|Subject:||Public services and economic policy|
|Topic:||Local economic development|
A report examined the effects of large-scale economic/labour market restructuring at regional level in Europe, drawing on Europe-wide data and case studies from Germany, France, Italy, Sweden, and Slovenia.
Source: Irene Mandl and John Hurley, Effects of Restructuring at Regional Level and Approaches to Dealing with the Consequences, European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions
A think-tank report examined the possibilities for the disposal and use of public land to support economic growth, increase the housing supply, and provide a catalyst for the reform of local public services.
Source: Alex Thomson and Peter Wilkes, Public Land, Public Good: Getting maximum value from public land and property, Localis
A report provided a snapshot of rural policy in the United Kingdom. It said that there was greater diversity in the rural economy than was reflected in policy and called for rural growth policy to look beyond its focus on the more traditional rural sectors (such as farming, forestry, and food) and for rural business needs to be reflected in the work of local enterprise partnerships and combined authorities. The report also considered the need for policy to reflect a range of social issues, including poverty and social exclusion, an ageing demographic, housing affordability, and transport.
Source: Reimagining the Rural: What's missing in UK rural policy?, Centre for Rural Economy (University of Newcastle)
A paper examined the comparative economic performance of the United Kingdom's main cities over thirty years, and how growth paths differed across cities.
Source: Ron Martin, Ben Gardiner, and Peter Tyler, The Evolving Economic Performance of UK Cities: City growth patterns 1981-2011, Foresight, Government Office for Science
A new book examined the challenges faced by cities in sustaining their economic position, and how this could be balanced with social progress and environmental improvements. Drawing on evidence from eight European cities, including Manchester in the north of England, the book examined the development of policy at European Union and city level over time, and how the cities saw the link between urban/spatial development policies and sustainable competitiveness.
Source: Leo van den Berg, Jan van der Meer, and Luis Carvalho (eds), Cities as Engines of Sustainable Competitiveness: European urban policy in practice, Ashgate Publications
A report examined the concept of ultra-micro economics and its use in the regeneration of disadvantaged economies, drawing on national and international examples of ultra-micro approaches.
Source: David Boyle, Ultra-Micro Economics: Small plus small plus small equals big, Co-operatives UK
A report examined potential job creation in public transport, cycling, and walking in a group of countries across Europe (with the addition of Canada and the United States of America in parts of the discussion). It said that the available evidence (based on one city in each country of the study) suggested that these modes of transport could be significant employers and contributors to the green economy, and that around 10,000 deaths could be avoided each year through the health benefits of cycling if each city reached the same levels of cycling activity as Copenhagen, Denmark.
Source: Ian Skinner, Dawei Wu, Christian Schweizer, Francesca Racioppi, and Rie Tsutsumi, Unlocking New Opportunities: Jobs in green and healthy transport, WHO Europe
An article examined the views of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) regarding the transition from the Regional Development Agency system to the new Local Enterprise Partnership system, drawing on research with digital media firms in the West Midlands region of England. It said that the RDA had been valued and that SMEs were both concerned about the loss of well-functioning programmes and institutional support structures, and uncertain about the role of the LEP.
Source: Laura James and David Guile, 'Evaluating the transition from Regional Development Agencies to Local Economic Partnerships: the views of SMEs in the British West Midlands', Local Economy, Volume 29 Number 3
A report considered the roles of central government, local authorities, and Local Enterprise Partnerships in promoting local growth. It said that councils should take the lead to promote local sustainable growth, plan for the long-term, and invest in infrastructure, and that central government should give local councils greater influence over local finance.
Source: Local Roots to Growth, Policy Report 2, Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers
A think-tank report said that the proposed High Speed 2 rail improvements were unlikely to transform the north of England or address the north-south divide. It discussed outcomes from High Speed 1, and said that the regeneration claims for HS2 ran counter to the economic evidence, and that the benefits would be too small to overcome long-term and entrenched economic problems in northern England.
Source: Richard Wellings, Failure to Transform: High-speed rail and the regeneration myth, Institute of Economic Affairs
An audit report said that the governance of the Regional Growth Fund had improved, and the speed of the process of making final offers to bidders had been improved, but there was still a significant amount of money to be allocated. £917 million of the £2.6 billion funding allocated in the first four bidding rounds had been paid by the end of December 2013 but, of this amount, £425 million was being held by intermediaries. The report said that controls on the jobs and other benefits that bids offered, relative to their cost, needed to be tightened to improve value for money.
Source: Progress report on the Regional Growth Fund, HC 1097 (Session 201314), National Audit Office, TSO
A report examined how cities in the United Kingdom and elsewhere addressed environmental challenges alongside their strategies for economic growth. It highlighted the importance of leadership, knowledge, and networks and outlined a range of interventions that could be made at the city level, including support for business, regulation, finance, providing incentives, and changing procurement.
Source: Ed Clarke, Zach Wilcox, and Nada Nohrova, Delivering Change: How cities go low carbon while supporting economic growth, Centre for Cities
An article examined the impact of the recession on city regions in Britain between 2008-2013, examining the relationship of employment fluctuations to sub-regional outcomes. Examining 'full-time equivalent' jobs, it said that national employment had not recovered its pre-recession level by 2012 and that the provincial city regions as a whole showed a worse outcome from the recession than for the London city region, owing to the differing levels of reliance on various employment sectors.
Source: Alan Townsend and Tony Champion, 'The impact of recession on city regions: the British experience, 2008ï¿½2013', Local Economy, Volume 29 Number 1-2