Ditch the boom goggles: tackling poverty locally

Release date: Wednesday 7 September 2016

Ditch the boom goggles: tackling poverty locally

Local economies and local networks of concerted action must be at the centre of efforts to reduce UK poverty. A new report by the Centre of Local Economic Strategies (CLES) sets out a framework for the ‘Good Local Society’ centred on the role of anchor institutions, citizen power, responsible business and the harnessing of local assets.

CLES Director, Neil McInroy, identifies eight factors that underpin the enduring persistence of UK poverty, including the misguided belief that a shiny new economic boom or the emergence of a ‘powerhouse’ is always just around the corner. Such ‘boom goggling,’ rather than concerted economic reform and anti-poverty action, continues to dominate policy-making in much of the UK.

Funded by the Webb Memorial Trust,Forging a Good Local Society: Tackling Poverty through an Economic Reset draws on case studies from Plymouth, Preston, Camden, Manchester, Barnsley and Salford. It proposes a seven-point agenda to bring about poverty reduction through locally-directed change, building on the opportunities of local collaborative action and devolution.

Neil McInroy said:

“We are familiar with the north/south divide. However, we are living in cities north and south which are equally divided. It is clear that wealth creation has come at the expense of inequality and too many lives are characterised by low wages and insecure work.

“This calls for a change of mindset by policy-makers: Rather than a devolution process dominated by Treasury-led narrow economic growth objectives we need a greater recognition that social inputs are not just a cost but an economic investment in untapped potential. Tackling poverty and having decent social outcomes, are not a mere downstream outcome of general national economic wealth, but rather an upstream input.

“Devolution should be a historic opportunity, and a basis to a counter attack on poverty. Locally we could build a new local social contract- something which is more local, more bespoke, more intimate, more socially innovative and experimental in the face of poverty.”

Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of Webb Memorial Trust, on Monday 5 September, 2016. For more information subscribe and follow https://pressat.co.uk/

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Ditch the boom goggles: tackling poverty locally