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Targeting Social Policy & Its Implications in Disabled People - Essay Example

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The SRB was introduced in 1994, with the aim of providing a more coherent and integrated approach to urban regeneration (Oatley, 1998; Tilson et al., 1997). Past initiatives had been heavily criticised for their emphasis on physical and economic regeneration and failure to address the concerns of the local communities they were intended to benefit (Colenutt and Cutten, 1994; Nevin and Shiner, 1995)…
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Targeting Social Policy & Its Implications in Disabled People
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Targeting Social Policy & Its Implications in Disabled People

Download file to see previous pages... Its objectives range from tackling disadvantage and enhancing employment and education for local people, to improving physical infrastructure and housing and increasing economic competitiveness (DOE, 1997; DETR, 1998b).
Whilst partnerships have a board with key partners responsible for overall decision-making, money is divided between a number of different projects usually led by one or two of the partners. Partnerships are monitored by the Regional Development Agencies, (formerly the Government Offices for the Regions)--who report to the Regeneration Directorate at the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR)--through a system of outputs, key indicators and delivery plans. To date, there has been much criticism of the outputs, particularly by community groups who have suggested that they place more emphasis on economic, rather than social indicators (Gray, 1997). Interestingly, the move by new' Labour to inject the SRB with the rhetoric of social inclusion and participation has not been matched by a significant change in the type of outputs against which the SRB measures success'.
The government views the SRB as a framework of objectives and outputs within which local partnerships have the flexibility to define local need and identify those groups and priorities most in need of resources. However, there is a danger that its strategic objectives may serve to exclude different groups (Brownill and Darke, 1998). Disabled people, for example, have never received a specific mention in urban regeneration policy. The only reference to disabled people in the SRB bidding guidance (which sets out the objectives of the scheme) is as an output "number from disadvantaged groups being targeted who obtain a job e.g. disabled people" (DoE, 1997, p. 28). Whilst ethnic minorities, faith groups and volunteers are mentioned as part of the community who should participate in the regeneration process, a whole host of other marginalised groups, including disabled people, receive little attention. It is not surprising, then, that DETR holds no information on the involvement of disabled people, as they are not a monitoring priority. Like Brownill and Darke's (1998,p. vi) experience of investigating race and gender in regeneration, researching disability also involves "reviewing a silence".
The difficulties for community groups wanting to participate in the SRB are well-documented, however. As Colenutt and Cutten (1994,p. 239) note, community organisations "often lack the power, resources, and technical knowledge to operate on an equal footing with other partners". Community groups have to have a clear vision and be able to prove to the Government Offices that they can handle public money efficiently. For many groups, including disabled people, this is highly problematic. Despite the formation of the disability movement', for example, disabled people have struggled to articulate a coherent voice, not least because people experience disability in numerous different ways (Scotch, 1988; Shakespeare, 1993). Thus, the experience and concerns of someone with a learning difficulty may be quite ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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