Total neighbouhood and cuts

11 Jun 2010 by Karl Hallam

While the coalition government approach to the Total Place initiative is not completely clear, there are signs the overall principles are supported. Many are not waiting for guidance from the centre and are getting on with projects that build on the TP approach and learning.

This week we attended an ippr North event on a Total Neighbouhood learning network as well as talking to an organisation looking to work using the approach for looking at vulnerable women. Interestingly we also went to hear about some research into devolution to neighourhoods in a big northern city which is closely related.

What is interesting is that permission seems to be a big factor in devolution, real and perceived. Some places and people think they can get on with it if they want to and others feel that they are not allowed. Related to this is the cultural shift required for public sector workers who have been so used to being performance managed, that they cannot quite imagine what it might be like letting go and accepting that that will result in local variation in how things are done. The idea that the success of devolution might not be best assessed by those who devolve powers to the new holders of those powers. The language around local variation can be quite negative, with 'postcode lottery' being the most common example.

Our various bits of work looking at the relationship between the third sector public agencies is keeping up with the developments in the new government and if the innovative bits do not get swamped by the spending cuts stresses it could mean a new era in such relationships.





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