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News Archive 2010

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LSE Housing and Communities Event
Poor Areas and Poor Health: Health inequalities and the built environment - 24th November 2010

An action planning workshop following the Marmot Review of Health

Date and Time: Wednesday 24th November 2010


Location: National Communities Resource Centre, Trafford Hall, Chester

Trafford Hall Website: www.traffordhall.com

Cost:
  • £75 per delegate (covers all refreshments including delicious organic and locally sourced lunch and homemade cakes, a copy of the summary of Sir Michael Marmot's pathbreaking report and other materials)

  • Special concessions to community organisations and for multiple bookings (reduced fee £50).

  • Book a place online now
Programme: Summary of the event:
This workshop will bring together ground level experts from low income areas, policy makers in public health, primary care and government to work out how neighbourhood approaches to area and health problems together can create healthier, more sustainable communities, involving communities directly in making places better.

The Marmot Review on Health Inequalities Task Group on Area Inequalities and Poor Health found that children in disadvantaged areas have up to four times less green and play space, up to double the amount of traffic, and up to five times the number of car accidents compared with the average. There are many other indirect health consequences of area decay such as empty buildings, provoking aggression, vandalism and anti-social behaviour among young people, causing mental distress and anxiety in whole communities. Derelict sites cause rubbish dumping and other kinds of abuse that can lead to infestations, fire risk and depression.

The workshop is extremely timely as it anticipates the Public Health White Paper. Preventive Health is likely to be a major priority in the future, and this workshop will help to pave the way for this. It will be of great interest to housing associations, local authorities, local police services, schools and other educational bodies, voluntary sector organisations, churches and faith groups, and community groups, as well as health services. We will be showcasing not just the ideas of the Marmot Review itself, but also beacon health initiatives that have contributed to creating better communities and healthier conditions already. There is a lot to learn and a lot to do.

The workshop is not about high cost transformation, unlike major regeneration schemes that run over 10-20 years. It will focus much more on how we organise and manage our existing assets and resources, how we deploy effort at the front line and how we unleash community-oriented initiatives that can help disadvantaged communities. There are many ideas out there that are not normally linked to public health, and that is exactly what we want this workshop to achieve. For sustainable places depend as much on people as on place, and healthy communities, the main target of public health, are a shared responsibility. We all pay the price if we fail.

Who should attend:
  • housing associations
  • local authorities
  • local police services
  • local health services
  • schools and other educational bodies
  • voluntary sector organisations
  • churches and faith groups
  • community groups
For further information about this event, please contact

News Posted: 18 October 2010      [Back to the Top]

Report Launch
CASEreport 63, Housing Futures: our homes and communities. A report for the Federation of Master Builders

Small Land Sites Could Solve Housing Crisis

Reusing small empty sites of up to two acres could more than meet the UK's housing demand without building on green field land. This must be coupled with upgrading existing buildings, reclaiming and remodeling empty buildings, converting and upgrading homes to make existing neighbourhoods attractive. These are key findings from a new research report commissioned by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) from the London School of Economics (LSE). This approach would generate local jobs but requires new skills, more training and apprenticeships, the report argues.

The report, 'Housing Futures: Our Homes and Communities', written by Professor Anne Power and Laura Lane of the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE) at the LSE examines the four big pressures - supply and affordability of homes; environmental limits; social cohesion; and economic change - driving the future of housing policy in the UK.

The report highlights that there is capacity within existing communities to create all the new homes we need. Small available sites of under two hectares within built up areas are rarely counted and micro-sites of half an acre of less are literally too numerous to count. Yet it is estimated that even in inner London, where population density is highest and land scarcest, there are enough micro-sites to supply all the new homes we need.

If we make our existing homes greener and more energy efficient, the research found that the building industry had enough work in this field to keep every small and medium sized builder running to stay on top for the next 30 years. The retrofitting market for small builders offers, the report says, 'a very rosy future painted green', as homeowners realize the savings that could be made through making their homes more energy efficient. To capitalize on this growth market, the report calls for higher standards within the building industry, particularly the 200,000 Small to Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) which make up 99 percent of building industry. A 'Code for Sustainable Existing Homes' would drive up the energy efficiency standards of our existing homes and conversions. Accreditation and Competent Person Schemes enhance the status of the building industry, as long as they are linked to real experience and hands-on training.

Professor Anne Power, Professor of Social policy at the LSE said:
"We need to modernize our housing stock, reclaim and remodel empty buildings, fit new homes into small spaces within existing communities, and do all this with a fraction of the energy, materials and waste of the current building industry. This approach should generate many new jobs and skills in existing neighbourhoods; it should support training, apprenticeships and accreditation schemes; it should foster a new eco-retrofit supply chain. It will be quickly embraced by go-ahead small builders who know which side their bread is buttered on!"

Richard Diment, Director-General of the FMB said:
"Retrofitting is becoming an important part of any small builder's workload but this can only increase if SMEs can demonstrate the value and skill of their work which is why the FMB is investigating the need to start its own competent person scheme. We hope to use this to further improve the reputation of members that join the FMB, through regular on-going training and a clear grading system. Construction SMEs carry out almost 50 percent of all construction work in the UK, yet builders are often viewed with suspicion. In many other countries building is a respected trade, almost on a par with the professions and this is mainly due to accreditation and competency schemes. We recognise the important role such schemes will play in improving the reputation of the UK building industry."

Download the report: CASEreport 63, Housing Futures: our homes and communities. A report for the Federation of Master Builders by Anne Power and Laura Lane, June 2010.

For further information please visit the Federation of Master Builders website


News Posted: 17 September 2010      [Back to the Top]

The Observer
Babies don't suffer when mothers return to work, study reveals

A ground-breaking study has found that mothers can go back to work months after the birth of their child without the baby's wellbeing suffering as a result.

By assessing the total impact on a child of the mother going out to work, including factors outside the home, American academics claim to have produced the first full picture of the effect of maternal employment on child cognitive and social development. Their conclusion will provide comfort for thousands of women who re-enter the employment market within a year of giving birth.

The new study, 'First-Year Maternal Employment and Child Development in the First 7 Years' by Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, Wen-Jui Han, and Jane Waldfogel, was published last week by the Society for Research in Child Development.

See also press coverage from
News Posted: 01 August 2010      [Back to the Top]

LSE Housing and Communities Event
Community Energy Saving Workshop - 25th May 2010.

LSE Housing & Communities and the National Communities Resource Centre invite you to an exciting and important one-day workshop on Community Energy Saving

Date and Time: Tuesday 25th May 2010, 9am-5pm


Location: National Communities Resource Centre, Trafford Hall, Chester

Trafford Hall Website: www.traffordhall.com

Cost:
  • £75 per delegate with discounts for second and subsequent delegates from the same organisation.

  • Reduced rates available for representatives of non-profit organisations, community-based and environmental groups, tenants and individuals working in this area.

Aim of workshop:
Energy saving be will be a high priority in UK policy whatever the outcome of the election this week. The Department for Energy and Climate Change’s energy saving strategy has cross-party support. Many policies are already coming into play, but delivery is proving incredibly difficult. Therefore the Government will rely on local authorities, housing associations and community based organisations to deliver new energy saving programmes.

Community energy saving dominates this agenda for many reasons:
  • It means lots of new, easy access jobs for young people offering training, new skills and a boost, to local economies.

  • It will put local authorities and housing associations at the forefront of the shift to more localised energy supply, use and saving.

  • It will involve communities directly, because of the imperative to tackle fuel poverty, to upgrade the existing stock and to help energy saving. The steep rise in energy prices has a major impact on low income communities, and on the whole population.

  • A follow-through to Decent Homes is in the offing. This reinvestment programme will not involve large amounts of money per property, since the costs of upgrading are much lower than any newbuild or regeneration scheme. Applied over the very large stock of rented housing and low income owner-occupied housing in deprived areas, it is a massive injection of money. It will create many jobs on the ground through small repairs and building firms, and through suppliers of materials and equipment to training and accreditation bodies.

We really want this event to be hands-on as well as giving people essential tools to help them reduce energy in their homes, communities and originations.

Please bring any material with you for display, distribution or discussion.

This could be printed information or actual energy saving devices.

If you would like to send anything in advance, please email Anna Tamas at LSE, Email: a.tamas@lse.ac.uk; OR post to Chris Locker at Trafford Hall (Address: Trafford Hall, Ince Lane, Wimbolds Trafford, Chester CH2 4JP).

View presentations in Adobe PDF format.

Download the draft programme for this event in Adobe PDF format.

Download the registration form for this event in Adobe PDF format.

For further information about this event, please contact

News Posted: 04 May 2010      [Back to the Top]

CASE Book Launch
The Guardian: Britain leads in war on poverty, according to US academic

Despite claims that Britain is "broken", a book released today in New York highlights that by most measures things have improved for more than a decade.

Jane Waldfogel, professor of social work at Columbia University, spent a year examining Labour's record and found it had turned the tide of child poverty in a way that was "larger and more sustained than in the United States". Her book, Britain's War on ­Poverty, shows that the number of children in"absolute poverty" had fallen by 1.7 million since 1999. Latest figures show 13.4% of British children remained in"absolute poverty" whereas in the US the figure was approaching 20%.

Related Links:
News Posted: 24 March 2010      [Back to the Top]

LSE Housing, LSE Cities and Joseph Rowntree Foundation Lecture, Debate and Book Launch
Phoenix Cities - surviving financial, social and environmental turmoil in Europe and the US?

Date: Tuesday 16th March 2010 18.00-19.45
Location: Sheikh Zayed Theatre, Lower Ground Floor, New Academic Building, London School of Economics
Cost: The event is free but a ticket is required
For tickets and further information please see:
http://www2.lse.ac.uk/publicEvents/events/2010/20100316t1800vSZT.aspx, or contact Anna Tamas, Email: a.tamas@lse.ac.uk.

Summary:

This lecture and debate mark the launch of a new book Phoenix Cities: The fall and rise of great industrial cities.
  • Lord Richard Rogers, international prize-winning architect, will offer his vision what the urban renaissance means for the 21st century;
  • Bruce Katz, Head of the Metropolitan Program and Vice-President of the Brookings Institution, Washington DC, will report on the future of divided US cities in Obama’s America;
  • Anne Power, Professor of Social Policy at the London School of Economics will outline the dramatic decline, turnaround and prospects of seven struggling European cities;
  • Julia Unwin, Chief Executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, will round-up the event.
This event will debate where next for Phoenix Cities, given the economic shocks, the pressures of climate change and the social inequalities that sharply divide struggling cities. A panel of city reformers from European cities will give their reactions to these questions and Sir Howard Davies, Director of the London School of Economics, will Chair the lecture.

For tickets and further information please see:
http://www2.lse.ac.uk/publicEvents/events/2010/20100316t1800vSZT.aspx, or contact Anna Tamas, Email: a.tamas@lse.ac.uk. Phoenix Cities will be available to purchase at the event at a discounted rate of £20. Registration and refreshments will be from 5.15pm and a reception will follow the event 7.45-8.30pm.

For more details please see the Phoenix Cities flyer (in Adobe PDF format)

News Posted: 12 February 2010      [Back to the Top]

The Guardian
Unequal Britain: richest 10 per cent are now 100 times better off than the poorest

'An Anatomy of Economic Inequality in the UK' - the Report of the National Equality Panel - which was launched on Wednesday 27 January 2010, addresses questions such as how far up or down do people from different backgrounds typically come in the distributions of earnings, income or wealth.

Below are the links to some of the media coverage of this report:

Guardian
Unequal Britain: richest 10 per cent are now 100 times better off than the poorest
Commissioned by Harriet Harman, minister for women and equality, the National Equality Panel has been working on the 460-page document for 16 months, led by Prof John Hills, of the London School of Economics.
Link to artcle

Times
Gap between rich and poor at its widest since the war
The divide between rich and poor is greater after 13 years of Labour rule than at any time since the Second World War, according to the Government's own report into inequality. The report was written by Professor John Hills, at the London School of Economics and the new National Equality Panel.
Link to artcle

Financial Times
Social advantages still shape life chances
People's origins shape their life chances from cradle to grave, the biggest study of equality and inequality in Britain has demonstrated. John Hills, the panel's chair and professor of social policy at the London School of Economics, quoted.
Link to artcle

BBC News
Rich-poor divide 'wider than 40 years ago'
Neighbourhood renewal policy action is needed, according to the report. "Most political parties and people subscribe to the ideal of 'equality of opportunity'," panel chair Professor John Hills, of the London School of Economics, told the BBC.
Link to artcle

Daily Telegraph
Labour's failures are breeding inequality
Harriet Harman has declared herself the champion of equality, and in this role is pushing legislation through Parliament in the best levelling spirit. It is noted that she commissioned a report from the National Equality Panel, chaired by Professor John Hills of the LSE.
Link to artcle

Related links:
Listen to John Hills on the Today Programme (available for 5 days after broadcast)
Download the report, summary, executive summary and charts and statistical annex
The National Equality Panel
John Hills webpage

News Posted: 27 January 2010      [Back to the Top]

BBC Radio 4 - The Today Programme
The gap between rich and poor in the UK is wider now than it was 40 years ago, according to a National Equality Panel report.

The gap between rich and poor in the UK is wider now than it was 40 years ago, according to a National Equality Panel report. John Hills, the panel's chair and Professor of Social Policy at the London School of Economics, explains its findings.

'An Anatomy of Economic Inequality in the UK' - the Report of the National Equality Panel - was launched on Wednesday 27 January 2010.

The independent National Equality Panel was set up at the invitation of the Government in 2008 to investigate the relationships between the distributions of various kinds of economic outcome on the one hand and people's characteristics and circumstances on the other. The report addresses questions such as how far up or down do people from different backgrounds typically come in the distributions of earnings, income or wealth.

Related links:
Listen to John Hills on the Today Programme (available for 5 days after broadcast)

Download the report, summary, executive summary and charts and statistical annex

The National Equality Panel

John Hills webpage


News Posted: 27 January 2010      [Back to the Top]

Report Launch
A Anatomy of Economic Inequality in the UK - Report of the National Equality Panel

Wednesday, 27 January 2010: 3.15pm - 4.50pm

New Academic Building, Wolfson Theatre
London School of Economics

Chair: David Piachaud, London School of Economics

Presentations from:
  • John Hills, LSE and Chair, National Equality Panel
  • Stephen Jenkins, Essex University and member of National Equality Panel
Responses from:
  • Tony Atkinson, Visiting Professor, LSE
  • Lisa Harker, Co-Director, Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Max Wind-Cowie, Progressive Conservatism Project, DEMOS
The National Equality Panel was set up in October 2008 at the invitation of Rt Hon Harriet Harman MP, Minister for Women and Equality, to investigate how inequalities in people's economic outcomes (such as earnings, income and wealth) are related to their characteristics of circumstances (such as gender, age and ethnicity). The Panel's report is published on 27th January 2010.

This seminar will present and discuss the main findings of the report.

The full report, summary and executive summary, charts and statistical annex are available to download from the CASE publications website at http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/case/_new/publications/NEP.asp


News Posted: 27 January 2010      [Back to the Top]