Mayoral Election Special: Tackling poverty through social value

Ahead of Manchester’s Mayoral Election, tomorrow, Greater Manchester Poverty Action has asked stakeholders across the city region to set out what they think the newly elected mayor needs to prioritise to drive down poverty. Matthew Jackson is Chair of Greater Manchester Social Value Network (GMSVN) and Deputy Chief Executive of CLES; here’s what he had to say…

Greater Manchester attracts and already has a significant amount of wealth which does not always reach the right places – social value* is a means through which the benefits of this wealth can be reallocated and realised for all.

Whatever happened to economic development?

Budget day for the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) used to be one of intrigue and relative excitement. In the 2000s, the Budget was supplemented by a specific annex focused on economic development and regeneration. Indeed, the Budget was where we saw exciting new renewal initiatives announced; reviews of sub-national economic development formulated; and new duties and funding initiated.

We must accelerate the alternatives

The economic crisis has turned into a social crisis and local economic policy is failing.  Poverty, inequality, affordability of housing, low wages, insecure work are now ingrained in our cities.  We need a new radical urbanism so that we address these issues and deliver better social outcomes at scale.

However, there is an irony.  There is no shortage of wealth in our cities.  Whilst a few people and areas enjoy the huge benefits of economic success, many people and areas do not. Take a walk from any city centre.  Once you leave the global chain stores, buzzy restaurants, glorious public spaces, new urban living and high end retail, you will get to the district centres.  In these places, there is a different story.  You cannot always see the poverty and despair, as many areas have undergone a physical regeneration, but the signs are there.  Speak to people or an NGO and the daily hardship of surviving on low wages, youth unemployment and increasing housing costs, become evident.  This is not acceptable.  The future has to be about making existing and new wealth work better for local people and communities.

  • Neil McInroy

    Chief Executive


    Tackling Poverty Locally

    21st October 2016
  • Tackling Poverty Locally

    Neil McInroy wrote this article for New Statesman. As part of the ‘Forging a good local society: tackling poverty through a local economic reset’ research work for Webb Memorial Trust

    Solving poverty: the promise of inclusive growth?

    In her conference speech, Theresa May committed her government to achieving ‘an economy that works for everyone’. In this, she is touching on a point that many of us have known, and sought to respond to, for decades – that poverty and inequality persist, that this is unacceptable and that the prevailing economic model leaves too many people behind. The question is, how far is the government prepared to go in solving systemic poverty and inequality?


    Forging a good local society

    27th July 2016
    For too long, we have either turned a blind eye to poverty and disadvantage or hoped that a general rising tide of economic wealth...
  • Forging a good local society

    For too long we have either turned a blind eye to poverty and disadvantage or hoped that a general rising tide of economic wealth would trickle down. The vote to leave the EU has opened our eyes wide to the depths of disgruntlement and cast a strong light on the inadequacies of our economic model. We must now truly focus on how we forge a good local society and create an economy for all.