The UK is facing the largest public sector spending cuts since the 1970s. Faced with the challenges this brings, there is a need for rapid and focused thinking. If citizens are expected to 'do more' we are going to need new kinds of services in order to support them to this end. As further tough policy and funding choices are made, can new forms of community engagement and social enterprise help to bridge the gap, ensuring that the most vulnerable and poorest are not left behind?
In this paper Nicola Bacon argues that pragmatic and tested approaches to building resilience in local communities has the potential not only to help communities respond to the impact of austerity, but also tackle local problems when traditional approaches have been found wanting. This report for the RSA argues that with no new money for large scale regeneration projects, there is a pressing need to develop low-cost ways to support people living in places most affected by the collapse of local economies.