The policies of belonging


This report from UK think tank Onward looks at growing evidence that community is in long term decline and the impact that can have on the levelling up agenda.

The Government’s flagship levelling up ambition will fail unless Ministers take concerted action to invest in and empower fraying communities after the pandemic, our report finds. The report, The Policies of Belonging, is a response to growing evidence that community is in long term decline in Britain. In 2019, polling for Onward found that 71% of people agree that “community has declined in my lifetime” and in September 2020 the thinktank warned that there has been a steady fall in the last decade in levels of volunteering, local group membership, church attendance, community activities, family trips, philanthropy and social trust. While the pandemic led initially to an outpouring of public spiritedness, this benefited high trust neighbourhoods much more than others. To rekindle a sense of belonging in all Britain’s communities after lockdown finally ends, Onward sets out a series of policies to give power to individuals and communities to give back locally, and greater resources to ensure that the most fraying communities have strong reciprocal networks and institutions.

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