Daniel Goodwin

The political mandate and socially productive growth

A key question for me recently has been that of how best to foster growth which is positive and has a long term overall benefit for local communities as well as a short term impact for businesses and the national financial position.

I have been particularly struck by recent discussions at the RSA arising from the Cities Growth Commission and a recent symposium on socially productive growth. The final report of the symposium was recently published and is here: http://www.thersa.org/action-research-centre/community-and-public-services/connected-communities/developing-socially-productive-places . I am particularly interested in political challenges and set out some of them in my guest blog: ( http://www.rsa2020publicservices.org.uk/blog/linking-local-growth-with-local-politics/ ) I concluded that we need to find a better way to balance political mandates across strategic and economically important sub regions and ensure that community dynamics and long-term needs are properly served by emerging growth. For example how do we make sure that they result in improved skills and literacy of all kinds, decent housing, effective infrastructure, community confidence and pride, all of which will help to create a virtuous cycle rather than a short-term fix.

I believe that the longer term view will generate a dynamic which fosters improved capability in people, with an impact on health and wellbeing which goes well beyond immediate balance sheet concerns and becomes an investment in future national capacity. Key to that will be how local communities and their leaders respond to the competing challenges of economic growth and public sector contraction. More on both in future posts…


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This entry was posted on August 6, 2014 by in Local Government Futures, Place and planning.
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