A strategy for the central South?
A new Southern Policy Centre project ‘A strategy for the central south?’ is recruiting an experienced researcher, with a good background in economics, regional policy and devolution. This is a fixed term, full time contract of five months starting in September 2018
The SPC was established in 2014 as the only independent cross-party think-tank for the region of central southern England, covering the area from Dorset to West Sussex and the Isle of Wight to Oxfordshire. We specialise in improving public policy making by conducting research into the policy challenges facing society: these include poverty and social exclusion, devolution, and the implications of an ageing population. The SPC uses Open Data to inform its research and is the host to the ODI Hampshire node, part of the Open Data Institute‘s worldwide network. We work with a wide range of partners including the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Higher Education Funding Council for England, and the Southern Universities Network.????
Attempts to secure comprehensive devolution deals for the central south of England have to date been unsuccessful. Although there are many reasons for these failures, it is widely perceived that there is no coherent consensus strategy for the region that covers all the drivers of inclusive, sustainable economic growth. Former Government Minister, Lord Jim O’Neill, covered this subject in detail at an SPC seminar in May 2017 – the text of his speech can be found here.
However, there are many organisations taking a strategic view of the region or its parts. These include LEPs, top tier local authorities, Chambers of Commerce and other business organisations, and major infrastructure and transport providers. To what extent do these strategies amount to a regional strategy, and where are the overlaps, contradictions and gaps?
This project, supported by the Barker-Mill Estate, aims to assess the extent to which a regional strategy already could be said to exist and how it could be further developed. The area this project will examine lies broadly within Dorset and Hampshire and neighbouring parts of West Sussex, Wiltshire, and Surrey
The project has three elements.
It will research and summarise existing strategies addressing key issues such as infrastructure, housing, innovation, sustainability and skills, producing a well-written brief on each topic.
These briefs will form the basis of five seminars engaging public and private sector organisations that will contribute to the formation of a consensus about regional priorities and the identification of gaps and tensions between current plans.
A final report will summarise the outcomes of the seminars.
The primary responsibilities of the researcher will be to:
- undertake the analysis and summary of existing strategies;
- prepare the papers for each seminar;
- draft the final report.
The seminars will be organised in conjunction with other SPC employees and the researcher will be expected to advise on invitations, speakers etc. and to assist with the organisation where necessary.
The successful candidate will primarily work with the SPC Associate managing the project, as well as staff from the funding organisation and its partners.
The role will be a full time fixed term contract beginning in September/October 2018 for 5 months on a self-employed basis.
Pay: £22.5k - £25kpa (pro-rata) dependent on experience
Location: Research can be undertaken remotely and there is also the use of the Southampton office. Any meetings will likely take place in Southampton/Hampshire
Closing date: midnight 19th September 2018
Start date: October 2018