Professor Dave Adamson and Dr Mark Lang wrote the Deep Place Report of Tredegar, which was published by CREW in 2014, the result of a 12 month research project. When launched, the Tredegar Report was referred to as a game changer for current approaches to tackle poverty and create environmentally, socially, economically and culturally sustainable communities in Wales.
The research looked at Tredegar holistically. It identified key disadvantages experienced by people living in the town, and identifies positive opportunities to create a sustainable community. The ‘Foundational Economy’, a concept developed by Prof Karel Williams of Manchester University, is viewed as the principal means to achieve economic growth in Tredegar; the report argues for a more localised economic model for Tredegar that can both eradicate poverty and help to achieve environmental sustainability.
The de-legitimisation of welfare rights begun in the 1980s has reached fruition in political and cultural values where the barely-managing blame those who can’t manage, and politicians foster an attack on the post-Beveridge settlement which has ushered in a ‘decade of destitution’.
The approach can be used as a means more generally in other disadvantaged communities in Wales and beyond. For communities to become more resilient, inclusive governance is needed with local people supported by the third sector getting involved directly with the management and organisation of their communities. This requires very different perspectives from the normal approach to power at community level, and will depend on willingness and openness of public sector organisations at national, regional and local levels to share power, coordinate activities, develop synergies and work for common objectives.