Local initiatives Archives | Rethinking Poverty

Local initiatives

Pandemic truths 6: How Covid-19 shone a spotlight on the warped values of our current way of life 

By Andrew Webster

19 Aug 2020

‘Indeed, the one thing these prophecies had in common was that, ultimately, all were reassuring. Unfortunately, though, the plague was not.’ ‘The truth is that nothing is less sensational...

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Reducing inequality in Oxford: what Covid innovations can be sustained?

By Caroline Hartnell

13 Aug 2020

The last few months of lockdown have seen organisations across the country finding innovative ways to meet the challenges presented by the pandemic. As we edge back to ‘normal’,...

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Conversations With Communities: Sharing Common Experiences From Scotland, England, Northern Ireland And Wales

By Hannah Ormston, Rachel Heydecker and Pippa Coutts

04 Aug 2020

The Carnegie UK Trust works to improve personal, community and societal wellbeing. Many of the issues that we work on, and the partners and groups who we work with,...

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Own the future: a guide for new local economies

By Frances Jones

17 Jul 2020

Build back better. It’s a powerful phrase, but as post-Covid-19 economic policies begin to emerge, those three words are starting to ring hollow. Based on what we have seen...

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A good life for all: why a human rights approach to poverty and inequality makes sense

By Anya Bonner

01 Jul 2020

Across the country, the COVID-19 pandemic is both highlighting and reinforcing existing inequalities, poverty and exclusion faced by many in the UK. Most of these problems existed long before... Read More

Economic recovery and reform: the role of community power

By Neil McInroy & Tom Lloyd Goodwin

09 Jun 2020

Long before the Covid-19 pandemic, our economy was failing many people and the planet. The imperative then was to create an economy that serves our needs, and shares wealth... Read More

Time for local economic development to muscle up

By Neil McInroy

18 May 2020

For some in the local economic development community there is talk of a post crisis “bounce back” – reflective of an idea that the economy is on a purely... Read More

Community Planning During COVID-19

By Lauren Pennycook

14 May 2020

COVID-19 and Wellbeing Blogs: The Carnegie UK Trust works to improve personal, community and societal wellbeing. Many of the issues that we work on, and the partners and groups... Read More

Beyond silos, egos and logos

By Avila Kilmurray

13 May 2020

Reaching beyond ‘silos, egos and logos’ was the challenge that Neal Lawson of Compass threw out to activists in Northern Ireland. A webinar on 28 April, ‘Empowering Voices in... Read More

Talking Points: April 2020

By Rethinking Poverty

06 May 2020

Life continues to be dominated by coronavirus. This month’s Talking Points focuses mainly on the all-important question of ‘what next?’ Has the market economy had its day? Will we... Read More

A divided county

By Ben Cooper

27 Apr 2020

In 2019, the electoral landscape of Yorkshire and the Humber changed dramatically. Nine Labour seats went to the Tories, who won the most votes in the region for the... Read More

Want to keep a city participating in Dagenham, or citizens assembling in Paris?

By The Alternative UK

16 Apr 2020

Coronavirus, and its strange distancing, compels us all to rethink how we come together. Our mutual care and sense of collective responsibility is expressed by NOT being physically close,... Read More

Talking Points: March 2020  

By Rethinking Poverty

08 Apr 2020

Since the last Talking Points went out, our world has been completely turned upside down. The country is in lockdown. Nothing is certain. March Talking Points is inevitably focused... Read More

Social movements in times of pandemic: the moment for philanthropy has arrived

By Romy Krämer, Graciela Hopstein and Halima Mahomed

02 Apr 2020

The global Corona pandemic might very well be the biggest crisis of our lifetime. The current situation has the potential to not only disrupt the status quo but to... Read More

Community responses to Covid-19

By Gemma Lawrence

01 Apr 2020

The last few weeks have seen an explosion in citizen-led action in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Last week, we looked at the 1000s of Covid-19 Mutual Aid groups... Read More

Over 900 Covid Mutual Aid groups set up across the UK

By Rethinking Poverty

18 Mar 2020

Over 900 local groups have now been established across the UK to provide support to people throughout the covid-19 outbreak. A spokesperson for Covid-19 Mutual Aid UK said: ‘In... Read More

This small German town took back the power – and went fully renewable

By Bertie Russell

18 Mar 2020

The case for ambitious and transformative environmental policy is being made with increasing fervour and a series of “Green New Deals” – a reference to Roosevelt’s economic reform programme... Read More

Reducing inequality in Oxford: what progress is being made?

By Caroline Hartnell

28 Feb 2020

Almost a year ago, on 1 March 2019, I met with a group of people from Oxford – city council officials, an elected councillor and staff of social enterprise... Read More

Flatpack Democracy 2.0

By The Alternative UK

19 Feb 2020

We are very pleased to bring you news of Flatpack Democracy 2.0 (buy here). This is the compendious update to the original booklet from Peter Macfadyen, ex-mayor of the... Read More

Taking back control of the innovation economy

By Isaac Stanley

13 Feb 2020

A fairer innovation economy won’t come as a gift from the powers that be. This week we launch a new phase of our Everyone Makes Innovation Policy programme, in... Read More

Talking Points: January 2020

By Rethinking Poverty

05 Feb 2020

On 23 January, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists announced that the ‘Doomsday Clock’ has moved 20 seconds closer to midnight – the closest it has come to signalling a... Read More

NEF reviews 2019 and their missions to transform our failing economy

28 Jan 2020

The New Economics Foundation have published their Review of the Year, which looks at all their activity in 2019, with a particular focus on their ‘three missions to transform... Read More

A “local economic blueprint” for Totnes could inspire other places to maximise their renewable assets

By The Alternative UK

22 Jan 2020

Much inspiration to be had from Totnes over the years – birthplace of Transition Towns, for example. Like many, their council has declared a climate emergency – but unlike... Read More

Talking Points looks back on 2019

By Rethinking Poverty

08 Jan 2020

2019 has been a tumultuous year. While poverty and inequality continued their inexorable rise, the climate crisis finally erupted on to the national agenda. At the same time solutions... Read More

The society we want: next steps for Rethinking Poverty

By Caroline Hartnell and Barry Knight

07 Jan 2020

There is widespread agreement across the political spectrum that capitalism is in crisis and we need a new way of doing things. ‘Read the Economist and the Financial Times,’ wrote Michael Jacobs... Read More

The #hullwewant goes to Russia

By Barry Knight, Maria Chertok, Natasha Kaminarskaya

10 Dec 2019

What does Hull, a city on the eastern seaboard of England, have in common with provincial cities in Russia?  Answer: not only have they been left behind by economic... Read More

Talking Points: November 2019 

By Rethinking Poverty

04 Dec 2019

This month’s Talking Points focuses on the way our economy works: the role of business in society, Wales’s ground-breaking Foundational Economy model, and the primacy of the local, for... Read More

Wales to trial ‘experimental’ Foundation Economy approach

By Thomas Barrett

20 Nov 2019

This article, by Thomas Barrett, was originally published on NewStart, a website for making places better. Subscribe for just £49 per year here. Wales will be the first country in the... Read More

CLES manifesto sets out how the next government can truly serve people, places and planet

19 Nov 2019

The Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) has launched ‘The manifesto for local economies’, setting out a vision for ‘how the next government should create local economies that serve... Read More

Does “The Wigan Deal” anticipate a more radical future?

23 Oct 2019

 “The Wigan Deal” beats austerity by putting unique human relationships at the core. Does it anticipate a more radical future too? This affecting, even moving video above comes... Read More

How community businesses can help build an inclusive economy

22 Oct 2019

A new report from the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) and Power to Change, Building an inclusive economy through community business, ‘explores how community businesses can support the... Read More

45° Change shows the way

By Jon Edwards

25 Sep 2019

The core premise of Neal Lawson’s ‘45° Change’ is that the post-1945 welfare state approach to dealing with societal challenges has broken down. The neoliberal, market-driven system that has... Read More

CLES on climate emergency: ‘the time for action is now’

17 Sep 2019

The Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) have published ‘CLES on… climate emergency’, the third piece in their new series of provocations. It argues that while movements such as... Read More

Talking Points: July/August 2019

By Rethinking Poverty

11 Sep 2019

This month’s Talking Points ranges widely from US companies’ new professed purpose of improving our society to a change of direction at Joseph Rowntree Foundation, ideas for transforming public... Read More

Reflections on the Community Wealth Building Summit

By the CLES team

21 Aug 2019

Last week CLES hosted the second annual Community Wealth Building Summit, the only event like it in the UK and the largest event in CLES’ history. The 200-strong delegate... Read More

How ‘meanwhile use’ is opening doors in declining high streets

By Thomas Barrett

07 Aug 2019

We are all familiar with the gaps in high streets left as stores close. This article from New Start describes a pilot scheme called Open Doors, to be launched later this year,... Read More

How CLES and Preston City Council ‘built community wealth in Preston’

24 Jul 2019

A new publication from the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) ‘tells the story of community wealth building (CWB) in Preston’, reflecting on eight years of collaboration. CLES set... Read More

A Network Of Hope?

By Dr Hugh Ellis

18 Jul 2019

It might not be immediately obvious why anyone would want to have a relationship with a planner let alone an organisation dedicated to promoting the values of a planning... Read More

Forty years of bumpy road

By Barry Knight

16 Jul 2019

This article is based on a talk to the Voluntary Action History Society on 10 June 2019. Arthur Marwick said that a society without an understanding of its history... Read More

Talking Points: June 2019 

By Rethinking Poverty

09 Jul 2019

This month’s Talking Points reflects on the causes of inequality and puts forward some suggestions for tackling poverty rather than just more ‘bad news’. We also look at the... Read More

Building communities for the Scotland we want

By Barry Knight

24 Jun 2019

What follows is the text of a speech given by Barry Knight at a conference of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) on 12 June 2019. The speech... Read More

‘Time to Build an Inclusive Economy’ in Northern Ireland

12 Jun 2019

A new charter, Time to Build an Inclusive Local Economy ‘sets out key steps to harness the power of communities to create resilient local economies’. Developed by Development Trusts... Read More

Alternative Editorial: CTRLshifts into next gear

By Indra Adnan

30 May 2019

CTRLshift is all about ‘shifting control’ from national-level political parties and corporations to the people and organisations collaborating in towns, cities and regions – very much the agenda of... Read More

Reimagining the Economy: The Social Justice Enterprise

By Aaron Tanaka

23 May 2019

Editors’ note: In this article, Aaron Tanaka, director of the Center for Economic Democracy and cofounder of the Boston Ujima Project, envisions a new approach for economic development that is... Read More

CLES reports on New Municipalism in London

09 May 2019

CLES last month released a new publication, New Municipalism in London, which highlights ‘the actions of three London Boroughs who are seeking to challenge traditional local economic development and... Read More

Is protest the new form of politics? Tyne & Wear Citizens offer a different model

By Barry Knight

08 May 2019

Barry Knight attends an assembly of Tyne & Wear Citizens to meet the candidates in the North of Tyne mayoral elections Something is stirring. A new populism is on... Read More

Communities in control: a local democracy laboratory

By Roy Payne

16 Apr 2019

The government’s new Working with Communities policy is important because it establishes the principle of ‘community consent’ to long-term planning decisions affecting the local community. This has the potential... Read More

Creating a shared vision to reduce inequality in Oxford

By Caroline Hartnell

28 Mar 2019

On 1 March I met with a group of people from Oxford – city council officials, an elected councillor and staff of social enterprise Aspire Oxford – to talk... Read More

Community wealth building – what is it all about?

By Caroline Hartnell

30 Jan 2019

What is community wealth building (CWB)? On the one hand, it seems like a new idea. The Labour Party established its CWB Unit less than a year ago, on... Read More

Supporting local initiatives: the state we need

By Caroline Hartnell and Barry Knight

23 Jan 2019

Here, we follow up the article by Neal Lawson and Caroline Hartnell on ‘45 Degree Change’ and examine initiatives identified by Aditya Chakrabortty in a series of articles called... Read More

How a derelict swimming pool became one of Birmingham’s most treasured community hubs

By Thomas Barrett

16 Jan 2019

Another great example of how an area can be transformed when the city council works closely with local residents at every stage of a regeneration project, led by ‘what... Read More

Tyne and Wear Citizens shows the way

By Barry Knight

12 Dec 2018

In all my years of working with voluntary organisations and community groups, I have never been to an AGM like it. The room is packed, the energy high, the... Read More

First phase of Kirklees wealth building complete

29 Nov 2018

Last week, we launched our series on ’45 Degree Change’ – the meeting point between the vertical state and horizontal emerging local initiatives. The work of local wealth building... Read More

A Northern Soul – a story of a striver with a happy ending

By Barry Knight and Caroline Hartnell

28 Nov 2018

Moved, humbled, inspired, sad, angry – these are some of our feelings after watching A Northern Soul, a film by Hull-born documentary-maker Sean McAllister, shown on BBC2 on Sunday 18... Read More

Real Estate Radio show meets #thehullwewant

By Gill Hughes and Sarah Hatfield

15 Nov 2018

We are Gill Hughes of the University of Hull’s Youth Work and Community Development team and Sarah Hatfield from Timebank. Together, we convene the #thehullwewant project. The project is... Read More

A little less conversation a little more action please!

By Sara Bryson

21 Mar 2018

The persistence of poverty, it seems to me, continues because we fail to tackle a central crucial issue: power. We have centuries of writing, analysis and debate in relation... Read More