personal
implications, from creative skills
through to financial survival.
The conference will be held at
the Waterside Conference Centre,
Wigan (WN3 5BA), which is one of
the most attractive venues in the
northwest, beside the Leeds and
Liverpool Canal.
Public organisations or private
companies: £150
Call Carol Williams on:
01942 209122
07983 709745
Wigan and Leigh Extreme is
a week-long school for social
enterprises and their partners, with
workshops, advice surgeries and
a two-day national conference on
community action.
Speakers already confirmed include
Toby Blume, chief executive,
Urban Forum; Geraldine Blake,
Community Links; and Professor
Carolyn Kagan, Manchester
Metropolitan University.
neighbourhoods that work
better, new opportunities for
local people, promoting social
enterprises or just making
your community a better place,
this event is for you! The key
theme is about how reflection
and transformation can lead to
strategy and action.
The two-day conference is open
to community groups, voluntary
organisations, public agencies and
their partners nationwide.
For full details watch out for
updates at
Organised by
Supported by
Voluntary and community
organisations: £75
Bursaries are available - please
ask for details
Or email:
[email protected]
18th - 19th March 2008
Waterside Conference Centre, Wigan
Sponsored by
new start 14 MARCH 2008 25
Contact us
0114 281 6130
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Jamie Veitch
[email protected]
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26 14 MARCH 2008 new start
0114 281 6130
Deputy Director – Social
Enterprise and Finance
Office of the Third Sector
(maternity cover – 6 month fixed term contract
with the potential to extend to one year)
Whitehall, London
Salary c£56k, more may be available
for an exceptional candidate
The Office of the Third Sector (OTS) was created to help develop an
environment that enables the whole of the third sector to thrive and
fulfil its potential contribution to society, economy and the environment.
The OTS is developing an exciting new agenda that will focus on
groundbreaking policies to support the sector in creating a thriving culture
of social enterprise, enabling campaigning; strengthening and supporting
community action; and transforming the delivery of public services.
We are looking for an outstanding individual with exceptional
leadership, management, communication and partnership working skills
to join our senior management team. You will be working closely with
our partners across the third sector, ministers and regional and local
government. Importantly you will also play a central role in raising
the profile and understanding of social enterprise and the third sector
as a whole.
We are seeking two experienced and motivated team players to deliver
outcomes for a project that strengthens BME voice in Yorkshire & the Humber.
The Regional Forum plays a key and expanding role in the region, promoting
the influence, contribution and role of the voluntary & community sector.
Programme Director BME Project
NJC equivalent pt 38-41 (£30,598 - £33,291 per annum)
5% pension contribution, 35 hours per week.
The primary focus of this role will be to support a co-ordinated regional
voice for the black and minority ethnic (BME) voluntary and community
sector (VCS), that speaks for the interests of the BME sector at local and
regional levels.
This post will be at the forefront of creating a culture and understanding
of social enterprise and promoting alternative finance models for the
third sector.
Policy and Communications Officer BME Project
Secondments from existing employers will also be considered.
5% pension contribution, 35 hours per week.
For an information pack and application form please email
[email protected] quoting reference REC/07/282
or write to: The Recruitment Team, 4th Floor, 22 Whitehall,
London SW1A 2WH.
Closing date: 5pm Wednesday 26th March 2008.
NJC equivalent pt 35-38 (£28,172 - £30,598 per annum)
The primary focus of this role will be to support the BME Panel and to
lead on achieving project outcomes as agreed with the Big Lottery. This
will include working strategically with sub-regional and local public and
voluntary organisations.
Application closing date for both posts: 12 noon 2nd April 2008
Interviews: Programme Director - 17th April
Policy & Communications Officer - 22nd April
Please visit our website for further information including information
relating to experience and skills & an application pack for both positions:
[email protected]
Telephone: 0113 394 2300
Suite D10, Joseph’s Well, Hanover Walk, Leeds LS3 1AB
The Forum offers excellent holiday and flexible working
The Regional Forum is striving to be an equal opportunities employer and
is committed to the training and development of employees
Yorkshire and the Humber Regional Forum for Voluntary & Community
Registered Charity 1076540
new start 14 MARCH 2008 27
0114 281 6130
StepClever - Social Enterprise
Stepclever will transform areas of North Liverpool and South Sefton as
a place for new business growth and employment creation. It is funded
by the Local Enterprise Growth Initiative (LEGI), a national programme
managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government.
As part of StepClever, a consortium of provider organisations will be
delivering a social enterprise programme. One of these providers,
Eldonian Group Ltd, is seeking to appoint a business advisor to deliver
social enterprise support.
Business Advisor
£27K pa, fixed-term contract until 31st March 2010
This is an exciting opportunity to contribute towards the transformation
and economic growth of North Liverpool and South Sefton.
We are looking for a Business Advisor to deliver business advice,
particularly social enterprise. This person will work with potential
social entrepreneurs and existing social enterprises in order to create
new businesses and assist existing enterprises grow and deliver, thus
Need to recruit staff?
newstart is tried and tested:
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would do so again.
100% said our customer service
was either excellent or good.
Thank you to all who
responded to the recent
newstart reader survey and for
your helpful comments.
creating new employment opportunities in North Liverpool and South
We are looking for an experienced Business Advisor with an excellent
track record and accreditation (eg. SFEDI, IBA, etc or working towards),
who will be able to communicate well with clients and has excellent
people skills. Knowledge of the social enterprise sector would be
Hours: 35 per week, with some evening work required
Location: North Liverpool, across various venues
To apply, ring Ian on 0151 207 5181 or e-mail [email protected]
Closing date for applications: 5pm, 28th March 2008.
“I am freelance and
newstart is like having
colleagues who keep you
informed of what else is
going on in Regeneration.
It’s easy to read and very
Gill Hutchinson, MAC Associates (Leicester) Limited
We randomly selected one of the survey respondents to win a
£100 donation which we will make to a charity of their choice.
The winner was Ken Barker of South Riverside Community
Development Centre.
28 14 MARCH 2008 new start
0114 281 6130
Bright New Futures
Capacity Building Officer
Economic Regeneration Officer
All Saints and Blakenhall Community Development
Economic Well-Being
£28,172 - £30,598
£18,907- £30,598 (Career Graded Post)
Fixed Term Contract Until 31 March 2011
Ref: RS461
We are looking for an enthusiastic and highly motivated individual
to join our Economic Regeneration Team. You will be responsible
for analysing economic information and data in order to respond
to the employment and skills agenda in the borough. With highly
developed communication and partnership working skills, you will
help respond to the key issues faced by our strategic partners,
with a key focus on areas such as skills and worklessness. You
will develop and manage projects that create bespoke support
and training interventions that lead individuals into employment
opportunities. A background in economic development or
regeneration project management is essential with a sound
understanding of the key principles affecting economic and social
This is a two year permanent contract, subject to funding after
2 years.
For an informal discussion please contact Jane Kaur-Gill, Team
Leader (Economic Well-Being) on 01922 652573 or Louise Powell,
Regeneration Manager (Economic) on 01922 652571.
To apply visit
Telephone 01922 653377
Textphone 0845 1112910
Quote job title and reference. CVs not accepted.
Closing date: 28 March 2008.
Interview date: 15 April 2008.
The Authority is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of
children and young people/vulnerable adults and expect all staff and
volunteers to share this commitment.
Working towards quality
through equality
Job Ref: REC02077R
All Saints and Blakenhall Community Development is a
vibrant community based organisation leading the
regeneration of All Saints, Blakenhall and Parkfield
through a long-term commitment to deliver real
change with a vision that:
“The ABCD community will be cohesive and will be active in the issues that affect local
residents. Local people will be empowered to influence the services in the area in which
they live and work”.
We recognise that the development of strong community engagement is critical to the
future sustainability of the ABCD community by:
� Influencing Service Delivery
� Strengthening Governance
� Building Social Inclusion and Cohesion
� Building Social Capital
� Strengthening Networks
We are seeking a key post to our Community Regeneration Team and you could play a
pivotal role in supporting a programme-wide approach to building community capacity
and cohesion. You will strengthen social capital through the effective growth of the
local voluntary and community sector, working with such key partners as WVSC and
WNC, through the provision of appropriate training and capacity building
opportunities to strengthen our community infrastructure.
You will be a proven practitioner in capacity building with experience of governance and
funding strategies.
For more information please contact Jas Kaur on (01902) 556747.
To apply, call Regeneration and Environment on (01902) 555414
(24 hour answering service, please quote job reference) or
e-mail [email protected]
Minicom users should call (01902) 554086
Most posts within the Council are subject to review under the Single
Status agreement (Teachers are excluded). Further details are given in
application packs.
Do you need to change the recipient name or delivery address for your copy of
newstart? Or arrange a new subscription for yourself or a colleague?
Call our hotline between 9.00am and 6.00pm for any subscription enquiry:
0845 643 1202
You can update your subscription details at any time by visiting
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17:54:58 29
new start 14 MARCH
0114 281 6130
Develop your career
Balfour Beatty Capital’s Transform Schools business is at the forefront of the Government’s
Building Schools for the Future programme, delivering large projects which design, build,
finance and maintain schools. The portfolio currently includes over 170 schools and is
growing. Schools sit at the heart of communities and opportunities exist to utilise them for
other social enterprises while generating additional revenues. We now seek an experienced
regeneration professional to maximise the potential of these revenues and to identify other
regeneration initiatives that strategically link with BSF projects.
You will develop a strategy, business plan and work plans alongside the current project
teams including project specific activity which will ensure that existing contracts
are protected and strengthened while identifying and addressing new enterprise
opportunities within them. Working in close partnership with the teams, local authorities
and other relevant bodies you will develop a recognised expertise in the market and
ensure a best practice model is rolled out across all contracts.
In addition to regeneration experience, you will have a strong commercial focus and a
talent for developing innovative and effective business plans in either a social enterprise
environment or one with demonstrably transferable skills. With experience of leading
private/public sector partnerships you will also have the credibility and approach to make
an impact from negotiation through to contract implementation.
Your communication skills will be tested in many environments as you work across the
existing estate and assist on the wider potential within ongoing bids. In short, you will
drive all activity in this market, ensuring its effective and profitable incorporation into
Balfour Beatty Capital’s offering.
For an informal and confidential conversation about the opportunity, call Gareth Davies
on 0870 165 4242. For an information pack and for application instructions, please visit click on ‘Search for a job’ and enter reference 6550. All applications
should be emailed to [email protected]
Widely acknowledged as one of the UK’s leading recruitment and
training providers The Synergy Group have been supplying the highest
quality service to both the public and private sectors since 1997.
Using extensive industry knowledge and recruitment expertise our
dedicated Regeneration & Development team provide a professional
and reliable service that is tailored to both our clients and candidates
As a client you can be assured that you will receive a professional,
knowledgeable and high quality service with access to our extensive
candidate database.
As a candidate, we guarantee you the highest level of support in order to
find you the ideal role, in areas including:
There will be no issue of New Start
Magazine published on the 21st March!
New Start will be out again on the
28th March, when normal weekly
publication resumes.
We currently have a number of exciting opportunities including:
£30,000 + bonus and car
Required by an Oxford based private organisation to join their affordable
housing team. You will be required to assist in winning business,
completing tender bids, producing proposals and making presentations.
£400-£500 per day
Up to 6 months
Required by a Partnership based in Cambridgeshire to take a leadership
role within a small team to develop the JIP delivery plan.
Whether you are looking for your next role, looking to recruit experienced
new staff or simply require further information, please contact Lucy Collins
on 020 7556 1145 or email [email protected]
30 14 MARCH 2008 new start
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