Newham – a whole-place economic strategy in an inner-city borough

Breakout session: 3.15pm

Behind the plaudits for the “Preston model” lies a fundamental truth about community wealth building: there is no one way to do it. The power of the approach lies in its flexibility to local context and conditions. In these breakout sessions we will delve into the experience of places – who are at different stages in their community wealth building “journey”, in rural and urban contexts, with different challenges and enablers – to draw out the lessons that can be applied to your place.

Newham has one of the highest rates of poverty and income inequality of all London boroughs. Inward investment, combined with the general increase in London’s property prices, has exacerbated this inequality and Newham has experienced a 47.4% increase in rent rates compared with wage growth of 9.5%, since 2011.

The election of a new Mayor for Newham in 2018 presented a fork in the road for Newham’s residents – an opportunity to secure a future rooted in social, economic and environmental justice and an end to the use of Newham as a playground for private developers.

In recent years, Newham have appointed the UK’s first dedicated Director of Community Wealth Building, launched a whole-place community wealth building strategy and established a municipally owned property and redevelopment company.

Disparities in life chances and quality of life have also been brought into sharp focus by Covid-19. The borough’s Covid-19 Recovery Strategy therefore focusses upon improving the quality of life and wellbeing of all sections of the community, but particularly targets support towards the most disadvantaged.

This session will be useful for those interested in whole-place approaches to community wealth building, the extent and limits of the approach in a large city and equitable Covid-19 recovery strategies.


Rokhsana Fiaz OBE, Mayor of Newham

Rokhsana was elected as the Mayor of Newham in May 2018. Prior to this, she was a councillor for Custom House Ward from 2014, and the CEO of an international UNESCO-supported charity promoting interfaith and global citizenship across the world. She has led large-scale projects for local authorities, the European Commission and the Council of Europe, and in 2009 was honoured with the Officer of the Order of the British Empire for services to Black and Minority Communities in the UK.

Dave Hughes, Corporate Director of Inclusive Economy and Housing, Newham Council

Dave Hughes leads on the Community Wealth Building agenda which seeks to maximise the potential of our residents, our businesses and our voluntary sector. It is this source of wealth and talent that will drive a fairer and more prosperous Newham and help us address the poverty and inequality that still exists, particularly after the disproportionate impact of the pandemic. Driving the delivery of good quality and genuinely affordable housing and addressing the Climate Emergency locally are key pillars of the strategy along with refreshing the Newham Local plan with the full participation of local communities and particularly young people. He has over 30 years’ experience in the regeneration and development sectors, working on major regeneration initiatives and projects across England. As an Executive Director with English Partnerships, he was responsible for the National Programmes and managed major portfolio transfers of surplus public sector land for sustainable housing development. More recently, Dave has worked in local government with Director roles in regeneration and planning in Liverpool, Stoke-on-Trent and authorities in the East Midlands.

Tom Lloyd Goodwin, Associate Director – Policy, CLES

Since completing his PhD in political theory in 2009, Tom has worked with numerous organisations across local government, academia, the NHS and the voluntary and community sector. He has delivered an array of local economic development and health policy projects, focused on addressing poverty, fostering social inclusion and promoting public health. Tom brings expertise in political theory, policy and implementation research to his role as Associate Director for Policy at CLES.

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