Ten-year plan ‘needed to transform sink estates’

22 Aug 14

Policy Exchange has encouraged politicians from all parties to develop a plan to improve the condition of Britain’s social housing estates. The think-tank said decades of neglect had led to social problems.

Policy Exchange has encouraged politicians from all parties to develop a plan to improve the condition of Britain’s social housing estates. The think-tank said decades of neglect had led to social problems.

Its report, authored by inner-city crime writer Gavin Knight, stated these included low levels of employment and the rise of gang culture and knife crime.

The Estate We’re In: Lessons from the Front Line stated that it would be ‘morally inexcusable’ for policymakers not to pledge to take action to turn around the most deprived estates.

 

Among the recommendations was a call for the government to set up an Estates Recovery Board to complement the government’s existing Troubled Families initiative. This would pool funding from relevant government departments and work with police and crime commissioners to create Estate Recovery Teams to work with local residents.

 

These local teams would be made up of representatives across a range of agencies, which as well as the police should include local authority, schools and NHS representatives to devise an bespoke ‘recovery plan’ for each area.
Such local intervention would help harness the dedication and effort of individuals to catalyse recovery.

Knight said that deprived council estates can be transformed, with gang members presented with a route away from crime and children and families given improved life chances. But this will only happen if the government commits to a ten-year programme to clear up the worst estates in the country, he added.

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