PEST Outputs from CIH North West Conference – 24 March 2010

Some participants asked to see the outputs from the workshop session held at the Reebok. The PEST results show just how many relevant “hits” can be generated very quickly. This work should be followed up with more detailed research and thinking on all these issues. It should then be written up and subjected to a reality check with participants reviewing the detailed results.

My thanks go to everyone for their contributions. I also apologise if I have transcribed anyone’s thoughts inaccurately.

Kim Penfold


• lack of political honesty – Budget and election
• tax levels
• uncertainty
• spending cuts
• future of TSA (does it even have one?)
• growing role and power of local government
• potential for hung Parliament (“worst of all worlds”)
• potential changes in Housing Benefit and other welfare benefits
• provision for elderly (potential winner?)
• possible abolition of regional structures and housing targets
• review of stamp duty
• emergence of BNP and other extreme political views
• need to tackle worklessness
• absence of housing as a political priority
• policies and resources propping up owner-occupation
• education issues, eg future of Sure Start
• stock market reaction to election results
• growing political apathy


• spending cuts
• stock market reaction
• new funding models for large-scale regeneration
• private funding implications – availability and pricing
• repositioning of UK in relation to global economy
• widening economic gaps in UK – geographically and between individuals
• increasing personal debt
• Housing Benefit changes
• Supporting People changes
• increasing Housing Benefit dependency
• arrears pressures
• more long term unemployed – harder to get out of worklessness
• unemployment is a lag indicator in recovery from recession
• investor confidence
• outcome of local authority housing finance review
• educational opportunities
• inflation
• impact of interest rate changes
• Government expectations that housing associations will fill gaps
• long term cost of running UK economy


• consequences of political apathy – smaller parties
• worklessness
• opportunities for people leaving education/work/study
• tenant engagement
• needs of an ageing population
• other demographic changes
• potential for social unrest (big spending cuts, rise of extremists, etc)
• impact on social cohesion
• people being static – socially/geographically
• marginalisation of sector and its customers (which some politicians see as a necessity)
• increasing individual debt
• increasingly unequal society
• radical thinking needed to cut spending and keep essential services going
• pressure to deliver more for less
• opportunity for communities to work together/support eachother
• crime, anti-social behaviour and fear of crime
• overcrowding and other pressures on families
• impacts on vulnerable groups
• overall sustainability of neighbourhoods
• public policy messages not being understandable or matching people’s priorities – nihilism


• digital inclusion – need to reach excluded groups
• lack of investment in technology and industry
• opportunities for growth in renewable
• affordability of technology – problem for some people/organisations
• lack of people with skills – need training and education to get the economy going
• deliberate digital self-exclusion as a quality of life issue
• public sector access to information issues blocking access to services
• some groups in society lagging behind
• incentive of technologies helping do things quicker/cheaper – invest to save
• loss of focus with technology as end not means
• environmental impacts of waste – an opportunity
• tenants/customers engaging with green technologies
• superfast broadband for all
• loss of jobs because of technology
• “Big Brother” – worries about intrusion by public and private bodies
• fear of technology, eg by many older people