Government Words: Government Actions
John Mills, Liverpool City Council
face it. The Government proclaims to be tackling social
exclusion and helping communities help themselves.
people on benefit are excluded from LETS, a community
self-help initiative that can make a difference in building
community cohesion and individual confidence to rejoin
the labour market.
the report entitled "Bringing Britain Together: A National
Strategy for Neighbourhood Renewal" the policy action
team on jobs referred to their study of LETS by promising
to look at, "What benefit rule flexibilities it might
be helpful to pilot for example, whether changes to
earning disregards, or an easier regime for LETS would
be cos- effective in drawing people back into work".
Darling's "Opportunity for All: Tackling Social
Exclusion" report states that, "LETS enable local
people to improve their quality of life by exchanging
time and skills" The DETR published a Community Enterprise
Good Practice Guide which said "LETS have the potential
to combat social exclusion by offering residents of
an area the opportunity to re-enter or enter the world
of work on a small scale, building up their skills,
self confidence and networks. Existing LETS are well
used by unemployed people and for a partnership there
will be broader benefits in terms of recycling resources
and building community cohesion".
the Policy Action Team on Community Self Help has used
Beckford Community LETS as a case study and even Tony
Blair this year in his speech at the annual NCVO conference
said, "The voluntary sector is - I believe - showing
the way, making the links between rebuilding communities
and rebuilding economic opportunity."