As we move towards a post-Brexit economy, what will the future look like for our friends, families and neighbours?
In a previous post, I talked about what we could learn from scenarios and what should councils look to do. As we know from previous crises or significant changes in the economy and society, these impact people differently based on different sectors. For these next four posts, I want to focus on two factors (not the only ones!):
- How people can take advantage of economic opportunities
- How people can adapt & influence change
The first group I’ll look at are…
1. Isolated individuals: People excluded from the economy and wanting services to be provided to them
These are people with multiple needs who are isolated from support networks and are in a precarious work and housing situation.
“I need help and don’t have anyone else to go to, except public services or charities”.
People help each other to cope when they can. Since many of their connections have multiple needs, they turn to public services or charities for frequent emergency help.
They want services to provide support to help them cope with the constant crisis around them. They cannot afford nor access products & services, so get into debt, using payday lenders and backstreet social services.
People who can’t afford private services and rely on public services and charity to help them cope with their chronic social, economic and health needs.
There is competition for scarce resources, because everyone is struggling, with impacts on violence & petty crime, even if most of the time people just make do and get on.
Due to competition over scarce resources, there can be tensions between communities.
People are heavily reliant on public transport for getting around. The majority of service-based or manual jobs have been automated. People growing up in poor accommodation with fewer skills aren’t well placed to respond to a fast-changing work economy.
People are financially excluded from access to technology that could alleviate their circumstances. They fall behind and potentially opt out completely. Their dependence upon public service provision is likely to change only in how that service is provided rather than what service is provided. Publically funded digital support/training is a likely requirement. It will also be important to utilise appropriate communications channels i.e. free access points and telephone contact centre.
What are the challenges for councils?
- How do you work with other services to manage demand for people at risk of multiple needs?
- How do you engage these communities to help them meet their needs?
- How do you attract investment to develop infrastructure to help them benefit from economic growth?
- How do you mediate between competing interests of customer groups with multiple needs?