Rebalancing for what? Rebalancing for whom?The uneven geographies of urban policy in post-crash Britain.
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Rebalancing for what? Rebalancing for whom? The uneven geographies of urban policy in post-crash Britain.

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Presentation to the session 'Between the Punitive and the Supportive II: Urban Social Policy's 'Messy Middle Ground’, Association of American Geographers Meeting Los Angeles, 12 April 2013.

Presentation to the session 'Between the Punitive and the Supportive II: Urban Social Policy's 'Messy Middle Ground’, Association of American Geographers Meeting Los Angeles, 12 April 2013.

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  • The Index of Multiple Deprivation 2010A Liverpool analysis,
  • 253,000 local government jobs went in the first half of 2012 and 154,000 central government jobs. A far higher and disproportionate loss of LA jobs which hit the three poorest regions hardest due to the lack of alternative employment.
  • Poverty, wealth and place in Britain, 1968 to 2005, Daniel Dorling, Jan Rigby, Ben Wheeler, DimitrisBallas, Bethan Thomas, EldinFahmy, David Gordon and Ruth Lupton, JRF, 2007.

Rebalancing for what? Rebalancing for whom?The uneven geographies of urban policy in post-crash Britain. Rebalancing for what? Rebalancing for whom? The uneven geographies of urban policy in post-crash Britain. Presentation Transcript

  • Rebalancing for what?Rebalancing for whom?The uneven geographies of urbanpolicy in post-crash BritainSimon ParkerCentre for Urban ResearchUniversity of York, UKBetween the Punitive and the Supportive II:Urban Social Policys Messy Middle Ground’Association of American Geographers MeetingLos Angeles, 12 April 2013simon.parker@york.ac.uk
  • Rebalancing: the Coalition viewWe both want to build a new economy from therubble of the old. We will support sustainablegrowth and enterprise, balanced across allregions and all industries.David Cameron and Nick Clegg, in the Coalitionagreement, May 2010
  • Rebalancing: the Coalition view“What we need to do in this country is a massiverebalancing of our economy. We have been tooreliant on government spending, on housing andfinance... We have got to be more reliant onmanufacturing and investment…Local EnterprisePartnerships would play an absolutely key role inbringing that rebalancing.”“What is happening in Britain is a rebalancing of oureconomy. We need more private sector growth, weneed a smaller public sector, we need to makemore, sell more overseas and manufacture more.Its a slow and difficult healing process, but it istaking place.”– David Cameron, 7 Mar 2011 and 9 Oct 2012
  • Rebalancing: the Coalition view“What we need to do in this country is a massiverebalancing of our economy. We have been tooreliant on government spending, on housing andfinance... We have got to be more reliant onmanufacturing and investment…Local EnterprisePartnerships would play an absolutely key role inbringing that rebalancing.”“What is happening in Britain is a rebalancing of oureconomy. We need more private sector growth, weneed a smaller public sector, we need to makemore, sell more overseas and manufacture more.Its a slow and difficult healing process, but it istaking place.”– David Cameron, 7 Mar 2011 and 9 Oct 2012
  • We need growth that lasts – rebalancing oureconomy, making the most of all our businessesand our industries, and turning a page on theoverreliance on wheeling and dealing in the Cityof London.I hope we can lift our sights beyond theimmediate challenges, beyond the fiscalcrisis, to the bigger question: how do we rebuildour economy, our country, to make our cities thepowerhouses we all need you to be?Nick Clegg, Sheffield, 14 January 2011
  • The policy measures• A £1bn regional growth fund specifically targetedat areas described as “overly reliant on the publicsector”.• Plans to encourage increased bank lending.• Replacing regional development agencies withlocal enterprise partnerships aimed at growth"from the bottom up" to create jobs.• National insurance tax breaks for companies thatstart up in areas “overly reliant on the publicsector”.• Localism Act powers to give town halls morefreedom over the way they spend money.
  • Is there a North/South divide?The Coalition states that the North/South divide is anoversimplification. It is true that there are inequalities withinas well as between regions. Not all affluent places are in theSouth, nor all poor places in the North. But the evidence inthis report shows that there remains a deep, long-term, continuing divergence between the North (the threeNorthern English regions – the North East, the NorthWest, and Yorkshire & Humber) and the Greater South East(the East of England, London, and the South East).…while previous regional polices for the North had mixedresults in terms of narrowing the regional divide, the evidencetaken from the Inquiry suggests that government doing lesswill likely make the position worse.- Michael Ward, Smith Institute 2011
  • Uneven geographies of resilience• Only 2 of the top 50 most resilient localauthorities are north of the Severn-Humberdivide (Harrogate and Craven)• Only 7 of the bottom 50 resilient authoritiesare south of the Severn-Humber divide.• The near monopoly of the most highlyeducated workforce by London is as true forthe most deprived boroughs as the leastdeprived.
  • • London has 14 of the top 30 ranked localauthorities for NVQ4+ (degree equivalentqualifications) including all of the top sevenauthorities in the country.• Hackney, Lambeth, Southwark, Haringey &Islington contain some of the highestconcentrations of graduates in the country aswell as some of the most deprived wards. Thisis not replicated in any other large Englishmetropolitan region.
  • Urban diabetes?“Urban diabetes is where theblood pumps around the heartbut fails to reach all parts of thebody. The challenge we face is toensure that the wealth that wedo have is shared in such a waythat it flows around the wholebody to every extremity. If insocial terms it fails to do so thenwe will be faced with the dangerof parts of the body atrophyingand dying”- Right Revd James Jones, Bishop ofLiverpool
  • A persistent story of managed decline?
  • Liverpool = top-ranked Englishcity, deprivation (2010)
  • Unemployment twice national average
  • Is the public sector bleeding to death?05001,0001,5002,0002,5003,00019992000200120022003200420052006200720082009201020112012Central govtLocal govtPublic employment by sector (‘000s) 1999-2012ONS 2012
  • Londoners per capita have 3x the GVA of those in the north-east…one fifth of total UKGVAONS,2012
  • Source: D. Dorling
  • A picture of increasing wealth andregional inequality• The South East has biggest share of the wealthiest households• In 2008/10 the Wealth and Assets Survey (WAS) found combinednet wealth of all private households within Great Britain =£10.3trillion.• The wealth held by the richest 10% of households combined was£4.5 trillion and represented a 43.8% share of aggregate totalwealth.• In contrast, the combined wealth of the bottom half of householdsin the distribution was £1.0 trillion; a value which accounted for9.9% of aggregate total wealth.• The wealth held by the top 10% of households = 4 times greaterthan the wealth of the bottom half of all households combinedand, over 850 times greater than that of the least wealthy 10% ofhouseholds.• Source: ONS, Dec 2012.
  • The Components of Wealth• Private pensions account for over half of the total wealth held bythose households in the top decile (56.6%). The median value ofprivate pension wealth for these households was £742,000.• Private pension wealth contributed only 30.4% to the wealth heldby the least wealthy half of households.• More than two out of five households (43.3%) in the least wealthyhalf of the distribution had no private pension wealth at all and themedian value of private pension wealth held by this group was£4,000.• The contribution of property wealth (net) to the combined totalwealth of the top 10% of households was 25.9% with a medianvalue of £340,000. Property wealth made the largest contributionto total wealth for the least wealthy half of households (36.6%)even though only 41.4% of households in this group had any valueof property wealth.
  • Percentage of Households with Total Wealth Greater than £967,000 by Region, Great Britain,2008/10
  • Breadline Britain• 14.0 million people (22.7%) UK population at riskof poverty or social exclusion (EU average of24.1%) in 2011.• 16.2% of UK were at risk of poverty in2011, down from 18.7% in 2008 (mostly due tofalls in median income leading to a reduction inthe poverty threshold).• 5.1% of people in the UK experiencing severematerial deprivation, (EU average of 8.8%) in2011. Broadly unchanged since 2005 whencomparable figures were first produced.
  • “…there are now areas insome of our cities whereover half of allhouseholds are breadlinepoor”- Dorling, Rigby et al 2007Non-metro towns less prone to acute poverty
  • Source:DWP
  • The Goldilocks SyndromeYork only cityoutside thesouth to haveleast lowestskilled workforceCities withlowest skillsarebigger, northern anddiverse…
  • Cities with lowest and highestlevels of inequality…
  • • “Smaller cities feature significantly in both thetop 10 and the bottom 10 lists. Seven of thetop 10 cities with the highest ratios of privateto public sector employment are small. And five of thesmallest cities (Gloucester, Worthing, Hastings, Cambridgeand Dundee) are also amongst the cities with the greatestdependence on the public sector”.• Leeds = only major city to appear in thetop 10, with three jobs in the private sector to every job inthe public sector.• Liverpool = the only major city in the bottom 10, with only1.9 private sector jobs to every job in the public sector.
  • • Smaller cities appear to be more resilient thanlarger cities• Larger northern cities are the least resilientbut some in the north are doing OK• The north/south divide needs qualifying in thelight of significant variations to the resiliencetrend, especially among smaller cities.Conclusion