A paper examined the issue of voluntary social exclusion where individuals chose to exclude themselves from wider society.
Source: Julian Le Grand, Individual Choice and Social Exclusion, CASEpaper 75, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion/London School of Economics (020 7955 6679)
Links: Paper (pdf)
A report described 14 voluntary arts projects that contributed to social inclusion. It argued that the voluntary arts were an extremely cost effective opportunity to take government policies such as social cohesion and lifelong learning to socially excluded groups and individuals.
Source: Annabel Jackson, Doing It Ourselves: Learning to challenge social exclusion through voluntary arts, Voluntary Arts Network (029 2039 5395)
A report said that poverty in Great Britain had fallen to levels last seen in the late 1980s. There were 12.5 million people in 2001-02 living in homes with incomes below the poverty line (after housing costs): this compared with a peak of 13.4 million in the mid-1990s. Altogether 22 per cent of the population were living below the line, including 3.8 million children, 2.2 million pensioners and 6.6 million working-age adults. The authors said there were signs that the United Kingdom might have started to move away from the bottom of the European poverty league.
Source: Guy Palmer, Jenny North, Jane Carr and Peter Kenway, Monitoring Poverty and Social Exclusion 2003, York Publishing Services for Joseph Rowntree Foundation, available from York Publishing Services Ltd (01904 430033)
Researchers examined older people's lives in three deprived urban areas. Of those studied, 40 per cent experienced multiple forms of social exclusion, with those aged 75 and over most vulnerable.
Source: Thomas Scharf, Chris Phillipson, Allison Smith and Paul Kingston, Older People Living in Deprived Neighbourhoods: Social exclusion and quality of life in old age, Economic and Social Research Council (01793 413000)
A report described the benefits of joint working between mental health and regeneration agencies to tackle social exclusion.
Source: Marsaili Cameron, Teresa Edmans, Angela Greatley and David Morris, Community Renewal and Mental Health: Strengthening the links, Kings Fund (020 7307 2591)
The government published the fifth annual report on its policies for reducing poverty and social exclusion. It said that employment rates for disabled people, older workers, lone parents and people in deprived areas continued to close the gap on the overall employment rate. It said there had also been 'steady progress' towards the governments target to reduce the number of children living in low-income households, and sharp falls in the number of pensioners on low incomes. But the opposition Conservative Party said the report was 'damning evidence' that Labour were failing to deal with families trapped on low incomes, despite increases in benefits.
Source: Opportunity for All: Fifth annual report 2003, Cm 5956, Department for Work and Pensions, TSO (0870 600 5522) | Press release 18 September 2003, Department for Work and Pensions (020 7712 2171) | The Guardian, 19 September 2003
Responding to a government consultation exercise, campaigners said that mental health services did not focus on preventing social exclusion, whereas it should be one of their core responsibilities; that there were widely held negative assumptions about the possibility of employment for people with mental ill health, and these needed to be tackled within employment, education and training settings; and that proposals for reform of the 1983 Mental Health Act missed opportunities to create a climate for increased social inclusion.
Source: Bob Grove et al., Mental Health and Social Exclusion: Response to the Social Exclusion Unit consultation, Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health (020 7827 8352)
A report highlighted the extent and persistence of child poverty, and the 'clear connection' between the lowest incomes, deprivation and social exclusion. Severely poor children were missing out, not just in financial terms but in terms of fewer opportunities, low expectations and emotional well-being. Children whose parents moved in and out of work were worse off than those whose families stayed on benefits.
Source: Laura Adelman, Sue Middleton and Karl Ashworth, Britains Poorest Children: Severe and persistent poverty and social exclusion, Save the Children (020 7703 5400)
A report said that the governments ambition to enlist faith groups in the fight against social exclusion could be unrealistic. There was a thriving tradition of mutual aid within such groups, but little indication that they had either the capacity or the inclination to provide services to the wider community.
Source: Priya Lukka and Michael Locke with Andri Sorteri-Proctor, Faith and Voluntary Action: Community, values and resources, Institute for Volunteering Research (020 7520 8900)
A literature review was published on 'gated communities' - enclave-style residential developments where the affluent gate themselves off from the rest of society.
Source: Sarah Blandy, Diane Lister, Rowland Atkinson and John Flint, Gated Communities: Systematic review of the research evidence, CNR Paper 12, Centre for Neighbourhood Research (0141 330 5408)
An article discussed some of the problems involved in trying to develop gender-sensitive ways of measuring poverty. It argued that what was needed was a way of measuring both the contribution of individuals to the resources of their household, and the extent of their dependence on others within it. The concept of social exclusion multi-dimensional, dynamic, local and relational could provide a way to explore these issues of autonomy and dependency, and their gender dimensions.
Source: Jane Millar, 'Gender, poverty and social exclusion', Social Policy and Society, Volume 2 Issue 3/July 2003
A report said that 7 out of 10 older people in deprived areas were vulnerable to, or experienced at least some form of, social exclusion. It was found that there were broadly three groups of older people in deprived areas: some 30 per cent did not suffer any form of exclusion; a further 30 per cent were 'vulnerable', and experienced at least some form of 'exclusion'; and the remaining 40 per cent reported 'multiple exclusions'. For people in the last category, this might mean going without basic necessities of life such as heating, new clothing, food and holidays, and being less involved in community life.
Source: Thomas Scharf et al., Older People in Deprived Neighbourhoods: Social exclusion and quality of life in old age, Economic and Social Research Council (01793 413000)
Links: ESRC press release
The government published an annual 'national action plan' on social exclusion, covering the period 2003-05. (The report was made to the European Union, according to a standard framework.) The plan said that: 'The fight against poverty is central to the UK Governments entire social and economic programme'. It said that joblessness had become a far more significant driver of social exclusion than unemployment; that strong overall income growth in the previous two years had made reduction of the proportion of households with relative low income 'difficult'; that women were still over-represented in low-income groups; that children were particularly at risk of low income; that people from some ethnic backgrounds still faced substantial disadvantage in certain areas; that the risk of living on a low income for a working-age person in a household containing a disabled adult was twice that of a person in a household with none; and that around one in five pensioners were in low-income households, with a high proportion of those living in persistent low income.
Source: United Kingdom National Action Plan on Social Inclusion 2003-05, Department for Work and Pensions (020 7712 2171)
People on low incomes were shut out from an environmentally friendly way of life, according to research: but people on the lowest incomes were just as willing as the better-off to use more sustainable goods and services.
Source: Maxine Holdsworth, Green Choice: What Choice? Summary of NCC research into consumer attitudes to sustainable consumption, National Consumer Council (020 7730 3469)
Links: Report (pdf)
An official discussion paper identified a number of future challenges to government efforts to reduce social exclusion. These included an ageing population, including increased numbers of very old and frail people; more lone-parent and single-person households, and more step-families; an enduring risk of persistent poverty among certain groups of the population, such as those with mental ill-heath, those with 'chaotic lifestyles', children leaving care, and some ex-prisoners - with the associated risks of long-term unemployment, ill-health, poor housing or homelessness, and low educational attainment; acute problems for some ethnic minority groups, including the low educational attainment of Caribbean boys and the persistent poverty of Pakistani/Bangladeshi families; the continued polarisation of work between work-rich and work-poor households, and between highly skilled and highly paid and low-skilled and low-paid workers often with insecure employment; and an increasing digital divide.
Source: The Future of Social Exclusion: Drivers, patterns and policy challenges, Social Exclusion Unit/Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (020 7944 5550), and Cabinet Office
The government began consultation on the barriers that people with mental health problems faced when trying to get jobs and access services.
Source: Mental Health and Social Exclusion: Consultation document, Social Exclusion Unit/Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (020 7944 5550)
A new book reported the experiences of 100 families living in Hackney and Newham (two of the most deprived boroughs in London) and their attitudes to community, race relations, work, children, crime and social breakdown. (The book was based on a longitudinal study by the Centre for the Analysis of Social Exclusion.)
Source: Anne Power and Katharine Mumford, East Enders: Family and community in East London, Policy Press, available from Marston Book Services (01235 465500)
An interim report was published of a study (commissioned by the Scottish Executive) designed to produce a long-term strategy for measuring deprivation in Scotland. It outlined a definition of deprivation, and explored how it related to other terms used to describe social needs, such as poverty, social exclusion and social justice.
Source: Nick Bailey, John Flint, Robina Goodlad, Mark Shucksmith, Suzanne Fitzpatrick and Gwilym Pryce, Measuring Deprivation in Scotland: Developing a long-term strategy - Interim report, Scottish Centre for Research on Social Justice/University of Glasgow (0141 330 2094)
A paper set out a theoretical framework for explaining the processes of social exclusion. It proposed that inclusion hinged on participation in social relationships enacted through transactional processes - these involved currencies which were not just financial, but also took the form of human or social capital.
Source: Sally Witcher, Reviewing the Terms of Inclusion: Transactional processes, currencies and context, CASEpaper 67, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion/London School of Economics (020 7955 6679)
The government's Social Exclusion Unit announced the start of two new projects. The first will examine the issue of worklessness, particularly in the most deprived neighbourhoods. The second will examine the links between mental health problems and social exclusion.
Source: House of Commons Hansard, Written Ministerial Statement 5.3.03, column 83WS, TSO (0870 600 5522)
A new book set out a programme for the 'asset-based development' of communities. This would involve building individual and collective ownership of key assets - savings and investments, land and property and learning, as well as health, social and cultural capital, organisational capital and the natural capital of air, water and land.
Source: Matthew Pike, Can Do Citizens: Rebuilding marginalised communities, Social Enterprise Services (020 7689 6366)
The government's Social Exclusion Unit published its final report on transport and social exclusion. The report set out a range of policies across government designed to address barriers to accessibility and the unequal impacts of traffic - including improvements to mainstream public transport, and better access to jobs, education, healthcare and food shops. It calculated that only 11 per cent of the £120 billion budget for the government's existing ten-year transport plan would go on measures helping those on the lowest incomes (lowest quintile), while 38 per cent would help those on the highest incomes (top quintile).
Source: Making the Connections: Final report on transport and social exclusion, Social Exclusion Unit/Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (020 7944 5550)
A report sought to identify the fundamental causes of poverty and disadvantage, and examined who is most affected. It set out the key issues in six areas education, family poverty, geographic disadvantage, income poverty, housing and long-term care. The authors argued that it will not be easy over the next 20 years to turn back the tide of social disadvantage, but that it is possible provided the political will exists.
Source: David Darton, Donald Hirsch and Jason Strelitz, Tackling Disadvantage: A 20-year Enterprise, Joseph Rowntree Foundation (01904 629241)
A research report said that service providers particularly those in the private sector largely ignored the everyday needs of the 13 million people in Britain struggling to live on low incomes.
Source: Everyday Essentials: Meeting basic needs - research into accessing essential goods and services, National Consumer Council (020 7730 3469)
Links: Report (pdf)