CRESR Seminar: Policy forum – welfare reform

Start date: 
Wed, 04/06/2014
Closing date: 
Wed, 04/06/2014
Event contact: 
Ian Wilson & Will Eadson

Ian Cole - Sheffield Hallam University
Peter Kemp - University of Oxford
Tony Wilson - Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion


Steve Fothergill will review the impact of welfare reform on different parts of Britain, drawing heavily on the path-breaking 2013 report (co-authored with Christina Beatty) Hitting the Poorest Places Hardest, which documented the impact by local authority across England, Scotland and Wales.

Ian Cole will present on work he and colleagues have undertaken looking at the impact of Welfare Reforms on Housing. In particular he will consider changes to Local Housing Allowance and the Removal of the Spare Room Subsidy (the ‘Bedroom Tax’). His talk will reflect on the case for and against these reforms, their architecture, and their effects so far.

Tony Wilson will present research findings on how residents in different areas are being impacted by, and responding to, reforms. This will draw on findings from qualitative research by Inclusion in London and the South East, and will explore the cumulative financial impacts of reforms on groups of residents; non-financial impacts; responses to reform; and impacts on local services. It will also critically assess the evidence so far on employment impacts, and draw out the lessons for the future design of local support services.


Steve Fothergill is a Professor within CRESR at Sheffield Hallam University. An economist by background, he has published widely on many aspects of UK urban and regional development, including the impact of welfare reform, and led numerous research projects. Outside academia he also plays a leading role in lobbying for regeneration in Britain’s older industrial areas.

Ian Cole is Professor of Housing Studies in CRESR. He has extensive experience of research and writing in the field of housing and regeneration policy and practice. He has directed research projects for the Department of Work and Pensions, Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), regional bodies, local authorities and housing associations. Professor Cole has acted as a special adviser to the three House of Commons Select Committee inquiries on the impact of regeneration, low housing demand, and the role of Housing Market Renewal Pathfinders. Professor Cole is currently leading the major evaluation of the new measures for Local Housing Allowances in the private rented sector in the United Kingdom

Tony Wilson is a Policy Director at Inclusion. He has more than ten years’ experience of policy and research, project management and delivery across a range of roles in HM Treasury, the Department for Work and Pensions and Jobcentre Plus. Since joining Inclusion Tony has led on a range of projects including a feasibility study on developing a new employment programme in Northern Ireland, assessing approaches to tackling youth unemployment, analysis of supply and demand for skills, fragmentation of services for young people and evaluation of programmes to increase employment among inactive groups. Most recently, Tony led on employment policy and delivery at HM Treasury: advising on labour market trends, policy responses to the downturn, delivery of welfare to work programmes and benefit reform. Tony has worked across a wide range of policy areas with a particular focus on welfare to work programmes, support for disadvantaged groups, local partnership working and the fit between employment and skills. He was an expert policy adviser to David Freud on his independent review of welfare to work, published in 2007. 

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