Greater Manchester has officially embraced place-based working in public service reform (see 'The Greater Manchester Model: Further Faster'), although the exact footprints for each place, and whether they correspond to natural organic communities, has not yet been decided. The idea is to connect services and resources within an area and encourage staff to take on personal leadership roles and collaborate more with colleagues including VCSE, service users and the public. Place-based economic action and community ownership of local assets are also live ideas in GM, although not yet well-developed. We should also note that whilst everyone lives in a place, not everyone feels they belong there, and some may connect much more strongly with a non-geographic community of identity or experience
GMCVO supports the idea of place-based approaches as a useful way to tackle personal and structural inequalities and inclusion, to increase resilience to stresses and shocks, and to encourage involvement in decision making. However we believe there are certain principles that must be followed to avoid the risk of having the opposite effect: investment in social infrastructure that enhances bridging social capital; targeted support for minority groups; strategic planning to invest adequately in more disadvantaged places.