Communities and Housing

Arup, 8 Fitzroy Street, London W1T 4BQ, 16:00, 29 November 2010

A debate exploring the impact of the new Localism Bill on lifetime neighbourhoods and older people in the community.

Kindly supported by Anchor and Audley

For many years, advocates of empowerment and engagement have argued that decision making should be as local as possible. Advocates argue that localising economic and democratic relationships to the local level will make it easier to define and solve economic, social and environmental problems.

Following the election of the new Government in May 2010, the Queen’s Speech revealed plans to introduce a Decentralisation and Localism Bill. The Bill seeks to “empower local people; free local government from central and regional control; give local communities a real share in local growth; and introduce a more efficient and more local planning system”.

But with the new Bill comes the abolition of a large number of regional bodies and strategies in England, many of which (such as spatial strategies and housing strategies) have played a role in ensuring that community decision makers do consider the impact of an ageing society. At a local level there is a risk of NIMBYism resulting in unpopular but important policies and services being lost.

Since the Government published Lifetime Neigbourhoods, there has been further research on how best to design neigbourhoods and housing to meet the needs of an ageing society. Professor Elizabeth Burton will open the debate with a discussion and presentation of the findings of the IDGO2 research project.

This debate explored

  • The latest thinking in terms of community design for an ageing society
  • The potential for delivering lifetime neigbourhoods under localism.
  • How the housing needs of an older population can be met under a more devolved decision making process.
  • The benefits and costs of more localism in decision making in the context of the housing and community needs of an older population
  • How the community needs of older people can be best met under a more localised decision making structure
  • How policy makers should deliver localism in a way which benefits all generations and delivers sustainable and engaged communities.
  • Where next for housing and communities policy for older people?

Professor Elizabeth Burton presented the findings of IDGO 2 (inclusive design for getting outdoors). Speakers at the debate included: Jane Ashcroft (Anchor); Nick Sanderson (Audley); Sue Adams (Care and Repair England); Gemma Bradshaw, (Age UK); and Julian Dobson (NS +).

Agenda from the event:

16.00 – 16.30
Registration and refreshments
16:30 – 16.35
Welcome from ARUP
16.35 - 16.40
Introduction from the Chair
16.40 – 17.00
Professor Elizabeth Burton
17.00 – 17.40
Panel introductions (8 minutes each to introduce views)
17.40 – 18.25
Panel debate
18.25 - 18.30
Concluding remarks from Chair
Close and drinks