Corporate social responsibility woven into everything we do at Riverside

Ronnie Clawson head shot

We’ll be looking at housing and particularly the work of housing associations over the next couple of weeks. In our first blog of three on the theme Ronnie Clawson from Riverside talks about Corporate Social Responsibility and how integral it is to Riverside’s business.

By Ronnie Clawson, Executive Director of Corporate Services, Riverside

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) sits at the core of Riverside’s purpose as a housing charity and is integral to our business. It strengthens our reputation as a responsible, ethical organisation and provides an opportunity for deeper and more meaningful engagement with our employees. CSR also allows best practice to be shared through peer-groups, such as the Sustainable Homes Index for Tomorrow (SHIFT) and other like-minded organisations outside the social housing sector like Business in The Community, Seddons (construction and maintenance specialists), and Liverpool Echo Arena. Continue reading

World Health Organization Air quality release: UK focus

smoking chimney

by Alex Addyman

The World Health Organization (WHO) has today released air quality data for 1600 world cities across 91 countries. In the press release accompanying the data release WHO explained that:

  • Only 12% of the people in cities covered live within WHO’s recommended air quality guideline levels.
  • About half of the urban population being monitored is exposed to air pollution that is at least 2.5 times higher than the levels WHO recommends – putting those people at additional risk of serious, long-term health problems.
  • In most cities where there is enough data to compare the situation today with previous years, air pollution is getting worse.

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Putting research at the heart of UK public policy

word cloud of search terms
by Alex Addyman and James Carson

At the heart of The Knowledge Exchange is a comprehensive database of hundreds of thousands of articles, research reports, and policy documents covering 40 years of UK public policy. The database is known as the Idox Information service and users include: Continue reading

Guest blog: Martyn Evans of The Carnegie UK Trust on Measuring Wellbeing


by Martyn Evans, Chief Executive at The Carnegie UK Trust

When looking for good practice at an international level it comes as a bit of a shock to find it on your own doorstep. The Carnegie UK Trust, based in Dunfermline in Scotland, has had a focus on wellbeing since 1913 when Andrew Carnegie signed the Trust deed requiring us to “improve the wellbeing” of the people of the UK and Ireland. Our recent work in this area builds on the excellent programme run by the New Economics Foundation. Two years ago we set out to learn more about how wellbeing was being measured. We led on research and international study trips with IPPR North. We concluded, to our surprise and delight, that the Scottish National Performance Framework, now called Scotland Performs, is a global pioneer. Our view was later corroborated by a Professor Stiglitz in his address to the OECD World Forum in India, in 2012. Continue reading

Is the UK high street back on its feet?

by Alex Addyman

high street revival previewOur latest infographic highlights research on UK high streets including recent research by Deloitte which suggests a rosier picture for their future. The infographic was produced to coincide with the Future High Street Summit on the 26th & 27th March 2014. The Future High Street Summit provides a platform for retailers, councils, town-teams, business improvement districts (BIDs) and solution providers to share their experiences of projects and activities which have had / will have a positive impact on their local area.  Continue reading

The act is a year old but what does social value actually mean?

people forming a circle

by Alex Addyman

On 31 January 2013 the Public Services (Social Value) Act, or simply the Social Value Act as it is more commonly known, came into force. The law was a turning point for many organisations, particularly social enterprises, with Social Enterprise UK considering it to have: “the potential to transform the way public services are commissioned, requiring public bodies to consider choosing providers based on the social value created in an area and not on cost alone”. Continue reading

Idox Budget 2014 Summary

Pound coin

Idox Policyfinder Team

Presented to Parliament by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, Budget 2014 sets out the next steps in the Government’s long-term economic plan. The Government believes this Budget not only sets out further action to secure the recovery and build a resilient economy, but also the most radical reforms to saving for a generation, providing security for families to plan for their future.  Continue reading

Over 30 years of UK budget research

by Alex Addyman

At 12.30 today Chancellor George Osbourne will deliver his fifth budget. We’ve rounded up some research and information from our 40 year archive on previous UK budgets.

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A unique insight into UK New Towns

Looking at house plans iStock_000002390840Large

by Alex Addyman

Today sees the release of ‘New Towns Act 2015?’ by The Town and Country Planning Association. The report has taken the New Town Development Corporation model, which developed a host of new towns after The Second World War, and updated it for the 21st Century. UK New Towns comprise the most sustained programme of new town development undertaken anywhere in the world and are home to some three million people today. Continue reading

The people of Sochi have spoken and they’re not that impressed

Sochi Olympics building site

by Alex Addyman

The Winter Olympics in Sochi have attracted great controversy from around the world with regards to a range of political and human rights issues as summed up well by Gevorg Mirzayan in The Telegraph:

“allegations of widespread corruption during the construction of Games facilities; the cruelty of the Russian authorities towards the population of the North Caucasus; the treatment of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community and a ban on gay pride parades; numerous human rights violations; and the conflicts between Russia and Europe over Ukraine and Syria”

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