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NJR MSc Final Dissertation

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  • 8/12/2019 NJR MSc Final Dissertation






    Nathan Jon Renison

    This Dissertation is submitted in part fulfilment of the regulations

    for the MSc in Spatial Planning

    Oxford Brookes University September 2011

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    Declaration of Individual Authorship:

    I affirm that this dissertation contains no unacknowledged work or

    ideas from any publication or written work by another student or any

    other person.

    Statement of Ethics Review Approval:

    This dissertation involved human participants. A Form E1BE for group

    of participants, showing ethics review approval, has been attached to

    this dissertation as an appendix.

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    This dissertation explores the local states role within the contemporary

    policy and practice arenas of the modern multi-sectoral Urban

    Regeneration Partnership. It utilises the case study of the Castlefields

    Regeneration Partnership, Runcorn established in the early 2000s to

    regenerate a failing neighbourhood. It seeks to use the case study to

    look beyond the modern orthodoxy of the partnership ideal by

    proposing a concept of leadership of place, where local authorities can

    have a confident local leadership role within urban regeneration.

    WORD COUNT: 16239

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    1.0: Introduction 8

    1.1The Management of Regeneration 8

    1.2Dynamics of Regeneration 10

    1.3 Defining Leadership of Place 11

    1.4 An emerging model for Regeneration Delivery? 12

    2.0 The Dynamics of Urban Regeneration in England 14

    2.1 Parameters of the literature review 14

    2.2 Institutional history of urban regeneration in England 14

    2.3 Deconstructing the dynamics of regeneration partnerships 27

    2.4 Looking beyond the partnership 40

    3.0 Methodology 42

    3.1 General Hypothesis 42

    3.2 Research Design 43

    3.3 Reflection-in-action 46

    3.4 Selection of Case Study: Castlefields Regeneration 48

    3.5 Peeling back the layers of a Partnership 49

    3.6 Limitations 50

    3.7 Summary 52

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    4.0 Case Study: Castlefields, Runcorn 54

    4.1 Castlefields, A new town neighbourhood 54

    4.2 Background to RegenerationCourtship 55

    4.3 Production of the Castlefields MasterplanEngagement 59

    4.4 Partnership GovernanceMarriage 67

    4.5 ImplementationFamily Life 74

    4.6 Issues for Further Analysis 77

    5.0 Castlefields RegenerationLeadership of Place in action? 81

    5.1 Courtship Displaced power and influence 81

    5.2 Engagement Convergence of power and influence 84

    5.3 Marriage Establishment of hierarchy of power and influence 87

    5.4 Family Life Consolidation of power and influence 92

    5.5 Summary 97

    6.0 Conclusion 98

    Bibliography 100

    Appendices 109

    Appendix A: List of Interviewees 110

    Appendix B:Ethical Review Form 113

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    List of Figures:

    Fig. 4.1 Courtship 19982002 58

    Fig. 4.2 Engagement 20022003 66

    Fig. 4.3 Extract from Minutes of CRSG 24thJune 2005 69

    Fig 4.4 Marriage 20032004 73

    List of Tables:

    Table 4.1 Overview of Masterplan Projects, Castlefields Programme 62

    Table 4.2 Castlefields Regeneration Programme Key Life events 78

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    I would like to acknowledge the help and support of my friends, family

    and colleagues during the production of this Dissertation. In particular

    the guidance of my supervisor, Sue Brownill has been invaluable in

    turn a mountain into a molehill. I would also like to thank the support

    of HBC for enabling me to undertake my MSc, particularly the patience

    and support of my Line Manager, Sally McDonald. I would also like to

    state my appreciation for all those (past and present) from The

    Castlefields Partnership who took time out of their busy day for

    interviews. Finally I would like to thank Timothy Oliver Ashworth, the

    best friend and proof reader anyone could ask for.

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    Chapter 1: INTRODUCTION

    1.1The Management of Regeneration - Beyond a PartnershipApproach

    A partnership approach has become the generic phrase, in both

    academic literature and regeneration practice, to describe contemporary

    best practice for the organisational structure in which urban

    regeneration is managed. It is a Partnership which instigates designs

    and implements regeneration within a defined geographical area,

    typically at the sub-regional, town or neighbourhood level.

    Since the mid 1970s the Urban Regeneration Partnership has emerged

    to become the modern orthodoxy in urban regeneration policy which

    through various mechanisms brings together central and local

    government, the private and voluntary sectors and local communities

    (Ball and Maginn, 2005). The prescribed assumption being that by

    collaborating the sum achievements is greater than the individual

    organisations could deliver independently, whilst both organisation and

    the use of resources is more efficient.

    This dissertation seeks to look beyond this generic partnership

    terminology and explore whether a new discourse of leadership of place

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    has emerged from the contemporary policy arena within which

    regeneration has operated over the last decade.

    Within this new policy arena has the role of the local state actorThe

    local authorityevolved within the partnership setting? Is its role, as a

    leader within the management of regeneration and as shaper of place,

    getting stronger?

    The fundamental question to be addressed within this study is whether

    the role of the local authority within the management of regeneration

    through the partnership approach has evolved as a response to

    conditions set by the contemporary regeneration policy and practice in


    In answering this central question the following supplementary

    questions will be addressed:

    i. What are the conditions set by contemporary regeneration policyand practice in England?

    ii. How has the local authority role within the partnership dynamicevolved as a response to these conditions?

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    The general hypothesis of this study is that the local authority role

    within the delivery and implementation (its management) of

    regeneration has evolved in response to conditions set within

    regeneration policy and practice. This new role is one of strength where

    power and influence is exerted over other stakeholders within the

    partnership milieu. This new role is defined as leadership of place

    where partnership working has been evolved into leadership.

    1.2Dynamics of Regeneration - Governance, Delivery andImplementation

    Before one can seek to identify through empirical research whether the

    role of the local state in the management of regeneration is evolving it is

    first important to understand the context in which this trend couldoperate. This is achieved through a review of existing literature

    (Chapter 2) and focuses on two key dimensions in the context of this


    The first is establishing the broad institutional history of urban

    regeneration policy in England. A particular focus is the conditions set

    by contemporary regeneration policy discourse that has emerged since


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    The second, and more important dimension, relates to the practicality of

    the management of regeneration and in particular the development of

    academic and practitioner understanding of governance models

    including the partnership approach. These models seek to understand

    the formal and informal networks and regimesthe organisational

    spaces - where the business of regeneration operates. Finally an

    understanding of the role of leadership within the management of

    regeneration will be explored.

    From the review of existing literature it should be possible to establish

    whether the conditionsboth in terms of policy and governance

    structuresexisted where local authorities could exert influence and

    power and demonstrate leadership of place in the management of


    1.3Defining Leadership of Place The family analogy

    It is the authors original view that regeneration partnerships can be

    seen to share many of the characteristics and dynamics of a family unit.

    A natural order and hierarchy is established and day to day life is often

    mundane. Individuals within the family operate alongside each other

    relatively effectively based upon trust and family life moves along.

    However, at key life events such as financial crises or the need to

    compromise due to competing interests, the family unit is put under

    stress and trust is tested.

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    In is within this analogy that a definition of leadership of place will be


    Within the narrative of the life of a specific regeneration programme it

    will be possible to identify the key life events and challenges faced by

    the responsible partnership. These key events within the life of the

    partnership will be the points were relationship, trust and individual

    roles are tested and hierarchy, power and influence established. Onceidentified, these key life events within a programme can form the basis

    for further empirical and observational research. This method is

    adopted within the empirical research (Chapters 4 and 5) of this study,

    and explained in more detail in Chapter 3.

    1.4 Leadership of Place an emerging model for RegenerationDelivery?

    At the heart of the general hypothesis is whether it is evident that the

    local authority has taken the lead role in directing the resources and

    coordinating the actions of the stakeholders throughout the life of a

    regeneration programme. Critical to the validity of this study is the

    extent to which the policy and organisational arenas places the local

    authority within a leadership role within the regeneration partnership

    or whether it is the individual actions and dynamics specific to

    individual circumstances of characteristics of differing placed-based

    regeneration programmes.

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    Crucial to answering this question will be whether or not a broader

    evolution of the management and governance of regeneration is evident.

    Is contemporary discourse of partnership being replaced by a discourse

    leadership of place? If so, can particular conditions be identified and

    replicated which enable the local authority to exert parental

    responsibility within the partnership family and demonstrate

    leadership of place? (These conclusions are drawn within chapter 6).

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    Chapter 2: The Dynamics of Urban Regeneration in England

    2.1 Parameters of the literature review

    The objective of this study is to test the general hypothesis that the

    local authority role within the delivery and implementation (its

    management) of regeneration has evolved in response to conditions set

    within regeneration policy and practice. A review of existing literature

    can inform research through firstly establishing the broad institutional

    history of urban regeneration policy in England. Once established the

    existing theory and models that seek to deconstruct and explain the

    partnership dynamic will be assessed. It should then be possible to

    provide a rationale for engaging in the empirical research of this study.

    2.2 Institutional history of urban regeneration in England

    The emergence of the Urban Regeneration Partnership (URP) in England

    has been shaped by the interplay between two urban policy dimensions

    the first relates to the relationships between central and local

    government (the institutions); the second by the prevailing policy

    response to urban failure. The interplay between these policies is best

    understood in terms of the evolution of urban regeneration policy.

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    Early regeneration policy shows that social need provided the case for

    intervention, issues such as poverty and urban deprivation (Lawless

    1989; Robson 1988: cited in McCarthy, 2007). McCarthy (2007) sets out

    the two main national government policy responsesthe Urban

    Programme and Community Development Projects (CDPs). Mckay and

    Cox (1979) add compensatory education through the creation of

    Educational Priority Areas (EPAs). These initiatives allowed local

    authorities to access part funding from central government and were

    delivered by local authorities with light touch control from central

    government (McCarthy 2007, p.28). Analysis by Edward and Batley

    (1978, p.176) of the Urban Programme identified the commissioning

    and delivery (Edward and Batley,p.176):

    Was providing additional help for deprived areameeting special social

    needproviding additional help to areas within authorities that lack


    Suggests funding allocation was guided by broader central government

    policy to target places of most need.

    Three key characteristic of early urban regeneration policy are evident.

    Intervention is focussed on social failure and needs; the relationship

    between the central and local state is one of trust with the local

    authority given responsibility to develop and deliver responses around

    broader policy objectives defined by central government with little

    accountability. Collaboration with actors outside of the state is neither

    required nor evident. The interplay between these three characteristics

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    resulting in intervention being targeted to deprived areas at a local level

    to supplement wider state policy.

    The relationship between central and local government was recast in

    the late 1970s and urban policy redefined. During the 1980s

    regeneration policy in England shifted focus away from social failures

    onto predominately economic failures with some attention to linked

    physical failures (Atkinson and Moon, 1994: cited in McCarthy,

    2007,p.29). As McCarthy (2007,p.30) identifies:

    This was perhaps manifested most clearly by the introduction of Urban

    Development Corporations (UDCs), which took over local authority

    powers in several inner urban areas in order to promote property

    development-led regeneration.

    Whilst the Urban Programme demonstrated that central government

    perceived that social failures could be tackled by existing mechanisms

    through state actors; the central government ideology during the 1980s

    saw tackling economic failures required a more laisez-faire private

    sector response as opposed to existing state mechanisms. It can be

    seen that places for intervention were determined by a central

    government rationale of inner city opportunities rather than individual


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    programme, though these were often regarded as inadequate (Deakin

    and Edwards, 1993: cited in Ball and Maginn, 2005,p.13).

    Further criticism relates to the separation of social policy from

    mainstream regeneration interventions. This is evident in several

    programmes from the 1980s such as Safer Cities, Garden festivals and

    City action teams, whilst these embraced principles of earlier

    programmes from the 70s of dealing with problems at source, they werenot integrated with private sector led economic property based

    interventions resulting in dualism of policy interventions (Ball and

    Maginn, 2005,p.13).

    Urban regeneration policy from 1979 - 1990 is characterised by a focus

    on economic and physical intervention; whilst still evident, socialprogrammes took a back seat and were not integrated with economic

    programmes. Crucially economic programmes were delivered through

    new governance agencies between central government and the private

    sector, largely by-passing a perceived failing local state. Power and

    influence of the local state was expressed through local conflict. The

    interplay between these characteristics resulting in intervention being

    targeted to central government determined local areas without localaccountability or flexibility.

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    Relations between central government and local authorities evolved

    again through the regeneration programmes of the earlymid 1990s

    City Challenge and the early phases of the Single Regeneration Budget

    (SRB). A distinct difference between these flagship programmes and

    their predecessors of the 1980s was the incorporation of local

    partnerships arrangements within initiatives. McCarthy (2007) argued

    that these arrangements came through recognition by central

    government (via criticisms by the audit commission in 1989 of

    regeneration initiatives of the 1980s) that better co-ordination of urban

    interventions was required. It was evident that these programmes also

    addressed separation of social policy by making addressing social

    issues as a central component of policy (Ball and Maginn, 2005,p.14).

    McCarthy, (2007,p.33) Identified that addressing need itself was

    diluted within these regeneration initiatives towards broader economicdevelopment objectives as through the downgrading of need as a grant

    criterion. This criticism recognises the introduction of a new tenet to

    regeneration policycompetitive bidding between local areas seeking

    funding from central government. The capacity of partnership boards

    meeting bidding criteria was critical in determining which bids were

    successful: central government retaining power and influence.

    Central government criteria for these programmes allowed local

    authorities within regeneration policy decision-making, although local

    authorities were facilitators rather than developers and owners (Ball

    and Maginn, 2005 p. 14). Funding criteria placed local authority

    involvement within a broader local partnership governance structure

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    incorporating participation of community and voluntary groups, as well

    as levering in private sector finance. The competitive process for

    allocation of funding received a number of criticismsit was open to all

    local authority areas, rather than focussed on areas of need; time

    constraints limited effective partnership formation; focus was on bid

    quality rather than need, and; lack of accountability due to reduced role

    of local authority (McCarthy, 2007,p.33).

    The establishment of English Partnership (EP) during this period is a

    further expression of central government retaining control of

    regeneration policy and implementation. EP was conceived as English

    Development Agency directly accountable central government

    (McCarthy, 2007,p.34). Whilst governmental aim was that it would work

    in partnership with local authorities; delivery was envisaged to be via

    the private sector and EP was granted powers such as CompulsoryPurchase which were removed from Local Authority (Blackman, 1995:

    cited in McCarthy, 2007,p.34). This early period of EP reflects central

    government policy: reducing the power and influence of the local

    authorities within urban regeneration.

    Urban regeneration policy during this 1990s period represents theconsolidation of previous phases of regeneration policy and the

    emergence of the modern URP as the governance structure for

    implementation of interventions, through broad local coalitions albeit

    with limited power and influence of local authorities. Central

    government control was retained through the competitive criteria based

    bidding process and the establishment of EP. Also whilst the integration

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    of social need represents a move towards holistic regeneration; funding

    arrangements diminished the broader focus of need of an area.

    Within the context of this research, the final period of urban

    regeneration policy relates to the change in central government from a

    Conservative administration to that of New Labour. The starting point

    was that previous policies had failed, and they established the Social

    Exclusion Unit (SEU) in 1997 with a remit to address the causes of

    exclusion and to develop integrated and sustainable approaches to the

    problems of the worst housing estates (Oatley, 2000,p.86).

    The initial outcomes of the SEU were expressed within the National

    strategy for Neighbourhood Renewal published in 2000. The focus was

    that over the last 20 years poverty had become more concentrated in

    individual neighbourhoods, this notion was justified by significant

    empirical data on spatial concentrations of poverty (SEU 2000,p.7: cited

    in Oatley 2000,p.87). Imrie and Raco (2003,p.4) identified that the main

    conclusions of this report was that previous initiatives had: too much

    reliance on short term regeneration; suffered from a lack of leadership;

    too little attention to the problems of worklessness, crime and poor

    education, and; communities need to be fully integrated in shaping and

    delivering regeneration.

    New Labour policy responses can be seen to pre-empt the SEU report

    with the publication of Index of Local Deprivation (ILD) in 1998 which in

    itself was a significant step in legitimising area-based initiatives

    demonstrating increasing concentrations of poverty in England. The ILD

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    led to 44 local authorities, which contained 85% of Englands most

    deprived wards, being identified as most in need of intervention (Hill,

    2000). Linked to the ILD and the outcomes of the SEU, a series of

    holistic regeneration initiatives were targeted at most deprived areas.

    Initiatives included the New Deal for Communities and the

    Neighbourhood Renewal Fund (McCarthy, 2007,pp.3739). These

    initiatives encompassed a more holistic approach tackling the multiple

    causes of social and economic decline. These changes reflect the

    broader poverty focus of earlier 1970s initiatives evident from the

    analysis by Edward and Batley (1978).

    The relationship between central and local government is arguably

    guided by attempts to harmonise policy interventions. Whilst at the

    local level governance structures continued a shift began in early 1990s

    urban regeneration policy, towards community participation,partnerships and empowerment; it is at the central government level

    where improvements to coordination of policy interventions were

    focused. This was achieved through the bending of mainstream

    government spending programmes in health, education and

    housingtargeted at perceived problem communities (Imrie and Raco,

    2003,pp.12-13). New Labours approach to urban regeneration policy

    can be characterised as more strategic coherent multi-level governancetargeted through area based initiatives. One expression of coordinated

    central government action towards local level need is the refocusing of

    the work of EP towards areas of low housing demand and 20% most

    deprived wards in England: a stronger emphasis on a working

    partnership with local authorities and local and regional organisations

    (McCarthy, 2007 pp.3435).

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    Another important aspect of the relationship between central and local

    government was the attempt by New Labour to redefine the governance

    culture of local authorities. New Labour sought to enable and promote a

    role that (Filkin at el, 1999, cited in Hemphill et al, p.62):

    Required local authorities to move beyond the management of in-

    house services, taking on a new role of community leadership,

    whilst outward-looking and open in style.

    The implementation of the new broader leadership role for local

    authorities is set out in Local Government Act 2000, and in particular

    (DETR, 2000,p.1):

    Part I of the Act gives local authorities powers to take any steps

    which they consider are likely to promote the well-being of their

    area or inhabitants. It places authorities under a duty to develop

    community strategies, together with other local bodies, for this

    purpose. These provisions are intended to give local authorities

    increased opportunities to improve the quality of life of their

    local communities.

    The language of the Act take any steps is clearly one of autonomy and

    leadership, and it captures some of the attributes of URP within a

    broader urban governance context. The requirement to work with other

    local bodies also indicates this was the aspiration. Enshrining and

    promoting local autonomy creates fertile ground for the perpetuation of

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    the URP. Autonomy came with caveats including section 3 of the Act

    (DETR, 2000) preventing local authorities using the power to raise

    money, perhaps the ultimate power in urban governance.

    The formation of Local Strategic Partnerships (LSP) through the Local

    Government Act (DETR, 2000) instilled the approach of Hastings (1996:

    cited in Hemphill et al 2006) policy synergy within urban governance.

    This has been reinforced by other actions such by central governmentpersuading local authorities to separate its strategic housing function

    from its housing management function through the decent homes

    programme (ODPM, 2000). This has fostered a culture of collaboration

    at the local authority level, bringing with it an alternative third sector

    culture: innovation and area-based working such as from housing

    associations (McArthur, 1995) into the heart of urban governance. New

    Labour can be seen here to be redefining the governance culture of localgovernment to move away from day-to-day service delivery to a strategic

    local leadership role. Within the context of this research this is a critical

    concept, and the extent to which it has been embraced by different local

    authorities and expressed in their actions requires further analysis.

    This period of New Labour urban regeneration policy can be categorisedby a shift in emphasis to local need as the basis for intervention.

    Central government attempted to coordinate mainstream policy and

    local interventions targeting concentrations of poverty based on an

    empirical rationalearea based initiatives came to fore. Renewed trust

    was placed within local authorities with an emphasis on strategic local

    leadership and partnership working. Although it can also be seen that

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    central government have retained control of many aspects of policy

    direction: directing interventions to more discreet ward level as opposed

    to local authority level, restricting flexibility.

    Since the 1970s the evolution of urban regeneration policy can be

    viewed from an institutional perspectivethe relationship between

    central and local state, played out in tensions and a lack of trust in the

    latter. Governance structures to implement regeneration policy evolved:

    the 1970s categorised by local authority direct delivery the 1980s by

    their bypassing through direct engagement between the central state

    and private sectorcriticism of this approach led to the local state

    being gradually brought back into governance arrangements during the

    1990s within a wider multi-sectoral local partnership arrangementby

    the final period central government trust in local authorities had been

    restored: their local leadership role cemented within broader local

    partnership arrangements.

    By the early 2000s the modern orthodoxly of the multi-sector URP had

    emerged. Alongside this move to the perceived partnership ideal central

    governmental urban policy had moved between a focus on various

    regeneration policy objectivessocial, economic and physical. By early

    2000s this evolved to focus on areas of perceived need and a

    multifaceted holistic response in the form of area-based initiatives.

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    In the context of this research it is evident from literature that by the

    early 2000s fertile conditions had been set which could place the local

    state in a position of leadership within urban regeneration partnerships.

    Within this institutional perspective the extent that this has been

    realised is not apparent, requiring further research. Additionally,

    literature has touched upon a number of other aspects of urban

    regeneration policy includingthe extent of a spatial dimension;

    community and multi-sector representation. These aspects will be

    explored in more detail within the context of theory and models that

    seek to deconstruct and explain the partnership dynamic.

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    As Swyngedouw et al (2002. cited in Jones and Evans, 2006) state

    cooperation between the different tiers of governments and external

    agencies is now central to urban regeneration practice. Research and

    literature tends to focus on explaining these mechanisms as alternative

    local governance models (Stoker 1999; 2000: cited in Davies, 2001).

    In his important text, Davies (2001) identified three distinct governance

    typologies, reflecting different tiers of cooperation between variousactors but with particular focus on the relationship between the state

    and private sector. These were summarised by Jones and Evans (2006,


    Governance by governmentThe state as the primary agency for delivery of services with little

    or no interaction between government and businesses

    Governance by partnershipLocal partnerships forming between government and business,

    but purely as mechanism for delivering government policy

    Governance by RegimeGovernment and private sector work together in long-term,

    synergistic networks that develop spontaneously, not in response

    to policy initiatives

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    Whilst governance by government defines more historic approaches to

    inter-organisational relationships within the delivery of regeneration;

    governance by partnership or by regimes has provided a focus for

    seeking to understand contemporary regeneration practice in England.

    The tiers of governance broadly mirror the phases of regeneration set

    out in section 2.2 above showing how governance structures have

    evolved as an outcome of regeneration policy.

    An alternative model of governance is urban regime theory: developed in

    the USA to help explain the dynamics of local power structures; city

    governance and how they influence political decision making

    (Digaetano, 1997). The theory goes beyond traditional concepts of

    ruling political elites and power as a coercive force; instead on the need

    and desire of city governance to get things done (Stoker, 1995). Urban

    regime theory seeks to interpret relations between the local state andbusiness community (Elkin 1987a; Stone, 1989. cited in Davies, 2001).

    The model would suggest that decisions about regeneration are more

    likely than not be stitched up by powerful unseen players (Manbiot

    2001, cited in Imrie and Raco, 2003). Davies (2001,p. 49) critiqued the

    application of regime theory to explain UK partnerships citing the work

    of John and Cole (1998) in respect of the Leeds Initiative.

    A more specific model is that of governance by network developed by

    Rhodes and Marsh (1992). There has been much debate within

    literature regarding similarities between regime theory and network

    analysis (see Stoker and Mossberger, 1994 and Stoker, 1995: cited in

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    Davies, 2001). Rhodes proposed network analysis is that governance

    refers to self-organising, inter-organisation networks

    Central to understanding the distinction between partnerships,

    regimes and networks is the concept of autonomy and distance from

    state. A self-organising network suggests autonomy and distance from

    the state. Regime theory and governance by partnership suggests a

    stronger policy relationship between state and private sector (Davies,2001: cited in Jones and Evans, 2006). A further difference relates to

    timescales: regimes and networks suggest longer term integrated

    relationships; partnerships are more short term and focussed on a

    specific output. Davies (2001,p.32) acknowledges a basic similarity

    between these conceptual theories regime theory like policy network

    analysis, is a theory on inter-organisational governance based on

    resource interdependence.

    Utilising the case study of Attwood Green, Jones and Evans (2006)

    explored these theoretical debates concluding that to apply one theory

    over another was oversimplification and the practices of governance are

    evolving extremely quickly and there is an academic imperative to use

    these experiences to refine our theoretical toolkits (2006,p.1506). Thecomparisons and application of this conceptual theory is a complex

    debate within the discourse of urban governance, within the context of

    this research they provide a useful frame for conceptualising URP,

    particularly the notion of autonomy and distance from the state. But

    their systematic application to further case study would contribute little

    to furthering knowledge or practice.

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    Below this broader conceptual framework lies further literature dealing

    more directly with URPs in England. This can be categorised by a focus

    on the power and influence of those engaged (or not) within the URP. To

    understand this research a general concept of the multi-sectoral

    partnership model is utilised to capture actions and structures of

    decentralised policy making and implementation and crucially focus on

    the people involved with delivery (Hemphill et al, 2006).

    How a partnership is instigated, who are involved, for what reason and

    from what point is crucial to representation and its legitimacy (Smith

    and Beazley, 2000). At its most simplistic the partnership model

    facilitates budget enlargement for respective partners through enabling

    access to additional funding (Mackintosh, 1992: cited in Smith and

    Beazley, 2000,p.864). Hasting (1996: cited in Hemphill et al 2006)

    identifies synergies for partnership working can be broken down intotwo distinct groups - resource synergy which adds value from

    coordination of respective resources and skills in joint working (similar

    to Mackintoshs view), and; policy synergy where innovations are

    created through partner working.

    A consistent criticism within literature is that local authorities tend todominate URPs at the expense of third sector and local community

    interests; the partnership model itself facilitates this process (Geddes,

    2000; Jones, 2003). The extent that this criticism holds credence within

    a more contemporary context of a resurgent and collaborative local state

    as defined by the Local Government Act 2000 could be questioned.

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    Another constant focus of literature concerns community involvement,

    participation and empowerment within public policy decision making

    and delivery. Seminal works include Arsteins (1969) ladder of

    participation and subsequent expansions and critiques of her work

    (Burns et al, 1994; Nicholson and schreiner, 1973: cited in Smith and

    Beazey, 2000).

    Contemporary policy in respect of community involvement in URPs has

    been shaped by New Labour discourse, as advocated by the SEU,

    community is fully integrated in the shaping and delivery of

    regeneration (Imrie and Raco, 2003,p.4). Ball and Maggin (2005)

    demonstrate that there is an increasing body of research that suggests

    that community involvement is a way of channelling and smothering

    local protest (2005,p.21). This is the notion that URP secure legitimacy

    for the external intervention within a place through community

    involvement at the lower rungs of Arsteins ladder. Bailey (2010)

    suggests community empowerment is always likely to be partial.

    Hemphill et al (2006) argued that community involvement within the

    URP is more a reflection of the move towards local governance and a

    focus on people as well as place within area-based URPs.

    Regardless of the reason, the partnership ideal of community

    involvement is so embedded within regeneration an egalitarian

    partnership has become an end to itself and a measure of success

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    (Rhodes et al, 2002; Smith and Beazley, 2000). Although Ball and

    Maginn (2005,p.17) argue:

    The intrinsic value and potential costs of high levels of

    community participation and the potential conflicts with other

    policy aims still need to be evaluated and questioned.

    This questioning of the egalitarian partnership is valid, particularly

    when seen alongside the rejuvenation of strategic roles for local

    government over the last decade, which in itself reaffirms, Broady and

    Hedley (1989) position that community participation is viewed

    sceptically by elected members.

    Additionally an egalitarian partnership view assumes that the

    community speaks with one voice, but as Atkinson (1999) and North

    (2003) demonstrated there are often competing community interests

    within an area. Therefore as Bailey (2010,pp.329330) suggested

    understanding the rationality for community involvement is not clear

    cut: empowerment is always constrained and contingent on the wider

    distribution of power within local contexts. He goes on to argue that


    A further dimension of empowerment relates to perceptions that

    change is possible at the local level, particularly amongst the

    residents themselves but also for officers and members of the

    local authority and other agencies.

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    The issue of local context including individual actors involvement is

    significant in determining the role and involvement of the communities

    within URP (Bailey, 2010). Ballard (1999: cited in Hemphill et al,

    2006,p.62) argues local government works best when it is genuinely

    local, looking to the community for guidance, not towards central

    government. The role of autonomy within URPs is often over-simplified

    as the conflict between central and local government. The broader role

    of autonomy in stimulating leadership, innovation and change within

    the URP context is often overlooked.

    The underlying theme within much of the literature on community

    participation within the URP context relates to defining the role of the

    community from the outset, whatever that role maybe be. Current

    literature and policy seems to shape the role of community involvement

    within URP as being that of Participative citizenship withina frameworkof representative democracy (Prior et al 1995 cited in Smith and

    Beazey, 2000 p.860).

    Multi-sectoral representation within urban governance always raise

    concerns regarding issues of power dynamic (particularly in the case of

    community voices) and cynicism of why actors are involved(particularly in the case of private sector interests). The opportunity for

    synergy from multi-sectoral representation outweighs these concerns.

    Ball and Maginns (2005) review of literature on contemporary

    regeneration policy and practice highlighted the inconclusive nature of

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    academic understanding of the effectiveness of partnerships. They state

    literature has focussed on three prime issuesthe general role of

    partnerships, the degree of community empowerment within them, and

    evaluation of particular programmes (Ball and Maginn, 2005,p.16). This

    has been, they argue, at the expense of detailed investigation of the

    costs and benefits of the partnership approach and its broader

    implications. The partnership as an effective and successful structure

    for management of regeneration is central to their critique:

    Successful outcomesdepend on the resolution of major

    differences, which is influenced by the intensity conflict over

    land and public sector resources and the ability of partnership

    models to lead to productive compromise. (Ball and Maginn,


    They identify three critical tasks multi-sectoral partnerships have to

    juggle to deliver successful outcomes (Ball and Maginn, 2005,p.24):

    Maximising the degree of co-operation and consensus betweenpartners;

    Setting up systems that capitalise on synergies derived from thepartnership;

    Managing a large building project, so that it comes in on time andcost, and possibly managing a series of sub-projects with distinct


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    In concluding, Ball and Maginn (2005) argue that partnership could add

    value in respect of these three tasks, but the picture is unclear because

    little research been undertaken. This provides a useful frame for

    analysis of a partnership case study, to further knowledge and practice.

    Leadership within the context of regeneration management is therefore

    an important concept. Ball and Maginn (2005,p.20) suggest:

    Strong leadership requires making decisions against some

    participants wishes, so that executive decisions can be made,

    imposing strategies that limit subsequent debate.

    This exposes a contradiction at the heart of what constitutes the

    partnership ideal.

    Judd and Parkinson (1990,p.307) used city-level case studies from

    around the world to demonstrate strong connections between

    leadership and successful city-wide economic regeneration, arguing that

    leadership creates the possibility for success. In the context of mutli-

    sectoral partnership context Hempill et al (2006) suggests that

    contemporary regeneration policy has switched emphasis towards

    delivery based mechanisms that achieve synergistic benefits which go

    beyond project delivery, citing a community leadership role as critical to

    building confidence within communities. These pieces of research cite

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    the importance of the coming together of the right individuals and

    partners for leadership to work.

    Sweeting et al (2004,p.353: citing Hambleton and Stewart, 2000;

    Stewart 2002) identify a number of leadership roles which might be

    adopted within partnership:

    Championtaking forward the goals of the partnership; Salespersonselling the partnership and its achievements to

    others in order to generate more resources and support for


    Interpretermoving between networks to carry the message ofone set of interests to another;

    Brokermoving between networks as a negotiator, bringingtogether resources, putting together packages or multi-

    organisational projects;

    Coordinatormediating, bringing partners together, ensuringinformation is shared

    Managerensuring the effective operation of the partnership,the delivery of output, and the fulfilment of contractual


    Visionaryinspiring the partnership to think long term;

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    Representativereflecting the feelings and wishes of particularinterests and ensuring that their voices are heard in the debatesof partnership;

    Agent provocateurSeeking to provoke action where it is feltunlikely to happen, generating controversy and/or conflict.

    These roles provide a credible framework for assessing leadership within

    a partnership, having been established from a border body academic


    Diamond and Liddle (2005) highlight the complexity of working within a

    mutli-secotoral partnership places on regeneration professionals,

    working both within the boundaries of other organisations and with

    communities. They go on to question the capacity of local authority

    officers to show leadership and manage organisational relationships

    within a partnership and stakeholder dynamic, beyond hierarchical and

    traditional governance structures. Whilst recognising that best practice

    and benching-marking being key to advancing practice.

    The final aspect of urban regeneration partnership is the spatial

    dimension to intervention. It has been argued the resilience of

    neighbourhood problems led to the number of Area-based Initiatives

    (ABIs) mushrooming in 1990s and the governance of neighbourhoods

    regeneration being characterised by a kaleidoscope of interlinked,

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    spatially overlapping partnerships (Dean et al, 1999: cited in Imrie and

    Raco, 2003,p.8586).

    One criticism of ABIs is that by focusing on internal failure

    characteristics contained within defined areas is to the detriment of

    external processes (Hasting in Imrie and Raco, 2003,pp.85-100). This

    inward-looking critique of area based initiatives can be seen to sit

    within Diamonds (2010) discourse of failure.

    Halls (1997) study of regeneration policies for peripheral housing

    estates argued that approaches mostly focused on solving internal

    problems, ignoring external problems. Hall is discussing a wider

    critique of the limitations of urban regeneration policy: rather than

    tackling the root causes of estate decline the policy merely treats thesymptoms of failure.

    New Labours ABIs of the 1990s were seen as integrated multi-level

    approachs with a central lead role occupied by local authorities (imrie

    and Raco, 2003,p.8586). Criticism that has emerged is what Carley et

    al (2000a) called partnership fatigue due to overlapping area-based

    polices. This is worsened by a lack of clear frameworks governing

    institutional arrangements within the partnership maelstrom,

    restricting strong leadership and results (Carley et al 2000b). This

    provides a useful approach to further analysis of the local authority role

    within URPs due to their wider administrative and political remit.

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    The literature which focuses in more detail on the multi-sectoral

    partnership in England, and the search for the partnership ideal

    provides a much clearer focus for further researchthe management of

    regeneration and the local states role within that dynamic.

    2.4 Looking beyond the partnership

    The review of literature provides a strong rational for engaging further

    empirical research. The institutional perspective provides a useful

    narrative of tension that has led to the modern multi-sectoral URP. The

    conceptual frameworks of Rhodes and Marsh (1992) and Davies (2001)

    attempt to express how urban governance structures respond to this

    broader narrative. More focussed research is concentred on searching

    for the partnership ideal Who should be involved, what power and

    influence they should have and what actions it should take. These

    dynamics of the relationships between partners and individuals (both

    formal and informal) are the oil which lubricates the moderns URP and

    the glue which ultimately binds actors within partnership


    The role of management and leadership within URP dynamics is an

    emerging research area, with recognition in literature that practice is

    ever evolving and needs to be shared and understood. The work of

    Sweeting et al (2004) in respect of leadership roles provide a credible

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    framework for assessing leadership within a partnership. The role and

    capacity of local authorities within the partnership dynamic is clearly

    contested; and must be viewed within the culture fostered by New

    Labour of a local strategic leadership role for the local state.

    The imperative for further research is that the search in literature for

    the partnership ideal does not fully recognise the more confident and

    resurgent local state. Local authorities strategic role and capacitywithin the URP should not be viewed sceptically but embraced and

    understood. This is the concept of leadership of place and it is only

    through case study analysis that this can be achieved.

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    Chapter 3: Methodology

    3.1 General Hypothesis

    The Review of existing research has established that the policy

    conditions exist which are conducive to enable local authorities to exert

    influence and power within a contemporary Urban Regeneration

    Partnership (URP) in England.

    At the heart of the general hypothesis is whether it is evident that the

    local authority has taken the lead role in directing the resources and

    coordinating the actions of the Partnership throughout the life of a

    regeneration programme. Critical to the validity of this study is the

    extent to which the policy and organisational arenas places the local

    authority within a leadership role within the regeneration partnership

    or whether it is the individual actions and dynamics specific to

    individual circumstances of characteristics of differing placed-based

    regeneration programmes.

    Crucial to answering this question will be whether or not a broader

    evolution of the management and governance of regeneration is evident.

    Is the contemporary concept of partnership being replaced by a concept

    of leadership of place? If so, can particular conditions can be identified

    and replicated. What factors enable the local authority to exert power

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    and influence within the management of regeneration and demonstrate

    leadership of place? (These conclusions are drawn within chapter 6).

    3.2 Research Design

    The stimulus of this research is through the authors personal

    experience of the Partnership in action. This represents a legitimate

    basis for social inquiry; as Lofland and Lofland (1995) identified

    research can emerge out of researchers personal biography (cited in

    Bryman, 2004, p 5). For this personal endeavour to carry significance it

    must, however, be viewed in relation to theoretical concerns (2004, p 5).

    It is the premise of this research that theory in respect of urban

    governance, and particularly the URP, has been dominated and clouded

    by a positivist epistemology which seek to simplify and explain the

    Partnership as a series of conditions and models that can be tested

    rather than understand its practical applications. A case in point is that

    of debate between urban regime theory and partnership theory. These

    abstract (what Merton, 1967, cited in Bryman, describes as mid-range)

    theories compete to simplify the Partnership dynamic. As such the

    author proposes that these mid-range theories in respect of the

    partnership, whilst academically valid are abstract in their application

    in practice.

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    Firstly to truly observe a Partnership it must not be seen a single static

    entity but as moving constellation or family of interconnected

    personalities. As identified in the review of existing research, whilst

    some partnership theory seek to recognise competing interests and

    values within the partnership dynamic it is a static model, which does

    not attempt understand the fluidity of a partnership.

    As such the research has been designed to firstly build a theory ratherthan propose and test it. An inductive approach is therefore adopted to

    define the relationship between a regeneration programme and the

    partnership dynamic which its manages implementation.

    It is the authors proposition that URPs can be deconstructed as a

    family and within the narrative of the life of specific regenerationprogramme it will be possible to identify key life events faced by the

    responsible family. These key events within the life of the partnership

    will be the points were relationship, trust and individual roles are tested

    and hierarchy and influence established. Once identified, these key life

    events within a programme can form the basis for further empirical and

    observational research.

    The empirical research to test the hypothesis has been designed in two

    key stages: the first (chapter 4) seeks to utilise secondary data collection

    and analysis such as core partnership documents, formal reports from

    respective organisations and minutes from Partnership Steering Groups

    and neighbourhood forums. Thorough secondary data analysis, this

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    diverse mix of data provides an overview and narrative for the

    management of the Regeneration Programmethe narrative of family

    life. From the Programmes inception, to its design, its funding and

    financing structure, its engagement with private sector and the local

    communityand more cruciallyits implementation.

    The use of official documents derived from the state and private sources

    is a valid approach for observing organisational case studies,particularly prior to interviews (Bryman, 2004,p.387); and as official

    organisational records meet Scotts (1990: cited in Bryman, 2004,p.381)

    four criteria of quality authenticity, credibility, representativeness

    and meaning.

    Once identified, these key life events within the Programme will formthe basis for further observational research (Chapter 5) through semi-

    structured interviews with key individual actors representative of the

    Partnership Stakeholders.

    This two stage methodology should provide a systematic study of the

    management of the implementation of neighbourhood regeneration.

    With a focus on the leadership role (or otherwise) of the local authority,

    it will also provide a robust testing of the whether leadership of place is

    evident within the case study.

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    3.3 Reflection-in-action

    Schon (1983 p26) identified the hierarchical separation of research and

    practice as a limiting factor for advancement of knowledge. Reflection-

    in-action, Schon argued represents an opportunity to bring some

    meaning to abstract academic thinking and bridge this divide.

    Reflection-in-action, Schon (1983, p 68) argues enables the professional

    to become a researcher in the practice context and;

    He is not dependent on the categories of established theory and

    technique, but conducts a new theory of the unique case. His

    inquiry is not limited to deliberation about means which

    depends on a prior agreement about ends.

    As a practising regeneration professional, the author has been

    immersed in the implementation of the Castlefields Regeneration

    Programme through the Castlefields Regeneration Partnership for a

    period of 3 year (at time of writing). The authors role within the

    Partnership is a Principal Programme Officer working in Castlefields

    Regeneration Team, for Halton Borough Councilthe Local Authority. I

    am responsible for managing the Councils interest within the

    Partnership and wider regeneration Programme, including the

    management of regeneration projects, liaising with Partner organisation,

    wider stakeholders and the local community.

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    This provides a unique insight into one particular case study. The

    author also lives above the shop having been a resident of Castlefields

    for 6 years, providing an additional ethnographic dimension to

    accumulation of knowledge and interpretation of data collection.

    Whilst engaged in the regeneration of Castlefields, the author has been

    enlightened by the scale and complexity of inter-organisational

    cooperation and coordination (and the individual professionalsrepresentative of those organisations) involved in implementationthe

    phenomena of the URP, and the local authorities role within that

    phenomena. Castlefields presents the author with an opportunity to

    bring together academic understanding with practice to undertake

    applied research to an observed intuitive process.

    Through reflection-in-action the author seeks to bring professional

    knowledge from the implementation of the Castlefields Regeneration

    Programme to propose a new concept of the partnership dynamic

    leadership of place; rather than seek to test an existing theory. To

    advance this the author also proposes a new way of deconstructing the

    PartnershipThe family life analogy. Conforming to Schon assertion

    that practitioners can recast fundamental methods of inquiry andoverarching theories (1983, p317).

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    3.4 Selection of Case StudyCastlefields Regeneration programme

    The case study has been selected to add to the epistemology of

    understanding of the contemporary English URP through the process of

    practice-based research. As Hemphill et al (2006, p. 59) identified

    urban governance has become the catchphrase of modern urban policy

    despite lacking precise meaning and often being used in a variety of

    different discourses.

    In addition to the unique opportunity of drawing on the approach of

    reflection-in-action, the case study represents a credible example of a

    contemporary URP, it has multi-sector representation and is area

    based. Additionally the case study has been been in a period of

    innovation for approximately10 years (at time of writing) and is still livethis will provide the opportunity for a more valid Partnership dynamic

    to be observed. Interestingly it sits outside of any single pot

    programme, such as Housing Market Renewal Areas, so it is not

    constrained by the regulations that come with such programmes,

    offering the potential for uniqueness to be observed.

    As such the single case study of the Castlefields Regeneration

    Programme and the dynamics of the Castlefields Regeneration

    partnership will be the sole focus for testing general hypothesis and the

    analytical method employed to deconstruct the case. Whilst wider

    application of both the methodology and testing of hypothesis would

    enhance validity; as a minimum justification of the use of this single

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    the power and influence of respective partner organisations within that

    process. The implicit interrogation being the role of the local authority.

    Semi-structured qualitative interviewing with key informants of the

    people involved in the delivery will enable the layers of the Partnership

    to be peeled back, to reveal a truer picture of the partnership dynamic,

    than analysis of secondary data alone could establish. Interview

    structure will be guided by the stages of the life of the Programmeinception, design, implementation, which will then be conceptualised

    within the family life analogy. Key informant will be identified through

    secondary data analysis, in accordance with an inductive process.

    Therefore each interview will have its own distinct interview guide. A

    compendium of interview guides is provided as appendix # to give ameasure of credibility and internal validity and enable transferability to

    be tested.

    3.6 Limitations

    As this study represents reflection-in-action, the interviewees, drawn

    from the Partnership are known on a professional basis to the

    researcher with on-going interaction. Whilst these pre-existing

    relationships will enable focus on formal and informal roles within the

    Partnership (as the researcher is already immersed within these

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    relationships with the interviewee), they may also limit responses due to

    the partnership being live. For instance it may be perceived by that the

    interviewer will utilise interviewee responses in on-going professional

    interaction, making for a guarded response and the researchers

    objectivity. As Bloor (1997) cited in Bryman (2004, p 274) observes;

    Some approaches to enquiry may result in research participants

    developing relationships with the researcher of fondness and mutual

    regard there may be a reluctance to be critical.

    Although it could equally be argued that interviewees will open up to a

    familiar face and perceive the interview to be less formal and academic

    in nature.

    Prior to the formal research a pilot interview was conducted with two

    regeneration practitioners at Liverpool City Council working on the

    Housing Market Renewal Programme. This tested the approach to the

    interview guide around the stage of the life of the programme and how

    opened-end and controlled questions worked with the context of the

    research area. Additionally the interviewees were known to the

    researcher and it was clear that this approach did not appear to limit

    candidness of responses. Nethertheless, for transparency potential

    limits are identified.

    Validity of a thick description requires 360 degree analysis of

    Partnership perspectives. Due to the length of the Programme some of

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    the individual actors are likely to no longer be involved in the

    Programme, and indeed a number will have retired from professional

    working life altogether. As such whilst the two stage method employed

    will firstly identify key Partners and individual actors, extent of validity

    will dependent of securing partner representation.

    Due to the scope of research and limitations on the author, full

    transcription of interviews will not be published. As such only sectionsof interviews will be transcribed within the research. A degree of

    dependability will be ensured through a complete record of audio

    recordings and transcriptions for external validation.

    Whilst it is important to acknowledge these limitations in advance of

    analysis, an assessment of the research reliability and validity will formpart of the conclusion. As a predominately qualitative research strategy

    is employed, Lincoln and Gubas (1985) trustworthiness and

    authenticity criteria will be used (cited in Brymen 2004, pp. 273277).

    3.7 Summary

    Reflection-in-action presents the author with an opportunity to

    contribute to the URP governance discourse. Within the scope of the

    research a predominantly qualitative research strategy will enable

    rigorous analysis of a single case study to provide a thick description

    and ensure validity and reliability can be tested. An inductive inquiry

    guided by a general concept will enable the general hypothesis of the

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    factor determining the whether the local authorities can exert influence

    and power and demonstrate leadership of place in the management of


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    Chapter 4: Castlefields, RuncornRemaking an English New Town


    This chapter utilises secondary data to provide an overview of the

    Castlefields Regeneration Programme, Runcorn (from now on referred to

    as the Programme). The chapter focuses on the establishment and role

    of the Castlefields Regeneration Partnership (from now on referred to as

    the Partnership), the inter-organisational governance structure which

    coordinated regeneration actions.

    It is proposed that the Partnership can be viewed as a family unit of

    organisations that have come together. The periods of this union can be

    viewed as the stages of a relationship of a familycourtship,

    engagement, marriage and family life. This notion provides a useful

    analogy for understanding the fluidity of the Partnership. It will also

    help identify the key life events that have shaped and tested

    relationships between family members; these provide the basis forengaging primary research.

    4.1 Castlefields, A new town neighbourhood

    Castlefields is a residential neighbourhood within the former New Town

    of Runcorn (designated phase 3 in 1964), Cheshire. Built between 1968

    and 1972, it had approximately 2400 homes, to accommodate a

    population of approximately 8000 residents, all of which were socialhousing stock including 1400 deck access flats.

    In 1989 Castlefields 2400 houses were transferred between two existing

    housing associationsLiverpool Housing Trust (LHT) and CDS Housing

    (now part of the Plus Dane Housing Group). Between them they are the

    landlord for the majority of properties within Castlefields. Halton

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    Borough Council (HBC), a Unitary Authority formed in 1998, have

    responsibility for social infrastructure such as schools and physical

    infrastructure such as public highway. The local centre was acquired by

    the private sector.

    Despite a promising start, the 1980s saw a change in the fortunes for

    Castlefields with the area developing wide reaching environmental,

    economic and social problems leading to severe decline (Halton Borough

    Council, 2009b,p.1).

    4.2 Background to RegenerationCourtship

    The origins of the regeneration of Castlefields represent the courtship

    stage within the Partnership dynamic between 1998 and 2000. It is

    evident in secondary data that a need for action formed the basis for

    partners initially coming together.

    Between 1998 - 2000 LHT and Plus Dane jointly undertook a series ofresident consultation exercises and viability assessments regarding

    potential regeneration. The culmination of this work was securing the

    future: A Regeneration Strategy for Castlefields (2000)Produced by

    Brock Carmichael Associates on behalf of LHT and CDS Housing. The

    study focussed on housing association property interests and the

    shopping centre. It included extensive community consultation and

    highlighted the residents likes and dislikes:

    Redevelopment of the local centre Selective demolition of deck access flats Altering the basic mix on the estate

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    Open spaces and mature trees were liked Residents are loyal to Castlefields and has a strong community

    (EP, 2000,p.78 and Appendix 1)

    In 1998 HBC identified Castlefields as action area within its

    Regeneration strategyfor Halton 1998 (HBC, 1998). This was

    subsequently incorporated into the Halton Unitary Development Plan.

    These documents recognise Castlefields as Corporate priority. A series

    of further Castlefields specific studies and consultations identified the

    following objectives:

    Renewing deck access housing Improving vehicular access Sustaining the local population Replacing the local centre Improving security and safety Improving the established landscape quality Bring forward new quality housing development

    (EP, 2000,p.8 and Appendix 1)

    The Council had also begun initial interventions within Castlefields

    notably via the Single Regeneration Budget (SRB) rounds 2, 4 and 5.

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    Delivered by the HBC led Halton Partnership between 1998 and 2006

    with Borough-wide interventions on social inclusion, economic and

    health issues. Interventions have directly and indirectly affected

    Castlefields, the direct intervention being the creation of new training

    facility. During this period HBC took the corporate decision to close

    three local facilities; bringing the estate into further focus for the


    The review of literature identified that during this period central

    government funding was being prioritised to areas of deprivation. In the

    2000 IMD Halton was ranked as the 18thmost deprived local authority

    out of 354 in England; Castlefields was ranked as the 145 most

    deprived ward out of 8,414 wards in England (Taylor Young, 2002). This

    provided a policy imperative for central government to target resources

    within this locality. The key agents operating at the North West regional

    level were English Partnerships (EP), the Housing Corporation (HC) and

    the North West Development Agencies (NWDA).

    Each organisation can be seen to have had an existing relationship with

    Castlefields. EP as the successor organisation to the CNT had land

    interests within the neighbourhood. The HC had responsibility for

    distribution of grants for investment within social housing stock and

    the NWDA had taken over responsibility for administering SRB funding.

    The main organisational stakeholders of the neighbourhood and can be

    divided into two distinct groups. The first are local agents: HBC, LHT

    and Plus Dane. The second are Central Government agents operating

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    at the North West regional levelEnglish Partnerships (EP), Housing

    Corporation (HC) and North West Development Agencies (NWDA),

    although it must be acknowledged that the NWDA are a more

    independent regional body. Four of the six organisations are drawn

    from the public sector. Figure 4.1 expresses this initial courtship period

    showing how the individual organisations came together around the

    shared purpose of a need for action around a place - Castlefields; the

    organisations are not yet formed into a formal partnership.

    Figure 4.1: Courtship 1998 - 2002

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    It is not evident from secondary data, whether one particular

    organisation instigated dialogue formally or informally between

    respective organisations but it can be assumed that the various studies

    and consultations would have brought organisations into conversation.

    The first identified formal mutual working (prior to the establishment of

    the Partnership) came via Joint Commission arrangements, the process

    by which the HC worked with Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) to

    administer affordable housing grants (HBC, 2001). These arrangements

    required prioritising need at the local level with endorsement by the

    Local Authority, primarily through a Local Housing Strategy. This led

    to a first phase of HCe funding for the demolition of 600 deck access

    flats and there replacement with 320 new build homes. It is not clear

    from secondary data whether at this stage in the relationship the full

    extent of resources to deliver holistic regeneration Castlefields was

    established or desired by all organisations.

    Within this period of courtship that two key life event are identified:

    The extent any organisation instigated inter-organisationaldialogue, or showed leadership is this process; and

    The appetite by respective organisations to deliver a morecomprehensive and holistic regeneration of Castlefields.

    4.3 Production of the Castlefields MasterplanEngagement

    This stage in the life of the family represents the engagement of

    Partners, solidifying commitment and more importantly distributing

    respective responsibilities for delivery. This is achieved through the

    production of a Masterplan for Castlefields between 2002 and 2003.

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    In 2002 a brief for the invitation to tender for preparation of Masterplan

    and Delivery Strategy to guide the regeneration of Castlefields was

    presented by EP on behalf of the Castlefields Partnership (2002). This is

    the first point the organisations are referred to as a partnership. This

    Brief sought to commission independent consultants. A board was

    established to prepare the Brief and included main Partnership

    organisations (as identified at courtship stage); a single Tenants

    representative and elected Members of HBC (Minutes of Joint

    Commissioning Board, 27thMarch 2002).

    Whilst no formal Partnership role for either private sector interests or

    residents is identified within the brief, to some extent is pacified by the

    stated aim of the commission to (2002,p.5):

    Prepare a master plan and delivery strategy to guide the

    sustainable regeneration of Castlefields, in partnership with

    key stakeholders and the local community. (Authorsemphasis)

    Suggesting that whilst a core formal Partnership has been identified to

    deliver the regeneration, involvement of other actors shaping the

    Masterplan is recognised as important. The Brief (2002,p.5) sets out the

    strategic vision for Castlefields, which is:

    To create a prosperous, integrated and vibrant community byimproving their environmental, economic and social well-being,

    which achieves the highest possible standards in terms of design

    and development.

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    In addition to the Vision, the Brief (2002,pp.5-6) identifies five guiding

    principles and values that the Partnership is committed to,

    summarised these are (Authors emphasis):

    1. Partnership and Collaborative Working;2. Holistic Regeneration;3. Community Led Regeneration;4. Sustainability; and5. Make Effective use of Existing Resources.

    The extent Partners respective aspirations area reflected within the Brief

    is not evident from secondary data and worthy of further analysis.

    The production of three distinct documents is identified within the

    commission (2002,p.5):

    A Baseline Report; A imaginative and sustainable Masterplan; and A Delivery strategy.

    These Masterplan documents, along with the Vision and guiding

    principles and values can be seen to form the basis for engagement of

    Partner organisations and the vows for future Marriage.

    The Castlefields Masterplan (Taylor Young, 2003a) was formally adopted

    by Halton Borough Council in September 2003 (HBC, 2003). The Vision

    and guiding principles are carried forward from the earlier brief.

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    The Masterplan sets out 51 regeneration projects. One of the

    justifications being to give potential funding partners confidence in the

    overall programme and a context in which individual projects and

    initiatives can be progressed (2003a,p.16). These projects are shown in

    Table 4.1.

    Table 4.1: Overview of Masterplan Projects


    ThemeProject Overviews



    Housing &


    (22 Projects)

    HD1-7, 9-11, 13-17: Housing Renewal

    projects, including demolition and

    refurbishment of deck access blocks on

    an incremental basis

    LHT & CDS

    HD8: Land deal to facilitate new build LHT & CDS

    HD12: Land deal to facilitate new build HBC & CDS

    HD18HD22: Reclamation of redundant

    school and recreation centre for new

    parkland, and provision of private sector

    housing and a new retail centre.


    People,P1-P2 & P6: Stimulating employment HBC

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    Community &


    (6 Projects)

    opportunities for Castlefields residents

    primarily through the adjacent AstmoorIndustrial estate (outside of the

    geographical scope of the Masterplan)

    P3: Public realm improvements of

    signage, rebranding to create a sense of



    P4: Review Castlefields four Primary



    P5: Production of 10 year action looking

    beyond the initial three year programme

    All Partners


    (15 Projects)

    I1-I8, I13-I15: Restructuring the

    highway and footpath network to

    redefine movement within the

    Neighbourhood and connect it to

    adjoining areas to improve accessibility


    I9: Removal of existing shopping centre,

    (use of Compulsory Purchase Powers)


    I10: Review strategic land acquisitions All Partners

    I11: New outdoor youth activity park on HBC

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    the site of former school and recreation


    I12: New youth and community facilities

    Environment &


    (7 Projects)

    E1: Town Park improvements HBC

    E2-E3: General Environmental

    Improvements, including temporary

    landscaping to vacant land

    LHT, CDS &


    E4: Canalside improvements HBC

    E5-E6: new public space at former

    shopping centre to provide enhanced

    setting for retained community uses


    E7: Programme of public realm lighting HBC

    (Taylor Young, 2003,pp.16-27)

    Analysis of projects identifies three points. Firstly is the majority of

    projects are physical interventions, albeit with significant community

    benefit such as project I11 providing a new park. Secondly, outside of

    housing renewal delivery would largely sit with the local authority

    creating substantial resource implications. The final point relates to the

    incremental approach to housing renewal by starting on vacant land

    and car parks followed by demolition and new build, the stated purpose

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    is all residents who wish to remain in Castlefields will have the right to

    housing which meets their needs (Taylor Young, 2003,p.20).

    Through the production of the Masterplan the need for action by

    respective organisations is translated into a single coordinated

    programme around a place Castlefields. Extent of respective Partner

    power and influence within this process is not evident but through a

    distribution of project delivery an emerging hierarchy of responsibility is

    evident i.e. the use of HBC Compulsory purchased power rather than

    EPs, and that the resources of HBC will be critical to delivery of the

    programme. Figure 4.2 expresses the process of engagement of


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    Figure 4.2: Engagement 2002 - 2003

    Whilst the organisations are not yet formed into a formal partnership,

    inter-organisational working and the language of the partnership is

    evident in documentation. The Masterplan forms the basis for

    engagement of Partner organisations and the vows for future


    Within this period of Engagement that three key life event are


    The extent Partners respective aspirations have competed and areexpressed within the Masterplan process?

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    The role of Masterplan as a binding agent between Partnersis ita shared vision?

    Awareness and acceptance by respective Partners of the emerginghierarchy through distribution of responsibilities and resource

    implications of Masterplan project delivery?

    4.4 Partnership GovernanceMarriage

    This stage in the life of the family represents the formal Marriage of

    Partners, through the establishment of The Castlefields Partnership

    the governance structure to manage and coordinate both delivery of

    Masterplan projects and relationships between family members. The

    establishment of the formal Partnership can be seen to have occurred

    between 2003 and 2004.

    The delivery strategy states that the Partnership (2003b,p.8);

    will be the responsible for securing the necessary expertise and

    funding both from the public and private sector to ensure

    deliverysuccess of the Partnership will rest on continued

    support, commitment and statutory powers of key partnersHBC

    will have a key role to play as planning authority (2003,p.8).

    This is clear statement of what partner organisations are signing up to

    by entering into the Partnership, and represent further vows of

    marriage before entering into family life together.

    It also recognises the crucial role to implementation that HBC will have,

    not only in delivering tasked projects but also in terms of facilitating

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    actions by other partners through its statutory functions such as

    planning. HBC will therefore be wearing two distinct hatsdeliver and

    regulator with significant resource implications and the potential for

    internal conflict.

    In response these resource demands, in 2003 HBC enacted a number of

    formal corporate actions (HBC, 2003):

    Taking formal ownership of the Masterplan through adopting is aCorporately;

    Production of a Castlefields Supplementary Planning Guidancebased upon the Masterplan;

    Disposal of Council land assets; Establishment of an Elected Member Board, the Castlefields

    Implementation Group (CIG); and

    Creation of Castlefields Programme Team within the CouncilsMajor Project Department.

    By taking these corporate actions, is this the point that HBC moved

    from equal family member to having parental responsibility within the

    Partnership? Which is crucial to being answered within the primary


    The formal inter-organisational governance space in which the

    Partnership operates is the Castlefields Regeneration Joint Steering

    Group (CRJSG). The first formal minutes being from 2004 (HBC, 2004).

    Analysis of CRJSG minutes suggest that its function was coordination

    and cooperation, with formal decision-making falling back to respective

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    partner organisations internal decision-making processes. For instance,

    HBC decision making and resource allocation rested with the

    constituted Castlefields Implementation Group (for example see HBC,

    2004b). The CRJSG is place were family members can come together

    and family life discussed and agreements reach and trust is placed.

    Figure 4.3 is an extract from minutes of CRJSG held on 24thJune 2005

    and gives an indication of the staff resource respective family members

    applied to the Programme.

    Figure 4.3: Extract from minutes of CRJSG 24thJune 2005



    Friday 24th June 2005, 10am Municipal Building, Kingsway, Widnes


    Derek Sutton(Chair) (Operational director Major Projects), ChrisLeyshon (Castlefields Programme Manager), Sarah Lucas

    (Castlefields Team), Garry Taylor (Castlefields Team), Arnis

    Buklovskis (Development Control Team Leader), John Hatton

    (Community & leisure Manager), Martin Kavanagh (Highways), Ian

    Lifford (Landscape Operational Director)all Halton Borough Council

    Helen Tudor (Investment Manager)Housing Corporation John Rockminster (English Partnership Commercial advisor)

    Lambert Smith Hampton

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    Janitha Redmond (Regeneration Manager)English Partnerships Paul Sheppard (Masterplan consultant)Taylor Young Giles Brooke (English Partnership appointed construction consultant)


    Paul Moscardini (Plus Housing and LHT appointed Architect)McCalls

    Inger Leach (Development Manager) - Plus Housing [Formerly CDS]Apologies:

    Phil Watts (Planning Operational Director), Jon Farmer (TransportPolicy), Mandy Jones (Asset Management), Jerry Goacher (Property

    and Assets Operational Director), Steve Williams (Housing strategy)

    Halton Borough Council

    Claire Griffiths (Development Director)Plus Housing Group Liz Fudge (Development and Regeneration Supervisor) - LHT Neil Morrey (Regeneration Manager)NWDA

    (HBC, 2005. Note: Author has annotated, shown in italics, known roles

    of representatives, by using non-referenced staff directories.)

    Analysis of this snapshot of the CJRSG meeting highlights two

    important points. Firstly, the extent of ownership that HBC has of this

    group in terms of number of representatives; individual staff being

    drawn from across Council departments with senior rep