Disadvantaged communities in Scotland ‘abandoned’

A sense of economic and political 'abandonment' has been highlighted in a Joseph Rowntree Foundation study of how the recession is affecting disadvantaged communities in Scotland. It warns of worsening pressures on these communities as the recession continues and as austerity measures begin to bite even harder.

Key findings

  • Within disadvantaged areas there has been a degeneration of the physical environment and facilities, with a direct toll on the confidence and behaviour of residents and investors.
  • Lack of mobility is a serious problem, and the resultant stifling of social and economic opportunities.
  • Community networks, access and capacity have all been eroded – undermining the overall health and well-being of both individuals and communities.
  • This 'debilitating reality', and the increased pressure on resources at agency level, risks a spiral into deeper decline. There is a danger of the creation of 'morally and economically unsustainable' concentrations of acute poverty and deprivation in the most disadvantaged communities.

The authors conclude that it is vital for local authorities to understand the reality of the challenges facing disadvantaged areas, and for them to develop a co-operative relationship with local communities. In that way it might be possible to offset some of the effects of the recession and of the government's austerity policies.

Source: Andy Milne and Derek Rankine, Reality, Resources, Resilience: Regeneration in a Recession, Joseph Rowntree Foundation