HOW WILL WELFARE REFORM AFFECT LOCAL COMMUNITIES?

Yesterday BDO Local Gov attended Res Publica’s report launch “Responsible Recovery: A social contract for local growth”. The speakers were:

• Stephen Timms MP, Shadow Minister for Work and Pensions
• Kate Green MP, Shadow Minister for Equalities
• Jess Steele, Director of Strategy, Locality
• Shiv Malik, Correspondent, The Guardian
• Julian Dobson, Res Publica Report Author
• Matthew Gardiner, Chief Executive, Trafford Housing Trust

Here are our reflections on the debate:

  1. Launch event for Responsible Recovery about to start in Portcullis House. Join the debate here on twitter! #localgrowth
  2. We’re attending @res_publica event on the impact of Welfare reform on local communities. Updates to follow! #localgov #localgrowth
  3. .@res_publica report argues for localisation of work programme to boost #localgrowth as well as investment in affordable housing
  4. #localgrowth View from Julian Dobson-Shift in view from community & #bigsoc to more binary view of shirkers & strivers-too simplistic.
  5. Public services should be further devolved to community level #localgrowth
  6. local employment is key- encourage people to work and build skills within local communities #localgrowth
  7. Matthew Gardiner of Trafford Housing Trust argues that the Localism act combined w/ Social Value act can supprt housing associations
  8. Now Kate Green MP (chair of APPG on poverty) is speaking on future of welfare #localgrowth
  9. A labour force strategy should be at the core of economic regeneration #localgrowth
  10. 3 speakers in and we haven’t had a mention of the role of #localgov! #localgrowth
  11. Jess Steele from Locality argues welfare has been a long term neighbourhood issue which has only recently come to the fore #localgrowth
  12. Community allowance is permission for local groups to pay people to do work for neighbourhood regeneration that doesn’t affect benefits
  13. There is still funding for regeneration but this needs to be effectively targeted to encourage self regeneration #localgrowth
  14. Now Stephen Timms MP speaking…work programme isn’t supporting apprenticeships. Policies aren’t working together #localgrowth
  15. Councils should be more involved in contracting for the work programme #localgrowth
  16. Councils e.g. Leeds CC are targeting youth unemployment through early intervention programmes #localgrowth
  17. We’re not taking full advantage of the schemes that are already there e.g. Youth contract #localgrowth
  18. There will be 10,000 households in London who will lose £100 per week because of housing benefit caps #localgrowth #localgov
  19. #localgrowth Stephen Timms bemoaning that housing benefit cap has been set at uniform national level & doesn’t account for local mkt value
  20. Interesting comment-labour devolved too much to the state whereas government doesn’t see role of the state at all in localism #localgrowth
  21. Audience-you cannot impose something nationally on a local community>perhaps why we haven’t seen an overwhelming uptake in community rights
  22. Q for audience- is housing moving up the political agenda? Yes after April 1st! #localgrowth

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