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Regeneration and Social Enterprise

Priorities

Regeneration in Wales

In keeping with the principles above, we propose the following actions are taken to encourage Regeneration across Wales:

Priority A - Community-oriented Actions - actions to strengthen the sense of community (enhancing 'social capital').

  1. Multiply self-governing, representative, local umbrella organisations (such as Local Community Partnerships, People’s Assemblies; Development Trusts), encouraging bottom-up participatory democracy.
  2. Develop integrated regeneration interventions, harnessing the local education, employment, physical works and infrastructure, business opportunities, churches and community groups, and so on.
  3. Engage everyone in meaningful, communal, creative work for the good of the local community, avoiding dependency cultures.

Priority B - Economy and Funding

  1. Develop what are being called ‘bio-regional economies’ across Wales.  The bioregional approach seeks a new ethic of consumption that prioritises locality, accountability and conviviality in the place of expansion and profit; it proposes a shift in the focus of the economy away from profits and towards provisioning; and it assumes a radical reorientation of work from employment towards livelihood.
  2. Unite funding streams from all sources, under local umbrella organisations.
  3. Fund the purchase of redundant land and/or buildings for community use.
  4. Apply the principles of social enterprise (ethical and social benefit) to all projects with regeneration aims.
  5. Link funding to outcomes (social and ethical impact), based on sustainable financial plans.
  6. Support the integration of the disadvantaged and socially excluded.

Priority C - Education and training

  1. Make education available to all, creating learning communities.
  2. Fund apprenticeships, internships and volunteering, linked with local colleges and local community enterprises.
  3. Ensure that training leads to gainful employment in the bio-regional economy.

Priority D - Infrastructure

  1. Engage local labour in building and refurbishing affordable housing to Wales Housing Quality Standards, and with social inclusion clauses in the contracts.
  2. Develop effective infrastructure to facilitate local regeneration.

Social Enterprise in Wales

In keeping with the principles above, we propose taking the following actions to encourage Social Enterprise across Wales:

Priority E - Strategic

  1. Update and resource the Social Enterprise Strategy for Wales, including the development of bioregional economics and local umbrella organisations.
  2. Ensure on-going resource for a Social Enterprise Unit (SEU) for Wales, to initiate and facilitate the operational actions below.
  3. Establish community/development banks, to fund local social enterprises and credit unions.
  4. Establish effective and efficient ways to contract out public services to local, providers/social enterprises, including churches and community groups.

Priority F – Operational

  1. Facilitate the development of social enterprises as part of the developing bio-regional economies; local co-operatives with grass-roots construction.
  2. Ensure all social enterprises receiving public funds operate on a ‘Results Based Accountability’ basis, to develop effectiveness in outcomes for societal benefit.
  3. Skill up and multiply across Wales the social enterprises and social firms that have a proven track record to work.#
  4. Identify in each disadvantaged community the social entrepreneurs, philanthropists and natural community leaders who are already resident, and then resource them up, not just appointing ‘expert’ outsiders.
  5. Focus Social Enterprises on sustainable use of local resources.
  6. Encourage partnership of social enterprises with local business leaders.  Lots of business people have strong ethical and social principles of operation.  We need to learn from these.
  7. SEU to pro-actively network the capacity and services of local voluntary and charitable organisations including churches, to add strategic and operational value to the local community development.

Christian Context

In keeping with their faith, the Bible and the teachings of Jesus Christ, most of the 200,000 Christians who are attending churches in Wales have a vision for a healthy society, not just for healthy individuals.  They believe wellbeing has social as well as individual dimensions.  Given this, they would see the regeneration of disadvantaged communities, including meaningful work, as a priority.

The following Principles, in keeping with Christian faith, would form the basis for Regeneration and Enterprise for the social good.

  1. Individuals and Community.
    a) Citizens to be seen as in-community, not simply as isolated individuals.
    b) Well-being to be seen as the ultimate Capital – striving for individual and social well-being, not simply financial growth.
    c) Rights and responsibilities for all; all of us are givers and receivers.  This is part of what Christians understand to be human.
  2. Work Ethics.
    a) Meaningful work to be viewed as a social good for community wholeness, not as an end in itself.
    b) Wealth creation should contribute to justice and ethical society, not be seen as an end in itself.
    c) Local sustainability to be sought within socio-economic ‘bio-regions’.
    d) Community-centric action to be based on the best research evidence.
  3. Life-long Learning and Development.
    a) Life-long learning to be the cultural norm. Community comes from within; mental and ‘spiritual’ growth will result in growth in social capital.

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