The last 20 years of local economic interventions have consistently failed to address the inequalities across the UK’s most deprived communities, a new report has warned today.
Published by the Institute for Community Studies, the report found that over £50bn investment has contributed to 0% average change in the most deprived local authority areas.
Why don’t they ask us? discovers community and local involvement was found to have been 'largely absent' in decision-making and design of local economies.
Emily Morrison, head of The Institute for Community Studies, said: 'This report is uncomfortable reading and shows that we need a very different approach to supporting the most deprived places in the country if levelling up is going to realise its ambition.
'It is sobering how many local communities have experienced economic interventions that haven’t worked, or which are clearly not focused on creating benefit for the people who live, work and rely on these local economies. Moreover, how many people see the way policy has worked to have been to the detriment - not the support - of fairer and more inclusive local economies.'
The report makes a number of recommendations to Government including the creation of a new ‘Levelling Up Commission, the expansion or creation of new local partnerships, and ensuring a more equitable distribution of asset ownership is an explicit objective of the £150m Community Ownership Fund.